Rafael Marquez-Juan Manuel Lopez Clash In Works For September - Can The Magnificent Mexican Defeat The Power-Punching Puerto Rican?

by James Slater - The long and intense Mexico Vs. Puerto Rico battle may have another chapter added in September; as the word is a hugely intriguing clash between Rafael Marquez and Juan Manuel Lopez is in the works for September, in Las Vegas.

Over the years, we have seen classic fights between the finest boxers Mexico and Puerto Rico has had to offer, and the prospective September featherweight battle will perhaps be a fine addition to the long list.. It has been reported by a number of sources that the fight taking place depends on how southpaw WBO 126-pound champ Lopez gets on in his upcoming, July 10th title defence against Bernabe Concepcion in his homeland of Puerto Rico. But if the currently undefeated "Juanma" does as most people feel he will and keeps his perfect record against the Filipino, he will in all likelihood rumble with Marquez a couple of months later.

Marquez, 39-5(35), and coming off his 3rd-round stoppage win over archrival Israel Vazquez, is down on as fighting against a TBA on September 18th, and if it is Lopez who turns out to be the TBA, the whole world will likely tune in to see what happens.

Can the 35-year-old, who is at the tail end of a long and truly great career, manage one more huge effort and pull off a win over the lethal 26-year-old? Or is this fight, if it actually goes ahead, the fight that will bring down the curtain on the Mexico City warriors Hall of Fame-bound career? How much does the former bantamweight and super-bantamweight king have left?

Marquez, a pro since way back in September 1995 (when Rafael was, astonishingly, stopped in the 8th-round of his very first pro fight!) looked good in the (hopefully) final instalment of the savagely entertaining and quite brilliant series with Vazquez, but "Magnifico" looked so faded it's still hard to tell what Marquez has left at top level. Against the 28-0(25) Lopez, Marquez and his fans will find out at the same time how much is still inside.

You really have to hand it to Marquez. Never, ever a guy to look for easy fights, the 44-fight veteran, at a time when he could easily be announcing his retirement, looks to fight a man who is arguably the hardest hitting lower weight fighter in boxing - how can you not admire his bravery! But is Marquez being too brave for his own good with this fight?

Not only will Marquez be the smaller man with the smaller reach against Lopez, he will also be up against a genuine bomber; a man who can end any fight at any time with a single punch. And Marquez, as great as he is (or was) is not all that hard to tag cleanly. Then there's "Juanma's" southpaw stance to be considered. Marquez has not faced a lefty in quite a while; not since he faced fellow Mexican Ricardo Vargas down at bantamweight in May of 2005. Despite his great experience, despite all of his technical abilities and despite his tough chin and fierce fighting heart, is Marquez, at his current age, in over his head against Lopez?

Providing the WBO featherweight champ sends Concepcion home with a loss, we will most likely find out. Again, big respect goes out to Marquez for even asking for this fight; but this particular Mexico Vs. Puerto Rico rivalry has the look of a win for the Puerto Rican's for me.

Article posted on 15.06.2010

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