Juan Manuel Marquez To Face Little-Known Cesar Rene Cuenca In Mexico, April 21st

By James Slater - It has been reported by a number of web sites (and is up as happening on that Mexican great Juan Manuel Marquez will return to action in his homeland on April 21st, against little-known Argentine Cesar Rene Cuenca. The fight is set to go down at light-welterweight and the 31-year-old southpaw from Buenos Aires will be taking a huge step up in class.

Marquez, unable to land a big fight (it looked at one point that “Dinamita” would face Lamont Peterson, before Amir Khan offered Peterson a massive payday for a rematch) will tick over against relative unknown Cuenca. The Argentine sports a fine-looking pro record at 42-0(1) - that’s right, just one KO - but he has never before boxed outside of his own country and his record has no obviously recognisable names on it. Cuenca has beaten Jose Alfaro (who went on to win the WBA lightweight title) and Carlos Vilches (who had previously gone 12-rounds with a young Ricky Hatton) but most of his victims were of the club fighter variety; some of them having losing records.

It’s hard to predict what type of a fight we will get in Mexico City in April. Marquez, closing in on retirement, may have trouble getting sufficiently “up” for this fight. Even if Marquez is not firing on all cylinders, however, Cuenca, with his total lack of punching power, should not be able to cause him any problems. This one looks, on paper at least, like a mismatch.

The man Marquez, 53-6-1(39) really wanted to fight, again, was of course Manny Pacquiao. Disappointed that Pac-Man chose instead Tim Bradley (a fighter Marquez says lacks the power needed to beat Manny), Marquez remains hopeful that he will get a fourth go at the Pound-for-Pound king. But with Pacquiao saying recently that he may retire after the Bradley fight so as to concentrate on his new role working with the church, Marquez may be out of luck.

All unbeaten fighters are potentially difficult opponents simply because they don’t know how to lose. But it would be a massive upset if Cuenca were to defeat Marquez. The fight may go the distance, but I pick Marquez to bang out a mid-rounds stoppage. What he will do afterwards, we can only guess. Marquez deserves a much bigger fight than the one he’s getting; maybe he’ll call time on his great career after getting such a big match-up.

Article posted on 16.02.2012

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