Boxing


Marquez Brothers on SHOWTIME Aug. 5

NEW YORK (July 17, 2006) – There have been several successful and famous brother tandems in boxing over the years, including Leon and Michael Spinks, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Gabriel and Rafael Ruelas, Jerry and Mike Quarry, Gaby and Orlando Canizales, and Terry and Orlin Norris. For all of their achievements, few had anything on Mexico City’s Juan Manuel and Rafael Marquez, the most successful brothers in boxing today. No other current brother duo is close..

A combined 79-6-1 with 64 knockouts, the exciting Marquez brothers are universally recognized as two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Long regarded as perhaps the world’s premier featherweight, Juan, 32, is 44-3-1 with 33 KOs. Younger brother, Rafael, 31, is 35-3 with 31 knockouts. Many regard him as the finest bantamweight in boxing.

One of only four sets of Mexican brothers in history to win a world title, the Marquez brothers will be featured when the 20th anniversary celebration of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING continues Saturday, Aug. 5, on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). In the main event, Juan will face World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 1 contender Terdsak Jandaeng (24-1, 15 KOs) for the WBO Interim 126-pound belt. In a rematch, Rafael will put his International Boxing Federation (IBF)/International Boxing Organization (IBO) bantamweight belts on the line against No. 1-ranked Silence Mabuza (19-1, 15 KOs).

Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, will promote the world championship doubleheader from MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa at Stateline, Nev.

The Marquez brothers have appeared on the same fight card on 10 occasions, but this will be their first time together since April 1, 2001.

A former IBF and World Boxing Association (WBA) 126-pound champion, Juan Marquez always will be remembered for his spectacular performance against Manny Pacquiao when he rallied from three first-round knockdowns to earn a draw on May 8, 2004, in Las Vegas. Marquez, to some extent, also will be remembered for unifying the IBF and WBA titles in 2003.

For years, Rafael Marquez lived in the long shadow of his older, bigger brother, but his stock has risen dramatically. He not only is recognized as the world's best bantamweight, but he has become a mainstay in pound-for-pound and top-10 lists. Perhaps the purest puncher in any weight class, Marquez has won 14 consecutive bouts, 11 by knockout, including several against some of the 118-pound division's best fighters. In his last outing on Nov. 5, 2005, Marquez put on a masterful performance to earn a fourth-round TKO over Mabuza on SHOWTIME.

Rafael may not be as polished as Juan, but some have said that he has become the better of the pair. Rafael, of course, wants no part of that type of chatter.

“We are brothers. This is not a race to see who is best,’’ he said. “Both of us want the other to win all their fights. There is no jealousy.’’

The close-knit Marquez brothers made history in early 2003. Two weeks after Juan won the IBF featherweight title, Rafael captured the IBF bantamweight crown on Feb. 15 with a devastating eighth-round TKO over defending champion, Tim Austin, in Las Vegas.

The victories made Rafael and Juan the fourth set of Mexican brothers to win world titles. The others were Rene and Ricardo Arredondo of Michoacan, Mexico, Gabriel and Rafael Ruelas of Jalisco, Mexico, and Erik and Diego Morales of Tijuana, Mexico.

“That was a big night for my family, and a big night for all of Mexico,’’ Rafael said. “I knew I would beat Austin if I kept the pressure on. I was stronger and more focused, but when I knocked him out and he went through the ropes, I couldn’t believe it. I am happy that both my brother and I are champions. Our dreams have come true.’’

The Marquez brothers are classy, soft-spoken and in their primes. Yet, the fame and respect of a champion continues to elude them.

Juan, who is 14-1-1 in his last 16 starts, appeared to reach stardom when he rallied against Pacquiao in a sensational action fight. However, he has been a victim of poor business decisions since, and has second-guessed himself for refusing lucrative paydays in high-profile fights. In two instances, Juan turned down a reported $750,000 for a rematch with Pacquaio and perhaps double that amount for a fight against Erik Morales.

To make matters worse, Marquez lost his titles without throwing a punch. He was stripped by the IBF because no promoter was willing to spend the minimum $50,000 on a purse bid for a mandatory title defense. Marquez was notified of the IBF’s action via fax. The WBA withdrew its recognition of Marquez as a “super champion’’ after he was stripped by the IBF. Boxers who unify world titles are afforded “super’’ status by the WBA.

Marquez is coming off of a 12-round loss to local favorite Chris John (36-0-1 going in) in a WBA title fight on March 4, 2006, in Indonesia. Marquez, who was on the wrong end of the 117-111, 116-110 and 116-112 decision, had a point deducted for low blows in the 10th and 11th rounds.

“That was a bad night, but the past is past,” Marquez said. “I am still young and have a lot of fight left in me. This is a new beginning for me. It all starts August 5.’’

By annihilating perennial bantamweight kingpin, Austin, on Feb. 15, 2003, Rafael Marquez became the first Mexican in 10 years to win the bantamweight crown. Victor Rabanales, who held the WBC belt for two years, was the last Mexican 118-pound world champion.

“I have made a career of surprising people,’’ said Marquez, who owns two wins each over two-time world champions Mark “Too Sharp’’ Johnson and Mauricio Pastrana.

Unlike Juan, Rafael was not on anybody's radar screen at the outset of his career when he lost three of his initial 24 starts. It did not help that after going 21-0 in the amateurs, the younger Marquez lost his pro debut. Juan, too, lost his pro debut, but went on a lengthy winning streak thereafter. Rafael got stopped in his 14th outing, and then again in his 24th.

“There was no reason to watch me then,” Rafael said. “There is now.”

Marquez and Mabuza engaged each other in a slugfest in their first match (Nov. 5, 2005 on SHOWETIME). Before the battle was stopped, Marquez scored a knockdown in the first and won every round. The successful title defense was the sixth for Marquez, who also took away Mabuza’s International Boxing Organization (IBO) 118-pound title.

Mabuza, of Johannesburg, South Africa, performed gallantly throughout and got in his fair share of solid shots, but he was done in by several cuts around the eyes. Mabuza appeared to recover in the second after going down for the first time in his career. However, the IBO champion was cut above the right eye and below the left eye in the third. The bout was stopped due to the cut over the right eye. Mabuza's cornermen claimed the cut was caused by a headbutt, but the referee ruled it was from a punch.

“Marquez is a talented boxer with a distinguished ring record, but I did not get a fair shake in our first fight’’ Mabuza said. "This time, there will be no controversy.’’

There is talk of Marquez moving up in weight for more lucrative fights, but, for now, he is content to remain a bantamweight.

“All my focus is on Mabuza and beating him again,’’ Marquez said. "Mabuza is a good, young fighter. He is hungry and wants what is mine. But, I am ready.”

Until a few years ago, brothers Rafael and Juan sparred against each other. However, their father, Rafael Sr., finally put a halt to it.

Jandaeng, of Thailand, has won six straight fights since suffering his lone loss on a 12-round decision to former world 122-pound champion, Joan Guzman, in a WBO featherweight elimination bout on Aug. 26, 2005. In his last outing, Jandaeng registered a 12-round unanimous decision over Pedro Malco on May 10, 2006.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’s Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside with Jim Gray serving as roving reporter. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast will be David Dinkins Jr. with Bob Dunphy directing.

Always at the forefront of boxing, SHOWTIME has set itself apart by telecasting “great fights, no rights” on the first Saturday of every month. SHOWTIME is the first network to regularly deliver live boxing in High Definition. In addition, SHOWTIME continues to be a pioneer in sports television with a number of interactive features across multiple platforms making SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts the most enjoyable, immersive viewing experience for the boxing audience.

For information on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and “ShoBox: The New Generation” telecasts, including complete fighter bios and records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.

Article posted on 18.07.2006



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