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MARQUEZ HAS THE EDGE OVER JUAREZ

By Maloney L. Samaco
PhilBoxing.com
Thu, 01 Nov 2007



Juan Manuel Marquez has long been one of the world's finest fighters. But the boxing world just didn?t realize it. Marquez (47-3-1, 35 KOs) is at present number 3 in The Ring Magazine?s pound-for-pound list behind number 1 Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and number 2 Manny Pacquiao. He captured his second world championship with an exciting victory over the legendary Marco Antonio Barrera on March 17, 2007.

If he successfully retains his WBC super featherweight title against Rocky Juarez (27-3, 19 KOs) on November 3 in Tucson, Arizona, he will become the front-runner for a bout against Pacquiao. In 2004, he had a scintillating but controversial draw with Pacquiao in Las Vegas. Pacquiao had Marquez down three times in the first round, but Marquez fought on and earned a split draw in one of that year's best fights.

The Marquez-Juarez fight was supposed to be held on September 15 in Las Vegas. Marquez cut his right hand in practice and it became infected, thus the bout has to be reset. Marquez has fully recovered from the hand injury and is completely focused on his fight against Juarez. Based on skills and experience, Marquez has the advantage over Juarez.

Juarez is 0-3 in title bouts, losing to Barrera twice and to Humberto Soto. Seven years after winning an Olympic silver medal, his ability is still in doubt. A known slow starter, Juarez needs toughness and hard work. Juarez is one of the sport's best counter punchers, but he seemed to be more vulnerable in his recent stints.

Marquez, one of the best boxing tacticians of this era, is also known as a fighter with a bold heart. He said, ?I'd just like to tell you that I would like to have a spectacular win or a knockout. I'm motivated right now because I'm going to fight an opponent who is a great fighter with a great name. That is what's going to make a great fight.?

Marquez conquered Barrera in their encounter this year. Though Barrera dropped his opponent to the canvas with a stunning counter hook in the seventh canto, ?The Baby Faced Assassin? then made the adverse decision to hit Marquez while he was down, costing him a point deduction and Barrera failing to get the credit for the knockdown.

It was a classic Mexican smash and clash with neither fighter having the advantage during the many truly rousing exchanges until the eleventh round. When the smoke finally cleared, Marquez took the scorecards 116-111 (twice) and118-109, winning a unanimous verdict.

While Barrera defeated Juarez in their two encounters last year, the first being a controversial split decision, while the rematch was a unanimous decision. And that?s where Marquez had the edge over Juarez.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.

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