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SPORTS SHORTS 98: JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ VS. MIGUEL ANGEL COTTO EXHIBITION FIGHT PROPOSED

By Maloney L. Samaco
PhilBoxing.com
Wed, 07 Apr 2021



Boxing legends Miguel Angel Cotto and Juan Manuel Marquez are reportedly meeting in the ring for an exhibition fight. The proposed date is June 12 and planned location is Miami, Florida.

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“Legends never leave unfinished business,” Cotto posted on his social media on Monday. It confirms a report from BoxingScene.com of the coming exhibition match of former four-division titlists who had hanged up their gloves.

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A 35-second promo video went along with the formal announcement of the legendary fighters' exhibition fight. "Legendary rivalries are never late,” aired the promo, highlighting another match in the historic rivalry between two boxing powers Puerto Rico and Mexico.

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When both were active fighters they never had a competitive fight against each other. The idea of the Marquez-Cotto match has attracted the boxing world but it never materialized.

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This time, the 40-year-old Cotto and 47-year-old Marquez might not be able to do a fight which could satisfy the audience than a showdown during the prime of their careers.

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As an amateur, Cotto represented Puerto Rico in the lightweight and light welterweight divisions at different international events, including the 1999 Pan American Games, the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and the 1998 Junior World Championships. At the Junior Championships he won a lightweight silver medal.

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Cotto had his professional debut in 2001, then he stopped Kelson Pinto of Brazil by 6th round TKO for the WBO light welterweight title in 2004. He made six successful defenses before relinquishing the title to move up to the next weight division.

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In his first welterweight fight, in 2006, Cotto defeated fellow Puerto Rican Carlos Quintana by 5th round TKO for the vacant WBA title. He successfully defended it four times before suffering his first loss to Mexican Antonio Margarito by 11th round TKO in 2008.

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The following year, Cotto won the vacant WBO welterweight title by stopping Englishman Michael Jennings by 5th round TKO in 2009 and defended it once before losing it to Manny Pacquiao via 11th round TKO also in 2009.

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In 2010 he moved up to light middleweight and won the WBA title from Yuri Foreman of Israel by 9th round TKO. He was promoted by the WBA to Super champion, then won a rematch against Margarito in 2011.

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He lost his WBA Super title in 2012 to American Floyd Mayweather Jr. by unanimous decision, in one of the most awaited fights in the modern era. The year was not lucky for Cotto as he lost to another American underdog Austin Trout by unanimous decision.

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Two years later, Cotto defeated Argentinian Sergio Martínez by 10th round TKO to win the unified WBC and Ring middleweight titles. He became the first four-weight world champion from Puerto Rico. In 2015, he defended his titles once before losing to Canelo Álvarez of Mexico.

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After more than a year of inactivity, Cotto returned in 2017 defeating Japanese Yoshihiro Kamegai by unanimous decision to become the WBO light middleweight champion, but lost the title in his farewell fight to American Sadam Ali by unanimous decision.

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Juan Manuel Márquez, from Iztacalco, Mexico City, Mexico, is the third Mexican boxer after Érik Morales and Jorge Arce to become a world champion in four weight classes, having held nine world championships.

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In 1999, Márquez faced American Freddie Norwood for the WBA featherweight title but lost by a controversial unanimous decision. He had his second world title fight in 2003 and defeated former four-time featherweight champion fellow Mexican Manuel Medina and won the vacant IBF featherweight title.

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He then defeated American Derrick Gainer later in 2003 in a unification bout to win the WBA featherweight title and become the WBA featherweight Super champion.

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In 2004, Márquez fought The Ring featherweight champion Manny Pacquiao where Márquez was knocked down three times in the 1st round. Márquez outpointed Pacquiao for much of the remainder of the bout which ended in a controversial split draw.

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In 2006, Márquez suffered a unanimous decision loss to undefeated Indonesian Chris John in Indonesia for the WBA featherweight championship. The following year, Márquez became the WBC superfeatherweight champion by defeating Marco Antonio Barrera via unanimous decision.

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In 2008, Márquez lost his title to Pacquiao by split decision. Márquez suffered a knockdown in the third round that have him the loss. Compubox stats had Márquez landing 130 of 310 (42%) power punches to Pacquiao's 114 of 305 (37%).

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Márquez faced The Ring lightweight champion Joel Casamayor in 2008, and defeated the Cuban American in the 11th round after two knockdowns as Márquez captured his sixth world title in three different weight classes.

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In 2009, Márquez defeated Juan Díaz by knockout in the ninth round. Márquez defended his The Ring lightweight title and claimed the vacant WBO and vacant WBA (Super) lightweight titles. This bout was named "Fight of the Year" by The Ring magazine.

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Márquez moved up to the welterweight division and fought undefeated pound for pound champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. Mayweather knocked Márquez down in the 2nd round and won the fight by unanimous decision. The fight sold more than one million pay-per-views.

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In 2011, Márquez lost to Pacquiao via controversial majority decision. Per Compubox, Marquez was outlanded 14 to 11 punches per round. Pacquiao also threw 142 punches more than Márquez and Pacquiao landed 38 more punches, connecting at a higher percentage rate in power shots than Márquez.

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Márquez fought Pacquiao for the fourth time in 2012. Márquez knocked Pacquiao down in the 3rd round and in round 5, Pacquiao knocked down Márquez. With just 1 second left in the 6th round, Márquez countered Pacquiao's jab with a right, sending Pacquiao face first to the canvas and remained unconscious for several minutes.

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Márquez fought Timothy Bradley for his WBO welterweight title in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2013. Márquez was aiming at the fifth division title. Márquez was unsuccessful as he lost by split decision.

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In 2014, Márquez fought a welterweight bout against former WBO junior welterweight champion Mike Alvarado for the WBO international welterweight title. In a one sided bout, Márquez defeated Alvarado by unanimous decision. Alvarado went down in round eight and Márquez was knocked down in round nine.

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On August 4, 2017, Márquez announced his retirement from professional boxing after a 21-year career. Márquez spoke to ESPN Deportes TV show Golpe a Golpe that injuries forced him to quit the sport he loved so much.

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Márquez is considered as one of the greatest boxers of all time, and is ranked by BoxRec as the eleventh greatest fighter of all time and the greatest Mexican fighter of all time, pound for pound.

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The trend in exhibition bouts started when Floyd Mayweather fought kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in Japan in 2018. It was followed by the successful pay-per-view exhibition of legends Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.


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

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