Featured Fight of the Week

Posted: November 6, 2010 in Boxing
Tags: , , , , ,

Two of the top ten featherweights will battle as Ring Magazine #2 rated Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez goes up against Ring Magazine #9 rated Rafael Marquez

Juan Manuel Lopez                                                                                        Rafael Marquez

29-0, 26 KO’s                                                                      VS.                              39-5, 35 KO’s

5’7, 125 ½ pounds, 27 yrs. old                                                                        5’5, 125 ½ pounds, 35 yrs. old

Caguas, Puerto Rico                                                                                               Mexico City, Mexico

Strengths:                                                                                                               Strengths:

Southpaw Style                                                                                                         Counterpunching ability

Aggressiveness                                                                                                         Punching power

One punch punching power                                                                                 Experience

Weaknesses:                                                                                                           Weaknesses:

Suspect chin                                                                                                                Age       

Stamina                                                                                                                          Been in ring wars

  • Lopez is coming off a 2nd round Knockout over Bernabe Concepcion in July.  16 of his last 17 fights have ended early.
  • Marquez is coming off a 3rd round knockout over Israel Vazquez in May.  That was the fourth and most likely last fight between those two warriors.

This fight has been talked about since it was agreed upon.  Lopez, who moved up from Jr. Featherweight two fights ago, is a bona fide star on the rise in the sport.  The main knock on Lopez is his chin, which has been questioned in his recent fights, but despite the knockdowns, he has shown the ability to get up from the canvas and finish strong, like his idol and fellow Puerto Rican great, Felix “Tito” Trinidad.  Lopez’s biggest scare came against Rogers Mtagwa last October, when he was in grave danger late in the fight.  It’s safe to say that if the days of 15 round fights were still here, Lopez would not have an unblemished record.  Marquez is an all time great warrior that proved he still had some gas left in his tank after his destruction of rival Israel Vazquez.  Before the first of his epic four fight showdown with Vazquez, he had gone over seven years without a loss and was among the pound for pound elite.  At 35 years old, Vazquez isn’t as fast, furious, and good as he once was, but he still has the experience and has been in against the best. 

Despite both guys being in the top 10, I feel they are going in opposite directions.  Lopez up, Marquez down.  Lopez is the younger, stronger, and at this point hungrier fighter.  The ring wars that Marquez was in with Vazquez and his end result will suit him fine against opponents like Jose Mendoza, but when going up against a featherweight in the prime of his career, like Lopez, I don’t think it’s a good thing.  Fights like those shorten careers, and I’m not sure how much longer Marquez will be in the elite level that he has been for so long.  I think Marquez’s counterpunch ability will fluster Lopez a little in the beginning, but after the first three rounds, I think Lopez will begin to take over convincingly.  I see Lopez stopping Marquez in six rounds, setting up a huge showdown with Ring Magazine #3 featherweight and fellow unbeaten Yuriorkis Gamboa.

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