One of my favorite fights of the year. The HBO commentary is bang on too – Marquez is a modern legend as he proves again and again against younger, hungry fighters like Michael Katsidis:
It’s easy to knock British boxing sometimes – the American scene has more money, TV coverage and hype around its up and coming fighters certainly. But for anyone that was watching boxing this weekend in Britain you had good cause to feel very good about what we are producing – Stateside in the heavily touted light middleweight contest between Paul ‘the punisher’ Williams and Kermit Cintron turned out to be an appalling snooze fest at best, and that was until Cintron tripped and fell through the ropes and the fight was waived off! This was prize fighting at its worst.
By contrast John Murray’s decidedly more low-key fight in Widnes against Gary Buckland provided eleven brutal rounds of blood, sweat and heart. There wasnt even a world title at stake here, Murray’s British and Lonsdale titles were on the line and the European title was up for grabs but both fighters gave far more than required in the brutality stakes for mere belts or money.
John Murray’s career has been at times a slow burner, at 25 he has suffered from inactivity over the last year and has seen proposed opponents fall by the wayside. Such obvious frustrations have masked the real talent Murray possesses though – he is a throw back fighter, a tough, brawling hard man who comes to the ring with a look of pure concentrated intent to break apart his opposition. Murray reminds me often of Ricky Hatton – there is something in the way he goes about his business, the come forward attacking, the body shots the rough and tough style that has many a shade of Hatton about it. Murray trains at Hatton’s old Manchester gym too – under new owner Joe Gallagher, but with the Hatton glory days conditioner Kerry Kayes.
World title honours await Murray if he continues to dismantle his foes in the style of his recent fights, I personally feel he has been dreadfully promoted – he has the style and fan base to really become a popular hero from that home of heros Manchester, but all too often he has languished on small shows in far-flung Northern places. Murray has brought us some fine nights of boxing though – he retired Jon Thaxton, wrecked Lee McAllister on a body shot (see the video above) and has won all 26 of his fights inside the distance.
Here is hoping Murray can continue his winning streak and move into world title contention. The lightweight division is packed with talent at domestic and world level – from Juan Manuel Marquez to Kevin Mitchell, but I believe Murray can shine. One thing is for certain as long as Murray turns up you can guarentee a cracking fight. For Manchester fighters Ricky Hatton has blased the path for brawlers, perhaps John Murray can follow in such popular footsteps over time.
Styles make fights so goes the old adage and never has a saying been so personified than by the three and now upcoming fourth encounter of Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez.
Lets be clear here – this is something special, this isn’t about the money, it’s not about fame, their fights together transcend the sport, transcend what human beings should endure in the name of entertainment. These men are warriors who have left everything in the ring and are now poised to do it all over again for a fourth time.
Boxing has some famous trilogies in the lighter weight classes – Gatti Ward, Morales Barrera and Morales Pacquiao to name but three. If you had to ask me my top choice to take to a desert island on DVD it would be Vazquez and Marquez in a heart beat.
Una vez más!
The fourth fight puts up a lot of mixed feeling for me – it will be great to see these two Mexican fighters go at it again – but the physical effect of these heavy fights must be making its mark on both. Prior to a couple of warmup fights both had been out of action after their third fight for over a year and half due to injuries – detached retinas and the like from their three previous fights. Vazquez currently hold the two key victories but scorecards should be thrown out the window when you are dealing with close fought ferocity that is brought to the table by these two men.
Check out just a taste of blood and guts fighting from the fourth round of their second fight below:
Many boxers exist on the periphery of fame and fortune, while their peers take easy fights against hand-picked opponents and hog the lime light.
True talent has a way of shining through though and Juan Manuel Marquez with blood, sweat and an iron will, has forced himself to the top of the pile and into most pundits Pound for Pound lists.
There were some shocking injustices along the way though – dodged by Prince Naseem Hamed for 22 straight fights when Marquez was his mandatory challenger, robbed of victories on score cards in his two fights with Manny Pacquiao (who has since avoided a third instalment of their saga like the plague).
It was those two fights with Pacquiao that perversely opened Marquez up to a wider audience. No one before or since has caused so many problems for Pacquiao. Marquez was knocked down three times in the opening round of their first fight and dragged himself off the canvas to fight back to a draw! That’s a phenomenal accomplishment. In their second fight Marquez was robbed by the Vegas judges – shamefully in my opinion.
A third fight with Pacquiao coming?
While Pacquiao went on to become the biggest name in boxing, Marquez went back to what he knows best – tough fights against hard opposition. Marquez has brought something new to the table at this stage of his career – the knockout finish. In my previous post on the uppercut punch I flagged up Marquez’s devastating use of this to close the show on Juan ‘Baby Bull’ Diaz.
Marquez’s last fight against Floyd Mayweather should tell fans more about his desire to face the best regardless of seemingly monumental advantages given to his opponents – Marquez was moving up 2 full weight classes to challenge Mayweather - who flouted the 145 pound catchweight to gain even more advantage.
Most of the attention in the run up to the fight for Marquez was on his declaration of drinking his own urine while training to ‘preserve nutrients’. While that would not be my choice of post workout beverage…each to their own I suppose! Mayweather recorded a wide points victory in that fight and watching I wonder whether Marquez had simply bitten off more than he could chew – Mayweather looked enormous next to him.
- The infamous urine ‘therapy’
Dinamita’s future is still to be decided – he is the current WBO and WBA world lightweight champion, rumors abound that he is poised to move up to light welterweight to chase Pacquiao once again for another fight. I hope he succeeds in securing that fight. Whatever happens Marquez is a one of the best boxers walking the earth today – a true ring general and a Mexican legend in the making.
What more can you ask for?
Devastating when applied correctly, this punch is rightly the favorite of many boxing fans.
Juan Manuel Marquez used it to savage effect to close the show on Juan Diaz in their fight. Having dropped Diaz just earlier in the round, Marquez manoeuvred his man into position and used the punch that he knew would turn the lights out in his opponent – the uppercut!
Some of the greatest and most aggressive forces in boxing like Mike Tyson and Roberto Duran can be remembered for their spectacular use of the uppercut.
Juan Manuel Marquez vs Juan Diaz
Watch how Marquez uses it and what it does to Diaz in this video: