It wasn’t even close. Juan Manuel Marquez (44-3, 33 KO’s) easily outfought, out-countered, hurt and schooled Chris John (37-0, 20 KO’s) in the art of pugilism on March 4th of this year. The scores that were handed in at the end of the night told a completely different story. Judge Oscar Perez scored the fight 110-116, Takeshi Shimakawa 111-117 and Pinij Prayadsub 112-116. All for John. A stunned Marquez knew that winning in Indonesia would be difficult but this was beyond ridiculous. “I clearly won the fight. Chris John didn’t win more than three rounds,” said Marquez from his home in Mexico City.
The fight for the WBA featherweight title took place in John’s home region of Borneo Island, Indonesia. First reports after the fight were that John had won the fight without any controversy. A would-be tremendous feat for the Indonesian since Marquez was and should still be considered one of the best featherweights of his generation. Since the fight wasn’t televised in the U.S., there was no way to corroborate those reports. Thank god for the power of the internet.
A reader sent me a link to the web where I proceeded to view the entire bout. The broadcast included overreactive fans and on air analysts who would clamor excitedly every time John seemed to land a punch. “He landed one good punch throughout the whole fight which was in the twelfth round. That was it. The people were really supporting their fighter but even if he missed they would start screaming,” remembered Marquez.
Sitting down and scoring the fight, I had a difficult time giving John the three rounds that Marquez and company conceded. I gave two rounds to John. Then there were the two point deductions for low blows. The punches were on the beltline and debatable. Knowing how cup protectors are built and what they can withstand and seeing where the punches landed, it was obvious that pain to the degree that John was dramatizing in the ninth round was unlikely. “The punches weren’t low. His trunks were also worn pretty high. Even with the point deductions that were uncalled for, I still won that fight,” insisted Marquez.
“I would never fight in Indonesia again. They put together a ring that was huge and John used it to run around and throw a jab every once in a while. I was trying to catch him most of the fight. If you can’t trap the guy and hurt him enough then you’re going to have a hard time winning in front of his home crowd.”
But should Marquez have tempted fate in the first place, leaving his former high and mighty stable and ending up in a risky bout in Indonesia?
Marquez was once part of the Top Rank promotions stable where he established himself as the WBA and IBF champion but not as much of a box-office draw. His most memorable moment came when he got off the canvas three times in the first round against pound-for-pound great Manny Pacquiao and put together a brilliant comeback winning virtually every other round against the Filipino en route to a draw that Marquez believes he won. “I felt I won that fight by two rounds. The fact is that I underestimated Pacquiao. I was able to connect him right away and that gave me too much confidence. I thought it was going to be easy and then he dropped me. I was very surprised. I think we should definitely get together again so there are no questions left about that fight,” said Marquez. Get in line Juan Manuel. Oscar Larios is set to face Pacquiao on July second and Marco Antonio Barrera along with Erik Morales are itching to get some redemption from Pac-Man.
Marquez was the first one offered a rematch against Pacquiao and his manager Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain turned it down. Marquez caught flack from the boxing community and his promoters at Bob Arum’s office. Much of the criticism was pointed at Beristain for the inability to make the rematch happen. “A lot of people don’t like Nacho Beristain because he bargains tough on behalf of his fighters. The fact is that I was offered a hundred thousand dollars more for the rematch than what I got for the first fight. This was going to be a big pay-per-view event and we didn’t think those terms were fair. These promoters want every single penny and Nacho is not the type that lets anyone push him around.” Needless to say, the relationship with the Vegas based promotional company ended bitterly and with Marquez being stripped of his IBF title due to what Marquez calls “some creative boxing industry maneuvers.” It was then that the 32-year-old moved on to fight in Indonesia and signed on with his former promoters at Forum Boxing.
It didn’t last long.
Word is that Marquez terminated his relationship with Forum Boxing, according to the fighter, because the company was not able to procure any bouts for him. “We waited since February and nothing was ever made for us. Month after month. So we decided to part ways and hopefully we can remain friends,” Marquez said of the split.
But all is not lost for the former champion who’s been speaking to several promoters about jumping into their stable. Brother Rafael Marquez, the murderous punching Bantamweight king, has recently signed with Gary Shaw Promotions and there is speculation that Juan Manuel will follow. “There are a lot of promoters interested in my career, including Lou DiBella, Golden Boy Promotions, Gary Shaw and others. We don’t want to end up in the wrong hands again like we did at Top Rank,” said Marquez.
Marquez has just recently been penciled in to fight on a Gary Shaw card that will be headlined by their new signee, brother Rafael. Juan Manuel is scheduled to fight the very rugged Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto for the WBC Featherweight “Interim” world title. The show should end up in Reno or Las Vegas and be broadcast on Showtime.
“It’s time to move on. The John fight was a big robbery just like my fight against Freddie Norwood in 1999. Now I’m going to focus all my energy into defeating Humberto Soto. Soto is tough and hungry which is a deadly combination. I’m just glad this time I’ll be fighting in familiar territory where at least I know I’ll get a fair shot.”
To watch the Marquez vs. John fight and score it yourself go to: http://www.onetruemedia.com/otm_site/view_shared?p=426880777e978053fc00e
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