Brotherly love, you can’t beat it.
Since childhood the loving Marquez brothers, Rafael and Juan Manuel of Mexico City, have a bond that persists through their current run as elite fighters. They’re real sweethearts, these guys.
So why does everyone fear them?
Just look at all the combined knockouts the brothers have accumulated in their careers.
Rafael Marquez defends his IBF bantamweight title against Silence Mabuza while Juan Manuel Marquez seeks to re-attain a featherweight world title in a match versus Thailand’s Terdsak Jandaeng at Stateline, Nevada on Saturday. The fight will be televised on Showtime.
When you see the Marquez brothers perform you have to imagine two extremely scientific boxers. It’s like Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi in boxing shorts, they approach a prizefight like two mathematicians. Perhaps it’s their Aztec or Mayan blood. You know it was the Mayans that discovered the concept of zero. Before that Europeans were wondering why their calculations were always off.
Now the Marquez brothers hand zeros to their opponents with some wicked lefts and rights.
Big brother Juan grabbed the first world title by defeating Manuel Medina for the vacant IBF in 2003. Later that same year he took the WBA title from Derrick Gainer with a lopsided win over the Florida fighter. For years he grabbed headlines in Los Angeles where he often fought at the Great Western Forum.
Later, little brother Rafael Marquez (35-3, 31 KOs), joined the party with his astonishing wins over the great Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson. Not since Johnson’s first loss in Ireland in 1990 had the lightning quick Washington D.C. fighter lost a fight. But in 2001 and 2002 he lost twice to Marquez. It put the Mexico City fighter on the danger list.
A year later, in 2003, he was finally given a world title match against the dangerous and undefeated Tim “Poison” Austin of Cincinnati. Marquez was the underdog. But with precision boxing, and slick counterpunching, the Mexico City “chilango” (that’s the nickname for people from Mexico City) found an opening in Austin’s southpaw defense after getting hurt himself and handed him his first loss with a perfect left hand. Marquez was finally a world champion like his big brother.
“We’re a proud family,” said Marquez, 31.
His brother Juan Manuel, a southpaw, helped him with preparation.
“We don’t spar a lot,” said Rafael. “He’s too big.”
Now little Marquez faces Silence Mabuza (19-1, 15 KOs) of South Africa in a rematch. Their first encounter ended in a fourth round technical knockout last November. Marquez dropped him in the first round and bloodied him later.
“I don’t know why he asked for a rematch?” asked Marquez. “Maybe he thought he won the fight.”
Older brother Juan Manuel Marquez (44-3-1, 33 KOs) recently lost his world title when his manager Nacho Beristain opted to ignore Top Rank’s offer to fight Manny Pacquiao in a rematch for a rather generous offer. He wanted more money. Bad idea.
Instead, Marquez and team traveled to Indonesia and promptly were ripped off from the WBA featherweight title by biased judges based on the tape of the fight seen by many. It was the prime example of why trainers do not make good managers and why you never fight in Asia unless necessary.
“I come to the fight to prove I am still Juan Manuel Marquez,” said the older Marquez, 32, who has not fought since losing the title.
Facing Marquez will be Jandaeng, a rough fighter whose only loss came to undefeated Joan Guzman of Dominican Republic a year ago. He lost by decision.
“Guzman was a strong fighter,” said Jandaeng (24-1, 15 KOs), a southpaw like Marquez. “I got a lot of experience from it.”
The fight will be held outdoors at the Montbleu Resort Casino and Spa and promoted by Gary Shaw Productions.
“I believe the Marquez brothers are going to light it up,” said Shaw.
It’s a simple matter of mathematics.