An uppercut slammed into Terdsak Jandaeng’s chin and sent him face first to the canvas with only ten seconds left in the second round. It seemed like the fight would be over soon but the tough Thai hung on for a few more punishing rounds. Juan Manuel Marquez (45-3-1, 34 KO’s) would eventually stop Jandaeng in the seventh round after the referee mercifully stopped the ongoing beating.  “We knew that the Thai fighter was strong and that he was a lefty. We worked on getting faster and we spent time sparring with someone who had a similar style at camp. We executed our plan effectively,” Marquez said.

Jandaeng was no pushover. He fought with a lot of heart but simply couldn’t cope with Marquez’s superior talents and beautiful combinations. “He landed some good straight rights. I wasn’t able to block all his shots. It especially affected my right eye. It was almost closed,” Marquez remembers.

It was a satisfying win for the Mexico City native who holds half of the WBO featherweight title. The other half is in the hands of Scott Harrison, who can’t seem to get himself together enough to meet up with Marquez. This seems to be the norm for “Dinamita” who’s gone through difficult moments in a career full of boxing’s political strife. “I’ve been stripped of my title. People have tried to block my right to fight for a title. I had a terrible decision rendered against me in Indonesia,” Marquez said. “But you know what? God is great and puts everyone in their place and my career will continue to flourish.”

The Jandaeng fight was on the same card as his brother Rafael’s defense of the IBF bantamweight title. Rafael is promoted by Gary Shaw and there was speculation that Juan Manuel would also be signing with the same company. “The fight was promoted by Shaw but I never signed with him. He wanted to put me on the show with my brother so he let me on the card without any strings attached,” Marquez said. “That shows you what a great guy Gary Shaw is. I don’t think any other promoter would do that. I appreciated it a lot. I ended up signing with Golden Boy Promotions.”

The “Golden Boy,” Oscar De La Hoya, apparently made quite an impression on Marquez.

“If you analyze the situation, I think that Oscar has the ability to put some great fights together that are relevant to my career. The fact that he’s a fighter also swayed me. He knows what it’s like to work with promoters and I think very highly of him both as a promoter and a person,” Marquez said.

After losing a dubious decision in Indonesia against WBA champion Chris John, the boxing public wondered why he and his manager/trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain would accept such a risky fight for a $30,000 purse? Marquez and Beristain had previously balked at an offer from their former promoters at Top Rank to rematch Manny Pacquiao for $750,000. “I tell you why we took that fight in Indonesia. I felt our negotiation for the Pacquiao rematch was an aberration. My fee for the first Pacquiao fight was $650,000. The fact that they wanted to pay me only a hundred thousand more for the rematch was just terrible on Top Rank’s part,” Marquez said. “The first fight was a fight of the year candidate and the rematch was going to be a huge Pay Per View attraction. We also found out that HBO was offering a million and half dollars per fighter. I think it’s unjust that a promoter gets to keep half of the fighter’s purses without throwing a single punch.”

Taking the brunt of the criticism was Beristain who’s trained and managed the Marquez brothers since they were kids. Juan Manuel was asked more than once why he would stay with Beristain, who was seemingly making decisions that weren’t favorable to him. Marquez’s loyalty towards the Hall of Fame trainer is usually unheard of in the world of boxing. “Nacho is there to watch out for us. He always has been. He’s also a great person to have in your corner. I feel very comfortable with him and with the decisions we’ve made together,” Marquez said.

Ultimately it turned into a standoff with Marquez and his people willing to gamble big in order to make an expensive point. “In the end we didn’t want to give the promoter the satisfaction of getting the money. I came out alright, I feel strong and I’ll be a force to reckon with for a while,” Marquez said.

Marquez, 33, is continuing his thirteen year career as a featherweight against Jimrex Jaca (27-2-1, 12 KO’s) this Saturday on HBO’s Boxing After Dark from Hidalgo, Texas. Marquez recently studied some of Jaca’s fights. “He’s fast and strong, he can take a great punch like most Filipino fighters so I think it’ll be a competitive fight,” Marquez said. “He’s going to want to fight as a counterpuncher and we’re prepared for that style. We’ve been working a lot on throwing faster combinations. We’re ready for whatever he has. There will be no excuses if I lose this fight.”

Marquez was supposed to fight Jaca a month earlier but the Filipino was detained due to visa problems and the fight was cancelled. With so many things having gone wrong during Marquez’s career it made one wonder if the jinx was working against him once again, but Marquez chose to concentrate on the positive aspects of the situation. “When I was told that the fight fell out I was disappointed but everything happens for a reason. I always try to be optimistic. This is a new stage of my career where I feel stronger than ever. A new Juan Manuel Marquez is emerging after all I’ve gone through.”

Although Marquez would like to eventually make the rematch with Pacquiao happen, he knows he has to get past Jaca first. “My most important goal right now is to beat Jaca. I’ve shown what I can do against Manny Pacquiao. He knocked me down three times in the first round and I was able to outbox and punish him for the rest of the fight. I would like to get a second shot at Pacquiao. I though I won the first fight,” Marquez said. “The judges scored it a draw so we definitely have a score to settle.”

For more info on the HBO broadcast which will include the replay of Erik Morales vs. Manny Pacquiao go to: http://www.hbo.com/boxing/events/2006/1125_marquez_jaca/columns/borges_profile.html

To watch Juan Manuel Marquez at work against Terdsak Jandaeng go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbLIhnfqN3A&mode=related&search=

Morales vs. Pacquiao prediction goes awry
My prediction of a twelve round decision victory for Erik Morales vs. Manny Pacquiao was the worst call I’ve made since my prediction that Felix Trinidad would demolish Ronald “Winky” Wright. Pacquiao toppled “El Terrible” who built a tremendous career that made the young man from Tijuana wealthy and famous beyond his wildest dreams. Congratulations to Pac-Man. Hopefully Morales will soon retire to the good life he’s worked so hard to obtain.

A heartfelt Happy Thanksgiving to all our great readers.