SHOWTIME BOXING ANALYST STEVE FARHOOD’S
TOP 10 MEXICO VS. PUERTO RICO FIGHTS
Juan Manuel Lopez Vs. Rafael Marquez
Live on SHOWTIME®, Saturday, Nov. 6 at 10 p.m. ET from
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas
NEW YORK (Nov. 1, 2010) – When Puerto Rican superstar and WBO featherweight world champ Juan Manuel Lopez and Mexican legend and future Hall of Famer Rafael Marquez climb in the ring this Saturday, Nov. 6, it will be a continuation of a storied history of rivalry fights between Mexican and Puerto Rican fighters.
There have been some unforgettable matchups over the years involving world class prizefighters hailing from these respective countries that idolize their boxing champions. Recently, SHOWTIME expert analyst Steve Farhood delivered his Top 10 fights with five having taken place in the same city as Saturday’s fight, Las Vegas.
The showdown will air LIVE on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In the co-feature, world-ranked contender Allan Green will face veteran contender and former world champ Glen Johnson in a must-win Super Six World Boxing Classic bout. The winner of the 12-rounder will earn a spot in the tournament Semifinals.
Said Farhood: “Nothing stirs the passion of Hispanic fight fans like the 30-plus-year rivalry between the boxing greats of Mexico and Puerto Rico. I’ve picked out 10 that I consider the best of the best.
In this Top 10, Mexico leads Puerto Rico 6-4.
Listed in chronological order:
·Wilfredo Gomez KO 5 Carlos Zarate, Oct. 28, 1978, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico(Retains WBC super bantamweight title): In a shocker, undefeated and long-reigning bantamweight titlist Zarate, 52-0, struggles to make weight, then struggles further with Puerto Rico’s 21-year-old Gomez, 21-0-1. Zarate crashes to the canvas three times.
·Wilfred Benitez W 15 Carlos Palomino, Jan. 14, 1979, San Juan (Wins WBC welterweight title): Twenty-year-old Puerto Rican prodigy Benitez, 36-0-1, wins by split decision over established champion Palomino, 27-1-3. Benitez boxes brilliantly off the ropes.
·Salvador Sanchez KO 8 Wilfredo Gomez, Aug. 21, 1981, Las Vegas (Retains WBC featherweight title): In arguably the most anticipated Mexico-Puerto Rico matchup of all, Mexico’s elegant Sanchez, 40-1-1, issues Gomez, 32-0-1, the first defeat of his career.
·Wilfredo Gomez KO 14 Lupe Pintor, Dec. 3, 1982, New Orleans (Retains WBC super bantamweight title): One of the most brutal bouts of the decade ends with Gomez, 37-1-1, wearing down Mexican bantamweight titlist Pintor, 49-5-1. The memorable war is the co-feature to Thomas Hearns-Wilfred Benitez at the Superdome.
·Edwin Rosario W 12 Jose Luis Ramirez, May 1, 1983, San Juan (Wins vacant WBC lightweight title); Ramirez KO 4 Rosario, November 3, 1984, San Juan (Wins WBC lightweight title): Only 20 years old, Puerto Rico’s Rosario, 21-0, edges rugged southpaw Ramirez, 82-4, in the first fight. Ramirez gains revenge in the rematch, miraculously surviving a pair of knockdowns.
·Julio Cesar Chavez KO 11 Edwin Rosario, Nov. 21, 1987, Las Vegas (Wins WBA lightweight title): Mexican icon Chavez, 56-0, moves up from 130 pounds, adding his second title by dominating the hard-punching Rosario, 31-2.
·Julio Cesar Chavez W 12 Hector Camacho, Sept. 12, 1992, Las Vegas (Retains WBC super lightweight title): In a dominant performance, the indomitable Chavez, 81-0, pressures “Macho Man Camacho, 40-1, but can’t get him to submit. The win is Chavez’s ninth defense.
·Felix Trinidad KO 4 Yory Boy Campas, Sept. 17, 1994, Las Vegas(Retains IBF welterweight title): In a battle of unbeatens, 21-year-old phenom Trinidad, 23-0, rises from a second-round knockdown and keeps the crown by halting steel-chinned Mexican challenger Campas, 56-0.
·Antonio Margarito KO 11 Miguel Cotto, July 26, 2008, Las Vegas (Wins WBA welterweight title): Mexican veteran Margarito, 36-5, scores a big upset, outlasting pound-for-pounder Cotto, 32-0, in a savage punchout.
·Giovanni Segura KO 8 Ivan Calderon, Aug. 28, 2010, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico (Retains WBA light flyweight title; Wins WBO light flyweight title): In a classic matchup of styles, Mexican bomber Segura, 24-1-1, issues Puerto Rican stylist Calderon, 34-0-1, his first defeat in a strong candidate for fight of the year.