Can a Win Over Pacquiao Finally Get Marquez Respect?…GONZALEZ

Juan Manuel Marquez is a great fighter. Ask anyone who’s ever faced him and they’ll tell you the same. Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs) can box like few can.

The 38 year olds’ counter punching skills have been referred to as brilliant by more than one ringside boxing analyst. He’s won world titles in three different divisions and many believe he’s the only man with the style to defeat Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao.

Yet for some reason, his native country of Mexico hasn’t quite embraced him like they have Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales or even Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

The fact that Mexican fans fawn over a relative newcomer like Alvarez must be especially infuriating for Marquez. “What has he done?” Marquez reportedly said of 21 year old Alvarez when he first heard the Guadalajara based red-head was getting a world title shot. “Nothing at all, he’s not even a decent fighter.”

It’s amazing that after fifty nine fights and some mesmerizing performances against the best in the business, Marquez still finds himself defending his career.

It became obvious during one of our conversations that his questionable loss to Chris John in March of 2006 still smarts. John, an Indonesian fighter, was gifted a decision over Marquez in front of his hometown fans and important local politicians. A close look at the video showed Marquez out-boxing and out-working his opponent over twelve rounds. But he couldn‘t escape the heaps of “home cooking” that was dished out “buffet-style” in favor of John. “I clearly won the fight. Chris John didn’t win more than three rounds,” remembers Marquez.

“It was a terrible night for the sport,” said Marquez’s hall of fame trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain. “The evidence is on video. It will always be there. The truth doesn’t hide. Juan Manuel was robbed.”

“It was a huge lesson learned and a setback but my career recovered well,” Marquez said. “Now it’s time to handle this unfinished business with Pacquiao. I have to beat him decisively.”

After twenty four action filled rounds against the man sometimes referred to as “The Mexicutioner”, questions remain as to which fighter is truly superior. There are those who say Pacquiao holds the advantage after having floored Marquez a total of four times in their two fights.

But winning in boxing isn’t just about scoring knockdowns. It’s also about getting up, fighting the smarter fight and finding a way to win. After two thrilling encounters with one draw and one win for Pacquiao, only one point separated the two on the judges’ scorecards. Marquez quickly disagreed with the past punctuations. “You saw the fights? Who do you think won?” he asked. I told him I felt he won at least one of the encounters. “I won both fights especially the second one,” Marquez said. “But this time I can‘t leave any questions unanswered. No way.”

Getting superstar status in the world of boxing is rarely achieved.

Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali achieved it. Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KO’s) has reached such stature. The once dirt-poor kid out of Manila deserves the adulation. His career is filled with wins over opponents who were supposed to be too big or too strong for him.

He destroyed them all.

Ricky Hatton, Antonio Margarito, and Miguel Cotto just to name a few. All were physically bigger, former world champions who couldn’t deal with his speed and stinging accuracy. He’s a future hall of famer, a hero to millions and exactly the person Juan Manuel Marquez needs in his life.

For Marquez, beating the Filipino boxing icon would mean finally joining the ranks of the highest regarded warriors in the boxing rich country of Mexico. “I know Mexican fans are tough to please,“ Marquez said. “This is the fight that will take me over the top. Beating Pacquiao will finally get me the respect I deserve.”

Some Mexican fans aren’t so sure Marquez can pull off the feat. “Pacquiao is  a monster at this point in his career,” said Miguel Jimenez, a casual follower of boxing from Tijuana. “He’s obliterated everyone in his path. He‘s too fast.”

It’s not an uncommon view among some fans in Mexico who probably know Pacquiao more than their own countryman. The fact that names like “Canelo” Alvarez and the son of Julio Cesar Chavez, Chavez Jr, resonates more than Juan Manuel Marquez to the average Mexican boxing fan is astounding. “I didn’t realize he won three world titles,” stated Jimenez when informed of some of Marquez‘s achievements. “If he wins it would be a great feat and it would get him a lot of respect. I still think Pacquiao will win.”


The significance of the bout isn‘t lost on Marquez. “This fight means everything to me. The money is great but creating a legacy is important. I want the people of Mexico to speak of me with pride,” Marquez reiterated. “It’s been a long road. I’ve been at this all my life and finally I get my chance to prove to the world that I’m one of the all time greats. I still have that need in me to win. I can’t stand losing. It feels ugly when you lose and I hate the feeling. I never want to experience it again. I‘ll make sure it doesn‘t happen on Saturday.”

Pacquiao vs. Marquez III takes place this Saturday November 12 at the M.G.M. Grand in Las Vegas. It will be available on H.B.O. Pay Per View.

Espinoza Boxing Club signs Daniel Ponce De Leon
Former WBO Junior Featherweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon (41-4, 34 KO’s) signed on as part of Frank Espinoza’s well regarded management stable. Espinoza currently manages the career of I.B.F. Bantamweight champion Abner Mares. He’s best known for running the successful career of world titlist Israel “Magnifico” Vazquez.  “I feel excited and more motivated than ever,” said Ponce De Leon. “I plan to be a world champion again and Frank’s support will be a huge advantage.”

Espinoza believes De Leon has a strong future ahead of him. “Not only is Ponce championship material, he’s an exciting fighter with punching power. He’s the kind of fighter that fans want to watch. We‘re very happy to have signed Ponce.”

Kirkland vs. Angulo re-match?
If you saw the recent war between James Kirkland and Alfredo “Perro” Angulo on HBO then you would agree it was one of the most exciting and dramatic fights of the year. After being dropped in the opening round, Kirkland rose from the canvas, regained his composure and eventually scored a thrilling stoppage over Angulo.

I say, let Angulo recuperate and regroup for a few months, he fights once more and let’s see a re-match. These are exactly the kind of fights boxing needs in order to gain more fans.

For questions or comments for the author:

Twitter: @fightmedia


-Radam G :

Juan Manuel Marquez is already a heavily respected fighter without a win over Da Manny. JMM will remain such after Da Manny whup dat arse for the third time. Wow! As for Angulo taking on that Cowboy Mandingo Warrior again, RUN, Angulo, RUN! Next time Kirkland would kayo him in round ONE! Some fighters just own other fighters. [They have your number.] If Angulo and Kirkland would fight five times, that CMW would put him too sleep each time, and all in less than six rounds. Holla!

-brownsugar :

[SIZE=2]Marquez has nothing to lose,.. if he gets squashed in 3rounds or less they'll say he was the naturally smaller, older, and more battleworn contestant. If he wins he'll be the most celebrated fighter since Ali defeated Foreman in Zairre. Not many fans except his diehard countrymen hold out much hope. But he's getting a much deserved payday and one more chance to fulfill his dream of beating Pac on the cards instead of the imaginations of Fans like myself who feels he won at least one of those fights outright...What more can the MasterBoxer Veteran hope for?

-Robert Curtis :

JMM is going against all odds at the wrong weight entirely. But I'm still rooting for him. He is the ultimate underdog. Can he arrive light? I'm an ignorant minnow on this new weight dookey. Also, no one took the time to explain where we left 15 round fights behind us. Was that just TV and commercial packaging? I love Manny. But he has no challengers now. I wish JMM the best, just cause it might make boxing life interesting again.

-the Roast :

I agree with Radam. JMM is a well respected fighter and Hall of Famer win or lose tonight. @Robert Curtis, I believe the 15 rounders went away after Ray Mancini killed Doo-Koo Kim(sorry, I can't remember how his name was spelled) I think it was the WBC that shortened the title fights for saftey reasons. You know the WBC, always looking out for the fighters. The WBA and IBF followed. I also recall they thought 12 round fights would fit better on network TV 1 hour format. Then all the fights left network television for HBO and everything was forever screwed up.

-brownsugar :

What a shocking result... lowers my fight calling percentages a bit... but so what?........ I'm happy for Marquez.. They say if you go to barber shop enough times... eventually you'll get a haircut and Manny looks like he's finally been Faded.... Regardless of what the cards said. Marquez can hold his head up, stick out his chest. and know within himself who the better man was in Vegas last night.

-Radam G :

WOW! Reality deception and distortion are immensed and intensed. Marquez fought to survive, not to rise. And -- as always -- cried like a b*tchin' baby that he ''Wuz robbed." What a couple of phony jokers. He and his trainer Nacho. Marquez must be suffering from the after effects of gulping his piss. And -- WELL -- to his trainer Nacho, an ugly ______ is always prettier, smarter and better than anyone else, despite the hard reality and obvious. Beauty is definitely in the eyes of the behold. But sometimes it is in the illusions of the d*ckless. WARNING to all boxers and chumps: Don't drink or breathe the fumes of peepee. Holla!

-Radam G :

Marquez fought nothing like a Mexican warrior. He was more like a B*tchan _______ soldier. Holla!

-Pac-Yo! :

JMM cannot just do enough to win, he needs to prove he has the right to win. and cerntainly, he is consistently on backfoot not wanting to fight. I always like fighters who comes forward instead of fighting backwards. If you notice, the distance he tries to create back backwards. He should have shown something for the mexican to cheeru. if he really is the winner he could have press the action. But Pacquiao really tried to close the gap and want to press the action. but Marquez would just go far far away. everytime Pacquiao caught him, he would just move back and wait. You cannot win a Championship on backfoot and just do enough. Nacho Beristain is not the ringman for Pacquiao fight. Certainly they fight a cautious plan, i would even call it a fight when all you do is back footing. Marquez better retire, he cannot make Pacquiao go away. Pacquiao keeps coming and he keeps stepping backwards. Sore Losers for Mexican. Not my kind of a real Mexican warrior. Marquez is just there to last 12 rounds but not to win the championship. Sorry lost to Marquez, he can never beat Pacquiao.

-LypeLienceKit :

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