It wasn't easy to concentrate on the main event of the Top Rank pay-per-view which unfolded at the New Mexico City Arena in New Mexico on Saturday night, after watching Richard Abril get mugged not by foe Brandon Rios, but by judges Jerry Roth and Glen Trowbridge in the chief support bout. More so because Sergiy Fedchenko spent much of his time avoiding contact in his tussle with Juan Manuel Marquez. Fans hooted and whistled a few times at the lack of action, despite JMM fighting in his hometown for the first time in 18 years. Nevertheless, applause was copious when Marquez got the unanimous nod, by scores of 119-109, 118-110, 118-110. Marquez scored an interim lightweight crown with the unexciting effort, but more importantly, he looked fairly sharp as he waits and prays that Manny Pacquiao gets past Tim Bradley in June, so he can lure Manny into a fourth tussle in the fall.
Marquez (age 38; 53-6-1 entering; from Mexico City) was 140 pounds, as was Fedchenko (age 31; 30-1 entering; from Ukraine).
In the first, Fedchenko looked hyped up, jittery. JMM wanted to get warm, assess Fed, see which way he ducked, and leaned, and slip and slid. In the second, Fed showed some quick hands as he landed a couple rights as JMM advanced at him. He had some luck popping the jab as well. He looked loose, not overwhelmed, and it crossed my mind that it would be crazy if this PPV featured two upsets. Marquez froze Fed a couple times in this third round, and we wondered of he'd do that and land some thunder soon. JMM got closer in the fourth, had some luck with the left hook to the body. Fed walked to his corner pushing his shorts down, perhaps showing his dismay at the body work with his body language. A lot of the bounce was out of the Ukrainian's step in the fifth. In the sixth, Fed got wobbled early. A hookercut did that, and a little of everything was working for JMM. In the seventh, Fed didn't jab as much, knowing a right to the body would follow his jab.
In the eighth, Fed moved more, and had a better round. The fans hooted in round nine, as JMM followed Fed, but didn't track him down and put it on him. Fed just danced and ducked in the tenth, by and large, and JMM landed about ten stiff shots. He heard the hoots and wanted to give the fans some monies worth. In the 11th, Fed showed energy in trying to slip shots but not on throwing launches. JMM wanted to close the show in the 12th, with a stoppage but Fed was still stubborn.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV