Following a career spanning over 20 years, 43-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez (56-7-1, 40 KO’s) has finally decided to hang up his gloves. The Mexican legend won seven World Championships from Featherweight to Super Lightweight, and is a four-division World Champion. Marquez is one of the few great fighters to start their career with a loss, like fellow recent retiree Bernard Hopkins.
After going 82-4 with 72 knockouts as an amateur, the young 19-year-old Marquez turned professional, making his debut in May 1993 against Javier Duran and losing via DQ for an illegal headbutt in the opening round. Undeterred, Marquez continued fighting and became the WBO NABO champion in his twentieth fight, installing him as mandatory challenger to ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed’s WBO World Featherweight Championship for 22 months. However, Marquez didn’t get his shot at the title, and instead fought undefeated American Freddie Norwood to a controversial Unanimous Decision loss for the WBA belt in September 1999.
Marquez won his first of his seven World titles in February 2003 when he scored a 7th round stoppage against Manuel Medina to capture the IBF World Featherweight Championship. After a non-title keep busy fight, Marquez would then go on to unify the division with a dominating 7th round Technical Decision victory against WBA ‘Super’ Champion Derrick Gainer in November of 2003. After a one-sided contest in which Marquez used his superior technical ability to pick Gainer apart, the bout was ended after an accidental clash of heads left Gainer unable to continue due to a nasty cut.
In May of the following year, Marquez had his first fight with his greatest rival, Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao had won the ‘ Ring Magazine ’ and Lineal titles from Marquez’s compatriot, fellow ring-legend Marco Antonio Barrera in his previous bout. After getting knocked down three times in the first session, Marquez showed tremendous resolve and battled back bravely to win most of the rounds in the eyes of most observers. The dramatic bout would be declared a draw. Fortunately for Marquez, one of the judges mistakenly scored the first round as 10-7 in Pacquiao’s favour instead of 10-6. This was not overturned, otherwise Pacquiao would have won via Split Decision. It would be the first chapter in one of boxing’s most celebrated rivalries.
Instead of taking a rematch with Pacquiao for $750,000 (wanting $1.5 million for the proposed match-up), the now 31-year-old Marquez fought a young Orlando Salido in his next bout on the undercard of the Oscar De La Hoya vs. Bernard Hopkins fight. Salido – known most for his controversial victory over Vasyl Lomachenko a decade later – would be thoroughly outclassed by his more experienced opponent, with Marquez winning a clear 12 round decision. However, despite the win, Marquez would later be stripped of his IBF title after failed purse bids led to him not being able to face his mandatory challenger Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym.
One of the few regrets of Marquez’s career, was his failure to agree terms to face fellow-Mexican great Erik Morales. During negotiations for the bout, Marquez demanded $3.5 million, which was flatly refused by promoters. Following the IBF’s decision to strip Marquez, the WBA would follow suit, revoking his status as WBA ‘Super’ Champion, instead forcing him to fight undefeated WBA World Champion Chris John in March 2006. Marquez would suffer at the hands of the officials once again, dropping a controversial twelve-round decision after being docked two points for low blows in the late rounds of the fight. To add insult to injury, Marquez would only earn $31,250 for the fight, instead of the lucrative purse he was seeking for fighting Morales. Following the loss, Marquez would be dropped from the coveted ‘ Ring Magazine ’ ‘Pound for Pound’ list, he was previously listed at number ten.
Marquez would soon bounce back to winning ways, when in August of 2006 he recorded a 7th round stoppage victory over Thailand’s Terdsak Kokietgym to claim the interim WBO World Featherweight title. The bout was on the undercard of younger brother Rafael Marquez’s successful defence of his IBF World Bantamweight title. After making one successful defence of the lightly regarded interim title – also won via knockout – Marquez was promoted to full Champion by the WBO. However, Marquez would vacate the title soon after as he moved up in weight for the first time in his career for a big money, all-Mexican showdown with WBC World Super Featherweight Champion Marco Antonio Barrera in March 2007.
Despite both men considered as veterans of the sport – with a remarkable 117 fights between them – the two 33-year-olds put on a great show in Las Vegas. After twelve competitive rounds of action, the bout would go to the scorecards, with many ringside observers and fans alike split on the outcome. However, it would be Marquez who would get the nod via Split Decision with scores of 114-113, 115-112 & 113-114, as he became a two-weight World Champion.
After one successful defence of his title, and almost four years on from their first encounter, the highly-anticipated rematch with Manny Pacquiao would take place in March of 2008. Following another closely contested contest, Marquez would lose a split decision, after getting dropped in the third round by a signature straight left hand from Pacquiao. Once again, the outcome of the bout was debated by many who thought that Marquez had done enough to secure the victory. Pacquiao declined a rematch for $6 million and instead moved to Lightweight.
Marquez would follow suit, moving to Lightweight for his next bout, and stopped the Cuban former two-weight World Champion Joel Casamayor in the eleventh round to claim the ‘Ring Magazine’ and Lineal titles. After the victory, Marquez re-joined the ‘Ring Magazine Pound for Pound’ list at number 2 following an impressive performance in a third weight class. It was the perfect tonic for the disappointing loss to Pacquiao in his previous fight.
In February 2009, Marquez won the vacant WBO & WBA ‘Super’ World Lightweight titles after scoring another stoppage victory against former undisputed Lightweight Champion Juan Diaz. Marquez gained huge credit for the win – the fiftieth of his career – with HBO analyst Max Kellerman stating post-fight: “What you just saw was a really good young fighter knocked out by a great old fighter.” The bout is considered as one of Marquez’s best performances and was labelled as ‘2009 Fight of the Year’ by ‘Ring Magazine’ as well as by many of the boxing fraternity.
Following the win over Diaz, Marquez called out undefeated, former five-weight World Champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was – at the time – retired. However, the match-up was made for September 2009, with the bout scheduled to take place at a catchweight of 144lbs at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Despite the contacted weight, the returning Mayweather weighed in at 146lbs, further reinforcing his natural size advantage over Marquez, who himself looked sluggish at the higher weight. Many would agree that this was the first clear loss Marquez’s career. Stylistically, the Mayweather bout was a bad match-up for Marquez: both counter punchers, Marquez the smaller, slower but more technically sound. Mayweather the bigger, faster younger and overall more athletic. Marquez said after the defeat that he would move back down to Lightweight because he felt slow at Welterweight.
In 2010, Marquez expressed an interest in a fight with British fan-favourite Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton at Super Lightweight, and also reignited rumours for a possible clash with Erik Morales. Neither fight would take place, instead Marquez fought Juan Diaz for a second time, with the WBO & WBA ‘Super’ World Lightweight titles on the line. This time Marquez won by a wide Unanimous Decision in their July 2010 rematch.
Marquez would defend his titles against WBO mandatory challenger Michael Katsidis in his next bout, defeating the rugged Australian in a highly-entertaining ninth-round stoppage, with both men landed a series of eye-catching combinations throughout the fight that saw Marquez on the canvas in the third round before rallying to stop Katsidis later in the contest. Following the bout, Marquez would once again call out his nemesis Manny Pacquiao, and would move back up to Welterweight in search of a third meeting with the Filipino superstar.
Marquez would get his chance at redemption in November 2011, as he challenged Pacquiao for his WBO World Welterweight title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Following their close and contentious previous bouts, Marquez would be on the receiving end of a Majority Decision defeat in a decision derided by many in boxing as a ‘Robbery of the Year’ candidate. Marquez boxed smartly throughout the contest, countering Pacquiao consistently en route to what many felt was a clear and decisive victory for the Mexican. However, it was not to be and Marquez would once again be left waiting for a first victory over Pacquiao.
Following the bout, Marquez would align himself with controversial strength and conditioning coach Angel ‘Memo’ Heredia. The move drew criticism from large parts of the boxing community, due to Heredia’s highly-publicised doping allegations that had dogged him throughout his career. With the appointment of Heredia, Marquez’s physical condition changed dramatically. This aroused suspicions of many in the sport given Marquez’s advancing age (he was now 37 years old) and the murky reputation of Heredia, who had served as a star witness for the FBI during a controversial doping case that implicated athletics stars such as Maurice Greene and Marion Jones. Nevertheless, Marquez never failed a drugs test, and he continued to fight on in search of further titles.
In his comeback fight in April of 2012, Marquez moved returned to Super Lightweight and dominated Ukrainian Serhiy Fedchenko over twelve rounds to capture the interim WBO World Super Lightweight title in Mexico City, Mexico. Marquez was later promoted to full Champion by the WBO, but once again moved up in weight in search of redemption against Manny Pacquiao.
In December 2012 Marquez moved up to the Welterweight division once more to challenge Pacquiao. This was the fourth – and final – meeting between the two men, following their close, controversial previous meetings. However, Marquez would take the result out of the judges his hands, after he secured his greatest victory with a spectacular one-punch knockout of Pacquiao in the fifth round. After exchanging knockdowns earlier in the fight, Marquez unloaded a perfectly timed right hand to the chin of the advancing Pacquiao that knocked him out cold, leaving him face down on the canvas for several minutes. It was an emphatic end to the epic saga and the image of a bloodied Marquez stood over a motionless Pacquiao is one of the iconic images of his era. The bout was named ‘Fight of the Year’ and ‘Knockout of the Year’ by ‘ Ring Magazine ’.
Marquez would challenge Timothy Bradley for the WBO Welterweight title in October 2013. The now 40-year-old Marquez was unable to deal with the superior youth and skillset of Bradley, and dropped a Split Decision to the American over twelve rounds. Many spectators felt the Split Decision was kind to Marquez, with Bradley dominating for large periods of the contest. It would be the great Mexican’s penultimate bout and his last fight for a World title.
The final fight of Marquez’s distinguished career came in May of 2014 as he took on former interim WBO World Super Lightweight Champion Mike Alvarado at the Forum, California. The fight was a clear victory for Marquez in an entertaining battle that saw both men exchange knockdowns over twelve rounds, resulting in a Unanimous Decision win for Marquez.
Despite being inactive – and at the age of 41 – Marquez was in negotiation with then IBF World Welterweight Champion Kell Brook in 2015-16 and later with Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto in 2016-17. However, neither bout would materialise, and with Marquez unwilling to re-enter negotiations with Manny Pacquiao regarding a potential fifth bout, he would finally announce his retirement in early August of 2017 after a succession of knee injuries.
Marquez retires as one of only three four-weight World Champions to come out of Mexico and is a shoo-in for the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) upon eligibility. He was arguably the most exciting counter puncher of his generation, throwing his trademark combinations with a flourish en route to an impressive haul of seven World titles. He could fight, he could punch and despite having been knocked down many times, he had a great chin as well as tremendous character.
… Farewell, ‘ Dinamita ’.
Article by: Jack Hopgood
Lee Selby has his eyes fixed firmly on unbeaten Mexican southpaw Eduardo Ramirez ahead of their showdown at the Copper Box Arena on December 9th.
The 30-year-old knows that should he come through his latest challenge unscathed, he'll be cashing in on some huge pay days in 2018, with the likes of mandatory challenger Josh Warrington, Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg all banging the drum for a shot as his IBF featherweight title.
Selby told Behind The Gloves : "I'm not looking past December 9th and doing the job against Ramirez.
"There were only a few names available for this fight who were up there in the ratings, and Ramirez was the one we went for.
"I don't like to do too much research into my opponents, I've had a little look on YouTube and he looks decent, with fast hands and he seems tough too.
"He's the sixth or seventh unbeaten fighter I've faced, so I have no worries about his record."
The Welshman was talking from his training camp in Fuerteventura following a sparring session with Ryan Wheeler and Jazza Dickens, and admits it's nice to train with the sun beating down on his back, adding: "We've been out here before, the facilities at Adam Bailey's gym are superb and it's nice to break camp up and come out here to get some sun on my back.
"I'm getting great sparring with two southpaws in Ryan and Jazza and my preparation is going well."
Former Team GB amateur standout Harvey Horn has said he hopes to be fast-tracked as he embarks upon his professional career. Horn will make his debut on the undercard of a show featuring British world champions James DeGale and Lee Selby at London’s Copper Box Arena on December 9.
The 22-year-old signed a long-term promotional deal with Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren at the beginning of October and will campaign in the Flyweight division. He trains out of the famous Peacock Gym in Canning Town under highly-respected coach Mark Tibbs.
The East-Londoner gained a wealth of experience in a fine amateur career where he won won the 2014 ABA championships, before continuing his progression in the following year after winning a European silver medal in Bulgaria. He then represented Team GB at the inaugural European Games in Baku.
Horn gained what could be crucial experience through participating in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) which he entered with the British Lionhearts squad. The pro-style boxing format sees participants compete without a vest and are not permitted to wear protective headgear over three-minute rounds.
"They’re five round fights, no vest, no head guard, it’s like a professional fight." said Horn, in an exclusive interview with Behind The Gloves reporter Isaiah Benjamin.
"I was in there with the world’s best, so as far as I’m concerned I’ve already had three or four professional fights already. I’ll jump in at four rounds to start and maybe have two of those and then move up to six rounders, but I don’t want to stick around on the six’s too long."
"Judging on how I’ve been performing the last few years, and with the WSB and amateur experience that I’ve got, I’m hoping to be fast-tracked and that’s something that is expected of me from my promoter and my trainer.” he continued.
Quick! Name two currently active professional boxers with more talent and skill than Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux? I'm not a gambling man but I'll bet the farm you can't do it. So don't even try. Listen, pedigree doesn't lie. Double Olympic gold medal winners don't grow on trees.
For the boxing faithful, 2017 has been a year where our cups have runneth over. We've had the drama of Wladimir Klitschko vs Anthony Joshua and Ward vs Kovalev, the controversy of the long awaited clash between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, and the shock of Roman Gonzalez getting unexpectedly bombed out by the dynamite fisted Thai, Sor Rungvisai. Whichever way you slice it boxing is on a roll this year. And it's not over yet.
On December 9th, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, we get the biggest fight in the sport that can be made in any weight class below 135lbs. And the second the Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux bout was officially announced, you could hear the collective sound of jaws dropping across the entire boxing landscape. In fact mine dropped so hard it hit the floor, bounced back up and knocked me clean out.
A couple of swift kicks below the belt line from the wife - her version of first aid - woke me up and, apart from the searing pain in my groin, my first thought was of Loma-Rigo. The fact this fight is signed, sealed and delivered is almost too good to be true. So go ahead and slap yourself. This dream matchup is actually going to happen and if you're anything like me I'd wager you can't wait for the first bell to ring on fight night.
Moving forward I'll say this... It's a damn good time to be a follower of the "Sweet Science."
On 30 October 2017, Robert Smith of the BBBoC blamed Tyson Fury for delays to his anti-doping hearing. He said to Sky Sports, “ We [the BBBoC] are ready to go, UKAD are ready to go on our behalf, and the independent panel are waiting for a confirmed date. It's up to them [Team Fury] now [to propose a date] ."
Then, on 23 November 2017, Mr Smith reiterated to Sky Sports, " The reason why this has taken so long, so I have been led to believe, is because Mr Fury's legal team could not agree a date for the recommencement of the hearing. They obviously now have, and the hearing will recommence [in December 2017] ."
Mr Smith is incorrect. While Team Fury have been advised not to discuss this matter until it is over, we would like to clarify as follows:
(i) This matter started in February 2015 – almost 3 years ago – after routine doping control tests.
(ii) Tyson and Hughie were not notified of the results of those tests for 7 months, and even then UKAD simply asked them about their diet. There was never any suggestion that Tyson and Hughie had done anything wrong or that they might be in any sort of trouble.
(iii) Then, without warning, UKAD charged Tyson and Hughie in June 2016 in relation to the February 2015 tests – i.e. 16 months after the tests.
(iv) A hearing eventually took place in May 2017 but was halted after UKAD objected to the participation of a tribunal member.
(v) Hearing dates were then proposed for early October 2017 but UKAD’s team ( not Team Fury’s team) was unavailable.
(vi) A hearing has now been fixed for December 2017.
Contrary to the BBBoC’s suggestion, therefore, the delays have not been caused by Team Fury.
Source: Hennessy Sports [Press Release]
Belfast's Carl Frampton (24-1-0, 14 KO's) marked his return to the ring under new trainer Jamie Moore last Saturday night with a closely-contested, unanimous points victory over Horacio Garcia (33-4-1, 24 KO's) after ten months of inactivity.
Frampton certainly impressed in a win that could in no way be described as 'routine'; it was, in fact, anything but. It was a win where he was required to utilise his boxing skills and masterfully navigate the ring early on against a tenacious opponent, in addition to harnessing his own reserves of grit and determination as the fight progressed into the gruelling later stages, with Garcia growing in confidence.
Nevertheless, prior to making his comeback after a seemingly acrimonious split with former manager and mentor Barry McGuigan, it has to be said that Frampton's previous claims of his own capability to knockout any fighter in the division do now appear, in hindsight, to be somewhat hollow.
It's not that the Ulsterman possesses insufficient or otherwise unremarkable power. On the contrary, the spite and varied selection of his punches are clearly one of Frampton's main attributes. Moreover, Frampton is an extremely well-rounded fighter who is, to say the least, adequate in almost every department, and according to popular consensus, he stands with rival Leo Santa Cruz are the two best in a talent-rich Featherweight division.
Most boxing fans will have experienced a sense of deja vu on Monday evening, when it was reported that former two division World Champion David Haye (28-3-0, 26 KO’s) had sustained a bicep injury as a result of a freak training accident, resulting in the postponement of next month’s scheduled rematch with Liverpool’s Tony Bellew (29-2-1, 19 KO’s).
The previous fortnight had seen much speculation surrounding the proposed bout, with a spate of rumours doing the rounds concerning the fitness of the thirty-seven-year-old ahead of the upcoming pay-per-view clash.
Haye has now withdrawn from four of his last seven scheduled contests, and has fought just one live opponent since 2012: suffering an 11th round TKO loss at the hands of the aforementioned Tony Bellew, on that one inauspicious occasion.
In spite of his latest injury setback, the former WBA World Heavyweight Champion has ambitiously proposed a rescheduled date of either March or May, pending venue availability. Whilst such optimism may be met with a degree of scepticism by many, it should come as no great surprise from a fighter who will be undoubtedly desperate to exact revenge upon his arch nemesis, and subsequently erase the image of him being punched through the ropes - and into defeat - in the first encounter in March of this year.
Upon suffering the shock reverse last time out, 'The Hayemaker' made the decision to part ways with trainer Shane McGuigan in favour of Cuban veteran Ismael Salas, who had relocated to London in order undertake the assignment. The fledgling partnership has appeared to be a success thus far, with Salas being handed the additional responsibility of training two of Haye’s most valuable promotional assets, in 2016 Olympian Joe Joyce and crossover MMA star Michael 'Venom' Page.
Boxing's No. 1 superhero and undefeated WBC/WBA/IBF/IBO middleweight world champion Gennady "GGG" Golovkin is back home in the Los Angeles area after his well-received visit to the Mexico, the motherland of his boxing style. Joined by his trainer Abel Sanchez and promoter Tom Loeffler, Golovkin traveled to Mexico City this week to meet with his fans and thank them for the support they have given him throughout his career and especially in the lead up and aftermath of his September 16 title defense against Canelo Alvarez. Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KO's), boxing's longest-reigning active world champion, has successfully defended the middleweight title 19 times -- one short of the record -- since 2010.
Golovkin's whirlwind tour of Mexico City included a sustained standing ovation from 100,000 fans at Azteca Stadium at halftime of the game between the Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots. Golovkin, wearing his WBC world title belt, was introduced on the field at halftime and greeted by an entire stadium chanting 'Triple G' repeatedly. The following day, the Mayor of Mexico City, Miguel Angel Mancera, honored Golovkin with a proclamation declaring him a distinguished guest of the city. The proclamation was in recognition of Golovkin's generous support of the victims of the earthquake. The highlight of Golovkin's trip was an extended visit to the Moctezuma Pediatric Hospital to give hugs, high fives and toys to children who are battling cancer. He also spent time with the relatives of the children, accompanied by the head of the Ministry of Health, Armando Ahued Ortega, and the president of the World Boxing Council (WBC) Mauricio Sulaiman.
"It really touched my heart to visit the children in the hospital, it was nice to bring them a special moment for a day," said Golovkin. "I have so much respect for the doctors and nurses who treat the children and their families every day. I am just thankful to God that I am in a position to be able to visit them and bring a smile to their faces.
It was a big honor to receive the official declaration from Governor Mancera, recognizing me as an official guest and International Ambassador of Mexico City. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we should all give thanks for the blessing we have received. My trip to Mexico certainly did that for me."
"Gennady has won the hearts of Mexican people and is considered one of their own," said Sulaiman. "His kindness and much love given to those little champions fighting for their lives was humbling and brought tears of joy to many of us. I'm so proud to have GGG as the WBC middleweight champion. He truly represents the best of boxing in and outside the ring."
"When we walked onto the field in front of 100,000 fans at Azteca Stadium and they were chanting 'Triple G,' it was one of those moments that you will remember forever, said Loeffler. "The secret to his success is GGG does more promoting of his career on a world-wide basis when he is not fighting than most fighters do when they have a fight coming up. Last week he was in China with Jack Ma and this week he was in Mexico at the invitation of the president of the WBC."
Source: Sternberg Communications [Press Release]
On Saturday night in Madison Square Garden, New York, former IBF, WBA and WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev returns to the ring to face Vyacheslav Shabranskyy for one of his old belts, the WBO strap left vacant by Andre Ward in the wake of his retirement from boxing. Ward of course claimed the aforementioned trio of belts with a narrow and controversial points decision over Kovalev in November 2016, one which many felt should have gone in favour of the Russian, who knocked Ward down in the second round. The closeness of the fight begged for a rematch and Ward put a definitive stamp on their rivalry by stopping Kovalev in the eighth round. There were complaints from Kovalev’s side of repeated low blows from Ward leading up to the stoppage, but the reality is that Kovalev had already been badly hurt by legitimate punches to the head and body and had nothing left in his tank.
The past year has been as torrid and unforgiving as the Russian winter for Kovalev. He lost his unbeaten record, all his belts and was stopped for the first time in his career. He split acrimoniously with his long-time trainer, John David Jackson, amidst an exchange of insults and accusations over who was to blame for the reversals suffered in the ring. Moreover, he lost the aura of menace and invincibility that he carried with him to every bout. Lest we forget that, before the fights with Ward, the ‘Krusher’ was regarded as one of the most feared men in boxing; a formidable boxer-puncher with devastating power and a notorious mean streak which carried him to a record 30-0-1 with 26 knockouts, three world titles, a career-defining win against the legendary Bernard Hopkins and a place in most pound-for-pound rankings. He now has the opportunity for redemption, albeit against a lesser foe.