Boxing


Mexico's #1 Fighter Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez to Follow in the Footsteps of Mexican Warriors In and Out of the Ring

Juan Manuel MarquezMexico City, Mexico (September 11) - On September 16, 1810 Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a well-respected Mexican priest, rang a bell at his small church calling Mexican fighters to arms. This began the Independence War against Spain; thereafter marking September 16 as El Grito de Independencia (Mexican Independence Day). This year, on September 19, three days after Mexicans around the world celebrate Mexican Independence Day, a bell will ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to start a 12-round battle between six-time world champion in five weight divisions Floyd "Money" Mayweather and five-time world champion in three weight divisions Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez. The bout will be produced and distributed live on HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9 p.m./6 p.m. PT.

For years, Mexican fighters have battled in the ring on Mexican Independence Day weekend, following in the two-century old footsteps of their ancestors. This year is no exception. Marquez, the number one Mexican fighter in the world and number two pound-for-pound, finds great motivation and pride in representing his country in the most important fight of his career on a day entrenched in Mexican and boxing tradition..

"It is an honor to fight on Mexican Independence Day weekend," said Marquez. "To be given the chance to fight on this important day in the history of my country for the third time in my career, is something I do not take lightly. I understand the magnitude of this fight, but I don't feel pressure; I feel motivation. On September 19, I'm going to be one hundred percent focused and make my country proud."

Almost exactly a year ago, Marquez further cemented his already hallowed place among great Mexican fighters when he became the first man to knock out Joel Casamayor, earning Marquez his fifth world title.

"I have trained many great Mexican fighters," said Marquez' trainer Nacho Beristain. "There is something about fighting on Mexican Independence Day that drives him to reach higher and try harder. The fact that Juan Manuel is fighting the biggest fight of his career on Mexican Independence Day is something that is a truly an advantage because it gives him the extra push to succeed. I know he will be ready and will be victorious on September 19."

Beristain knows a thing or two about training Mexican fighters, having a roster of current and former Mexican greats that includes Rafael Marquez (Juan Manuel's brother), Daniel Zaragoza, Humberto Gonzalez and Ricardo Lopez. He also trains Vicente Escobedo, who will fight Michael Katsidis on the Mayweather vs. Marquez televised undercard.

Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar de la Hoya spent many of his 45 professional bouts fighting on Mexican Independence Day. Now as a promoter, he is looking to Marquez to carry on the tradition he once upheld.

"Mexican Independence Day weekend is rich in boxing history," said De La Hoya. "It is a date that I fought on many times in my career, and I am thrilled to pass the torch to Juan Manuel and see him carry it to victory and continue this great tradition."

"Mayweather is in for one tough fight on September 19," De La Hoya continued. "Marquez will have the whole country of Mexico behind him and that is a lot of pressure on Mayweather."

When the bell rings on September 19, Juan Manuel Marquez will carry the hopes of his fellow countrymen into combat as he seeks Mexican Independence Day glory against Floyd Mayweather just as his forefathers did almost two hundred years ago.


MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY FIGHT APPENDIX

Other Mexican fighters who have fought during Independence Day weekend are some of the most respected champions in the sport's modern era. They include Julio Cesar Chavez, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, all three of whom won world titles and established themselves as pound-for-pound greats.

Chavez, a Mexican legend and perhaps the most important figure in Mexican boxing history, fought professionally from 1980-2005. In 1984, Chavez won his first world championship on Mexican Independence Day weekend, stopping fellow countryman Mario Martinez. That began a tradition in Chavez' career that peaked in the early 90's when he fought on Independence Day for five consecutive years against the likes of such fighters as Pernell Whitaker and Meldrick Taylor.

"I feel proud to have been part of fights that gave fans such great memories while celebrating Mexico's Independence, such as my fight against Meldrick Taylor," said Chavez. "That night, I was filled with great pride knowing that all of my people were watching and that the fight was taking place as part of the celebration of Mexican Independence Day."

Barrera, who is one of Mexico's most popular fighters, is best known for his legendary trilogy against Morales and his tremendous victory over then-undefeated and heavily favored Prince Naseem Hamed in 2001. Barrera fought on Independence Day weekend three times against Robbie Peden, Ricardo Rocky Juarez and Jesse Magana.

"It was an honor for me to fight on this weekend because I knew that all Mexican fans were watching very closely," Mexico City's Barrera said. "It has always been an important date that belongs to the most important Mexican fighters."

Morales is also one of the most important fighters in the history of Mexican boxing. With his unique style and brilliant performances, he was able to both win the love of Mexican fans and maintain the respect of his adversaries. Morales had one fight on Independence Day Weekend, a thrilling fourth-round TKO of Junior Jones that took place in a bull ring in Morales' hometown of Tijuana.

"Even though I only fought once on this weekend, I always knew that it would be a fight that would be remembered because it took place on such an important date," Morales said. "It remains a strong connection between the sport and Mexican history. There will always a hard-fought battle that fans won't forget when a Mexican fights during the celebration of Mexican Independence."

Gabriel Ruelas, a native of Yerbabuena, Jalisco, Mexico, was another important Mexican World Champion who fought on Independence Day Weekend.

"It was an honor for me to fight during the celebration of Mexico's Independence and I will always remember it as an important moment in my career during which I hope I was a worthy representative of Mexican boxing," Ruelas said.

Erubey Carmona, a native of Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico, is credited with starting the tradition of Mexican fighters representing their country on this weekend. His epic battle against Mando Ramos took place during the celebration in 1972.

"For me it was very special and so important to fight on September 15 in 1972," Carmona said. "I remember shouting for joy after I beat Ramos and captured a world title in front of all the Mexicans fans in the Los Angeles Coliseum. That win wasn't just for me; it was for Mexico as well."

# # #

Mayweather vs. Marquez: "Number One/Numero Uno," is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions in association with Marquez Boxing Promotions and is sponsored by Cerveza Tecate, AT&T, Quaker State, Dewalt Tools, Affliction Clothing and Southwest Airlines. The explosive evening of boxing will take place Saturday, Sept. 19 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev.

Tickets priced at $1,000, $750, $600, $300 and $150, not including applicable service charges, are on sale now and limited to 10 per person and ticket sales at $150 are limited to two (2) per person with a total ticket limit of 10 per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets previously purchased for the July 18 date will be honored.

The Mayweather vs. Marquez pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $49.95, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View® and will be available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View®, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For Mayweather vs. Marquez fight week updates, log on to www.hbo.com.

HBO's® fast-moving reality series "Mayweather/Marquez 24/7" returns with an all new episode on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 10:00 pm ET/PT. The four-episode series chronicles the preparations and back stories of both fighters as they train for their September 19 pay-per-view showdown. Episodes one and two are available on HBO ON DEMAND®.

Article posted on 12.09.2009



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