Boxing


Rafael Marquez Steps Up Training For Nov.6th, Says Fight Vs. “Juanma” Will Be Fight Of The Year

By James Slater - Legendary Mexican warrior Rafael Marquez, one half of arguably the greatest lower-weight rivalry in recent boxing history, is currently in the early days of intense training for his next battle: this one not against Israel Vazqeuz, but against unbeaten Puerto Rican star Juan Manuel Lopez..

As fans know, a Marquez thumb injury forced the original, September 18th date to be postponed, but the 35-year-old future Hall of Famer assured Fightnews.com yesterday that his injury has now “completely healed,” and that he will leave no stone unturned in the gym while training for the re-arranged clash that will contest “Juanma’s” WBO 126-pound title.

Marquez is reportedly working with Daniel Zaragoza, another Mexican warrior who won the hearts of fight fans everywhere, back when he was doing his stuff in the 1990s. And Marquez, 39-5(35) says he will get himself into the best shape of his life for the November 6th war in Las Vegas.

“The [thumb] injury is totally healed,” Marquez said. “This will be the best preparation of my career. We are going to give the fans the fight they deserve, which will be nothing less than the fight of the year.

“I am working on my strength training right now and sparring against bigger guys. As the training moves along I will be working on my speed and I will put it all together by the time we fight. I know that I need to be at my best to defeat Juanma and I will be.”

You really do have to give Marquez credit. At a time in his career when he could have taken easier-looking fights, the fearless warrior instead looks for and finds a lethal banger like the undefeated Lopez! We can thank out lucky stars that guys like Marquez still exist in the sport. Not for him is the option of seeking out easy-money fights; an option that, sadly, IS being taken by more and more big-name fighters.

Can Marquez, who has been through hell in some of his great fights, get himself one more huge victory? Lopez, a southpaw who has speed as well as great punching power, is looked at as the slight favourite to win in November, but the odds have never bothered Marquez.

Barring a shock early win for Lopez, whereby he comes out smoking and catches Marquez cold, I do believe we will see the fight of 2010 on Nov. 6th. How much the fight leaves the winner with, though, is another thing entirely. As is their incredible warrior spirit, both men have already spoken about who they’d like to face next year - with Cuban sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa at the top of the list.

That’s another mouth-watering prospect. But let’s see how the potential classic that is Marquez-Lopez unfolds first!

Article posted on 28.09.2010



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