By Laz Izada - This Saturday night November 6, 2010 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas 27 year old Puerto Rican sensation Juan Manuel Lopez (29-0,26KO) puts his undefeated record and 126 LBS WBO Featherweight Title on the line against 35 year old Mexican legend and former 2 time champion Rafael Marquez(39-5,35 KO’s). This will be Juanma’s toughest opponent yet.
Marquez ranked #2 at featherweight by the WBO is best known by his 4 battles with Israel Vazquez, (between 2007-2010, winning 2 out of 4) their 2007-2008 battles were named fights of the year. His last fight was in May of this year when he defeated Vazquez by KO in the 3rd round. Now he faces Juanma for a 3rd world title.
Both fighters are predicting a victory by knockout presumably in the late rounds. Juama in 29 fights has 26 knockouts and has boxed 119 rounds with a strong 89.66% knockout ratio, while Marquez has had 44 bouts, winning 35 by knockout with 195 rounds boxed with a 79.55% knockout ratio. Juanma has never lost, while Marquez has been defeated 5 times 4 of them by KO. The most significant KO loss for Marquez was against Israel Vazquez in 2007, his 3 other KO defeats were before 2000 while he was younger and rising up perfecting his boxing skills..
Juanma has the height 5’7” to 5’ 5” and 69”to 68.5” reach advantage. Juanma is also a southpaw. Marquez has been sparring against southpaws for this matchup and has defeated 2 former credible southpaw champs by TKO Tim Austin in 2003 and Mark Johnson in 2002. His trainer Daniel Zaragoza a former champ is a southpaw.
Juanma has been very active the last few years rising to the top defeating the likes of Daniel Ponce de Leon TKO 2008, Olivier Lontchi 2009, Rogers Mtagwa 2009, Steven Luevano TKO January 2010 and most recently Bernabe Concepcion in July of 2010 by TKO in the 2nd round. Even though Marquez has a lot of experience (defending his IBF Bantamweight Title from 2003-2007) he has not been as active as Juanma only fighting once in 2010, 2009, and 2008.Defeating Israel Vazquez in 2008, 2010 and Jose Francisco Mendoza in 2009.
Most are predicting that Juanma being younger, stronger and quicker should defeat Marquez that will put up a good fight. Fight fans should remember that in Juanma’s last victory in July 2010 against Bernabe Concepcion he was knocked down by Concepcion in the 1st round then ended up defeating Concepcion in the 2nd round by TKO.
I’m predicting that Marquez with his experience will defeat Juanma by knockout; Juanma is suspect to a knockdown and KO it showed in his fight against Concepcion. While Marquez has been TKO’d by Vazquez in 2007 he came back and KO’d Vazquez in his last fight in May of 2010. I believe Israel Vazquez is a much better and tougher fighter than Bernable Concepcion and for that reason and the fight being in Vegas not Puerto Rico I give the edge to Marquez.
Catch the action on Showtime this Saturday night; it should be a good one.