The Other Juan Manuel, Juan Manuel Lopez will be fighting The Other Marquez, Rafael Marquez, the brother of Juan Manuel Marquez.
The names may be confusing with their Spanish mix and match interchangeability, but boxing fans know Juan Manuel Lopez as a fast rising p4p star with a perfect, 29-0, 26 KO record. His is probably the highest KO% of all the current title holders in boxing since Vitali Klitschko slipped below 90% when Shannon Briggs took him the distance.
“Juanma” presents a sunny, genial persona out of the ring, but he’s a deadly accurate hitter in the ring who seldom takes prisoners. He looks to further consolidate his place at the top when he squares against modern day ring legend, Rafael Marquez, who wants his former position as #1 in his division restored.
Both have recently moved up to the featherweight division where Juanma currently holds the WBO belt, so this bout has all the markings of a pass the torch moment, but will Rafael Marquez give up the torch and go quietly into the night, or will he fight tooth and nail against the young pup and chew him up?
The young pup happens to be a prime 27 yrs of age to Marquez’s more stately 35 yrs, but those 35 years got a decade tacked on to them during Marquez’s famous trilogy against Israel Vasquez, one of the all time great trilogies in boxing history. Marquez and Vasquez had to take over a year off to recuperate before their 4th installment where Vasquez clearly had nothing left.
So, Marquez may have come out of that grinder in better shape than Vasquez, but now he’s up against a fighter at the top of his game who has had as perfect a run against his opposition has anyone in history, and a knockout specialist to boot.
The old man has his work cut out if he wants to defy Father Time to turn back the clock for one more reign over his division as he grew accustomed to in his youth.
Marquez definitely has more experience of top level fights over Juanma, but it’s the only advantage he holds. I expect a short fight as Marquez is not a runner, but a defensive counterpuncher with a good offensive attack. His reflexes may have dimmed a fraction, but he can still box, still fight, and is a good puncher in his own right, so Juanma must exercise due caution and utmost expertise if he expects to send Marquez into a deep sleep.
Lopez rightfully will be the big favorite, but the truth is, nobody but Marquez and his trainer know how much Marquez has left since he has not been really tested in over two years. This could turn into a classic if he is somewhere near his prime form.
The undercard is an interesting Super Six bout with two replacements, Allan Green and Glencoffe Johnson both looking for their first points wins in order to advance in the tourney.
The 31 yr old Green has run out of excuses with his back now against the proverbial wall. Modern day 41 yr old ring legend Johnson never has any excuses and is still trying to beat down the door of opportunity, so this fight has a do or die quality about it.
That’s Saturday, November 6th at MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Catch it if you can……..