Marquez Wins Linear Title with 11th Round Stoppage, Forrest Gets Revenge
Juan Manuel Marquez made an emphatic statement last Saturday (September 13) in his first lightweight fight, outsmarting a focused Joel Casamayor to win the linear RING title.
As a former feather and super-featherweight titlist, Marquez was cautious early on about exchanging with the naturally larger and sharp counterpunching Casamayor.
In rounds one and two, Casamayor utilized stinging left counters to the head and body that kept the challenger at bay offensively.
That trend continued in rounds three and four as Marquez continued to struggle with Casamayors awkward stick and move style.Defensively, Casamayor was superb in these early rounds by forcing the normally accurate Marquez to miss with feints, upper body movement, and footwork. Due to this, the future Mexican Hall of Famer had to abandon his excellent combination punching in hopes of landing eye-catching single shots.
The gamble paid off in round five as Juan Manuel found a rhythm behind his favorite weapon, the right hand.
As Casamayor slowed down slightly, Marquez was able to strafe him with repeated right counters to the face which helped open up a cut above the champions right eye.
Marquez maintained a slight advantage in the middle rounds as Casamayor was now tiring and lunging forward with his attacks. This finally allowed the challenger to land combinations on the inside and further debilitate Casamayor.
Moving towards the decisive championship rounds, Marquez asserted complete control with rattling hook combinations to the body and head. While game, Casamayor was finding himself being countered three times in return for every punch he threw.With the fight close due to Casamayors early lead, Marquez stormed out for the eleventh round determined not to let the judges decide his fate and see a repeat of the second Pacquiao fight.
He forced hard exchanges throughout the round, and finally caught Casamayor with a perfect overhand right counter on the inside with less than a minute remaining.
The Cuban stumbled and crashed on the sit of his pants, shocked from the speed and accuracy of the shot. Ever the warrior, Casamayor made it up quickly but remained disoriented from the punch.
Marquez immediately rained in with punches that knocked Casamayor into the ropes. Another pinpoint right hand dropped him to end matters with just five seconds left in the round.
The exciting win puts Marquez among the elite lightweights in the division, but does not make him the undisputed champ until he settles matters with the man who holds the majority of the titles, Nate Campbell.
And although Marquez would be willing to fight Campbell, its likely hell look for a more lucrative showdown with fellow Mexican star Juan Diaz.
On the undercard, former undisputed champion Vernon Forrest redeemed his abysmal performance against Sergio Mora by totally outclassing his younger foe in their rematch.
Unlike the first fight, Forrest throughout the bout kept Mora at the end of his jab and right hand to cruise to lopsided scores of 119-108, 118-109, and 117-110.
In the early rounds, Mora was confined to sporadic offensive outburst as he was wary of Forrests right hand. Also not helping was Forrests repeated clubbing body shots that served the Atlanta native well down the stretch.
In the seventh, Forrest caught a reckless Mora with a cracking uppercut that was ruled a knockdown after Mora fell into the ropes.
The latter rounds did not change Moras luck, as he ate numerous overhand rights and stiff jabs to close out his evening.
Afterward, Mora blamed his listless performance on coming in overweight at 156 pounds and having to drop two pounds in a vigorous late workout to make weight.
With the win, Vernon Forrest regains the 154 pound WBC title and improves to 41-3, 29 KOs. Sergio Mora suffers his first loss and falls to 21-1-1, 5 KOs.
Joan Guzman Fails to Make Weight, Cancels Bout
The other exciting lightweight bout from last Saturday was not meant to be, due to challenger Joan Guzman failing to make weight and pulling out of his WBA, IBF, and WBO title bout with champion Nate Campbell.
Guzman reportedly came into camp weighing 166 pounds, well exceeding the 135 pound lightweight limit. There are also rumors that Guzman did not sufficiently train during the last few crucial weeks to get his body in fighting shape.
At the weigh in, Guzman came in at nearly 139 pounds and was given two hours to shed the weight.
Unfortunately, less than two hours before the Showtime telecast Guzman called off the fight, stating he was coughing up blood and on doctors orders felt he could not fight without endangering his life.
Expect Guzman to be heavily fined and suspended for his actions. I dont begrudge him for not fighting (the last thing boxing needs is someone else killed in the ring), but its completely unacceptable if the rumors of him slacking off in training are true.
Still, Joan Guzman should be allowed to give his side before the boxing community crucifies him.
Nate Campbell feels no blame can be put on him, as he was willing to go ahead and face Guzman at whatever weight he could make.
I did all that I could to make it happen, a disappointed Campbell stated shortly after the cancellation was made public. I said Id fight him no matter what hed weigh in at. At the end of the day, I thought it was important to me to make the fight stay together.
Stay tuned for more on the fallout of this story next week.
Timothy Bradley Steps Up, Dominates Edner Cherry
Formerly the undercard, titlist Timothy Bradley and Edner Cherry found themselves thrust into the Showtime main event for the WBC 140 pound title. Bradley was unfazed, and outboxed the limited by dangerous Cherry to retain his title.
Throughout the first three rounds Bradley deftly boxed Cherry off the backfoot with triple jabs and counter rights to build a solid lead.
Cherry made his first mark in round four with a jarring left hook that momentarily stunned Bradley. While the champion continued throwing, Cherrys aggression and body attack secured him his first clear round.
Undeterred, Bradley picked up his offense in rounds five, six, and seven by focusing his shots to the body to slow down Cherrys pressure.
The strategy worked perfectly, as now Cherry was the one backpedaling and trying in vain to score potshot points.
In round eight, Bradley slipped a lazy jab and floored Cherry with a massive right counter to the face. The iron-chinned Cherry was more dejected than hurt, and survived the remaining minute left in the round.
The championship rounds saw Bradley continue to dominate the action and smartly maintained good defensive upper body movement whenever Cherry attacked with desperate lunging shots.
Final scorecards for the bout read 117-110, 118-109, and 119-109.
With back to back impressive victories over Junior Witter and Edner Cherry, expect Timothy Bradley to be right in line to face the winner of the November Ricky Hatton-Paulie Malignaggi bout.
Throwback Fighter of the Week: Max Baer
The word colorful doesnt even begin to describe the antics of former world heavyweight champion Max Baer.
Dabbling in acting, entertainment, and many celebrity women on the side, Baer still found time in his full schedule to devastate heavyweights with his powerful right hand. A little into his first year as a pro, Baer killed fellow fighter Frankie Campbell in a brutal 1930 bout. So powerful were Baers shots that doctors concluded Campbell died when his brain had been knocked loose from the connective tissue inside his head. Baer was acquitted of manslaughter but performed poorly in losing four of his next six fights before being counseled by legend Jack Dempsey.
Baer went on to post a signature 10th round knockout over fellow Hall of Famer Max Schmeling in 1933. Due to Schmelings ties with Nazi Germanys Adolf Hitler, the win made the Jewish Baer a star among the Jewish community and helped lead to a title shot the following year against Primo Carnera.
The 68, 275 pound Carnera dwarfed the 62 Baer physically, but not in fighting spirit. The fight was a mismatch, as a laughing and clowning Baer beat Carnera around the ring in route to an 11th round TKO.
However, Baer loved the nightlife more than the title, and immediately dropped the belt in his first defense to the Cinderella Man James Braddock in one of boxing historys biggest upsets.
Baer faced a young Joe Louis in his next bout, engaging in a shootout before the superior Louis chopped him down in the fourth round.
Baer would fight on for another six years and gained one more memorable win against fellow slugger Tony Galento with an 8th round stoppage. In a fight dubbed The Battle of the Bums, both audibly clowned and cursed each other round after round before Baer emerged victorious. He retired in 1941.
The affable former champ remained very popular and continued acting until a sudden heart attack took him away at age 50 in 1959.
Max Baer is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and his final record stands at 68-13, 52 KOs.
Baer vs. Schmeling
Baer vs. Carnera
Louis-Baer Postfight Interview