Marquez Defeats Lorenzo
By Manuel Perez: 36 year-old middleweight Raul Marquez defied time on Saturday night with an impressive 12-round over unanimous decision over Giovanni Lorenzo (26-1, 18 KOs) in an IBF Middleweight Title Eliminator at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Hollywood, Florida. The final judges’ scores were 114-113, 114-113 and 114-113. Never mind the close scores, the fight wasn’t close at all as Marquez completely took over the fight in round four and never looked back. Lorenzo, 27, ranked #4 in the IBF, fought in a timid manner for most of the bout, fighting on the outside and treating Marquez as if he were some dangerous knockout threat to be avoided.
Lorenzo fought well in the first three rounds, hitting Marquez with powerful fight hands and left hooks to the body. At the same time, Lorenzo showed good athletic ability, moving around the ring well and keeping Marquez from catching up to him with his own shots. When Marquez would occasionally cut off the ring on him, Lorenzo would catch him with some big shots as he was coming. Lorenzo especially fought well going backwards, which as it turns out, was something that he was forced to do for most of the fight due to the heavy pressure that Marquez was putting on him all fight long. Again and again, Lorenzo would tag Marquez with big right hands as he would plod after him, catching him square in the face, causing it to redden and swell as early as the 3rd round.
The fight seemed to change suddenly in the 4th round, when the southpaw Marquez began to find success in landing his left hand, a punch that he would land often in the round. At the same time, Lorenzo began to look slightly fatigued, appearing a shade less energetic than he had in the three previous rounds. He was still boxing well, throwing punches and continuing to move around the ring without many problems, but his punch-put dropped off dramatically. In an effort to try and slow down Marquez’s offense, Lorenzo began to clinch often whenever Marquez would get in range.
In the 5th round, Lorenzo landed a big right hand catching Marquez as he was coming in at the start of the round, staggering him slightly. Instead of going after Marquez, however, Lorenzo turned around and moved away as if he were the hurt. Marquez then went after him, at one point grew frustrated with chasing Lorenzo, and held both hands out as if to say ‘come on, let’s fight.’ It didn’t have much effect on Lorenzo, who continued to mostly move away from Marquez for the remainder of the round.
Lorenzo got the better of the action in the 6th round, landing some big shots as Marquez would come to him. It wasn’t hard for Lorenzo to hit Marquez, for he was constantly coming forward directly at Lorenzo in a straight line making him an easy target.
In rounds seven and eight, Lorenzo began to clinch often, trying to keep Marquez from getting his shots off on the inside. It worked somewhat, as Marquez wasn’t able to land as many punches in these rounds due the constant grabbing from Lorenzo. Marquez was cut over his right eyebrow in the 8th round. It didn’t affect Marquez’s ability to punch, though, as he continued to take the fight to Lorenzo and punish him with big shots to the head. Lorenzo’s punch out-put dropped even lower during these two rounds, to the point where he would only get in a shot a fraction what he was getting hit with by Marquez.
In the 10th round, Marquez received another cut, this one above the right eye, and with the combination of the earlier cut, Marquez’s face was an awful bloody mask for most of the round. Lorenzo, perhaps getting courage after seeing so much blood coming from Marquez, began to fight with a great deal of confidence and with renewed energy, as he landed some good shots in the early going.
However, as Lorenzo had Marquez up against the ropes, Lorenzo suddenly appeared to intentionally head butt Marquez. The referee was right there when it happened, and he immediately stopped the action and deducted a point from Lorenzo for the head butt. This had the effect of turning the round completely in the opposite direction, with Marquez now the one controlling the round and dominating the action.
Most likely being told that he was in need of a knockout to win, Lorenzo fought hard in rounds 11 and 12, hitting Marquez with some good right hands, and taking the fight to him constantly. Marquez still appeared to win round eleven with his numerous left hands landed. In the 12th round, though, Lorenzo landed hard shots for the entire round as he disparately tried to come from behind and score a miracle knockout over Marquez. It didn’t happen and Marquez easily escaped the round without getting hurt.
As much as it was a good win from Marquez, his moment of happiness likely won’t be lasting since with this win, he becomes the mandatory challenger for IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham. Frankly, that’s not a fight that I could see Marquez winning, nor one that he could even be competitive in. Abraham is simply in another class than both Marquez and Lorenzo, and would likely stop both of them without any real trouble to speak of.