By David Lar: Undefeated middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (27-0, 22 KOs) will be defending his title on Saturday night against American Raul Marquez (41-3-1, 29 KOs) at the Jako-Arena, Bamberg, in Bayern, Germany. Abraham, 28, is probably at the top of his game right now, coming off an impressive four-round TKO of Edison Miranda in June. So far, Abraham has more or less easily defended his IBF title seven times since winning it in December 2005 with a 5th round stoppage over Kingsley Ikeke. Except for his first fight with Miranda in September 2006, in which Abraham suffered a broken jaw and had to struggle to get a controversial 12-round decision, he’s breezed through the rest of his opponents during the time that he’s held the IBF belt.
Most of his opposition, however, has been badly over-matched and has fared poorly against the hard-punching fighter from Armenia. This will unfortunately probably be the case on Saturday as well, when Abraham defends his title against the 37 year-old Marquez.
The age has nothing to do with how well Marquez will perform, though, because I seriously doubt that he would do well against a fighter as good as Abraham no matter what point of Marquez’s career he fought him in. Abraham is just too strong for him. If you add in the facts that Marquez is easily hit by right hands, cuts easily and tends to stand directly in front of his opponents trying to slug it out with them, I see a fight that will be lucky if it lasts six rounds at best. Marquez, ranked # 2 in the WBC, got his chance at Abraham by recently defeating an unproven Giovanni Lorenzo in a close 12-round decision in the WBC title eliminator match in June.
The win was a good one for Marquez, that’s for certain, but it was more of a case of Lorenzo looking really bad and not ready for prime time competition than a case of Marquez showing a lot of ability. As bad as Lorenzo looked on that night, I’d be willing to bet that most, if not all, of the top 15 fighters in the middleweight division would have also defeated Lorenzo, and probably quite a few by a landslide decision. Don’t get me wrong, I think Marquez is a good fighter, especially against a slow opponent with average power. However, Abraham has a lot of power and is fairly quick with his hands, and won’t be the type of fighter that someone with Marquez’s glaring limitations will look good against.
I think Marquez will be able to take Abraham’s best shots without any problems given his iron-like chin, but doubt that his paper thin skin will handle the power that Abraham will be bringing into the ring on Saturday night. I see a cut, probably a few, opening up on the face of Marquez before long, and turning his face into a bloody mess. Unlike Marquez’s fight with Lorenzo in which he wasn’t hit all that much, Abraham will indeed be hitting him quite a bit.
I see this fight being stopped due to cuts, because there’ll be no way that Marquez’s corner will be able to stop the bleeding once it starts, and with as many cuts as Marquez will probably suffer, his face will probably look like a bloody mess once Abraham gets through working him over. Marquez might be able to make the fight last a little longer if he were to try to box from the outside, but I don’t see that happening. He is what he is. Marquez will do what he always does, plod forward and look to exchange with the quicker, younger and much more powerful Abraham and will be the price by getting taken out.
Prediction: Abraham by 6th round TKO.