Marquez decisions Diaz
By Chris Williams: WBA/WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 37 KO’s) defeated former IBF/WBA/WBC lightweight champion Juan Diaz (35-4, 17 KO’s) by a 12 round unanimous decision in their rematch on Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The final judges’ scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 118-110. Marquez, 36, was able to take advantage of Diaz, who opted to fight tentatively for the first nine rounds of the fight. However, Marquez tired out in the last two rounds, giving Diaz rounds 11th and 12th.
But by then, it was far too late for Diaz, as he had given way practically the entire fight with his lack of aggressiveness. Diaz was hurt numerous times by Marquez and chose to fight on the back foot through much of the rounds, often fleeing when hurt. This was a dramatic departure from the old style that Diaz used to have in the past. Last year, Marquez stopped Diaz in the 9th round. This time, however, Diaz looked to be in the survival mode and it enabled him to make it to the end of the fight, but it didn’t help him come out of the fight the winner.
After the bout ended, Marquez said that he would like to fight a third fight with Manny Pacquiao in November. That’s not likely to happen, though, as Pacquiao will be fighting fellow Top Rank fighter Antonio Margarito next and likely won’t be fighting Marquez this year and probably not next year either.
In the 3rd round, Marquez punished Diaz to the body. Diaz focused on using his jab to do most of his work. At the end of the round, Marquez landed a flurry of shots to take the round.
Marquez hurt Diaz with a big right uppercut in the 4th round when Diaz made the mistake of leaning forward and getting too close to Marquez. Through most of the remainder of the round, Marquez focused on throwing jabs and 1-2 combinations. Diaz was still mostly jabbing.
In the 5th, Marquez lands a hard jab at the start of the round that snapped Diaz’s head back, sending sweat into the audience. Marquez was able to tee off on Diaz with some hard right hands in the round.
In the 6th, Diaz reverted back to his old style of fighting and began to throw a lot of shots. However, his power was just nonexistent and his shots were no comparison to the punches that Marquez was landing. Late in the round, Marquez hurts Diaz again with another big right hand to the head. Diaz then scurried off to prevent from being knocked out.
Instead of going after Diaz at the start of the round, Marquez played around, jabbing and letting Diaz recover. Before long, Diaz began to pour in shots one after another. Marquez then landed another big right hand shot, which caused Diaz to open up with a sustained flurry of weaker punches. Diaz clearly out-landed Marquez in this round, but Marquez landed the much harder shots.
In the 8th round, Marquez came out with some hard jabs that snapped Diaz’s head back repeatedly. Marquez then opened up with a series of hard combinations that had Diaz hurt once again and looking ready to go down. For the remainder of the round, Marquez pounded away at Diaz giving him pure punishment.
Diaz looked tentative in the 9th and 10th rounds, and was backed up against the ropes by hard jabs and combinations from Marquez. Diaz appeared to be just looking to survive at this point. He was just not really fighting back the way he should.
In the 11th and 12th rounds, Diaz came on and began to take the fight to a fading Marquez. Diaz was able to land nice jabs in both rounds. Marquez’s punch output dropped off dramatically in both rounds. Diaz crowded him and worked away on the inside, out-working the older Marquez. Diaz landed well to the body in the final minute of the round, as Marquez just looked like he needed a break. Marquez came out jabbing at the start of the 12th, but Diaz answered back with hard right hands to the head of Marquez. Diaz landed some really nice left hooks in the round. Marquez finished well with some uppercuts, but Diaz was clearly the stronger fighter at the end.
Overall, Marquez looked great for about nine rounds and then faded badly. Diaz probably needs to retire now. I can’t see him beating any of the top fighters in the lightweight division and he has now lost four out of his last six fights. It’s going to be interesting to see if Marquez will choose to move up in weight and fight WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan, who was at ringside tonight to watch Marquez fight. It’s hard to imagine that Khan could hang the way that Diaz did for the entire 12 rounds without getting beaten down. Unless Khan runs all night and stinks up the joint, I think he’ll end up losing to Marquez by knockout.
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