Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Rafael Marquez on November 6th at the MGM, in Las Vegas
By Jason Kim: The mini-mega fight between World Boxing Organization featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez (29-0, 26 KO’s) and former two division champion Rafael Marquez (39-5, 35 KO’s) is now scheduled for November 6th, at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to boxing news from Dan Rafael’s Twitter page. They were supposed to be fighting in September, but the 35-year-old Marquez injured his thumb while getting onto a bus in Mexico. This might be a good fight while it lasts.
However, Marquez is up there in age now, has been mostly inactive in the past couple of years, has lost two out of his last four fights, is smaller than Lopez, and has been in perhaps too many wars with Israel Vazquez to win this fight. If this fight were to have taken place three years ago before Marquez’s grueling bouts with Vazquez, it would still be a very tough fight for Marquez to win because of Lopez’s size advantage and superior defensive abilities. But the way things are now, it’s not likely that Marquez will win this fight. However, he should make it interesting for six or seven rounds before Lopez takes him out with an accumulation of blows.
But if Lopez fails to score a knockout, he could find himself in a real fight and one where his vulnerable chin would be severely tested. It’s already been established that Lopez is vulnerable against punchers that can take him deep in the fight and land a lot of shots. Lopez barely got by Rogers Mtagwa in 2009, a fight in which Lopez was out on his feet in both the 11th and 12th rounds. Lopez looked great earlier in the fight when he was doing most of the landing. However, Mtagwa stuck around late and kept landing his shots and eventually he had Lopez badly hurt and unable to defend himself in the last two rounds of the fight.
Had there been a 13th round, Lopez would have likely been stopped in that fight. Mtagwa smelled blood and was fresh and strong in the last two rounds of that bout, and Lopez was hurt. If Marquez can duplicate that kind of effort, he could win this fight. But it would mean that Marquez would have to take an enormous amount of punishment to get to that point in the fight. He may be able to hurt Lopez early, but I tend to doubt it. Lopez seems to wear down later in his bouts, because he’s been knocking everyone out early in his fights.