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Juan Manuel Marquez in risky fight tonight against Likar Ramos

By Jason Kim: Lightweight Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KO’s) is taking a risky tune-up fight tonight against southpaw lightweight contender Likar Ramos (24-3, 18 KO’s) in a scheduled 10 round bout at the Plaza de Toros in Cancun, Mexico. Marquez, 37, is 12 years older than the 25-year-old Ramos and has been through many more wars than the still relatively inexperienced fighter.


Marquez has to win this fight if he wants to get a big payday against World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao on November 12th. A loss here to Ramos erases that fight immediately and along with it a payday of at least $5 million for Marquez.

Tonight’s fight will be fought at lightweight, but the Pacquiao bout will be taking place at a catchweight of 144 lbs, which makes it extremely remote that Marquez will win it. This is why his fight with Ramos seems altogether unnecessary. With Marquez having little chance of beating Pacquiao due to the fight taking place at welterweight instead of a reasonable catch-weight, Marquez really doesn’t need tonight’s fight against Ramos as a warmup.

Marquez won his last fight against Michael Katsidis by a 9th round TKO last November. Marquez should have fought someone at least two months ago but instead dragged his heals until landing this fight. It’s a bit late and a bit dangerous for him to be taking on a young fighter with the Pacquiao bout so close. But he believes it’s going to help him beat Pacquiao for some reason. The weight will probably be the reason Marquez loses to Pacquiao, and that’s unavoidable.

Marquez should have stood firm that he would fight Pacquiao at 140, because going up two entire weight divisions is pretty much putting Marquez in an impossible situation to beat Pacquiao. He fought Pacquiao twice in the past in 2004 and 2008, and did very well in those fights. But that was at super featherweight, and both Pacquiao and Marquez were the same size then. Now, Pacquiao had added a lot of muscle to his frame and is a legitimate welterweight. It’s no longer the same fighting conditions.

***


On the undercard of tonight’s Marquez-Ramos fight will be a bout between Marquez’s younger brother Rafael Marquez (39-6, 35 KO’s) against against journeyman Eduardo Becerril (12-7-2, 4 KO’s) in a 10 round bout. Becerril has lost five out of his last seven bouts. This isn’t the of opponent that an established fighter like Marquez typically fight at this stage in their careers. Marquez is a former two division world champion and here he is facing an inexperienced journeyman. What’s the point? Marquez lost his last fight to Juan Manuel Lopez in an 8th round stoppage last year in November, but he could certainly have done better than a guy like Becerril.


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