Monday, March 02, 2009

:boxing: Boxing Bits ::03.02.09:: Marquez Bests Diaz in War

The winter boxing season ended off on quite the high note with a nasty war of attrition between Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz...

[C] IBF Cruiserweight Champion Tomasz Adamek TKO8 IBO Cruiserweight Champion Johnathon Banks
--Adamek may be getting another belt for his collection, but he apparently now has Bernard Hopkins in the rearview mirror...

Glen Johnson UD(10) Daniel Judah (Light Heavyweight) [ESPN2]
--A very good fight performance from the perpetually game Johnson, though Judah did nothing more but strike empty posturings as he dug his shots into him.

[C] (Vacent WBA, WBO Lightweight Championships) Juan Manuel Marquez TKO9 IBO Lightweight Champion Juan Diaz [HBO]
--A great, memorable war between the certain hall-of-famer and the young upstart trying to reclaim his glory after Nate Campbell took it from him. Diaz applied the constant, and mostly effective, pressure with his fast hand speed and by keeping Marquez on the ropes, while Marquez did what he does best--hard, effective counterpunching and combo-throwing. The atmosphere from the ring and the arena was hot and the pace rarely let up across the fight. Diaz looked to be in the lead, but it could be argued that Marquez's counterpunching was winning him the bout. The latter had his moments but Diaz started to soften once his eye got cut around the seventh and the blood got into his sight (a similar incident to the Campbell fight).

Regardless, Marquez switching his gameplan before then was key and he kept Diaz in the center where he could impose his will more. His digging, more powerful shots were beginning affect Diaz more, though he came right back to keep things competitive and even. Unfortunately for him, his night came to a sudden end when Marquez shook him up at the end of the eighth with a good shot. He followed through and delivered two dramatic knockdowns early in the ninth to walk out as the undisputed lightweight champion--and tie himself with eternal foe Manny Pacquiao as the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world. While Marquez continues to chase him (or Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who he wants to face since the Filipino doesn't want a piece of him a third time), Diaz might have found himself another lease on his future after his impressive performance. The fight was a draw at its stoppage and Diaz could have legitimately won it in the end, so future big fights may still await him...and maybe a rematch on PPV...

[C] WBA Featherweight Champion Chris John D Rocky Juarez [HBO]
--I only got to catch the last portion of the fight, but if the draw was primarily due to Juarez being awarded the last round, then that was entirely the wrong decision (though watching him wobble John in the two previous rounds made for some great excitement, given he was behind). Juarez really needed something to keep his career alive, so getting a draw against someone like John is better than nothing...

Howard Eastman UD(10) Clyde Williams (Light Heavyweight)

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