|Juan Manuel Marquez catches Michael Katsidis with a left jab|
Photo By Meranda De La O
Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Michael Katsidis
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada
WBA Super World Lightweight Title
WBO Lightweight Title
Marquez KO’s Katsidis Round 9
|Press Conference Photo By Meranda De La O|
I was unable to see the fight last Saturday between Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico and Michael Katsidis of Australia but I did catch the replay on HBO the next day. I’m not surprised at the way the fight went or how it ended. Katsidis, like every Aussie I have ever seen fought like a true warrior. That was a given. A big heart and an exciting fighter. Despite a fairly high knockout ratio none of them came against top quality opponents , still a guy with a big punch is always dangerous.
Katsidis proved that when he knocked down Marquez in the third round with a quick left hook that hurt Marquez. Marquez, true to form, shook off the punch, fought back and by the end of the round was back in command of the fight. With each round Marquez continued to dominate and it was his experience as well as his amazing durability that won the day for him.
The fight, a likely candidate for the fight of the year, though mostly dominated by Marquez was exciting. At 37 years of age, part of the drama of watching Marquez fight is wondering if this is the fight where he shows his age. The thought was that over the long haul, that maybe Katsidis’ youth would kick in against an aging Marquez. It never happened. Instead referee Kenny Bayless stopped the fight in the ninth round after Katsidis was hurt from a series of punches thrown by Marquez. Some of the fans didn’t like it but Katsidis didn’t argue the stoppage.
Marquez always finds a reserve to draw upon. He has such a strong will to win. This is what makes him such a great champion and one that could have fought in any era. Fighting at a time when most fighters are afraid to take a real risk, Marquez continues to fight the best available fighters out there. Marquez, though has only one fighter in mind, it is his “Magnificent Obsession “, a third fight with Manny Pacquiao. It is his belief, a belief that is shared by many, that he won both of his fights with Pacquiao. This is what propels him.
I can’t say why Pacquiao refuses to give him a third fight and I honestly don’t know if at this point in time Marquez can still beat Pacquiao, but even if you feel, to be fair, as some do, that Pacquiao did win his two fights, the fact remains that the difference between the two is razor thin. There is no other better qualified or deserving opponent for Manny Pacquiao.
Marquez can’t go on forever. A fighter his age in the lighter weights is an anomaly. Don’t miss another of his fights. He doesn’t get the attention of Floyd Mayweather Jr or Manny Pacquiao just as earlier in his career, he fought in the shadows of his countrymen Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales but Marquez is a true boxing legend. Maybe when it is all said and done, he may just emerge as the best of all of them.