Juan Manuel Lopez knocked out Rafael Marquez at the end of the 8th round to keep his WBO Featherweight belt. This fight lived to its expectation. In the first 3 rounds, I had Lopez commanding the fight. He appeared to be very loose and taking control of the ring. Rafael Marquez tried to use his jab and was going to the body a lot but it appeared that it wasn’t doing any damage to Lopez. At one point, Lopez appeared to not seem bothered by Marquez punches. Then in the 4th round, things changed. Marquez connected to Lopez chin that stunned Lopez. Marquez kept pressuring him landing combinations but couldn’t quite pull the trigger. Lopez got a point taken away for holding down Marquez. This made the round a 10-8 for Marquez.
Round 5 was another round that I gave to Marquez. Rounds 6-8 were all Lopez. He was over punching Marquez. He kept throwing combinations to the head and by round 7 he looked like he was losing steam. Round 8 was just brutal. Marquez was just taking too many blows. At this point, I started thinking that if Lopez continues his pace, he was going to knock out Marquez by either the 9th or 10th round.
After the 8th round, Marquez stated that he sustained a shoulder injury in his right shoulder and not being able to move it. That forced his corner to throw in the towel, giving JuanMa an 8th round knock out. After the fight, Marquez was asked if he wanted a rematch and he said yes. Lopez stated that he would give it to him but it was Bob Arum’s decision. At this point, Arum stated that it depended on Marquez shoulder healing and if he was ready there was a spot to fight JuanMa in March, 2011 in Puerto Rico since he plans on having JuanMa fight Gamboa in June of next year.
Assuming that the shoulder injury of Marquez slowed him down towards the late rounds, I feel that if given the rematch this fight would be even more explosive. Marquez can still fight at 35 years young. But, Lopez did appeared to be the bigger and stronger fighter in the ring. In order for there to be a rematch, Marquez shoulder injury needs to get heal. If it doesn’t heal by March, we may see a rematch in September of next year or maybe in 2012. I just think it is better to have the rematch some time next year since Rafael Marquez doesn’t seem to have too many fights remaining in his tank. I see maybe 3 more fights in his career.
Overall, it was a great and entertaining fight. I had it 77-74 for Lopez; the same score as one of the judges, Raul Caiz, Sr. JuanMa Lopez seems to be the new boxing star from Puerto Rico. A rematch would be great but a fight will Yiorkis Gamboa would be explosive. That is the fight that everyone wants to see.