Career Overview – Juan Manuel Marquez (Part 1)

This week, we will look back at Juan Manuel Marquez’ Hall of Fame career.

Challenge — Freddie Norwood (35-0), 9-11-99.

After being ducked by superstar Prince Naseem Hamed, Juan Manuel Marquez took on undefeated, WBA featherweight titlist Freddie Norwood. Jim Lampley described the fight as “dreadful”, and that’s the right word to use when watching this fight. A good amount of the rounds were awfully close, awkward, action-less and difficult to score. Harold Lederman had it 115-111 for Marquez. I had it 114-111 for Marquez, seven rounds to Marquez, five rounds to Norwood, each with one 10-8 round. Round eight was an interesting frame to point to. Norwood was winning the round before a sharp, short punch forced a knockdown. Referee Joe Cortez didn’t acknowledge it, robbing Marquez of an additional 10-8 round. The judges didn’t fair any better, as they awarded Norwood a questionable unanimous decision (117-112, 115-111, 114-112).

Challenge — Remigio Daniel Molina (35-3-1), 11-20-99.

A few months after the Norwood debacle, Juan Manuel Marquez challenged Argentinian boxer Remigio Daniel Molina. Molina’s blemishes on his record, at the time, came from boxers that were champions or would be champions — Prince Naseem Hamed, Erik Morales and Julio Pablo Chacon. Marquez suffered an early knockdown that appeared to come from him being off-balanced. Marquez landed some great power-punches in this, including a vicious uppercut.

Challenge — Reynante Jamili (43-6), 10-22-00.

In the previous year, Reynante Jamili had fallen short in a WBC super bantamweight title fight against Erik Morales. After the Morales fight, Jamili then lost to a man that Marquez would become very familiar with — Manny Pacquiao. Marquez takes his time in the first round but starts to exploit Jamili’s openings in the second round, forcing two great knockdowns. By the third round, it’s all over.

Challenge – Sean Fletcher (25-5), 2-11-01.

Ever wanted to see Juan Manuel Marquez with platinum blonde hair? Yeah me neither. Watching this fight, it’s apparent what Marquez has lost in the past decade. In this fight, he’s so fast, sharp, and moves across the ring so well. His defense is great too. He’s more stationary now, gets hit more often. While he packs a harder punch in 2013, he isn’t able to string along those machine-gun-like combinations anymore. What’s insane is that Marquez’ best wins came when he was older, and far more limited, athletically speaking. A shame we never saw him fight Erik Morales during this time period. I’ve heard the comparison before, and it’s true, Mikey Garcia reminds me so much of a young Marquez.

Challenge — Robbie Peden (20-1), 3-9-02.

This title eliminator isn’t one of Marquez’ best performances. I thought Robbie Peden’s style, while not dangerous or that effective, disrupted Marquez in certain rounds. However, Marquez was still able to land some great straight rights and some good power punches throughout. Some shots to the body also stand out here. The fight is remembered mostly for the fact that the fight was stopped after an exciting 10th round, that concluded with Peden vomiting blood in his corner. Nasty stuff.

Challenge — Manuel Medina (60-12-0), 2-1-03

The counter-puncher challenged Manuel Medina for the vacant IBF featherweight championship. Marquez’ offense is beautiful to watch. Keep an eye out for his brilliant knockdown — he blocks Medina’s punch, lands a left hook, straight right, and a uppercut. Gorgeous.

Challenge — Marcos Licona (21-3-1), 8-16-03.

This is an odd fight to list on here. Marquez was supposed to fight titlist Derrick Gainer, but a pectoral injury led to Gainer pulling out. Licona stepped in, came in at 142 lbs, way over the limit. Marquez actually had to gain weight the day of the weigh-in for the fight to take place. So the reason I’m listing it here is because Marquez puts on a great offensive showcase. The uppercut knockdown is awesome.

Challenge — Derrick Gainer (39-5-1), 11-01-03.

Marquez, the reigning IBF featherweight champion, finally gets the fight he’s looking for against Derrick Gainer, the WBA (super) featherweight titlist. Gainer resume included wins over Victor Polo, Freddie Norwood, Kevin Kelley and Manuel Medina. Unfortunately, after a lengthy wait, the fight did not deliver at all. It’s actually a pretty bad fight, but it’s one of the key victories in the early stage of Marquez’ career.

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