By Don Donatello
Anyone worth his salt knows that styles make fights. Certain styles are problematic for other styles of fighting. Even an average fighter can give a great fighter the fits if he has the right style. Ken Norton was an average fighter, I saw all three of his fights against Muhammad Ali. Norton won all three of those fights in my opinion. Ricardo Mayorga is an average fighter, but his style was well suited to beat Vernon Forrest. Frankie Randall’s style gave the great Julio Caesar Chavez all kinds of problems with his style. Chavez is a great fighter, Randall is an average fighter. Styles is what dictates how a fight is going to be.
Most recently, Juan Manuel Marquez is being given way too much credit of being a very good fighter. He basically made his bones on his two fights against the P4P king, Manny Pacquiao. Marquez’s counter punching style is tailor made for Pacquiao’s offensive, hyper attack style. So who did Juan Manuel Marquez beat to deserve such a good rating?
Marco Antonio Barrera was robbed by the ref against Marquez. We all saw the replay, Barrera knocked down Marquez with a punch to the face and was not credited for it. And to make matters worse, the ref penalized Barrera in that round. Barrera won that fight against Marquez and they rewarded him with a fight against Pacquiao before Marquez got one.
Marquez beat an old man on his last leg in Joel Casamayor, who just lost his latest fight 3 months ago in a lopsided UD against Roberto Guerrero. Marquez beat Juan Diaz, but even the light punching Paulie Malignaggi beat Diaz, twice in my opinion. Beating Rocky Juarez is no big accomplishment either, Rocky never could make the next step and win fights that mattered. Whether it is against Humberto Soto, Marco Antonio Barrera, Chris John, Jason Litzau, and Jorge Linares, Rocky always lost in any kind of title fight.
Before Marquez fought Pacquiao, he was basically in the background while Morales and Barrera shined. I never heard of Norton until he beat Ali. Then he got KO’d by George Foreman in two rounds in his very next fight. Frankie Randall became known after he beat Chavez and did nothing else after that. Mayorga has become a circus act with only his wins over Vernon as his defining moments.
Marquez is milking his 15 minutes worth of fame with his two fights against Pacquiao, he has the style to give Pacquiao problems. Take away Marquez’s fight with Pacquiao and he hasn’t done anything else. Norton, Mayorga, Randall and Marquez are all in the same boat.
So what is Marquez making his bones on? Since Marquez’s first bout with Pacquiao, he beat guys named Salido, Polo, Terdsak, Jaca, Juarez and Diaz. He fought an old and washed up Casamayor and it was a draw on two judge’s card at 95-95 up to the point of the KO in the 11th round. Have they fought two years before that, Casamayor would have played with him. JMM was given a gift win by the ref against Barrera.
The one dimensional Ricky Hatton gave Floyd Mayweather problems for the first 7 rounds of their fight, but Marquez was basically shut out and totally dominated against Mayweather. In my opinion, it was a matter of Floyd’s style that made Marquez look amateurish. JMM also lost against Chris John, some would say he was robbed. It’s funny because people who are claiming robbery did not see that fight, there is no video of that fight circling the internet. But one thing is clear, Marquez’s camp did NOT vehemently protest of being robbed. They just thought they won.
Marquez is overrated. Without his fight against Pacquiao, he would base his career on his controversial win over the aged Barrera and Casamayor, and his two loses against John and Mayweather. People say that Marquez’s style is what made him unmarketable. But I digress, it is his style that actually made him marketable. With that style, he
gave Pacquiao problems. With that, his career was given more credence than it deserve.
Marquez and his style of fighting has not done much outside of those two fights against Paquaio.
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