Marquez Stops Casamayor in Tactical Thriller
By John Novoselac reporting from Ringside (Sept 14, 2008) (Photo © German Villasenor)  
In the fight tonight for the Ring Magazine lightweight title, Juan Manuel Marquez proved he is indeed one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. He not only won a title in a third weight class, he also became the first boxer to clearly beat and stop the elusive Cuban, Joel Casamayor.

The fight opened with Marquez coming out with a flurry to the body, and Casamayor responded the way he would throughout the fight when things weren't going his way, he clinched. The pace picked up
as the rounds went on, and Joel seemed to find his rhythm in the second that carried through the next few rounds. Also, in the second round, the heavily pro-Marquez crowd broke out with the wave. That was a first for me at a fight.

In the third round, Marquez made his power known as he stunned Casamayor about 45 seconds in. Shockingly enough, Joel held on. Casamayor's left hand was finding its target frequently as he was also able to pick off many of Marquez' punches. The veteran was in full effect.

Around the fourth or fifth, Marquez seemed to make an adjustment. His right hand starting landing more proficiently, punctuated with a big right in the fifth. An accidental butt in the 4th opened a cut over Casamayor's eye, and he starting bleeding from the nose shortly thereafter.

The action continued into the 6th, as Marquez appeared to take control. Casamayor was warned for low blows in the 7th, and Marquez responded with a vengeful 1-2 combination. Casamayor sought to take back the swing of the fight in the ninth, as his left hands were once again landing, though it wouldn't last long.

The tenth round was the beginning of the end. Marquez landed a vicious right to which Joel responded by throwing up his hands. The swing of the fight was Juan Manuel's to keep at this point.

30 seconds into the eleventh, a massive right to the chin of Casamayor sent him down. He rose on wobbly legs, and tried to hold on, but the veteran Marquez was not going to let him off the hook. Both fighters flurried as Joel sought to hold, but a straight right down the pipe was the show stopper. As soon as Casamayor hit the canvas, referee Tony Weeks waved it off. Official time was 2:55 of the eleventh.

Compubox credited Casamayor with 122 of 552, with 83 power shots, while Marquez was given 160 of 516, 125 of which were power shots.

At the time of the stoppage, scores were very close, with it tied up at 95-95 on two judges' cards, and Marquez ahead 97-93 on the other.

Marquez said, "We came in well prepared. We had a job to do. We wanted to win for the Mexican people."

He also added, "Casamayor was the best lightweight. We knew what we had to do. The best fighter is Floyd Mayweather, but now I am the best."

Casamayor was gracious in defeat, saying, "I fought as a real champ. But Marquez was the best. He knew how to control my punches. I am very emotional right now. And just thinking about a rematch."

Attendance at the MGM Grand was listed at 7882.

Undercard Results

Carlos Velasquez stopped Jose Navarette via TKO at 1:11 of the 5th round.

Hot prospect Danny Garcia made quick work of Tyrone Wiggins, finishing him with a TKO after just 1:04 of the first round.

Likewise, rising prospect Daniel Jacobs got Ramon Espinoza out of there, who looked like he didn't want to be there to begin with, after 57 seconds of the first.

In an uneventful affair, undefeated Indonesian Daud Yordan got a majority decision over Antonio Meza.

The first televised fight of the night saw one time rising prospect Julio Garcia drop a 10 round UD loss to late replacement Danny Perez.

Victor Ortiz looked very sharp as he pounded Roberto Arrieta into submission, getting a TKO in the 5th round.

Vernon Forrest avenged his most recent loss with a lopsided UD win over former Contender star Sergio Mora, who lost for the first time. A third bout was discussed, with the possibility of a winner take all purse scenario.

Quote of the Night

Vernon Forrest: "If De La Hoya is gonna fight Pacquiao next, will they let me fight Marquez? It's the same thing.”

Questions or comments,
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