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JuanMa stops Marquez

Ringside report by Andreas Hale
Photos by Mary Ann Owen,

They say that the Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry is one of the best in boxing. That’s certainly not a lie. They said, for weeks, that the fight between Juan Manuel Lopez and Rafael Marquez could equate to the dramatic back and forth drubbing that Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo delivered in their fight of the decade showdown back in 2005. Again, that wasn’t a lie either. It started to turn into a similar slugfest but a shoulder injury to Rafael Marquez caused a remarkable fight to be stopped abruptly at the end of the eighth round to award Juan Manuel Lopez the TKO victory as he retained his WBO featherweight title in front of 4813 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

It was a fight that was rescheduled from its original September 19th date – due to an injury Marquez suffered to his shoulder that reared its head in this clash – and was well on its way to living up to the expectations before the injury took place. Perhaps Marquez is battle worn from his wars with Israel Vasquez. Either way, the underdog nearly pulled off the upset in an exciting clash.

It would take Marquez and Lopez a couple of rounds to feel each other out as battling “Mexico” and “JuanMa” chants broke out early on. When the feeling out period between the two fighters ended, Marquez and Lopez set off fireworks in the ring. Lopez (29-0, 26 KOs) appeared to be younger, stronger and faster but the heart of Marquez kept him in the fight throughout. The difference in strength was evident as Lopez moved his Mexican foe with every power shot he threw. But in the fourth round, Marquez (39-6, 35 KOs) nearly hit the jackpot with a left hook that sent Lopez reeling and swiftly turned the fight into a heated battle between two warriors.

The exchanges became heated and more brutal as Lopez was docked a point in the 4th round by referee Tony Weeks for hitting in the back of the head. But that never slowed either fighter as the two continued to blast each other with punches with bad intentions.

The two began throwing in close quarters with no regard for their bodies in the 7th round as it became eerily similar to the Corrales and Castillo fight that many compared it to. Lopez began to find a home on Marquez’ face with his uppercut and it appeared that Marquez was beginning to wilt to the Puerto Rican’s power shots. The pattern continued into the eighth round as Marquez tried valiantly to mount a comeback. As the two fighters headed to their corners at the end of the eighth round, it was clear that something was wrong with Marquez’ shoulder. Unfortunately, the damage done to Marquez’ shoulder – apparently in the third round – was far too much for Marquez to continue and he was forced to quit on the stool and give Lopez the TKO victory. - Andreas Hale

Johnson Knocks Out Green; Earns Spot In Super Six

In the co-main event, 41-year-old Glen Johnson showed his ageless skill and power in breaking down Allan Green to advance to the semi-finals of the Super Six super middleweight title. He became the first person to stop Green in the process.

In the first two rounds, Green boxed well in spots from the outside and showed his superior hand speed. However, Johnson moved forward and threw effective body shots. He also began to find a home for his straight right hand.

In the third round Green landed a nice uppercut but Johnson kept pressing forward. At the end of the third round, Johnson pummeled Green with a powerful right hand, two body shots and then a right uppercut. Green was nearly out on his feet.

Green held a lot in the fourth round, perhaps still trying to recover from the assault at the end of the last round. Johnson bullied Green for much of the round. Referee Robert Byrd warned Green for holding.

Johnson pressed the action again in the fifth, as Green appeared to lose some steam on his punches. Johnson landed another effective right hand lead near the end of the round. In the 7th, Johnson continued to find a home for lead right hands and started landing left hooks. In the 8th round, Johnson landed a jab, followed by a strong right hand and then another right hand. Green dropped to the canvas. Instead of rising to his feet, he complained to referee Robert Byrd about being hit in the back of the head. As Lou DiBella said after the bout at ringside: “He’s a pro’s pro. … He’s amazing.”

Amazingly, two of the three judges had Green ahead 67-66 at the end of seven rounds.

“I was fine,” Green said. “He caught me in the back of the head. I got up, but the referee said it was over.”

Johnson said: “Age has nothing to do with it. I may fight until my 60s.” Some had thought before the bout that dropping to super middleweight would be tough for Johnson, who has campaigned at light heavyweight for quite some time. “I feel great at this weight; it was a lot easier than I thought.”

Johnson expressed thanks for the opportunity to advance in the Super Six tournament: “This was the opportunity of a lifetime. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs, but I’ve never quit.”

Johnson improves to 51-14-2, while Green dropped to 29-3. - Dave Hudson

Magdaleno Impresses With Another Knockout

Diego Magdaleno’s boxing trunks said it all: “I am a KO.” Some may have labeled that as false advertising, as he entered the bout 16-0 with only four knockouts. However, he won his last bout by stoppage. He added his fifth stoppage in 17 victories, as the speedy super featherweight overwhelmed an overmatched Derrick Campos. At the end of the first round, Magdaleno dropped Campos with a right hook.

Referee Jay Nady deducted a point from Campos in the third round. Magdaleno added insult to injury by scoring a flash knockdown later in the stanza. Magdaleno continued the assault in the fourth round, scoring another knockdown. Nady mercifully called a halt to the action at 1:15 of the round.

Magdaleno moved to 17-0, while Campos dropped to 20-10. Magdaleno needs better opposition. - David Hudson

Bey Remains Undefeated

Mickey Bey (16-0, 8 KOs) remained undefeated as he boxed effectively en route to a relatively easy 6 round unanimous decision in lightweight action. At 7-6-3, Cruz – who won all of his fights by knockout – didn’t have an answer for Bey’s left hook throughout the bout. A left hook to the Cruz’ chin sent him to a knee in the 2nd round and he was in trouble again in the 4th round. Bey wasn’t able to put him away but ended up with the judges seeing it in his favor with scores of 60-53 and 59-54 twice. - Andreas Hale

Lenk Wins Spirited Back And Forth Battle With Escobar

In this spirited battle of young welterweight prospects, Las Vegas’ Anthony “the One and Only” Lenk won a unanimous decision over previously undefeated Danny Escobar of Riverside, California.

Lenk showed excellent quickness, catching Escobar with his quick right jab on the way in throughout much of the bout. Escobar did some good work in the second round, backing Lenk against the ropes and going to work. In the third round, Escobar opened up and appeared to land the harder shots.

Lenk adapted in the fourth round, boxing well from the outside. He tagged Escobar with several good quick jabs. The referee warned Escobar about hitting to the back of the head, though the undefeated fighter from Riverside had a good flurry to end the round.

In the penultimate round, Lenk landed several quick combos that appeared to win him the round. In the final round, Escobero – perhaps sensing he was down on the cards – rebounded with a solid effort. He landed some heavy shots in the final round, but Lenk responded with quick combos.

All three judges scored the bout 58-56 for Lenk, though they differed on the second and in the rounds. All three judges gave Lenk the 1st, 4th and 5th rounds and all three gave Escobar the 3rd round. They differed on the second and sixth rounds.

Lenk moved to 8-1, while Escobero dropped to 6-1. - David Hudson

Attah Resurrects Career With Devastating Knockout

In the third bout of the evening, “the Prophet” must have had a vision in the form of a devastating knockout win. It certainly wasn’t expected by the Las Vegas crowd, but Iit happened. Lightweight Daniel “the Prophet” Attah had lost his last three bouts, but he surprised the audience and opponent Marvin Quintero with a one-punch knockout in the second round.

A confident Quintero pressed the action in the first round, mixing his attack with head and body shots. He won the first round on all three judges’ scorecards. The second round proceeded much the same way with Quintero aggressively coming forward. Attah looked to time his opponent on the way in, but it appeared that Quintero was getting the better of the action.

Then, suddenly Attah landed a right hook that felled Quintero. Referee Jay Nady stopped the action at 1:55 of the second round. It was a most surprising result, as Attah is not known for registering knockouts. As several in press row exclaimed, “Where did that come from?”

Attah upped his record to 25-6-1 with 9 stoppages, while Quintero – who had four straight wins - dropped to 20-3. Attah breathed new life into his career, as he headed into the bout with three straight losses.- David Hudson

Jesse Magdaleno Scores KO In Debut

Jesse Magdaleno made a successful debut as a professional as he shredded Matthew Salazar in the first round of a scheduled 4 round featherweight bout. The younger brother of Diego Magdeleno showcased his impressive power as he dropped Salazar (1-3-1) with body shot in the first and downed him with yet another combination before finishing the job with a menacing right hook that cut the lights out for good. Time of stoppage was 1:38. - Andreas Hale

Arroyo Makes Short Work Of Grajeda

In flyweight action, McWilliams Arroyo made short work of Cesar Grajeda as he scored a first round TKO. Arroyo (5-1, 4 KOs) dropped Grajeda (7-2) twice in the first round before referee Robert Mora stopped the fight at 2:55. - Andreas Hale

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