Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales were the featherweight legends in Mexico on their peaks of their career and Juan Manuel Marquez was always considered the third wheel. The great boxer who couldn’t seem to get a shot on the upper echelon of boxing, always the best man never been the groom. And when Barrera and Morales first met in 2000 Marquez was out there fighting an unknown fighter Roque Cassiani three months after for the vacant WBO NABO featherweight title. He was never considered the best at that time, but time and time again Marquez wants to prove everyone wrong. He never wanted to emulate Barrera and Morales’s career he wants to be on top of them and this Saturday would be another step again for greatness as he battles again Juan Diaz on a rematch to move a step higher on top.
Marquez has a simple game plan and that is to win a fight against Diaz in order to set up a title fight on Amir Khan’s WBA light welterweight title to be the only Mexican to win three titles in three different divisions a feat both Morales and Barrera failed as they extend their boxing career searching for that elusive title.
Easier said than done, Diaz who is 10 years younger than Marquez at 26 came from a disappointing loss to Paulie Malignaggi will try to resurrect his career. He fought Marquez gallantly on their first encounter with some thrilling moments wobbling Marquez’s legs on some rounds before Marquez got his second wind and knock Diaz out in the ninth round which earned them the fight of the year in 2009. Everything went downhill from there for Diaz after winning a controversial fight with Malignaggi he was outpointed clearly in their rematch last December. A win against Marquez not only gives him retribution but it also gives him a crack on Amir Khan’s title. He knows it was his conditioning that causes him his TKO loss on their first match and he now he won’t fall in that trap again this Saturday he will be ready and hope Marquez’s is too.
It was Manny Pacquiao that gave Marquez a name in boxing giving Manny the pound per pound best two toughest fight on his career. He came out standing after three first round knockdowns on their first fight to salvage a draw and loss a split decision on their rematch thanks to Manny’s lone knockdown that sprawled Marquez on the canvass the very same canvass Marquez was facing two years after against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Losing is not an option and Marquez never entertained that thought. He knows he still can defeat Diaz for the second time around. He continues to defy every doubt every critic that was plastered to him. And when the world was watching Barrera and Morales first encounter out there a young Juan Manuel Marquez was watching them out setting up his goals that someday he will meet each one of them in the ring or someday people will notice him and consider him as one of the best. A decade after Marquez earned that respect.
It’s still a long shot on an Amir Khan title fight on which at that time he will be 37 years old fighting a hungry 23 years old Bolton fighter. He doesn’t need long strides in getting to his goals anymore just baby steps and standing on his way is one baby…”The baby bull” Juan Diaz. Whatever happens Marquez’s legacy is now secured.
The winner takes it all or rather the winner takes Khan.