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Boxingscene.com

Bert Sugar on Juan Manuel Marquez and His Options

By Chris Robinson

Juan Manuel Marquez seems to have a little bit of a dilemma. The WBA and WBO lightweight champion of the world is still going strong despite his 37 years of age but needs to decide whether or not to renew his contract with Golden Boy Promotions or to head off to rival Top Rank in a pursuit of a third fight with bitter rival Manny Pacquiao.
 
Marquez fought Pacquiao to a scorching draw in May of 2004 and fell to him via disputed split decision almost four years later. His obsession with a third fight, and the fact that Golden Boy likely couldn't land the bout given their ongoing feud with Top Rank, was what tipped insiders to point to his departure towards Bob Arum's stable.
 
But Golden Boy seems to realize how valuable of an asset Marquez is and has reportedly offered the Mexico City fighter a lucrative, multi-fight package that would include bouts with IBF junior welterweight champion Zab Judah, lightweight contender Robert 'The Ghost' Guerrero who faces Michael Katsidis this weekend in Las Vegas, and hopefully a third encounter with Pacquiao, which may go under the heading of 'wishful thinking'.
 
There definitely is a lot on Marquez's mind these days but it is actually a pretty good choice to be burdened with, as a noticeable amount of cash will be awaiting him after either decision regardless. Wanting to get a different perspective on the situation I reached out to boxing historian Bert Sugar for our weekly column and decided to take a look at everything.
 
Read on for Sugar's thoughts on whether Marquez would be undersized in moving up to face Pacquiao, why he stands a good chance against Judah, the danger of a fight against Top Rank's Brandon Rios, how Marquez's one-sided loss to Floyd Mayweather factors into the equation, and much more...
 
Marquez's loss to Floyd Mayweather in September of 2009...
"Remember, Floyd didn't even pay attention, as Floyd does not, to rules. Here's a guy who's demanding rules about blood testing. What was he giving away? That's seventeen pounds. When you go up in weight or fight someone much heavier, their punches affect you much more than your punches affect them. And that's exactly what happened."
 
Why a Robert Guerrero fight might not come about...
"Guerrero is a good fight if he gets by Katsidis. Now there's a great fight on Saturday night. Even though Katsidis runs in with a damned-torpedo-full-speed-ahead-balls-out manner, leaving himself open, he can still hit. He's got twenty-two knockouts in thirty-three fights. That's a good hitting percentage."
 
Favoring Marquez over Judah...
"I think he can beat Judah. Judah is good but Judah never got to that point where we thought he would. And now he's on the downside of his career. I think he's peaked. He's still a damn good fighter but he's not that great fighter we thought he was going to be."
 
Why a third fight with Manny Pacquiao might not make sense...
"First of all, how much does he have to come up in weight? Remember, Pacquiao, despite what Floyd says about 'steroids', which is nonsense, they still have that defamation case hanging. If you remember, Pacquiao is suing Golden Boy, Mayweather, and everybody for [alleging] that he is taking steroids. He's grown up and it's going to be the same weight disparity that you had with Mayweather and Marquez. I see it happening but it wouldn't bode well for Marquez. Didn't he already do that? I don't see it as a good move for him."
 
A legendary career...

"Marquez's career is legendary. He's a future hall of famer. In fact he's part of my book, The Ultimate Book of Boxing Lists, he and his brother are the greatest brother act of all time. He's a great fighter. But I think at this point he should be taking the fights he can win. He's an all-out fighter; he has no fear. He stood in against Mayweather's right hands and he couldn't take him out in the last three rounds if you remember. He was doing nothing but teeing off on him."
 
Thoughts on newly-crowned lightweight champion Brandon 'Bam Bam' Rios and his victory over Miguel Acosta...

"He's a never-ending slammer. 'Bam Bam' is the right name for him. He took punches and he blinked, but that was all he did. He kept coming. At any given moment in time we saw, basically, what he was made of. And that was just one gear. Bang, bang, bang and he knocked him out with two right hands when everybody was looking for the left hand."
 
Just how bad the Top Rank-Golden Boy feud is...
"Right now it's severe. They are in court against each other. There was a mediation that came down on Nonito Donaire, if you remember that one. Now they've got this defamation suit that is hanging over both of them, which goes back to Pacquiao. I don't know if they can do business together or do they just check it at the door because money talks and bullshit walks?"
 
How much money and legacy play a factor...

"I think that, plus one thing; he fears nobody. Put in a third element. Money, yes, that's why they are fighting. Who the hell wants to get hit in the head for nothing? But Marquez is a warrior and I don't think he will step back from anybody. And he gave us two great fights against Pacquiao. I thought he won both of them, to be honest. Particularly the first one where he was knocked down three times in the first round to fight a draw. That means he won, not only a majority, but an overwhelming majority in the last rounds, the final rounds. And the second fight, if it hadn't been for one knockdown of Marquez by Pacquiao, Marquez probably would have won on all cards but he lost. I don't know that he did, but whatever it is. This is one warrior; one future hall of famer."

Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. An archive of his work can be found here, and he can be reached at [email protected]
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by bose on 07-28-2011

It was a fair face off but too much respect by both fighters to each other. I don't think either fighter is scared of each other, but before the face off Ortiz did intimidate Floyd but after this face off…

Comment by JoeDaWg on 04-07-2011

[QUOTE=LeadUppercut;10334325]I still like Sugar, but I will be honest with you..... even though I am about to dispute your viewpoint regarding the Pac/JMM fights, I do not agree with everything that Bert Sugar says. But, he is a legend, and…

Comment by LeadUppercut on 04-06-2011

[QUOTE=JoeDaWg;10330879]Gotta love some bert sugar. That guy and merchant could talk all night and I'd never fall asleep.[/QUOTE] I still like Sugar, but I will be honest with you..... even though I am about to dispute your viewpoint regarding the…

Comment by JoeDaWg on 04-05-2011

Gotta love some bert sugar. That guy and merchant could talk all night and I'd never fall asleep. I disagree with what he said about the first two fights but that's all good. Both fights were close as ****, jmm…

Comment by LeadUppercut on 04-05-2011

[QUOTE=microMXL;10326512]I think marquez won the second fight. The first one I agree with Lederman, yes Marquez dominated more rounds but the 3 knockdowns ruined his points.[/QUOTE] That fight was even by about round 8-9, Sugar got it right.

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