By James Blears
Rafael Marquez (41-7, 37KOs) has vowed there's going to be an almighty ring war when he fights Cristian Mijares (46-6-2, 21KOs) for the vacant WBC super Bantamweight silver title at the Nuevo Arena, come Saturday night.
Northerner Cristian, looking svelte and confident dressed in black, attended the WBC's weekly press conference in the Zona Rosa offices. Rafa who's a chilango, or in other words....from Mexico City, huffed and puffed his way through a conference call, because he was still training flat out in Daniel Zaragoza's gym, a hop, skip and a jump away.
He said he greatly respects Cristian as boxer, and being a southpaw Cristian's style might be complicated. But come fight night up in the ring, respect and all that goes out of the window!
Totally unfazed, Cristian said it's going to be a matador against bull type of tussle. He stressed that rather than stand and trade, which would be ideal for Rafa, he's going to revert to what's been successful for him - namely his proven boxing skills.
He also said that age could well be a factor, as he's thirty one, while Rafa's now seven years older. Cristian said that he's noticing the difference himself in that he can't do the same as he did at twenty four. But the decline will be appreciably more marked with Rafa.
He stresses that it's a career crossroads opportunity, he's going to win, and is contented to do so on points, if that's what it takes.