|1.||Juan Manuel Marquez|
Brilliant Mexican boxer who has been World Champion at Featherweight (126) and Super Featherweight (130). His style is a blend of blazing speed, cold blooded combination punching, knockout power with supreme ring intelligence. In terms of boxing technique he is second to none. Trained by legendary Mexican trainer Nacho Beristain, Juan Manuel is a devastating counter puncher and a nightmare for anyone across the ring from him.
Coming from a family with a strong boxing pedigree, he is the brother of the younger, more violent 122 lb. legend Rafael Marquez. The difference between the brothers lies more in their approach than their technique. While Rafael is a seek and destroy killing machine, Juan Manuel uses a merciless counter punching style with clinical precision. However in his recent bouts with Manny Pacquiao, Marco Antonio Barrera and Rocky Juarez, Juan Manuel has been engaging in more and more entertaining firefights creating an increasing buzz around his fights.
His biggest moment came in May 2004 against Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao. Having just upset Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera a few months prior, Pacquiao was the hottest name in boxing, looking to rip through boxing's toughest division. Marquez was considered one of the 3 elite Mexican fighters at the time along with Barrera and Erik Morales. Going into the fight opinions were split, but the sentiment was that it was a great style matchup sure to create a great fight. It did not disappoint. J.M.M came out in a more offensive posture and began pounding Manny right away for the first minute and a half of the round. All of the sudden Manny unloaded a powerful one-two combination and put Marquez on the canvas. Marquez popped up right away with a bloody nose and began to engage Pacquiao again who happily dropped him again. At this point the crowd was stunned at the notion that fight might end this soon. Especially since Marquez didn't have a history being blown out of fights. Marquez gamely got up again and stood toe to toe with Pacquiao trading power shots until Manny landed one more left which sent Marquez down by the ropes. This time it looked serious as Marquez seemingly looked up from the ground only to put his head back down staring up at the lights signaling a surrender, but within a second picked himself up and made it out of the round. Walking back to his corner with a badly broken and bloodied nose things looked bleak for the classy Mexican Champion.
The crowd was roaring in appreciation and were waiting for the coup de grace in the next round. Even the HBO commentators expected that Manny would finish him off in the next round. No fighter gets knocked down three times and wins a fight. What came next will go down in boxing lore for all eternity. With his nose bleeding profusely, badly broken and his confidence shaken by a horrible start to the fight, Juan Manuel Marquez would come out in round 2 and begin to steady himself. Not only did he figure out Pacquiao but he began to go on the offensive, busting up Pacquiao over the next 11 rounds. By the fifth round he was in control of the fight and the crowd was absolutely mesmerized in the change of momentum. Both fighters would finish strong in an all out war. The fight would end up as a controversial draw with most observers feeling Marquez deserved the nod for outboxing Pacquiao in the majority of the rounds. It went on to be one of the best fights of the year.
Juan Manuel Marquez is currently ranked as the number 5 best pound for pound fighter in the sport. Coming off an excruciatingly close 1 point split decision loss in the rematch with the aforementioned Pacquiao his reputation remains intact due to the hotly contested, highly competitive nature of the fight. Both fighters had great moments in the fight. Marquez would stagger Pacquiao and buckle him a few times and generally outbox and outwork him and Pacquiao would put Marquez down in an exchange in the third round. Needless to say the fight raised more questions than it provided answers and the cry for a third fight is deafening. The fight would easily be the front runner for fight of the year if not for the fight two weeks prior between his brother Rafael and Israel Vazquez.
As long as he continues to fight, watching Juan Manuel Marquez is like watching Michaelangelo paint. He is the definition of what a near perfect professional boxer should look like in the ring. An Amazing blend of speed, power, intelligence and footwork. Much like his brother, outside the ring he is a fan friendly gentleman loved and respected by boxing fans around the world.
Guy 1: Man, has there ever been anything like the Marquez Bros. in the history of boxing??
Guy 2: Not really, usually one brother is good and the other one kinda sucks. The Marquez Bros. are like the Super Mario Bros. of boxing.
Guy 1: Seriously, Juan Manuel Marquez death by a thousand cuts or Rafael Marquez death by firing squad, either way pick your poison.