Juan Manuel Lopez and Rafael Marquez met the press yesterday (July 27) to speak about their September 18 bout for the WBO featherweight title.
Marquez (39-5, 35 KOs) will be seeking a third title in his third weight divsion. On May 22, he evened up his action-packed rivalry with Israel Vazquez via a 3rd round TKO. Already possessing a decorated resume with Hall of Fame credentials, Marquez believes a win over Lopez will make him a Mexican legend.
“To join the elite class of Mexican champions like Julio Cesar Chavez, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Fernando Montiel and my brother Juan Manuel, who have won world titles in three different weight divisons, has always been a goal of mine and now that opportunity has arrived, fighting for a third division world title as my country celebrates its Independence Day,” Marquez explained. “This has become the most important fight of my career and I will train for it as if I were fighting for my life.”
Despite being the champion, Juan Manuel Lopez (29-0, 26 KOs) is facing the best fighter of his career in Marquez. in his last fight, Lopez received a scare after trading knockdowns in the first round with underdog Bernabe Concepcion in his last fight on July 10. Lopez would come back to score a 2nd round knockout.
Lopez acknowledged the huge test that awaits him, and promised to be more focused than his last outing with the hard-punching Marquez.
“I am looking forward to showing my skills against a great champion like Rafael Marquez, one of the all-time greats and a future Hall of Famer,” he said. “It will be the biggest fight of my career.”
Tickets for the fight go on sale next Monday (August 2), and will be priced at $400, $300, $200, $100, and $50. The fight will be held at the MGM Grand and tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.mgmgrand.com.
The fight will also be broadcast live on Showtime.
I still haven’t made up my mind about this fight.
When it was first being talked about,I heavily favored Lopez on the grounds that he was naturally bigger, younger, a strong puncher and hadn’t been through those debilitating Vazquez wars like Marquez has.
But reviewing his fights I notice Lopez gets reckless and sloppy. He can be timed rather easily while he’s throwing as evidenced by his last fight. Check out the end of the first round.
The fight is going to have many exchanges like that and it’s going to come down to who has the stronger chin and technique. I give Marquez the technique edge; it’s the chin that I’m on the fence about.
As of right now, my good friend T-Money over at www.theboxingtruth.com is adamant that Lopez has no chin and is going to get sparked. I have some more fights to watch before I make up my mind.
Until then, enjoy some highlights.
Juan Manuel Lopez highlights
Rafael Marquez Highlights