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GorDoom
08-04-2006, 10:48 AM
Chilango Power: the Marquez Brothers
by David A. Avila

Brotherly love, you can’t beat it.

Since childhood the loving Marquez brothers, Rafael and Juan Manuel of Mexico City, have a bond that persists through their current run as elite fighters. They’re real sweethearts, these guys.

So why does everyone fear them?

Just look at all the combined knockouts the brothers have accumulated in their careers.

Rafael Marquez defends his IBF bantamweight title against Silence Mabuza while Juan Manuel Marquez seeks to re-attain a featherweight world title in a match versus Thailand’s Terdsak Jandaeng at Stateline, Nevada on Saturday. The fight will be televised on Showtime.

When you see the Marquez brothers perform you have to imagine two extremely scientific boxers. It’s like Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi in boxing shorts, they approach a prizefight like two mathematicians. Perhaps it’s their Aztec or Mayan blood. You know it was the Mayans that discovered the concept of zero. Before that Europeans were wondering why their calculations were always off.

Now the Marquez brothers hand zeros to their opponents with some wicked lefts and rights.

Big brother Juan grabbed the first world title by defeating Manuel Medina for the vacant IBF in 2003. Later that same year he took the WBA title from Derrick Gainer with a lopsided win over the Florida fighter. For years he grabbed headlines in Los Angeles where he often fought at the Great Western Forum.

Later, little brother Rafael Marquez (35-3, 31 KOs), joined the party with his astonishing wins over the great Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson. Not since Johnson’s first loss in Ireland in 1990 had the lightning quick Washington D.C. fighter lost a fight. But in 2001 and 2002 he lost twice to Marquez. It put the Mexico City fighter on the danger list.

A year later, in 2003, he was finally given a world title match against the dangerous and undefeated Tim “Poison” Austin of Cincinnati. Marquez was the underdog. But with precision boxing, and slick counterpunching, the Mexico City “chilango” (that’s the nickname for people from Mexico City) found an opening in Austin’s southpaw defense after getting hurt himself and handed him his first loss with a perfect left hand. Marquez was finally a world champion like his big brother.

“We’re a proud family,” said Marquez, 31.

His brother Juan Manuel, a southpaw, helped him with preparation.

“We don’t spar a lot,” said Rafael. “He’s too big.”

Now little Marquez faces Silence Mabuza (19-1, 15 KOs) of South Africa in a rematch. Their first encounter ended in a fourth round technical knockout last November. Marquez dropped him in the first round and bloodied him later.

“I don’t know why he asked for a rematch?” asked Marquez. “Maybe he thought he won the fight.”

Bad idea

Older brother Juan Manuel Marquez (44-3-1, 33 KOs) recently lost his world title when his manager Nacho Beristain opted to ignore Top Rank’s offer to fight Manny Pacquiao in a rematch for a rather generous offer. He wanted more money. Bad idea.

Instead, Marquez and team traveled to Indonesia and promptly were ripped off from the WBA featherweight title by biased judges based on the tape of the fight seen by many. It was the prime example of why trainers do not make good managers and why you never fight in Asia unless necessary.

“I come to the fight to prove I am still Juan Manuel Marquez,” said the older Marquez, 32, who has not fought since losing the title.

Facing Marquez will be Jandaeng, a rough fighter whose only loss came to undefeated Joan Guzman of Dominican Republic a year ago. He lost by decision.

“Guzman was a strong fighter,” said Jandaeng (24-1, 15 KOs), a southpaw like Marquez. “I got a lot of experience from it.”

The fight will be held outdoors at the Montbleu Resort Casino and Spa and promoted by Gary Shaw Productions.

“I believe the Marquez brothers are going to light it up,” said Shaw.

It’s a simple matter of mathematics.

GorDoom
08-04-2006, 11:29 AM
Can Anyone Rescue the Marquez Brothers?
By Steve Kim from Max Boxing

Throughout their distinguished professional careers, the toughest opponents for Juan Manuel and Rafael Marquez - who co-headline this Saturday night’s edition of Showtime Championship Boxing (9 pm ET/PT) at the MontBleu Resort and Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada - may not have been Manny Pacquiao, Derrick Gainer, Tim Austin or Mark Johnson.

It may have been their own management.

Despite being perhaps the most formidable brother combo in the history of the sport, they seemingly have fallen short of the stardom and riches you would have thought was guaranteed for them.

They both have immense natural talent, a strong work ethic, impressive resumes, pleasing - if not colorful – personalities, and they're Mexican to boot.

So why hasn't this formula worked?

Why are they underrated and underappreciated, instead of superstars like their countrymen, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera?

“It’s a tough question," says Gary Shaw, who's promoting this upcoming show and has inked Rafael, the reigning IBF bantamweight titlist, to a promotional contract. "I don't like to knock another promoter, but they weren't kept in front - it may not be the promoter, it may be the management, it could be a combination - and you need to be on TV and you need to fight the right opponents."

Their last promoter was Bob Arum, and what Shaw was most likely alluding to was that in the Top Rank galaxy, the stars that were the brightest were those of Morales, Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya during their time with Arum's promotional outfit. But on their own end, they may have been irreparably damaged by the stubbornness of their trainer/manager Nacho Beristain. Lauded as perhaps the sport’s best teacher, he is also known as perhaps boxing's worst business representative.

It seems his autocratic ways and unrealistic view of the marketplace have led to the Marquez brothers - especially Juan Manuel, who not too long ago was a unified champ - to be on the outside looking in.

“There was never any rational aspect of what he was doing," said a still-flummoxed Arum, regarding that relationship. "And I couldn't get through; I was doing everything through Fernando Beltran, but everyone has trouble with the guy."

Early last year, a proposed deal was on the table for Marquez to rematch versus Pacquiao (they had fought to an exciting draw in April of 2004), but instead of taking the $750,000 payday - and more importantly the opportunity and exposure it could have brought - Beristain reportedly demanded $1.5 million (which was the license fee from HBO for both sides to split).

Instead, Morales and Pacquiao would engage in a two-fight series that has further lined the pockets of 'El Terrible' and ascended 'the Pac Man' to an ever higher level of iconic status. The highly anticipated rubbermatch is set for November 18th.

As for Marquez?

Well, he would soon lose both his titles without stepping into the ring, and this past March he would go to Indonesia and attempt to win back his WBA strap from Chris John for around $30,000. He would proceed to lose a highly questionable verdict.

“We knew it was going to be a possibility," said Arum of that situation. "I mean, why the hell is he going to fight in the jungle? The food’s different, everything’s different. And for that small amount of money? I just couldn't believe he even did it. We offered to bail them out and do the fight in the United States and he turned it down."

It was at that juncture that Arum completely gave up any hopes of reconciliation with Beristain and the brothers.

“It was too much aggravation dealing with this guy," he says. "And the thing that's so frustrating is that the brothers are really nice kids."

Shaw agrees that passing on the Pacquiao rematch was a huge mistake.

"Absolutely, both for the money and the fact that I believe he would've beat him. And it would've made him a colossal star," he says.

Last year, Shaw came into contact with the Marquezes when he won the purse bid for Rafael’s first bout with Silence Mabuza last November. For the rematch, he finds himself promoting the bantamweight powerhouse full-time. This promoter says his dealings with Beristain have been fruitful. "Truthfully, it has not been difficult since I've signed Rafael and they took the rematch and it was not a problem," he says. "I believe once I'm with Juan Manuel and spend some time with him and Nacho and Jaime Quintana that I'll be able to sign him.

"They are very talented fighters individually, and as a brother tandem, I don't think there's anybody better in boxing. Maybe not even in the history of boxing."

Shaw agrees with Arum that going to Indonesia was something akin to managerial malpractice.

"I was mortified that they would go over there," he says. "First of all, with no representation, and I was mortified that they would go over there for $30,000. I wouldn't have chased the belt or given up the belt, whatever the case may be."

So why is Juan Manuel, who faces the tough Terdsak Jandaeng, still unsigned?

"At that time they said Rafael was ready to sign and I said, 'I'd like to sign them both' and they said Juan would like a little more time. And I said, 'No problem' and there came a time that Golden Boy tried to wine and dine Juan and he left there and had not signed," says Shaw. "I think that he just wanted to hear what's out there."

On a national conference call, Marquez was asked about his free agent status, and he would respond by stating: "There is no intention of signing with anybody. First of all, there is this upcoming fight, so I want to take it one at a time and once we have something in writing or something that is convenient for us, I will sign with that promoter."

Juan Manuel is 32 years old, Rafael 31. Not ancient, but not exactly youthful, either, especially for boxers in the lighter weight divisions. Did their window of opportunity close on them? Were their best years squandered?

"Well," contemplated their former promoter, "they're athletes, and athletes have a limited life. It's not like a business guy that can go on for 40 or 50 years. An athlete has a certain number of good years and then that's it and they've burned up what should've been some of their terrific years."

Were they simply too loyal to a man who built them as prizefighters, but dropped the ball too often as a businessman?

“It seemed that way to me but I don't know," said Arum. "I just don't know; it seemed that they should've woken up. They're fighting for real short money on Showtime and it doesn't seem like they're going anyplace."

It's no surprise that Shaw believes that the expiration date on the Marquez brothers is a long ways out.

“Oh, for sure; let's take them individually," he says enthusiastically, "Rafael, I think, is the single best fighter at 118, bar no one. And I believe he can go to 122 and beat anybody. So for him, he's got two weight classes, and maybe there are some guys from 115 that are going to come up to 118. He has no problems making it. I think there are some real big fights out there for him.

“For Juan Manuel, he's 126 and he could fight at 130. So we can fight Pacquiao, he could fight either Barrera or how 'bout Rocky Juarez? There are some big fights out there."

But for this supremely talented tandem, you’ve got to ask, is the future behind them?

GorDoom
08-04-2006, 11:46 AM
Juan Manuel Marquez ready to fight for crown

BY MIKE HOUSER
from The Nevada Appeal


STATELINE - Although he will face Thailand's Terdsak Jandaeng for the vacant WBO Interim featherweight title Saturday at MontBleu Outdoor Sports Pavilion, Mexico City's Juan Manuel Marquez has learned to temper his enthusiasm.

And for good reason.

Possessing a record of 44-3-1 with 33 knockouts, former featherweight champion Marquez could easily make the argument that he has had a tougher time with boxing's various politics than he has had with his opponents.

During Prince Naseem Hamed's reign atop the featherweight division, Marquez was ranked No. 1 by the WBO and was the sanctioning body's mandatory challenger to Hamed for well more than a year.

Rather than strip Hamed for failing to fight a mandatory challenger - as has been the custom of sanctioning bodies everywhere - the WBO let the Prince fight whom he wanted while Marquez sat on the sidelines.

After the WBA finally gave the then undefeated Marquez a title shot at Freddie Norwood, which Marquez lost in an ugly grappling match in 1999, the classy Mexican boxer had to go on waiting for another opportunity.

While continuing to dominate his opponents, Marquez had to wait until February 2003 before he was finally given a shot at the vacant IBF featherweight title against Manuel Medina, which he won.

Promoted by Top Rank, Marquez subsequently won a unification match against Derrick Gainer later that year and looked to be on the road to more recognition and bigger paydays.

In May 2004, Marquez pulled himself up from three first-round knockdowns and boxed his way to a draw with Filipino sensation Manny Pacquiao, earning $650,000 and what looked to be a mega-payday with the Pac Man in a rematch.

Although he went on to defend his belts twice more - against Orlando Salido and Victor Polo - Marquez had a falling out with Top Rank and, one by one, the sanctioning bodies did what his opponents couldn't do and took away his championships.

Wearing a black warm-up suit and signing an autograph for a waitress in a Starbucks Café inside of MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa on Tuesday, Marquez quietly spoke of the past.

"Basically the promoter (Top Rank's Bob Arum) made all of the changes to happen," Marquez said through his adviser-interpreter Jaime Quintana. "He had everything to do with it. He did whatever he wanted to do with me. To lose my two belts was painful. But the past is the past. It's a new beginning for me."

At least he hopes so. Marquez and his manager-trainer Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain were offered $750,000 for a rematch with Pacquiao before being stripped of the belts, but spurned the offer.

After being stripped, Marquez accepted $30,000 to challenge the WBA's newly appointed champion, Chris John, in Indonesia. Marquez lost a disputed decision to John in Borneo, Indonesia, in March.

Mike Duran, Marquez's plastic surgeon described Marquez's "first class treatment" in Indonesia.

"He flew from Mexico to Los Angeles," Duran said. "The he flew to Japan, where he had to wait before being flown to Jarkarta. He took a three-hour flight to Borneo, where he was given a 1958 truck to drive four-and-a-half hours to the fight."

Beristain, who has trained Juan Manuel and his brother, IBF bantamweight Rafael Marquez, since they were 13 or 14, was even more blunt in describing the state of affairs in Indonesia.

"Without a doubt the trip clearly affected him a little and it wasn't enough for him to win that night," Beristain said. "The decision was made by three delinquent guys who were judging the fight. It might have happened because Arum was hurt because we left him. We'll leave that in the past. We're not going to include him in Juan Manuel's and Rafael's future."

Although Beristain didn't want to talk any more of Arum, he still had something to say about him.

"It's about the promoter for Juan Manuel," he said. "He's better than (Pacquiao, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera). But the promoters don't want to put the fights together. Juan's a great fighter, but in the eyes of the promoter, he doesn't exist. Arum is in love with Morales. No other fighter exists in the division."

At a press conference Thursday in Reno, Beristain further assailed Arum and explained his rationale for turning down the $750,000 payday to fight Pacquiao.

"He wanted to pay us with a big bag of tortillas," Beristain said of Arum. "We were promised the purse would be $1.5 million for each guy. For the second fight (Arum) offered $750,000. It was like an insult. We knew there was more money out there for that fight. They wanted to keep half for themselves without throwing punches. It wasn't fair.

"In five years under contract with Top Rank, they were hiding Erik Morales and the other fighters. It didn't happen because Bob Arum is in love with Erik Morales as a fighter. He should have a picture (of Morales) on the headboard of his bed, praying to Erik. There is no other boxer for Top Rank than Erik Morales."

Rafael signed with Gary Shaw, the promoter of this card. As of now Juan Manuel hasn't, but is keeping his options open.

"Obviously I'm taking it into consideration," Marquez said. "Right now I'm going to think twice about a promoter and make the best decision about who is the best promoter and what happened in the past. I don't want to lose my title or (lose out) on great fights."

Shaw said Thursday that he thinks he's the right promoter for Marquez.

"There is such a thing as pride," Shaw said of the spurned $750,000 offer. "They made $650,000 for the first fight. They're telling the promoter that $750,000 is not the right number for the second fight."

Shaw, who promotes Diego Corrales, used his two fights with Arum's Jose Luis Castillo as an example.

"I paid Corrales much more money than Arum paid Castillo," Shaw said. "You can figure out that Bob Arum and I were partners on the show and split it 50-50. How can my fighter make so much more money than (Castillo)? Nacho took a bad hit from the press for turning down $750,000 for $30,000. I don't think that was a mistake. The only mistake was going over (to Indonesia) unprotected by a promoter."

Marquez has more than his own interests at stake and has a wife - Erica - of nine years and two sons - 8-year-old Aldo and 1-year-old Juan Emilio - to look after.

"I'm a positive guy," Marquez said. "But it affects me economically - big time. Losing those titles, you don't get paid the same. But I'm a positive guy. I have plans in the future. That's why I prepare hard. I want to make those dreams happen."

Marquez did his training in Mexico City, doing his roadwork in the 18,000-foot elevation of Nevado de Toluca.

"We do the same thing always," Marquez said of his regimen. "We work harder every time. We don't change styles or anything. We don't want to experiment. Everything is working excellent. It's been fine since years ago."

Beristain said he has complete confidence in Marquez.

"I see him very motivated to win this fight. It's his dream to win this title," Beristain said. "I can tell you that for me, technically as a boxer, he's one of the best 126-pounders over the last 20 years in boxing."

Marquez said he knows what to expect from southpaw Jandaeng, 24-1 (15).

"I watched him on tape. He's like your usual oriental fighter," Marquez said. "He's very strong, fast. He takes a lot of punches. He's going to do his best and come after me to win this fight for the title."

Shaw said WBO champion Scott Harrison has four months to defend against the winner of Marquez-Jandaeng and if he doesn't, the new interim champion would be elevated to full champion.

"I'm going to take advantage of this opportunity," Marquez said. "It's the right time, the right moment. There are good fights out there (Pacquiao, Morales, Barrera). That's why I'm waiting for the right promoter. He'll do his best to make those three fights happen. I'm going to be here (boxing) a while and I'm going to wait for good things to happen to me."

For Marquez, that would be a refreshing thing.

GorDoom
08-05-2006, 01:25 PM
Jandaeng looks to bring title back to Thailand

BY MIKE HOUSER
from the Nevada Appeal

RENO - Terdsak Jandaeng is already well known in his native Thailand, but he's looking to increase his fame worldwide when he faces Juan Manuel Marquez in the main event of tonight's "Double Trouble" boxing card at MontBleu Outdoor Sports Pavilion.

The 25-year-old Jandaeng, 24-1 with 15 knockouts, of Chunpan, Thailand, and the 32-year-old Marquez, 44-3-1 (33), of Mexico City, will meet for the vacant WBO Interim featherweight title.

The bout will be one of two fights on the six-round card to be televised on Showtime, beginning at 9 p.m. (delayed on the West Coast).

In the co-main event, IBF bantamweight champion Rafael Marquez, 35-3 (31), of Mexico City, will make the seventh and final defense of his crown in a rematch against Silence Mabuza, 19-1 (15), of Johannesburg, South Africa. The bout is a rematch of the pair's Nov. 5 scrap in which Marquez scored a fourth-round technical knockout at Caesars Tahoe (now MontBleu).

Known as "Pit Bull," Jandaeng is an aggressive southpaw who will be looking to become the first world champion from the southern part of Thailand.

"I think I will win this fight because I have a lot of experience," Jandaeng said through an interpreter at a press conference Thursday in Reno. "I am a skilled boxer. I feel better than I ever have."

Jandaeng lost a 12-round decision to former WBO super bantamweight titlist Joan Guzman in August. The pair met in a WBO featherweight title eliminator.

"Marquez is very good," said Jandaeng, who had 130 amateur bouts and fought 18 times over 2004 and 2005. "He has good technique, but I think I can beat Marquez. I'm younger. I'm going to show everybody I can beat Marquez."

In a 12-round draw with southpaw Manny Pacquiao in 2003, Marquez, then the IBF and WBA featherweight champion, was caught off-guard early by the free-swinging Filipino and was knocked down three times in the first round before mounting a rally.

Asked if he thought his aggression and left-handed style could produce a similar result, Jandaeng was noncommittal.

"It's going to depend what happens inside the ring," Jandaeng said. "It's going to depend how he starts the fight. I don't know."

But Jandaeng, who like former light heavyweight champion Roy Jones likes cock fighting, said he has ample motivation to win the belt.

"Wherever I fight, lots of people from Thailand watch me," he said. "They hope to have a champion from the south (part of Thailand). No fighter from there has ever won a title. This fight is important for the Thai people, my country, my family and for my future."

In their first encounter, Rafael Marquez dropped Mabuza with a left hook in the first round and referee Norm Budden later stopped the fight because Mabuza was cut. Budden ruled that Marquez cut Mabunda with a punch before an unintentional head butt worsened that laceration and warranted a stoppage.

Marquez announced at the Reno press conference that this would be his final fight at 118 pounds and that he would move up and "fight anyone at 122 pounds."

In other bouts:

xx-Reno's Joey Gilbert, 11-1 (8), will give up 5 pounds to 173-pound Jason Aaker, 8-4 (5), of East North Forks, N.D., and meet him in an eight-round light heavyweight bout.

Gilbert, who weighed in at 168 pounds Friday, is a former three-time national champion for the University of Nevada, gained international fame on the NBC reality show "The Contender," and is the NABO middleweight champion.

The 30-year-old Gilbert claimed the regional belt with a three-round knockout of Jimmy Lange in February. The 25-year-old Aaker has lost three of his fights by knockout and is coming off a one-round stoppage at the hands of Marcus Jones in December.

xx-Jose Berenza, 27-8-2 (25), of Mexico, will meet Jorge Lacierva, 28-6-6 (19), of Mexico, in an eight-round junior featherweight bout.

xx-Antonio Izquierdo, 13-0-1 (12), Mexico via Cuba, will face Jonathan Nelson, 13-13 (13), of Oklahoma City, Okla., in an eight-round lightweight bout. The 27-year-old Izquierdo reportedly had 368 amateur bouts as a member of the Cuban national boxing team and trains in a gym owned by former two-time world welterweight champion Jose Napoles, who was also born in Cuba and fought out of Mexico.

Napoles defeated Curtis Cokes in 1969 to win his first title and regained it in 1971 following a loss to Billy Backus. He held the belt until 1975, when he finally relinquished it for good to John Stracey. He retired with a record of 78-7 (55).

Promoter Gary Shaw said Thursday that he had signed Izquierdo, who trains at Napoles' gym in Juarez, Mexico.

xx-Wladimir Zylov, 16-0 (2), of Russia, and James Waykon, 14-4 (8), of Mound View, Minn., will meet in an eight-round welterweight match.

Gates open at 4:00 p.m., with the first bout scheduled for 4:30.

DOUBLE TROUBLE

What: Six-fight boxing card, including IBF bantamweight champion Rafael Marquez vs. Silence Mabuza and Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Terdsak Jandaeng for the vacant WBO Interim featherweight title.

Where: MontBleu Outdoor Sports Pavilion

When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday (doors open at 4)

Television: Showtime, 9 p.m. (delayed broadcast)

Ticket info: $200 (ringside), $125, $75 (box seats), $40 (bleachers). Available at MontBleu box office and concierge desk, by calling (800) 648-3353 or by logging on to [ http://www.ticketmaster.com/ ]www.ticketmaster.com or www.montbleuresort.com

JLP 6
08-07-2006, 07:25 AM
Juan is bueatiful. His combinations and timing are still impeccable. The only problem I have with him is he does not always get the proper spacing. From the begining of the fight he limited ol' buddy to one punch but, he could not get out of the way of it. Once he started firing that uppercut and following it with body work. Look, the guy has skills, bottom line. I can not wait for it to come on in demand.

If he never wins another huge event, I still olace JMM in very high reguard.