Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Rafael
Marquez Rescheduled For Nov. 6
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight
championship fight between undefeated titlist Juan Manuel
“JuanMa” Lopez, of Caguas, Puerto Rico, and Rafael Marquez,
of México City has been rescheduled for Saturday, Nov. 6,
live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast)
at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The 12-round championship bout, originally set for Sept. 18,
had to be rescheduled after Marquez injured his right thumb
two weeks ago.
"Fortunately, my thumb injury did not prevent me from
continuing my conditioning, including running daily,” said
Marquez, who proved his durability in an epic four fight
series with Israel Vazquez. "I am extremely grateful that my
fight with Juan Manuel Lopez was rescheduled so quickly. On
November 6, JuanMa and I have a date with destiny. I can't
Both Lopez and Marquez bring an exciting style of fighting
into the ring. Both are two-division world champions and
they boast a combined record of 68 wins with an astounding
61 knockouts, 90 percent. The impending fight is an
important crossroads fight for both men, but they are at
very different points in their careers.
The southpaw Lopez (29-0, 26 KOs) is 27-years-old and has
been fighting professionally for five years. He is a
consensus top-10 pound-for-pound fighter and is widely
considered a rising star. A win over Marquez would easily be
the most significant of his young career. Conversely,
Marquez (39-5, 35 KOs) at 35-years-old is well into the
second half of a remarkable career. He has fought in 11
world title fights in his 15 years as a pro and he is a
virtual lock for the Hall of Fame. A win over Lopez would
give him a world title in his third weight division.
“This has become the most important fight of my career,”
JunaMa, the pride of Puerto Rico, earned his first world
title by stopping defending WBO junior featherweight
champion Daniel Ponce De Leon in the first round in June
2008. After retaining the 122-pound belt five times, winning
four by knockout, he abandoned the division to challenge WBO
126-pound champion Steven Luevano on Jan. 28, 2010. Lopez
knocked out Luevano in the seventh round.
In his most recent start and lone featherweight title
defense, Lopez won his debut on SHOWTIME with an exciting
second-round TKO over Bernabe Concepcion on July 10 in
Lopez dropped Concepcion in the first minute of the opening
round, but Concepcion rallied to score a knockdown at the
conclusion of the session. Lopez floored Concepcion twice in
the second before the referee halted matters at 2:37.
“I’m 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,’’ Lopez said. “It will be the
biggest fight of my career.”
It will be the first fight for Marquez, a former
International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight champion,
since he evened the score with Vazquez at two wins apiece
with a dominant third-round knockout last May 22. The fourth
encounter of perhaps this era’s greatest boxing rivalry was
fought at featherweight; the initial three were at super
bantamweight (122 pounds).
The second and third installments between Marquez and
Vazquez were named Fight of the Year in 2007 and 2008,
respectively, by The Ring.
Besides Vazquez, Marquez boasts victories over world
champions Tim Austin, Mauricio Pastrana and Mark “Too
Sharp‘’ Johnson (twice each). After he ended the six-year
reign of the previously unbeaten Austin with an upset
eighth-round knockout in February 2003, Marquez successfully
defended the title seven times before moving up in weight to
face Vazquez the first time in March 2007.
If successful against Lopez, Rafael and brother Juan Manuel
will become the first siblings to win world titles in three
different weight classes.
Tickets, priced at $400, $300, $200, $100 and $50, are on
sale at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s
Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino.), by phone with a
major credit card, at (800) 745-3000 and online
www.mgmgrand.com and www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets are
limited to eight per person.
The world title fight will be promoted by Top Rank, Inc., in
association with PR Best Boxing, Zanfer Promotions and Gary