Lopez Retains WBO Featherweight
Title In Thrilling Battle With Marquez;
Johnson Earns Super Six Semifinal With KO
Photos: Tom Casino - SHOWTIME
In the most important
fight of his career, and what may be considered by many
as a candidate for fight of the year, Juan Manuel Lopez
retained his WBO featherweight title with a technical
knockout over Rafael Marquez live on SHOWTIME® from the
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. In the
evening’s co-feature veteran boxer Glen Johnson earned
the final spot in the Super Six World Boxing Classic
Semifinals with a knockout win over Allan Green.
On Saturday night Lopez made the eighth successful
defense of his 126-pound title since 2008, with all but
one of his wins coming by way of knockout.
Lopez (30-0, 27 KOs),
who remained undefeated, stunned Marquez (39-6, 35 KOs)
in the third round which only seemed to ignite a fire in
Marquez who finished the round with a furious
Lopez seemed to be pushing the head of Marquez down
periodically. After multiple warnings referee Tony Weeks
took one point from the champion in the fourth.
In the seventh after a heated exchange of speed and
power, Lopez broke though and hurt Marquez.
In the eighth round it became apparent that Marquez’s
right hand was not as effective as it once had been.
Marquez refused to answer the bell for the ninth citing
a right shoulder injury.
In his corner, Marquez
was heard saying, “I can’t move it. I can’t move it… I
just can’t go.”
Lopez fell to his knees in the center of ring overcome
with elation and pride.
After the fight Marquez said “I was hurt before I came
into this fight but I didn’t want to postpone it again.
“ He continued, “In the third round I couldn’t even
throw punches anymore.”
Lopez had nothing but praise for Marquez after the
fight. “He’s a world champion. When you get him hurt he
is going to come right back after you.”
Saturday night was monumental for Lopez as he
established himself among boxing’s elite beating one of
boxing’s best. “We showed we are both strong guys. He is
a real champion. We enjoyed fighting each other so why
not do it again?”
Johnson, the elder of
the two by a decade, didn’t allow age to be a factor
Saturday night, coming out of the gate looking the
sharper of the two. The 31-year old Green battled
through the first few rounds as Johnson went to the body
often and used his experience to wear Green down.
In the last few seconds of the third round Johnson
stunned Green with a powerful uppercut causing Green to
stumble to his corner at the sound of the bell. The two
fighters continued to exchange at the opening of the
fourth with Green regaining his composure and scoring on
the judges’ cards.
Green, who appeared to be leaning in all night, was
knocked down to the canvas with a shot that looked
dangerously close to the back of the head. He was
counted out by referee Robert Byrd at 2:24 of the 8th
round. At the time of the knockout Green was ahead on
two of the three judges scorecards (67-66, 67-66,
“He’d been leaning that way all night,” said Johnson. “I
wanted to get close enough to land those punches. I was
patient and eventually I did just that.”
The knockout earned
Johnson three points on the Super Six World Boxing
Classic scoreboard and the final spot in the Semifinals.
Johnson is tied with Arthur Abraham in second place for
the moment but the last points-based Group Stage bout
pits Abraham against Carl Froch on Saturday, Nov. 27 on
SHOWTIME. After that the Semifinal matchups will be set.
“It’s so gratifying to win,” Johnson continued. “I have
dedicated a lot of time to this business and I have had
my ups and downs in boxing. But I never quit and I
worked for this opportunity. I intend to make the most
“I feel great at this weight. It was a lot easier to get
down than I thought. And age has nothing to do with
anything. I may fight into my 60’s.”
“I want to say that I love Allan Green like a brother.
He has a great heart. He is a great human being. My only
regret tonight is that we can’t both continue in the
Super Six tournament. We competed tonight and we left it
in the ring.