Las Vegas, Nevada– Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 37KOs) re-established himself as a pound for pound player by teaching Juan Diaz (35-4, 17KOs) a few things about tactical boxing in the main event of their pay-per-view rematch Saturday night.
Hardly resembling their back and forth, Fight of the Year war from 2009, this bout featured a more subdued Diaz who was never really willing to get inside and engage Marquez. Content with boxing from the outside, Diaz was clearly overmatched at a long-range tactical battle as he dropped nine of the first ten rounds.
As a result of the decision of Diaz to avoid rushing Marquez, he absorbed less punishment from Marquez’s sharp counters, but he also took away the one aspect of his game that caused problems for Marquez in their first encounter.
The vast majority of the fight was similar– Diaz on the outside and Marquez throwing whenever Diaz presented the opportunity. At no point did Marquez look like a tired 36, but Diaz, with four losses of his last six fights, was definitely looking like a weary 26-year old.
The judges’ scorecards reflected Marquez’s performance: 116-112, 118-110 and 117-111 for Juan Manuel. The Boxing Tribune also scored it 118-110 for Marquez.
On the rock-solid undercard: Dmitry Pirog (17-0, 14KOs) shocked the world by knocking out well-regarded prospect, Daniel Jacobs (20-1, 17KOs) in five rounds for the vacant WBO middleweight title.
From the opening bell it was obvious that Jacobs knew little about the tricky Pirog and had prepared poorly for what he was about to face.
The Russian, Pirog, utilized awkward movement and a steady work rate from the opening bell, taking everyone by surprise and nearly dropping his opponent in the second. Jacobs seemed to be recovering and adapting to Pirog’s style when he was caught flush in the fifth and knocked down hard.
Jacobs woke up as the ref was counting, but the fight was waved off already by the time he started to get up. The end came at the :57 mark of the fifth.
The Robert Guerrero-Joel Casamayor had to be the disappointment of the evening as Guerrero (26-1-1, 18KOs) simply wouldn’t provide enough pressure on the crafty Cuban to end the fight despite Casamayor (37-5-1, 22KOs) having no legs underneath him.
The 39-year old Casamayor was wobbled several times throughout the bout and offered little in the way of real offense, but Guerrero stuck to his script and was content on winning lackluster rounds by fighting tepidly on the outside.
Guerrero scored an official knockdown in the second after having a point deducted from him earlier in the same round.
The only real excitement in the bout came in the tenth and final round when the Cuban knocked Guerrero down with a stiff jab. But it was too little, too late and it probably only served to encourage a completely shot Casamayor to keep on fighting.
The televised opener featured Rocky Juarez (28-7-1, 20KOs) and Jorge Linares (29-1, 18KOs) in a tactical boxing match where Linares proved to be just too good and too sharp for Juarez. Despite a late surge from Juarez, the bout was all Linares and the judges’ scorecards reflected that: 99-90, 97-92 and 99-90. Linares also got the nod from The Boxing Tribune, 98-91.
Linares scored a knockdown in the fifth when Juarez hit the canvas from a delayed reaction to a Linares uppercut.
In the end, the judges got it right: 98-879, 98-89 and 97-90 for Guerrero. The Boxing Tribune also scored it 98-89 for Guerrero.
In the non pay-per-view portion of the card:
In an IBF super middleweight title eliminator, Sakio Bika (28-4-2, 19 KOs) lost a fight he was clearly on his way to winning easily by hitting Jean Paul Mendy (29-0-1, 16 KOs) while Mendy already had a knee on the canvas from a legit knockdown. So, instead of the KO1, Bika has to settle for a DQ loss.
Frankie Gomez (5-0, 5 KOs) blasted away a ridiculously overmatched Ronald Peterson (2-3, 2 KOs) in one round.
British super middleweight prospect, George Groves (10-0, 8 KOs), beat Alfredo Contreras (11-8-1, 5 KOs) via 6th round TKO.
Golden Boy Heavyweight prospect, Seth Mitchell (18-0-1, 12 KOs) blew Derek Bryant (20-6-1, 17 KOs) away in 1:45 of the first round.