Centro de Usos Multiples, Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico– Last minute substitutes are fairly common in boxing, but never, literally, last minute substitutes. Minutes before showtime, a dispute between Zanfer promotions of Mexico and Michael Koncz of MP Promotions was settled that would allow Richie Mepranum (25-3-1, 5 KOs) to substitute for Rodel Mayol, who had pulled out of his WBA flyweight title bout on the day of the event over a dispute at the weigh-in.
According to Mayol and Koncz, Marquez had weighed two pounds over the 112 lb. limit and then, in less than five minutes, suddenly made weight. The fighter and the manager allege that Marquez and his team had manipulated the scales and that the WBA and local commission allowed it to happen in order to follow through with the bout.
Richie Mepranum, who gave Marquez his first career defeat via unanimous decision in 2010, was scheduled to fight on the undercard and was offered the chance to step in for Mayol. However, Koncz, who also represents Mepranum, refused to allow the substitute and held firm on his disapproval as the gates were just about to open. After some negotiations and, reportedly, a sweetened money offer, Koncz finally agreed and the bout was on, scheduled as a ten round non-title contest.
Marquez (33-2, 25 KOs), who had to adapt to facing a quirky southpaw instead of a brawling orthodox fighter, looked flat and seemed rushed for much of the contest, trying to load up and make an early evening for himself. Through the lunging and missing, though, Marquez did connect with some solid shots and managed to score knockdowns in both the 2nd and 7th rounds.
Mepranum fought well enough to take six of the ten rounds on The Boxing Tribune’s scorecard, but lacked the firepower and aggression to convincingly beat a Marquez fighting in his home state. His lack of effectiveness also served as a testament to Marquez’s development as a fighter in the two years since they last fought.
At the end of ten, the judges’ scorecards read: 95-93, 96-92, and 97-91 — all in favor of Marquez. The Boxing Tribune scored the bout 94-94.
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