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Marquez-Valero signed for October!
June 1, 2011, The Boxing Tribune – In a major announcement earlier today, promoter Bob Arum announced that former WBC lightweight champion Edwin Valero will meet lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez in October. The bout will be contested for Marquez WBO, WBA and RING Magazine lightweight titles.
It will be the first time in over year that Valero will fight as a lightweight, his last two bouts being in the junior welterweight division. He had moved up in weight in hopes of landing a mega fight with pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao, but with Manny moving up even higher in weight the possibility of that fight being made becomes less as time goes on.
A Marquez-Valero bout seems a natural step. Both fighters are fan favorites in South America, and though Marquez is more well known to American fans, Valero has been making some noise in the States with his recent wins over Ricky Hatton in the U.K. and more recently Paul Malignaggi in Atlantinc City. It’s a classic match up of the aggressive power puncher vs. the slick counter punching tactician.
The bout is set to take place in October at the legendary Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, the same arena where over 100,000 fans turned out to see Julio Cesar Chavez brutalize Greg Haugen in 1993. Attendance figures are expected to easily reach the same numbers if not exceed them.
Showtime has announced that it will be broadcasting the fight live, and a 360 series is also being planned to promote the bout as well as a “Staredown” episode between the two fighters.
31 and “Juan”: Marquez first to defeat “El Inca” in Mexico City!
October 28, 2011, Mexico City, The Boxing Tribune – Well over 100,000 fight fans turned out earlier tonight to see Juan Manuel Marquez put his lightweight titles on the line at Azteca Stadium against perhaps the most feared puncher in the division, the undefeated Edwin “El Inca” Valero. Not only did those fans leave happy, but they left with memories of a fight that will be talked of for years to come as one of the most brutal and entertaining fights in ring history. Seriously, it was THAT good.
The (formerly) undefeated Valero was making a return to the lightweight division after a year among the junior welterweights, trying unsuccessfully to land a bout with Manny Pacquiao. As Pacquiao moved up in weight further, Marquez stepped up and offered Valero the biggest opportunity he’s seen thus far and Valero dropped back down a few pound to accept the challenge. Marquez put all three of his lightweight championships at stake for this fight, and Valero was putting his undefeated record up in return. It was the technician vs. the power puncher, a great match up on paper and an even better one in reality. It was an incredible bout, non stop action from the start, and just as it seemed one fighter was gaining a foothold the other would come back. A complete back and forth battle throughout. One guy may have walked away with the victory but neither fighter lost.
The Boxing Tribune’s blow by blow man provided us with a round by round report of the action right from the opening bell:
Marquez looks hesitant and uncomfortable at the start. Valero comes out quick and aggressive, and is putting Marquez on the defensive. Valero is landing solid body shots, though his head shots aren’t connecting solid. After Marquez works the action back to ring center, he launches and overhand right that Valero slips, Valero counters with a cross that stuns Marquez. Valero lands two more shots clean and Marquez goes down! Up at the count of nine, Marquez looks shaken but manages to cover up and Valero rushes in, but he’s reckless and can’t land anything clean. Marquez makes it out of the round with out any further damage.
Marquez looks like a different fighter this round. He’s countering effectively and slipping most of what Valero’s throwing. Marquez is being economical with his punches, but what he’s throwing is landing clean. Close to round end, Marquez is put off balance but a strong jab from Valero, but Juan returns a straight right that wobbles Valero. The round ends before Marquez can land anything more.
Marquez is in full control this round, Valero is standing right in front of him and getting nailed with everything Marquez is throwing. Entering the final minute of the round, Valero lands a crushing hook that buckles Marquez’s knees and sends him staggering across the ring. Valero chases him down and lands another hook that snaps Marquez’s head back, he’s in serious trouble now and another few punches could have him on the canvas again but the round comes to an end. Marquez’s left eye is starting to swell and he’s breathing heavily.
Marquez is an amazing fighter; he comes out at the start of the round looking fresh as if he hasn’t taken a punch yet. Aside from the swelling eye you’d never know this guy was in a fight. The two trade hard shots for the first minute, but nothing too damaging until Valero once again lands a brutal hook that dazes Marquez. Valero follows up with another hook to the head and a few body shots for good measure. Marquez is hurt again, and any lesser man would have been finished by this point but Marquez is still hanging in there, though he’s taking a real beating in the process. Valero lands another hook at the bell.
As he did in the previous rounds, Marquez comes out looking refreshed, he’s landing good punches at the start, but an uppercut from Valero at mid-round causes a bad gash just on the outside of Marquez’s left eye brow. The cut is bleeding so much that the referee strops the action and calls for the ringside doctor to take a look. After some looking, it seems the cut isn’t as bad as initially thought and the bout is being allowed to continue. The cut must have cause a sense of urgency on Marquez’s part because he’s all over Valero and the slipping and countering is out the window. Amazingly, Marquez is out slugging Valero! A hook the head and a follow up to the body has Valero favoring his ribs now and suddenly his eye is nearly swollen shut. Valero backs to the corner and Marquez gives chase, the rounds ends as Valero throws a wild bomb of a hook that lands clean but Marquez isn’t hurt this time, though his left eye is swelling quite a bit now.
This round starts slow, but a minute in Marquez draws blood, literally. A hook that stuns Valero is followed up with a straight right that cuts Valero over the right eye. The cut isn’t a bad one, but still not a good thing added to the swelling. Marquez is attacking the body now and strays low, he loses a point for his efforts but that doesn’t deter him from jumping right back on Valero’s midsection. This round is all Marquez and it looks like Valero has just about shut down, he’s not throwing anything in return. Just as the round is coming to a close, Valero shocks the crowd by dropping Marquez with a short right. Marquez is up at the count of two and doesn’t look hurt, but the knockdown may have allowed Valero to steal the round with one punch.
Once again, this fight seems to defy logic. Valero comes out swinging; he’s all over Marquez just as he was in round one. He’s seems to have caught Marquez by surprise, he’s landing clean, hard punches to the body and head. Marquez can’t find his rhythm, and is hurt to the body by a Valero hook. Marquez turns the round around again with a hook to the jaw, now Valero’s hurt! These guys are really going at it. Marquez lands a flurry of punches and Valero’s cut is open and bleeding again. This time Valero is bothered by the cut and keeps pawing at it, enough so that the referee calls the doctor to the ring for the second time in this fight, but to look at Valero’s wounds this time. Again, the doctor allows the fight to continue. Valero really looks shot now and is doing all he can to keep Marquez off of him. Marquez lands another volley and Valero’s cut is opened for the second time this round. The doctor is earning his pay tonight; he’s called up the ring apron again to check on Valero but gives the ok for the fight to go on. The round ends to standing applause.
Valero’s cut is still bleeding, his eye is swollen and Marquez’s left eye is swollen just as bad. The two are trading shots from the bell, both landing as good as they’re giving. Valero staggers Marquez with a hook, but misses the follow up shot to which Marquez counters and seriously hurts Valero. Another shot puts Valero down! Edwin Valero has been dropped and is struggling to get up, this could be the fight right here…no. Valero is up at seven but he’s out of it. There’s still a minute and a half left in the round, but Valero is managing to keep Marquez away and avoiding the big shots. The crowd is on its feet again as the round ends and the fighters go back to their corners.
Marquez lands three consecutive punches to Valero’s head and immediately, the cut reopened again. Before Valero can even return a punch, he’s being pulled to the ropes to see the doctor for the third time. This is taking a little longer than the previous visits…Valero is waving his arms around and saying something to the doctor, he doesn’t look happy…that’s it! The referee is waving the fight off; despite Valero’s protests the doctor has called for the referee to stop the bout. Juan Manuel Marquez has won the bout by ninth round TKO and retained his WBO, WBA, and RING Magazine titles. Edwin Valero has been beaten for the first time in one of the greatest matches in recent boxing history.
Scores at the time of the stoppage were 77-72, and 75-74 twice, all in favor of Edwin Valero.
Both fighters were gracious and respectful of each other during the post fight interviews. “I knew I could continue”, said Valero. I was ready to knock him out; I was going to put him down again. What can I say? He is a great Champion, which is why I came back to fight him, but I was going to win.” When asked about a possible rematch with Marquez (or if he would climb back up in weight to chase Manny some more), Valero said “I’ll fight anyone my managers tell me too. Weight doesn’t matter, whoever they say is who I will fight”.
Marquez was more direct regarding a rematch, “Yes, absolutely I will fight him again. He’s very tough, but I want the best and will fight him again in my next fight if that is what he wants. He hits very hard, and yes, he had me hurt but my heart is too strong. He’s a tough fighter”.
So now the question remains, where does Edwin Valero go from here? He’s still in search of the big money showdown with Manny Pacquiao and his performance here won’t hurt him one bit. The trick is getting Pacquiao to stick around in one weight division long enough to Valero to fight him. While Valero claims to have no issues with weight regarding that bout, there’s only so far a guy can climb.
For now, Valero (31-1, 29 KO’s) needs time to recover mentally and physically, and Juan Manuel Marquez needs time to enjoy his hard earned victory and enjoy being the first man to defeat “El Inca”.
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