Arena Cuidad de Mexico, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico–If anyone needed further proof that Rafael Marquez (41-8, 37 KOs) was a shot fighter, his performance Saturday night against Cristian Mijares (47-6-2, 22 KOs) for the vacant WBC Silver junior featherweight title should end all discussion.
Dead-legged and slow to react, Marquez looked decent from the waist up, throwing solid punches and landing whenever Mijares allowed the fight to get up close, but he was completely useless whenever any movement was employed, often reacting to punches after they had already landed.
Mijares could hit the former two-division world champ at will and even appeared to be playing with Marquez at times. Much to his dismay, though, Marquez was able to open a nasty cut over Mijares’ right eye, a slicing cut that started above the eye and looked to run right through the bottom eyelid.
Clearly bothered by the free-flowing blood, Mijares stepped up his attack and finally put an end to the contest in the ninth, when he wobbled Marquez and trapped him against the ropes, causing the referee to step in and save the 37-year-old from further punishment.
After the bout, ringside commentator, Julio Cesar Chavez called for Marquez to finally retire.
Mijares, a 31-year-old former two-time super flyweight world champ, is now in line for a shot at Abner Mares’ WBC 122 lb. title.