Baby Bull Rages on, but the matador takes control
There are boxing matches and then there are boxing wars.
4am Sunday morning saw me witness an epic boxing war of immense proportions.
Manuel Marquez took on Juan 'Baby Bull' Diaz for a whole load of belts which were up for grabs tonight.
The fight took place at a full house in the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Diaz took the fight to Marquez immediately, throwing power punches from the off pretty much, and the action was the same for 6 rounds, heavy exxchanges between the 2 fighters, Diaz backing Marquez up onto the ropes and Marquez landing some sweet counter punches and Diaz relentlessly applying the pressure. The battle was epic and neither fighter showed signs of slowing down.
With Marquez constantly back peddling to the ropes it looked like he was in for a troublesome night and it would have seemed he was happy enough to operate off the back foot.
Aggressive is an understatement when describing Diaz's style, and with Marquez taken out of his comfort zone, it looked like it was going to be Diaz's fight all the way.
The 'Baby Bull' seemed to trouble Marquez in the early rounds with power punches and although Marquez could at times easily respond I had Diaz winning the first 4 rounds, Marquez pinching the fifth. There was one particular movement from Marquez which impressed me and that was with his ability to slide from off the ropes around to the left of Diaz to escape trouble. And in one particular round he spun away off the ropes behind Diaz and immediatley pressed onto him when Diaz turned around. Very quick indeed.
As the 7th and 8th rounds approached Marquez got in and pressed, and fought and dug deep against Diaz. It was then in the 8th Marquez grasped the fight and snapped a sharp left uppercut which cut Diaz and stunned him slightly. Diaz's legs were getting heavy and Marquez could sense it. Diaz was still backing Marquez into the corners but by now his sharpness was dispersing and Marquez was doing the damage. Then came the bombs, a right cross followed by a left, another right and then a left uppercut sunk Diaz to the canvas. Marquez landed with precision and power.
Diaz rose to his feet only to have Marquez take the fight to the center of the ring where he landed a sharp uppercut nearly lifting Diaz off his feet and sending him back down again.
The referee stopped the match, and Marquez claimed the IBO, WBO, and WBA Lightweight titles. Last night it was the Matador beating the bull in what could be fight of the year candidate.
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