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Juan Manuel Marquez and Michael Katsidis go to War in Las Vegas

By Edgar Solorzano (At Ringside)

Last night, two different warriors, from two different continents fought a classic battle at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Juan Manuel Marquez, 52-1-5, 38 KO’s, retained his lightweight world title against Michael “The Great” Katsidis, 27-3, 22 KO’s, with an exciting 9th round TKO.

The fight started pretty even and interesting in the first two rounds, as both fighters were trading punches and trying to figure out their styles. It was in the third round when “The Great” Katsidis shocked the arena by scoring an explosive knock down against Marquez.

The “Dinamita” Marquez wasted no time and continued to fight strong as if it was the 1st round of the fight. The knock down motivated Marquez to fight with everything he had, as if it were his last war in the square circle. Later in the 6th and 7th round Juan Manuel Marquez and Michael Katsidis continued to trade punches, like one of those fictional Rocky Balboa fights. Michael Katsidis was fading little by little as the minutes and rounds were going by; till the 9th round when he started taking all the punishment and wouldn’t surrender Scarface style. Marquez was landing plenty of good combinations and hurting Katsidis bad enough for the referee to stop the fight.

After the fight, Marquez called out the Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao, asking for a third fight. Juan Manuel Marquez truly believes he deserves a third fight against Pacquiao, and that the Pac-Man is ducking him.

It was at the post fight press conference when Marquez stressed, “Pacquiao doesn’t want to fight me, he’s trying to avoid me.” One of the press told Marquez that Freddie Roach told a reliable source that if Marquez vs. Pacquiao happens, it would be at 147 pounds. Marquez replied and said, “they’re making excuses, they are trying to find excuses to not fight me, I believe they are scared, why should I fight Pacquiao at 147 pounds when he weighs in at around 144 pounds at the Margarito fight.” Marquez later took off his sweater to show the custom shirt he was wearing. The shirt read “I beat Manny Pacquiao twice.”

Although Marquez continues to show us what a great warrior he is, people still wonder if he can still compete against the new Pacquiao that’s won 8 world titles. Whether Juan Manuel Marquez can or can’t handle the Pac-Man, he truly deserves a third fight. If a guy like Margarito got a fight with Pacquiao, so why can’t Marquez get the same chance? We will just have to wait and find out what Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum has to say about the chances of a Pacquiao vs. Marquez trilogy.

In the supporting bout, WBC Welterweight Champion, Andre Berto, 27-0, 21 KO’s, wasted no time in stopping Freddy Hernandez, 29-2, 20 KO’s. Hernandez followed Berto around the ring, trying to corner him, when a booming right hand came over the top and broke through his defense and put Hernandez down. A wobbly challenger arose and the referee called a halt to it at 2 minutes and 7 seconds of the very first round.

Jason Litzau, 27-2, 21 KO’s, pulled a major upset, outpointing Celestino Caballero, 34-2, 23 KO’s, over ten rounds, winning a split decision and shocking the boxing world. Walter Estrada, 37-13-1, 25 KO’s, pulled a slight upset taking a split decision over Nate Campbell, 33-6-1, 25 KO’s.

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