Scorecard: Marquez was the clear winner

Dan Rafael recaps last week's notable boxing results from around the world.

Originally Published: March 19, 2007
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com


A roundup of recent notable boxing results from around the world:

Monday at Tokyo
Flyweight
Takefumi Sakata TKO3 Lorenzo Parra
Wins a vacant flyweight title.
Records: Sakata, 30-4-1, 15 KOs; Parra, 27-1
Rafael's remark: Parra was coming off a 15-month layoff because of a knee injury, and there were rumors he was having a lot of trouble getting down to 112 pounds. Sure enough, he was almost five pounds overweight at the weigh in and was stripped of his title, which he had successfully defended five times, including two majority decisions against Sakata. In their third meeting, however, Sakata, who did make weight, won with ease. He used a strong body attack in the second round and Parra, of Venezuela, was spent. When the bell starting the third round rang, Parra stayed on his stool and the fight was halted 14 seconds into the round. Sakata was eligible to win the vacant belt because he made weight. He must now face interim titlist Roberto Vasquez in his first defense.

Saturday at Las Vegas
Junior lightweight
Juan Manuel Marquez W12 Marco Antonio Barrera
Wins a junior heavyweight title.
Scores: 118-109, 116-111 (twice)
Records: Marquez, 47-3-1; Barrera, 63-5
Rafael's remark: This is what boxing is all about -- two of the best in the world giving their all with the stakes high and producing an action-packed fight that thrilled the fans.

Marquez pulled the mild upset with a terrific display as he outfought Barrera in an exciting fight. He couldn't miss Barrera with his right hand all night and deserved the decision. Perhaps the 118-109 score was a tad wide, but this was a clear-cut decision for Marquez, not the robbery that Barrera made it out to be. He should have taken his loss like a man instead of whining about it.

The controversy over the seventh round turned out to have no impact on the result of the fight whatsoever. That's just a red herring to aid Barrera's misplaced cries of 'Robbery!' Yes, referee Jay Nady clearly missed giving Barrera credit for a knockdown, but he did the right thing by taking a point from Barrera for hitting Marquez while he was down. In the end, those extra points did not matter in the final scoring. Marquez was simply the better man on this night.

Maybe we will see a rematch if Barrera decides to continue his career. Sept. 15 has already been mentioned a possible date. Barrera has said many times that he planned to retire before the end of the year. If this is the end, it's been an awesome, thrilling career, and we'll see him in the Hall of Fame the moment he is eligible.

Marquez added a building block to his own HOF resume with the biggest win of his career. He also joined little brother Rafael as a two-division champion. Rafael beat Israel Vazquez two weeks ago to win the junior featherweight title. In 2003, Juan Manuel and Rafael became champions for the first time within a two-week span. Now, they've done it again in new divisions as they continue to make their case that they are boxing's best-ever brother tandem.

If there is no rematch with Barrera, Marquez still has some exciting potential fights, including a rematch of a debatable draw with Manny Pacquiao. We'd also love to see him face Humberto Soto, who now is in the position Marquez used to be in as the guy who is terrific but nobody wants to fight.

Junior featherweight
Daniel Ponce De Leon W12 Gerry Penalosa
Scores: 120-108, 119-109 (twice)
Retains a junior featherweight title.
Records: Ponce De Leon, 31-1; Penalosa, 51-6-2
Rafael's remark: The scoring on this fight wasn't as bad as it was on the Demetrius Hopkins-Steve Forbes undercard fight because at least the judges got the winner in this one right. But how in the world can anyone score it a shutout in favor of De Leon, or even 11-1 in rounds? That's mind-boggling. We thought De Leon, 26, won a much closer fight. He probably swayed the judges with his incredible punch output, throwing 1,399 punches, the third-most in CompuBox's 22-year history of tracking fights. Still, Penalosa deserved more credit. The 35-year-old former junior bantamweight titlist took some heavy shots from the rock-throwing De Leon and landed many of his own head-snapping punches to give De Leon one of his toughest fights. The scores make it look like a wipeout. It wasn't anything of the sort.
Junior welterweight
Demetrius Hopkins W12 Steve Forbes
Scores: 118-110 (twice), 117-111
Records: Hopkins, 26-0-1; Forbes, 32-5
Rafael's remark: It's only March, but we have the probable winner for the robbery of the year. Forbes won the fight. He just didn't get the nod in one of the most horrific judging performances we've ever witnessed in person. Even if you are one of the very few who somehow thought Hopkins won, there is no possible way it is legitimate to score the fight as wide as the judges, who collectively had a bad night. There was virtual unanimity on press row that Forbes -- the clear aggressor, and the busier and more accurate fighter -- won. The crowd also had its say, loudly chanting a certain synonym for male cow excrement. Hopkins looked timid and spent most of the fight going backwards. Forbes, a former junior lightweight titlist, meanwhile, took the action to Bernard Hopkins' nephew. He beat Hopkins to the punch and worked the body extremely well, which he obviously didn't get credit for from the judges. In his first fight since he was runner-up on the second season of "The Contender," Forbes showed he can be in the junior welterweight mix. As far as we're concerned, the loss doesn't count.

Saturday at Levallois-Perret, France
Cruiserweight
Jean-Marc Mormeck W12 O'Neil Bell
Wins world cruiserweight title.
Scores: scores: 116-112, 115-113 (twice)
Records: Mormeck, 33-3; Bell, 26-2-1
Rafael's remark: In a tremendous action fight, Mormeck avenged a January 2006 loss to Bell, who had knocked him out in the 10th round in New York to join Evander Holyfield as the only undisputed champions in division history. For the rematch, they went to Mormeck's native France, where they engaged in a brawl filled with hard power punching. Thanks to Madison Square Garden Network, American fans were able to see live a worthy fight that would have otherwise relegated hardcore fans to watching it on youtube.com a few days after the fact. The first six rounds were fought at a frenetic pace and both men were on the verge of being knocked out at different times. Things slowed in the second half as both were very fatigued. The fight used open scoring -- one of the worst things ever introduced to boxing this side of the IBF -- and Mormeck knew he was ahead after eight rounds, which probably was a reason he refused to engage very often in the late going. Can anyone say "trilogy"?

Saturday at Corpus Christi, Texas
Heavyweight
Evander Holyfield TKO3 Vinny Maddalone
Records: Holyfield, 41-8-2, 27 KOs; Maddalone, 27-4
Rafael's remark: Despite a cloud hanging over him for being linked to a steroid scandal involving the sale of human growth hormone, Holyfield, 44, battered club fighter Maddalone in a bloody, one-sided fight. It was the third win in a row for the former four-time heavyweight champion since ending an almost two-year layoff following a suspension for poor performance in New York. Maddalone was taking a beating, had been dropped and was bleeding badly from a cut on his forehead in the third round when trainer Al Certo asked for it to be stopped. Holyfield was in his first fight since reuniting with original promoter Main Events and probably will fight again in June. He hopes to land another title shot before the end of the year. Given how bad today's heavyweight division is, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Holyfield get one.
Heavyweight
Calvin Brock KO1 Ralph West
Records: Brock, 30-1, 23 KOs; West, 17-11-1
Rafael's remark: In November, Brock suffered his only loss when he was drilled in the seventh round in a title challenge against formidable Wladimir Klitschko. In his return to the ring, Brock was served up the obligatory soft touch in West. Brock knocked him out with one right hand late in the opening round. With the comeback out of the way, and some of his confidence hopefully restored, Brock should be back in a meaningful fight before too long.

Bantamweight
Raul Martinez W8 Kevin Hudgins
Scores: 80-71 (twice), 79-72
Records: Martinez, 18-0; Hudgins, 5-9
Rafael's remark: Martinez, a 25-year-old prospect from San Antonio, scored a fifth-round knockdown and cruised to a lopsided decision win against an overmatched opponent. We've been waiting for Martinez to step up his competition for some time. It's time. These nonsense fights are beginning to bore us.

Saturday at Stuttgart, Germany
Heavyweight
Luan Krasniqi W12 Brian Minto
Scores: 116-111 (twice), 115-112
Records: Krasniqi, 30-2-1; Minto, 27-2, 16 KOs
Rafael's remark: In November, Minto went to Germany and defeated unretiring German hero Axel Schulz via sixth-round knockout. Minto probably shouldn't have pushed his luck by going back to Germany for a second consecutive fight. Krasniqi dropped him in the 12th round of the competitive fight to win his second in a row since losing via ninth-round TKO against then-heavyweight titlist Lamon Brewster in September 2005.
Bantamweight
Wladimir Sidorenko D12 Ricardo Cordoba
Retains a bantamweight title.
Scores: 117-111 Sidorenko, 114-114 (twice)
Records: Sidorenko, 19-0-2; Cordoba, 29-1-2
Rafael's remark: It's pretty clear that Sidorenko, of Ukraine, and Cordoba, of Panama, are pretty evenly matched. Sidorenko retained his title for the fourth time, drawing with Cordoba almost one year to the day after he retained his belt also via draw against Cordoba by virtually the same scores.

Friday at Hollywood, Fla.
Junior featherweight
Celestino Caballero TKO9 Ricardo Castillo
Retains a junior featherweight title.
Records: Caballero, 26-2, 19 KOs; Castillo, 27-4
Rafael's remark: In the Telefutura main event, Caballero, 30, made the first defense of his title against the younger brother of former lightweight champ Jose Luis Castillo. In fact, it was Jose Luis who stepped onto the ring apron in the ninth round to stop the fight to prevent his brother from taking any more punishment. Caballero, the only fighter to hang a loss on fellow titlist Daniel Ponce De Leon, was making the first defense of the belt he won in Thailand via third-round knockout against Somsak Sithchatchawal in October.

With Caballero in command, Castillo looked like he injured his leg and then tried to slam Caballero to the canvas. After the referee regained control, Jose Luis signaled for the fight to be stopped. Caballero, with his 5-foot-11 frame, good power and stiff jab, was just too much for the smaller Castillo.

Junior welterweight
Ramon Guevara TKO4 Jorge Paez Jr.
Records: Guevara, 8-11; Paez Jr., 13-1
Rafael's remark: From Day 1, Paez never impressed us, even though his handlers at Sycuan Ringside Promotions did everything in their power to make people believe he was a future star. He's not. The son of former featherweight titlist Jorge Paez has had some difficult moments in the past, but none more than this fight against Guevara, who had lost three in a row and five of six. That's why he was matched with Paez, who couldn't handle the journeyman. Guevara knocked Paez down in the fourth and then finished him with a flurry of punches for all to see on Telefutura's "Solo Boxeo." Maybe now, the press releases touting Paez will finally cease.
Heavyweight
Michael Moorer W10 Sedreck Fields
Scores: 100-88 (twice), 99-89
Records: Moorer, 49-4-1; Fields, 22-31-2
Rafael's remark: Moorer, the former two-time heavyweight champion, keeps plugging away at age 39. After a two-year retirement, Moorer won his second in a row, an easy decision against Fields, one of boxing's ultimate journeymen (who happens to own a win against current titlist Shannon Briggs). Fields took the fight on Wednesday when original opponent Crawford Grimsley withdrew because of illness. Fields had two points deducted for holding. Moorer hopes to land another big fight before retiring for good, and his manager, Adam Meyer, reportedly has offered $500,000 to Evander Holyfield to face Moorer in a rubber match.
Middleweight
Raul Marquez TKO1 Jonathan Corn
Records: Marquez, 39-3, 28 KOs; Corn, 47-17-2
Rafael's remark: In his first fight since signing with Seminole Warriors Boxing, former junior middleweight titlist Marquez, 35, won his fourth in a row since being stopped in the ninth round by Jermain Taylor in June 2004 (three fights before Taylor won the world title). Corn was coming off a second-round knockout loss to New York prospect Curtis Stevens in December. Against the vastly more experienced Marquez, Corn didn't even make it that far.

Friday at Salem, N.H.
Featherweight
Eric Aiken D10 Cruz Carvajal
Scores: 96-95 Aiken, 96-94 Carvajal, 96-96
Records: Aiken, 16-5-1; Carvajal, 28-13-2
Rafael's remark: Fighting for the first time since September, when he lost his belt to Robert Guerrero, Aiken was supposed to fight a rematch against Valdemir Pereira, the man from whom he won the belt in May 2006. However, Pereira had an inconclusive result from an unidentified medical test and was not allowed to compete. Promoter Artie Pelullo knew there might be an issue so he had former bantamweight titlist Carvajal on standby in case Pereira was unavailable. The insurance policy was a good call because the "Friday Night Fights" main event was saved when Carvajal stepped in on six hours notice and fought Aiken to a draw in an action-packed fight. Carvajal perhaps deserved a close decision, but it's hard to argue the even verdict too strenuously. We wouldn't mind seeing a rematch.

Friday at New York
Middleweight
John Duddy TD10 Anthony Bonsante
Scores: 90-81, 89-82, 88-83
Records: Duddy, 19-0; Bonsante, 29-9-3
Rafael's remark: Duddy's drawing power is amazing. The Irish hero sold out the Madison Square Garden Theater on St. Patrick's Day eve yet again, packing a largely Irish crowd in and headlining his own pay-per-view card. He's one of the best local attractions in the country and it's not hard to see why. He has a lot of charisma and fights with pure aggression. Although Duddy was dominating, his fight against the former "Contender" star came to a premature end because of an accidental head butt. It opened a cut near Bonsante's right eye in the second round and got worse in the fourth round. Bonsante showed courage to keep going, but by the ninth round the blood was getting into his eye and he couldn't see, so the fight was stopped and went to the scorecards.
Middleweight
Giovanni Lorenzo TKO3 Robert Kamya
Records: Lorenzo, 23-0, 15 KOs; Kamya, 15-7
Rafael's remark: Lorenzo, of the Dominican Republic, set up a possible showdown with main event winner John Duddy by dominating Kamya, who hadn't fought since suffering a third-round knockout at the hands of Joel "Love Child" Julio 14 months ago. This one was all Lorenzo, which should come as no surprise. He dropped Kamya in the first round and twice more in the third before the fight was finally stopped.
Middleweight
Andy Lee KO3 Carl Daniels
Records: Andy Lee, 8-0, 5 KOs; Daniels, 49-11-1
Rafael's remark: There's only one way to describe Lee's knockout: spectacular. The 22-year-old 2004 Irish Olympian dominated Daniels, 36, before putting him to sleep with a crushing right hook. The 6-foot-2 Lee knew Daniels was gone instantly because upon impact he simply turned away and raised his hand in triumph. Daniels was out cold before he hit the canvas in one of the most sensational knockouts you will ever see. Come December, this will be a KO of the year nominee. Daniels, a former junior middleweight titlist, probably needs to call it a career. He lost his seventh consecutive fight, including four by knockout, to young fighters looking only to put the name of a former beltholder on their record. Lee, who fought without trainer Emanuel Steward in his corner (because Steward was in Las Vegas handling his HBO PPV responsibilities), is one of the best prospects in boxing, and a knockout like this just gets us even more excited about his limitless potential.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.

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