If WBC lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez’s decision was to face Colombian southpaw Likar Ramos in a tuneup fight instead of former champion David Diaz, he made a terrible miscalculation.
Most fight fans, including ourselves, expected the fight to last at least six rounds so Marquez could have gotten rid of any ring rust and perfected his timing and counterpunching prowess in preparation for his trilogy with pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on Nov. 12.
But the Colombian patsy caught one right straight and went down and remained on the canvas as though he was truly hurt (See story below).
No doubt he was, but watching the fight on ABC 5 immediately raised the question of whether Ramos merely decided to stay down, collect his purse and go home to Colombia.
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There were even insinuations that it was a fix but that isn’t fair to Marquez or even to Ramos.
If ever there was a “fix,” it was in the choice of Ramos who, in February 2010, had been knocked out in the seventh round by lanky Jorge Solis, who himself was bludgeoned by a half-trained Pacquiao some years ago.
If the intention of Marquez was actually to get a mere gym-type workout and to score what seemed like an impressive victory to try and use it as a psychological ploy against Pacquiao and to scare the “Fighter of the Decade,” he’s got to be out of his mind.
Nobody scares Pacquiao as he has proven on so many occasions in the past.
As his strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza pointed out in a conversation we had with him after the fight, kids normally have no fear, that’s why they are unafraid to climb trees and do difficult things. But when they grow older, the fear factor sneaks in.
As Ariza emphasized, Pacquiao never had any fear, not as a kid and not now. It’s impossible to even try to scare him.
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However, if it’s designed to build the inner confidence of Marquez, who will have to move up to fight Pacquiao at the catch weight of 144 pounds, it may help. Once he steps into the ring, though, we believe his confidence will dissipate as Manny catches him with devastating punches.
The knockout may add a little in terms of interest in the fight, as far as Mexican and Marquez diehards are concerned, but the knowledgeable boxing fans won’t bite.
What this all means is that either way, Marquez’ tuneup fight or his effort to try and scare Pacquiao or at least make him wary—if that was the intention in fighting a far less skilled boxer who looked more like a small-time club fighter—has failed. But, we must give Marquez credit for his effort.