Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Juan Diaz Preview


One of boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighters goes after another world title in a new weight class as Juan Manuel Marquez clashes with IBO Lightweight champion Juan Diaz. The fight will take place in Houston, Texas, the hometown of the champion, and will be broadcast on HBO Saturday, February 28. On the televised undercard, the undefeated Chris John defends his featherweight title against Rocky Juarez.

Juan Diaz vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (IBO/WBA/WBO Lightweight Title)
Money Line: Diaz +125; Marquez -155

It’s not very often that the champion would be an underdog in his hometown but Juan Manuel Marquez is no ordinary fighter. Marquez is coming off of a TKO win over Joel Casamayor in his debut at lightweight. He’s been on a tear in his last 5 fights, which includes his narrow loss to current lb-for-lb kingpin Manny Pacquiao. Marquez can fight many different styles and has amazing resiliency. A win over Diaz would give Marquez a world title in a third weight class.

Juan Diaz is not as experienced as Juan Manuel Marquez but he’s seen more action than most 25-year-old champions. Diaz has already faced the likes of Acelino Freitas, Nate Campbell, Julio Diaz, and Michael Katsidis. He likes to brawl at times but has also shown technical prowess. Needless to say, Marquez will be his toughest test to date.

Fight Predictions

Trent: Juan Diaz has a technical boxing ability but not good enough to outwork Juan Manuel Marquez. The problem with Diaz turning the fight into a brawl is that Marquez would get the better of him there too. I’m looking forward to how the fight plays out and I expect it to be an exciting, fast-paced matchup. Both men are tough as nails so I can’t see anyone knocking the other out. I’m going to pick Juan Manuel Marquez by decision. Give it a score of 117-111.

Corey: Marquez, at age 35, is at the top of his game and has never looked better than in his last 3-4 fights, including the tough loss to Pacquiao. It is the goal of facing Pacquiao a third time that has fueled Marquez to take on arguably the best 3 fights in a row (Pacquiao, Joel Casamayor and now former three-belt holder Juan Diaz) probably since Diego Corrales fought Casamayor, Acelino Freitas and Jose Luis Castillo back to back to back. If Marquez has trouble with Diaz, it won’t be because of the 10 year age difference separating them but because Diaz is good at shortening up his punches, leaving Marquez with less room to counter than he would like. But Diaz doesn’t pack much of a punch and might have trouble getting Marquez’ respect. Look for Marquez to win on points in a fight where the rounds are highly competitive but start to look similar after a while, with Marquez closely but clearly edging most of them. I’ll say 117-111 for Marquez.

Fight odds from Bodog.com.