Rafael Marquez vs Juan Manuel Lopez in September, Pending Lopez Win


Rafael Marquez has a September 18 Showtime date and a tentative deal to face Juan Manuel Lopez in Las Vegas on that date, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN. The only problem is that Lopez has a fight on July 10 against Bernabe Concepcion. Lopez not only needs to win, but needs to come out of the fight relatively unscathed. Two months is a very quick turnaround for a fighter the caliber of Rafael Marquez.

Rafael Marquez (39-5, 35 KOs) bested Israel Vazquez in the fourth, and final, fight of their series earlier this year and showed he may still have the skills that made him a two-division world champion. Marquez, 35, will be giving up nine years to the younger Lopez.

As Marquez leaves an old rivalry with Vazquez, he would be entering an even older rivalry in this proposed fight: Mexico vs. Puerto Rico. Juan Manuel Lopez (28-0, 25 KOs) is a fast-rising Puerto Rican star and should he defeat Concepcion on July 10, it would make for a huge fight in the historic rivalry.