It seems the worst thing to do against Juan Manuel Marquez is knock his ass down to the canvas, because when he picks himself up he’s almost unbeatable. Australian Michael Katsidis found this out on Nov. 27 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas when he decked the 37-year-old Mexican with a picture perfect left hook.
The problem was, Marquez, like he’s done several times before, got up before referee Kenny Bayless could reach double digits and then fought like a man possessed until finishing Katsidis off with some excellent, precise combinations in the ninth round.
The first two rounds were close, but Marquez had the edge. However, the tide changed dramatically with the knockdown in the third. Yet Marquez still managed to out throw and outland the challenger during the round. Still, it ended up being a 10-8 round for Katsidis.
The next five rounds featured both boxers giving and taking at a tremendous pace. Marquez caught Katsidis with a powerful right uppercut in the ninth and the tiring challenger left himself open for several hard follow-up shots that had his head snapping back and forth. Bayless did the right thing and ended the fight at the 2:14 mark. Some fans feel the brave Aussie should have been given the chance to continue, but he was clearly tiring and his face showed the marks of a brutal battle. At the time of the stoppage the scorecards read 76-75, 77-74, and 78-74 for Marquez.
The fight lived up to all of its hype, especially after the knockdown, as both men landed numerous solid shots. Their accuracy was also exceptional as Katsidis managed to land 194 of 630 punches for 30 per cent, while Marquez landed an astonishing 52 per cent as he connected on 327 of his 628 shots. Katsidis may regret not trying to finish Marquez off in the third round after the knockdown, but he said after the fight he didn’t want to rush things.
Marquez has kissed the canvas before, most notably four times against Manny Pacquiao in their two fights, which ended in a draw and a split decision win for the Filipino. Marquez was down three times in the first round in the first bout, but stormed back to even the score. The only time I recall him not being able to turn a knockdown into a motivational turning point was when Floyd Mayweather Jr. dropped him in the second round in their Sept, 2009 fight.
Marquez did give his all in that fight, but was up against a much bigger opponent and it may be a bout he now regrets taking.
With the win, Marquez holds on to the WBO and WBA lightweight titles and raises his record to 52-5-1, with 38 KOs, while the 30-year-old Katsidis drops to 27-3, with 22 KOs.
What’s next for the ageless warrior is yet to be seen, but there’s talk of a third fight with Pacquiao. This could explain Marquez’s excellent performance against Katsidis, but it may be unfair to make this claim. Marquez has been one of the best fighters of his era and doesn’t need any extra motivation to show how much heart he has.
Katsidis’ stock also rose as he showed he’s a world class fighter with good power. He shouldn’t have any problem getting more fights against big name boxers down the line, especially those who think they have the style to beat him.
In fact, why not just do it all over again? I’m sure fans would love to see a rematch between these two.