Fighter of the Month:
Juan Manuel Marquez– A lot has been said about fighters who can neutralize their opponents’ strengths and pick them apart, but what about a fighter who destroys a world class foe who is absolutely executing his own game plan? That’s what Juan Manuel Marquez did against Juan Diaz on the 28th when he walked into Diaz’s hometown of Houston and beat down a motivated “Baby Bull” who showed up in top form.
Despite some rough moments in the beginning, Marquez slowly took control of the fight and showed that technical proficiency will always trump blind aggression as he beat down Diaz until he put him away in the 9th.
Marquez is perfect-perfect in his execution of the classic Mexican style and probably the finest practitioner of that style since Ricardo “Finito” Lopez.
Next up for Marquez is hopefully a much-needed rematch with Pacquiao or a bout with Nate Campbell. Whoever he fights, we will be rewarded with text-book technique and a professional work ethic that restores a true fight fan’s faith in the sport.
Bum of the Month:
The State of Florida– Ok, not the entire state of Florida, just the commission and officials that botched almost the entire Valentine’s Day card with weird and inept decisions and the fans in the Bank Atlantic Center who decided to boo and chant “booooring” before even giving the fights a chance to develop.
The craziness began and was best represented when referee Frank Santore Jr counted out Kermit Cintron in his bout with Sergio Martinez and, in a history-making move, somehow overturned his own 10 count, cancelled his call to end the bout and allowed the fight to go one, providing Cintron a chance to recover from a clearly legal punch (and not the headbutt that Kermit alleged). So, the fight goes on and a puzzled, pissed-off and off-kilter Martinez allows Cintron to have his best moments of the fight.
But no need to worry, right? Martinez was well-ahead and had nothing to fear. Wrong! In came judges Ged O’Connor and Peter Trematerra with the assist and scored the fight a draw! The end result was a Majority Draw in a bout that Martinez clearly won.
The crazy judging (there was some controversy in the Campbell/Funeka fight as well), inept ref work and general small-time way the show was handled was highlighted by the boos of a public who clearly wouldn’t know the difference between a left hook and a fish hook.
Clean up your act, Florida, if you want the nation to stop thinking of you as hillbillies with sun tans.
The BTBC Thread of the Month:
2/10/09: Margarito’s D-Day
This thread had it all- speculation before the California State Athletic Commision hearing and then the brutal reactions following the guilty verdict.