Rafael Marquez's recent resurgence was short circuited last night at MGM Grand in Las Vegas as the Mexican boxing icon was unable to come up yet another weight class and unseat WBO featherweight kingpin Juan Manuel Lopez.
Having already reigned over the bantamweights for three years and winning two of four epic bouts over Israel Vazquez, 35 year old Marquez was attempting to climb a high mountain in knocking off big-punching Puerto Rican southpaw Lopez.
But there was no Cinderella story last night at the MGM Grand as the 27 year old Lopez proved to be just too young, too strong and too fast for Marquez.
Marquez had his moments but aside from landing a hammering shot in the fourth, could not keep up with Lopez, who from the third frame on, was rocking the former multi-weight world champ, although the WBO king did lose a point in the fourth.
By the eighth, Marquez was taking heavy punishment and did not answer the bell for the ninth due to an arm injury.
Lopez sees off Marquez, running his record to 30-0 (27) and retaining the WBO featherweight trophy for the second time after retaining the WBO super bantam on five occasions.
Marquez goes to 39-6 (35), losing for only the third time over the last 10 years.
Chief support was provided by a Super Six Tournament clash that saw 41 year old former IBF light heavy champ Glen Johnson, 51-14-2 (35) return to the super middle ranks for the first time since 2000 to KO Allan Green, 29-3 (20), in the eighth round of a scheduled 12.