Tonight we will see two experienced veterans, Rafael Marquez (41-7-0 37 KO's) and Cristian Mijares (46-6-2 21 KO's) face off in a Mexican super-fight. This bout is a clear final opportunity at glory for both, and both men will be primed as ever to take advantage of it. The WBC's Silver super bantam title strap will be on the line.
Rafael Marquez, age 37, needs the win. He knocked out journeyman Eric Aiken impressively in one round last time out but in his last major fight before that, Japan's Toshiaki Nishioka outfought him and took away title hopes yet again.
If Marquez was to drop this fight against Mijares, his world class career would be nearly obliterated and hopes for another world title shot would be very unlikely also.
Marquez is an extremely fun and tough fighter to watch. His four wars with Israel Vazquez were some of the best I have seen throughout boxing history.
Mijares, who is the slightly younger man, is a fan favorite too. He had beaten many world class guys, unified the Super Flyweight titles and touched the top 20 on most expert's pound-for-pound lists when he met hard hitting Armenian Vic Darchinyan, who dominated and finished him in nine, ruining the six year unbeaten run of Mijares and sending him into back-to-back losses against the awkward Nehomar Cermano.
After defeating such top fighters in the pro game like Jorge Arce, Alexander Munoz and Tomas Rojas with ease, Mijares looked to be done after those three straight losses. He considered retirement but instead moved up two weight classes, where he currently is having a solid run at Super Bantamweight.
So, looking at that, you must say that Mijares also desperately needs this win to tell fans he is truly hungry, and ready for a Super Bantamweight title clash, maybe with Nonito Donaire, which was discussed in early 2012.
Now that we have discussed the importance of this bout, you must know how either man can get the win.
First off, Mijares has solid hand speed. He has lugged it up in weight a bit too, and at Marquez's age, that could play as a massive factor for him to get the victory. Mijares must work his jab and stay extremely active over the entire 12 rounds, as he is not a knock-out puncher. He must outwork Marquez and drain him down.
Marquez's strategy is clear cut - don't box with Mijares; this guy is a southpaw, you are orthodox. The tactic for this fight is in boxing for dummies. Marquez is slightly more experienced, more powerful at the weight and is the brother of right hand expert Juan Manuel Marquez.
Rafael must throw that right hand counter whenever Mijares walks in. As his brother Juan proved a million times against Manny Pacquiao, the right hand is the ultimate kryptonite against all left-handers.
Basically, I'll say this will be the pace. Much like Pacquiao against Marquez, Mijares will impress judges by throwing much more while many educated fans may favor the excellent flush counter shots by the older Marquez. That is, of course, if Marquez doesn't go all out and stays nice and pacient as hoped.
In the end, I can see one of two things happening. One would be Mijares just outboxing the gutsy warrior Marquez, who will likely be fighting toe-to-toe and often run out of gas in the fight or possibly Marquez will be fighting smart like the older and more experienced fighter he is, and maybe stopping Mijares late with the right hands.
Either way, expect a fun battle in the TV Azteca televised main event from Mexico City, Mexico.