Seeing as Juan Manuel Marquez had made the trip over to London for Daniel Estrada’s doomed efforts at defeating Kevin Mitchell last Saturday night, Duv Johal (@Duv16) took the rare opportunity to sit and talk with the Mexican legend. Namely regarding his compatriot Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez(44-1, 31KO’s) who will face James Kirkland(32-1, 28KO’s) on May 2nd at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
“I think Canelo is a good fighter, he’s a good Mexican fighter. Kirkland he’s a stronger guy, he’s a good fighter too but I think Canelo wins the fight.”
Canelo would have been bringing his Mexican traits, such as a blossoming body attack, into the ring against WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto(39-4, 32KO’s). Had negotiations for that fight not mysteriously come to a halt. Marquez believes this is due to Cotto’s unwillingness to face the younger, fresher man.
“Maybe this fight Canelo-Cotto, maybe it will be a great fight but Cotto, he don’t want to fight with Canelo. Maybe it’s another great fight because Cotto, he has brains because Cotto land[s] in combinations. It’s a great pro for Canelo.”
Canelo’s growing physicality would undoubtedly cause the battle-hardened Cotto problems, even though he brings his impressive arsenal of hooks to the table. I don’t think we would hear a patriotic guy like Marquez back a Puerto Rican against one of his own in any case.
The two nations share the kind of rivalry that is typically tribal in nature with both sets of fans fiercely loyal to their flag regardless of who represents them. I imagine it to like England vs. Scotland when they play each other at football(or soccer if you prefer).
Marquez enjoys a particularly raucous support from his people, who are sure to be wondering when he will step back between the ropes again.
“I love fans. I love all the Mexican people, but the most important thing is my knee my knee. The most important is my person. I’ll be back tomorrow to Mexico, and I’m going to the doctor and I understand my physical rehabilitation for my knee. I don’t know what happens in the future.”
By the time the 41-year-old comes back for his sixty-fourth bout, if he can do so, he will have been absent from competition for over a year. He is nearing the opposite end of a spectrum that young Canelo is just getting comfortable on; that of the high-level championship fights.
Canelo’s next steps will be meticulously planned out to the nth degree where circumstances allow, for he is the plump cash cow that needs to be lead towards the zenith of the sport.
Marquez’s future is vaguer and, it is a saddening admission that he himself is not sure where he goes next. He is a pleasure to watch even at this late stage in his career.