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Diaz vs. Marquez Fight Preview

On Saturday Juan Diaz and Juan Manuel Marquez will resume pleasantries in a rematch of 2009’s Fight of the Year. In that epic, back-and-forth battle, Marquez eventually came out on top, scoring a ninth-round TKO.

Understandably, Diaz is the underdog as he attempts to avenge last year’s defeat. Most sportsbooks have him at about +300, versus roughly -400 on average for Marquez.

The theme of the night is definitely redemption as both fighters attempt to rebound from losses.

Marquez (50-5-1, 37 KOs) bit off more than he could chew in his last outing, receiving an epic payday but jumping up in weight class and fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. as a major underdog. The defeat was one to remember (or forget) for Marquez; he couldn’t make up for his size disadvantage and was soundly beaten in a unanimous decision. It was arguably Marquez’s toughest, most draining defeat.

WBO/WBA Super World lightweight Championship at Bodog

-450 Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez
+300 Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz

Total Rounds - Juan Manuel Marquez vs Juan Diaz at Bodog

11½ (-125) Over Rounds
11½ (-115) Under Rounds

Diaz (35-3, 17 KOs)’s last bout was another rematch – against Paulie Malignaggi. He couldn’t keep up with the New Yorker’s finesse and wound up clearly outboxed. The main problem most pundits noticed watching the bout was that Diaz lacked the same fire and desire he showed in his legendary first bout against Marquez. More on that later.

The question on every fight fan and bettor’s mind is whether or not Juan Diaz has evolved since his first loss to Marquez. He’s 11 years Marquez’s junior so, in theory, Diaz should have a chance of wearing him down should the fight reach the deep rounds. To really have a shot, however, he’ll have to find a way to do more damage.

Diaz has traditionally been known as a solid defensive fighter but he’s not a punisher offensively. He needs to hurt the tough-as-nails Marquez early and often if he wants any chance of tiring him out.

The first time they fought, Diaz certainly went after Marquez. He attacked him with a feverish flurry of punches over the first several rounds, pushing the WBA and WBO lightweight champion back on his heels. But the wily Marquez found a way to weather that storm and avoid taking too many devastating shots.

Marquez is definitely considered the superior fighter, even at 37 years of age. Most fight experts consider him the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world not named Pacquiao (who also beat him) or Mayweather. He’s more experienced, he’s more technical with his punches, and he’s better equipped for a war.

The first Diaz/Marquez fight was particularly demoralizing for Diaz. Imagine fighting an elite opponent, putting on the performance of your life, and still losing. That’s what Juan Diaz experienced. No matter how much he brought the crowd to its feet, his best effort wasn’t good enough to defeat Marquez. It’s tough to imagine Diaz matching the effort and passion he showed the first time, so most bettors believe Marquez to win again is the safe bet.

Don’t be surprised if this bout ends in another TKO or corner stoppage. Diaz will likely have to put himself in harm’s way time and time again, just as he did the first time around. Marquez, the better schemer, just has to sit back, wait for openings and pop Diaz with straight punches until cuts and/or swelling become a major problem for Diaz’s corner.