Boxing weekend review: Marquez beats Concepcion
We look back at the best of the weekend's boxing, including Hernan Marquez's defeat of Luis Concepcion
Boxer of the weekend
Hernan Marquez. Defending his WBA flyweight title in a rematch against Luis Concepcion on Saturday night in Hermosillo, Mexico, Marquez won via a knockout victory. However, instead of an 11-round thriller like their first bout, Marquez totally overwhelmed his opponent, knocking him down three times in the first round. The first knockdown came from a big right hand, forcing Concepcion to take an eight count – but he got right back up and was again floored seconds later with a right hook. Almost immediately he was up once more, this time being floored even more quickly with a straight left to the chin. After the third knockdown, the referee did not even start the 10-count, immediately calling off the fight. The victory was Marquez’s second successful defence of his title and improved his record to 32 wins, 25 by knockout, and two losses. At 23, Marquez has accomplished a lot in his short career already, and has the possibility of big fights in the future, especially against long time division champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. If this bout was made, it would be the most significant in the flyweight division since Manny Pacquiao fought at the weight.
Fight of the weekend
Moruti Mthalane v Andrea Sarritzu. In Cagliari, Italy on Friday night, IBF flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane beat Italian Andrea Sarritzu via a seventh-round knockout. The bout started slowly, with both fighters working each other’s styles out – but Mthalane soon began to dominate proceedings. The title holder forced the Italian to dance around the ring avoiding his punches but was landing significant blows and decent combinations in the third and fifth round. Sarritzu began to attack in the fifth round, using his jab to push Mthalane back and try and land more significant blows, but the South African was too strong and consistent with his left hook, stopping the fight in the seventh round. It was an entertaining fight while it lasted and it was good to see boxing in front of a large crowd in Italy, where the sport has declined in popularity in recent years.
Knockout of the weekend
Eloy Perez. The previously light hitting Perez has once again punched his way into this column, this time against Ira Terry on Friday night in Salinas, California. Perez started off the slower but as the fight progressed he began to dominate, chasing his opponent around the ring and throwing powerful left hooks. Terry was, by the fourth and fifth rounds, doing just enough to prevent the referee from stopping the fight. The stoppage eventually came in the sixth round, with the two boxers exchanging punches as Terry became increasingly frustrated, Perez landing a straight right that hurt his opponent, forcing the referee to stop the fight. Perez improved his record to 23 wins, seven by knockout, and two losses – but most significantly he has stopped his last two opponents and appears to be turning into at least a respectable hitter. With his next opponent rumoured to be undefeated American Adrien Broner, Perez will need all the punching power he can get.
Decision of the weekend
Frankie Gavin. On Friday night in Manchester, former world amateur champion, Frankie Gavin was scheduled to fight Frank Horta. Instead, Gavin went missing during the day on Friday, to the bewilderment of his promoter Frank Warren: “He’s just gone. It’s total madness. Between him and Kevin Mitchell. I said to Jimmy Tibbs, what do you put in the water down there? It’s things like this where boxing really doesn’t help itself.” Gavin had the opportunity to show his skills in front of a large audience and remind the boxing world that he is still out there. Now he is left in a very precarious position. At the age of 26, Gavin should be challenging for domestic honours at the very least, and talking about moving up to European and eventually world level, like fellow Olympian James DeGale. Instead there are doubts about his professional career and his commitment to the sport. With 11 professional fights against mediocre opposition, the undefeated Gavin can still be a success but he needs to work hard at the sport and actually get in the ring. So many boxers lose the best years of their careers because they don’t fight. Hopefully Gavin does not add himself to that list.