Arthur Abraham completely overwhelmed Raul Marquez Saturday, employing the vaunted “vastly superior in every measurable physical trait that matters in boxing” method to score a technical knockout win in a defense of his middleweight (160 lbs.) title belt.
I thought Marquez might make a passable account of himself, simply
because he has big-time guts and never stops attacking, but he really
only could land some nice body blows thanks to Abraham’s high
gloves/turtle shell-style defense. And the ones Marquez landed, Abraham
mocked him for landing and invited him to do it again. Sometimes
fighters do that when they’ve been hurt, but Abraham didn’t have the appearance of someone pretending.
And in the meantime, Abraham was landing hellacious shots. Really nasty
stuff, from uppercuts to hooks with either hand to an especially
punishing jab, all delivered fast and hard. Marquez out-hustled Abraham
for one round, but the remaining five were displays of how easy Abraham
could make it if he moderately exerted himself.
I was a little fuzzy on whether Marquez quit before the start of the
6th round, or if the referee stopped it for him — it sounds more like
the former — but it’s academic. It was only a question of how much
longer the beating was going to last before Marquez got knocked out, so
bless whoever saved him, be it himself or the ref. We may have been
robbed of a dramatic ending, but I didn’t want to see Marquez get
pounded on for more than another round anyway.
Next for the winner: Over in Germany, the buzz is only about a
possible all-Deutschland fight between Abraham and Felix Sturm. It’s a
huge money fight over there and couldn’t blame both men for taking it.
It’s also a very legit fight, given that they’re two of the top three
men in the divsion. I do hope that we don’t lose out on Abraham against
the division’s #1 man, Kelly Pavlik, which is a fight I’m still thirsty
for despite Pavlik’s recent loss at 170 pounds against Bernard Hopkins.
Abraham has numerous impressive mid-level wins, and looks like the real
deal, but he doesn’t have one of those career-defining victories that
warrants me considering him among the sport’s most upper-crust
elite quite yet. Some have him there already. But I think he’s
definitely knocking on the door, and beating Sturm and/or Pavlik would
go a long, long way toward busting through it.
Next for the loser: Retirement, it seems. Marquez’ comeback from
a loss to Jermain Taylor was a very heart-warming one, but heart, as
Marquez no doubt knows from both the Taylor loss and this one, isn’t
the only determining factor when facing athletic specimens that are far
out of one’s league. Maybe at his size he’d be more effective at 154,
but he’d run into the same athletic deficit problem there against the
top guys in the division, and he’s 37, so that ain’t gonna get any
better. My understanding is that he’s a boxing commentator of some
skill, so he’s got another career lined up if money’s what he’s after.
wife girlfriend is in the running for “hottest boxing wife significant other,” along with
Antonio Tarver’s and a few others. There’s some consolation in that, I