These next couple of Saturdays puts us in the audience of two very interesting fights coming off the weekend of “The Moment” and the Heavyweight clash of Arreola vs. Stiverne. Juan Manuel Marquez will be out on a mission to cement his shining legacy after being in the mix with the best of the best in the lightweight, light welterweight, and welterweight divisions. Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez on the other hand wants to assert his brilliance in the ring after being avoided by fighter after fighter for being a high-risk, low-reward kind of boxer. To me, these next weekends juxtapose two very similar champions that have their loyal fanbase but have an annoyingly large chip on their shoulders because they haven’t been able to receive the same limelight enjoyed by the likes of Mayweather, Pacquiao, or even the underrated Klitschkos.
To me, these two fighters have the correct ingredients to be considered as all-time greats and future hall of famers.
- Out-worldly boxing talent – Marquez’s mind and eyes are ultimately his best weapons, followed closely by his whiplash-command of his left hand, which could have a mind of its own. Maravilla’s head movement and footwork are a talent from his time in bicycling and soccer, but his intuition and awkward timing are just something that cannot be anticipated. Preparing for a fight against these guys is like training in the dark, because you’re not going to find anyone that could closely simulate these styles in sparring.
- Consistent Corner and Team – Marquez is famous for being the pride and joy of his trainer and mentor Nacho Beristain, and has never left his side since 1993 debut at Featherweight. Maravilla has been with Pablo Sarmiento since 2011, and with Gabriel Sarmiento long before that, while now training with both brothers for the Miguel Cotto fight. Teams win championships, and Marquez and Maravilla arguably have one of the best utilized partnerships in the game.
- Monk-like Daily Regimens and Mental Training – Both of these fighters are disciples of the game, with their widely publicized training regimen and the added wrinkles (we can forget about the urine-drinking for a moment) that contribute towards their game plans for a particular opponent or strategy. Their attention to their body is probably considered more understated compared to how they approach their fights: with anticipation, confidence, and most importantly, an unwavering plan. Marquez approaches his fights like a gunslinger or a swordsman picking the best weapon for a battle, with care and eagerness to utilize his vast array of tools. On the other hand, Maravilla approaches his fights like a chess game, with anticipation of secondary scenarios still playing towards his benefit, and utilization of traps and wild tempos. Watching the first round of these fighters is like just seeing the Title Screen of a movie, there’s always so much more to come.
BMB will be watching these next fights for sure, and hopefully we get to see those shining moments where these two fighters can be uttered in the same breath as all the living boxing greats.