Marquez vs. Diaz Awarded Fight of the Year

Lorne ScogginsCorrespondent IFebruary 3, 2010

LAS VEGAS - SEPTEMBER 16:  Boxer Juan Manuel Marquez appears during the final news conference for his bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino September 16, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two will fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 19 in Las Vegas.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

It was announced on Tuesday by Boxing Press that the Boxing Writers Association of America has voted Marquez vs. Diaz as the winner of the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier Fight of the Year for 2009.

On Feb. 28, boxing fans were treated to an epic battle between a talented and exuberant young pressure fighter and a seasoned counter-punching veteran.

The fight turned into a bona fide slugfest that will be replayed on classic sports networks for years to come.

The combination of styles between the two fighters couldn’t have meshed more perfectly: Marquez loves a boxer who will bring the fight to him, and for much of the fight Diaz was extremely effective in doing just that.

Although Marquez would have preferred to keep the fight in the middle of the ring, it wasn’t long into Rnd. 1 before the relentless Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz began pushing Marquez to the ropes.

This resulted in several exciting exchanges in which Juan “Dinamita” Marquez countered with some hard shots of his own.

In the final seconds of the first round, after being stunned with an especially vicious left hook, Marquez managed to fire back and score with a nice combination.

Diaz, who seemed intent on continuing after the bell, was halted by the referee. He then backed off a few steps and taunted Marquez.

Marquez’s only response was his familiar, determined stare that effectively expressed his general lack of concern with Diaz’s first round success.  

The stage was set for the fight of the year.

Losing the first round of a fight means absolutely nothing to Juan Manuel Marquez, and it is almost never indicative of the results of the ensuing match.

Diaz resumed his unremitting stalking in Rnd. 2 and continued to push Marquez to the ropes by the sheer volume of his punches. A looping left hook took Marquez’s legs away momentarily, but he was able to make a remarkably quick recovery and fire back.

Diaz never seemed to tire despite the non-stop ferocity and overwhelming number of punches he continued to unleash upon his older opponent.

Marquez took everything the young warrior had to dish out and began to pin-point his counters with brilliant accuracy.

The subsequent rounds included all of the ebb and flow that every boxing fan longs to witness.

In Rnd. 8 Marquez stunned Diaz, whose legs nearly buckled beneath him. Marquez attempted to finish his opponent, but Diaz managed to survive the round.

With 50 seconds left in Rnd. 9, Marquez unleashed a beautiful textbook combination that sent Diaz face-first to the mat.

Diaz managed to get to his feet.

Marquez finished him with a ferocious, right uppercut, dropping Diaz for the stoppage. 

The fight was a brilliant display of the heart, tenacity, and skill of both fighters.

Marquez said that the award is a great honor and one of the highlights of his career.

 “I thank Juan Diaz for being a great warrior, because it takes two to make a fight like this,” he said.

Diaz said that this was one of toughest fights of his career and that he is honored by the award.

He demonstrated great sportsmanship in his statement regarding Marquez:

“We both left it all in the ring that night, and it’s always special when people appreciate your hard work. Congratulations to Juan Manuel on a great fight and on winning this award.”

Juan Manuel Marquez is the current WBA, WBO, and Ring Magazine Lightweight champion of the world.