Marquez brothers win by knockout |

Marquez brothers win by knockout

Appeal Sports Writer

STATELINE – IBF bantamweight champion Rafael Marquez already knew he was fighting his last fight at 118 pounds, but first he had to take care of some unfinished business against challenger Silence Mabuza.

Marquez scored a four-round technical knockout over Mabuza Nov. 5 at Caesars Tahoe, but didn’t care for the way the bout ended. Although the fight was stopped on cuts, Mabuza contended it was a result of a head butt.

Marquez left no doubt this time and, after some strong rounds from Mabuza, scored a TKO at the end of round nine when Mabuza’s trainer, Nic Durandt, stopped the fight in front of an estimated 3,500 fans at MontBleu Outdoor Sports Pavilion on Saturday.

The 31-year-old Marquez, of Mexico City, successfully defended his belt for the seventh and final time and improved to 36-3 with 32 knockouts.

Mabuza, of Johannesburg, South Africa, endured three strong rounds by Marquez to open the fight and effectively turned from slugger to boxer and seemed to take the next three frames from Marquez.

But Marquez, 118, closed the distance and began to once again find the mark against Mabuza, 117 1/2, and dealt out a beating to his brave opponent.

“He’s a great fighter,” Marquez said. “He has a great punch, but I was able to come right back. He threw some good punches, but I got my second wind. My conditioning is my strength.”

It was a satisfying conclusion for Marquez.

“I was going up to 122 anyway, but I prepared well for this fight,” Marquez said. “The last fight ended because of a head butt. I wanted to show I could beat him.”

Mission accomplished. Now Marquez can pursue his next title at junior featherweight.

“There are a lot of great champions at 122 pounds,” he said. “That’s where I want to fight. I want to fight all of those champions there.”

Although the 28-year-old Mabuza finished the ninth round on his feet, Durandt felt it was time to call a halt to the action.

“It was my decision to stop this fight,” Durandt said of a bloodied Mabuza. “Look at his face. He has four cuts. The referee would’ve stopped it in a round or so anyway. My fighter’s health and well-being come first. He will be back. We will move up in the bantamweight division.”

For his part, Mabuza had no problems with this ending.

“This is the No. 1 bantamweight in the world,” Mabuza said, pointing to Marquez. “This is boxing. Now and then you get caught with punches that people can’t see. He’s a great boxer.”

The same can be said of Rafael’s brother, Juan Manuel Marquez.

The 32-year-old Marquez, 124 1/2, overcame a nearly shut right eye to stop Terdsak Jandaeng at 1 minute, 13 seconds of round seven to claim the vacant WBO Interim featherweight title.

Marquez dropped the 25-year-old Jandaeng, of Thailand, in the second round, picked up another point from a Jandaeng low blow in the third, dropped him again in the sixth and beat on him until referee Jay Nady stopped it in the seventh.

“He’s a southpaw, he’s a typical fighter,” said Marquez, who improved to 45-3-1 (33). “When I knocked him down, I knew it would be a good fight. He’s a great fighter. I realized I had to watch out for his southpaw punch.”

Jandaeng, who fell to 25-2 (15) found Marquez’s right eye with a right hook early and often, reducing it to a slit by the fifth.

“The eye wasn’t closed,” Marquez said. “I still had vision. I was still able to fight.

I’m ready for anybody in the 126- or 130-pound division. I’m waiting for any fight to happen.”

Jandaeng, 125, lived up to his nickname “Pit Bull” and came back from numerous combinations – not to mention knockdowns – to give Marquez a tough go.

“I’m OK. Congratulations to Marquez and thanks to (promoter) Gary Shaw,” Jandaeng said. “I tried my best, but Marquez is very smart. After the second knockdown, after I got up, I wasn’t feeling anything.”

In other bouts:

xx-For the better part of one round Jason Aaker crashed Joey Gilbert’s post-fight party, but after the 30-year-old Gilbert survived a vicious left hook, the former three-time national collegiate champion for the University of Nevada came back strong.

Reno’s Gilbert, 168, landed a perfect right hand to Aaker’s solar plexus, putting him on his knees and out of the fight at 2:50 of round one.

Gilbert, the NABO middleweight champion, came out behind a jab and dodged or blocked several wild hooks from Aaker, 173, East Grand Forks, N.D. But as he backed up Aaker, Gilbert got caught on the jaw with a bomb.

Aaker didn’t let it all hang out when he had Gilbert stunned and he paid dearly for it. Gilbert, 12-1 (8), never went down, disguised his surprise well, and came back with a right to the body before following with the finishing blow.

Gilbert’s NABO belt was not on the line.

Aaker fell to 8-5 (5).

xx-Vladimir Zykov, 155, Russia, knocked down James Wayka two times on the way to a TKO at 2:18 of the fifth round. Zykov, 17-0 (3), counterpunched effectively throughout the bout before exploding with two quick knockdowns.

Wakya, 155, Mounds View, Minn., fell to 14-5 (8) with the loss.

xx-Jorge Lacierva, 121, Atlanta, Ga., via Mexico, landed a 15-punch salvo which left Jose Berenza on the mat and ended the match at 2:16 of the fifth round. Lacierva, 29-6-6 (20), got caught with a right hand before responding with his own right, which dropped Berenza midway through the first.

Lacierva floored Berenza for a second time in the round but couldn’t put him away until the fifth.

With the defeat, Berenza, 118, Mexico City, slipped to 27-9-2 (25).

xx-Jose Antonio Izquierdo, 137, Mexico via Cuba, went on a 28-blow punching spree to score a TKO over Jonathan Nelson at 2:10 of the first round. Izquierdo, 14-0-1 (13), nearly stopped Nelson, 136, Oklahoma City, Okla., with a tremendous left hook, which floored Nelson for a nine-count. Nelson, now 13-14 (13), got up but couldn’t hold off Izquierdo.

The 27-year-old Izquierdo trains at a gym owned by former two-time welterweight champion Jose Napoles.