HBO Championship Boxing
May 8, 2004
Las Vegas, Nevada
HBO will present a featherweight championship bout on their May 8th telecast which will feature the WBA &
IBF champion Juan Marquez defending his titles against the former WBC flyweight and IBF super
bantamweight champion Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao. On the under card, Miguel Cotto will put his WBC
International Jr. welterweight title on the line against the ever tough Lovemore N'dou.
Juan Marquez started his pro-boxing career in 1993 with a loss. He then rolled off 18 wins in a row before
getting a chance to fight for a title in February of 1997 against Cedric Mingo (23-10-1, 11 KO's). The fight
went 10 of the scheduled 12 rounds and after the fight was over, Marquez had won the WBO NABO
featherweight title via 10th round TKO. Marquez then rolled off another 10 wins in a row - eight of which came
by knockout or technical knockout. Then in September of 1999, Marquez got his opportunity at a world title.
He fought Freddie Norwood (28-1-1, 22 KO's) for Norwood's WBA featherweight title. Unfortunately for
Marquez, he came up short losing a 12 round unanimous decision to Norwood. But Marquez went right back
to work and rolled off another 10 victories in a row (nine by knockout or TKO) before getting another shot at a
world title. In February of 2003, Marquez fought Manuel Medina (63-14, 29 KO's) for the vacant IBF
featherweight title. This time, Marquez wouldn't leave it to the judges, he TKO'd Medina in the seventh round
and won the title. Marquez fought once more and won before facing the WBA featherweight champion
Derrick "Smoke" Gainer (39-6-1, 24 KO's) in a unification bout in November of 2003 (his last bout). The
bout between the two had to be stopped in the seventh round due to a cut suffered by Gainer from an
accidental headbutt. All the scorecards had Marquez winning the fight handily and Marquez became the
unified world champion.
Manny Pacquiao started his career in 1995 and won his first championship, the WBC flyweight title, in
December of 1998 with an eighth round knockout of then champion Chartchai Sasakul to improve his record
to 24-1, 16 KO's. Pacquiao defended his title once before losing it to Medgoen Singsurat (34-3, 22 KO's)
via a third round knockout in September of 1999. Pacquiao then moved up to the Super Bantamweight
division and made his presence felt. In his first fight at his new weight, he quickly disposed of Reynante
Jamili (43-3, 33 KO's) via a second round TKO and won the WBC International super bantamweight title.
Pacquaio successfully defended his title five times before getting a chance at another world title. In June of
2001, Pacquaio fought Lehlohonolo Ledwaba (35-2-1, 22 KO's) for Ledwaba's IBF super bantamweight
title. Pacquaio added his second world title to his treasure chest as he knocked out Ledwaba in six.
Pacquaio then went 4-0-1 in his next five bouts (the draw was a technical draw due to a cut) before deciding
to move up to the featherweight division in his last bout and battling a fighter many believed was one of the
best pound for pound fighters in the world, Marco Antonio Barrera (57-4, 40 KO's). In November of 2003,
Pacquaio basically put on a clinic and put Barrera on the canvas twice before Barrera's corner stopped the
fight in the 11th round of their scheduled 12 round bout.
This fight brings back memories of the Aaron Pryor vs. Alexis Arguello fights. Arguello went up a couple of
weight divisions with tremendous success before hitting a brick wall he couldn't get past - Pryor. I see the
same happening here. Marquez has power and can box very well - tie this in with both of Pacquaio's losses
having come by way of knockout and I think Pacquaio is about to hit his wall. Marquez by 10th round TKO.
The under card will feature the undefeated WBC International Jr. welterweight champion Miguel Cotto. Cotto's
last bout was in February of this year when he defeated Victoriano Sosa (37-4-2, 27 KO's) by fourth round TKO.
Cotto's opponent will be the hard hitting Lovemore N'Dou. N'dou has been busy this year having fought three
times already. The first time was in February, when he lost a 12 round unanimous decision for the interim
IBF Jr. welterweight title to Sharmba Mitchell (54-3, 29 KO's). N'dou then fought a month later against
Kiatchai 13 Riantower (16-2, 11 KO's), whom N'dou defeated by fourth round knockout. And N'dou's last
bout was on April 16th (2004) against Ariel Aparicio (20-6, 8 KO's) - N'dou won by third round knockout.
I would like to see N'dou come into this fight with more time off. N'dou has never been stopped, losing all his
fights by decision. I think Cotto will win but will he have the power to be the first to stop N'dou? Will having
fought four times in four months hurt N'dou's chances? Well, the answers are - not sure and yes. Cotto by
WBA / IBF Featherweight Title Bout - (12 Rds)
Champ Juan Marquez (42-2, 33 KO's) vs. Manny Pacquiao (38-2-1, 30 KO's)
WBC International Jr. Welterweight Title Bout - (12 Rds)
Champ Miguel Cotto (19-0, 16 KO's) vs. Lovemore N'Dou (38-6-1, 24 KO's)
Card subject to change