It was a good tactical fight, as I expected it would be, and the counter-punching nature of both men didn't make the fight a bore at all. In fact, I was entertained throughout. All respect is due to Casamayor, who showed he can still fight at a high level against a great opponent. I had Joel trailing 96-95 at the time of the stoppage, which came on the second knockdown of the round. Marquez first floored Casamayor with a thunderous right hand, and with 20 seconds left in the round, he avoided a Casamayor attempt at a desperation clinch, forcing Casamayor to trade with him. Under a massive barrage of punches, Casamayor fell again, and referee Tony Weeks saw enough. Casamayor wasn't going to get up, anyway.
He's a hell of a fighter, but Juan Manuel Marquez proved tonight that he's a truly excellent fighter. If you are like me and thought Marquez squeezed out a tight win in March over Pacquiao, you could consider him the best fighter in the world right now. I'm not even trying to start a debate; that's just a fact. He's got some claim to having beat Pacquiao, and with this excellent win, can combine that claim with being the man pound-for-pound. I won't do it, because I didn't feel he was robbed in March, either. I'm just sayin'. Know what I'm sayin'?
On the dreadful undercard, Vernon Forrest dominated Sergio Mora in what was alleged to be the rematch of the year. I scored it 119-108 for Forrest, who won on scores of 119-108, 118-109 and 117-110. Mora never got untracked.
Victor Ortiz predictably knocked out Roberto Arrieta in the fifth round, and Danny Perez surprisingly and easily dominated Julio Garcia in the night's opener, winning by unanimous decision scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 97-93. I had it 98-92 for Perez, who sloppily but convincingly defeated a man that clearly needs to reconsider his choice of career. Garcia seemed entirely uninterested in fighting. He shouldn't have even been in the ring.
On Showtime, the makeshift main event was won by Timothy Bradley via wide decision over Edner Cherry, meaning Bradley retains his 140-pound title. Scores were 118-109, 119-109 and 117-110.
We will have much more tomorrow and over the next few days, so stick around for more analysis on Marquez's wonderfully finished win over Casamayor.