Juan Manuel Marquez is close to finalizing his April tune-up fight, likely against Cesar Cuenca of Argentina. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
With David Diaz deciding he's not up for an April fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, and may be ready to retire, Argentina's Cesar Cuenca has emerged as the likely opponent, according to Sal Rodriguez.
Cuenca, 31, is a homebody who has never fought tough opposition while running up a record of 42-0...with one knockout win. Yes: 42-0 (1 KO). One. One knockout. It came in June 2005, over Andres Villafane.
Marquez is doing his best here, but, well:
"Going by his record, I believe that he'll be difficult, a good boxer and fast. If he's ranked in the first position [by the WBO], he must have done something."
Marquez, 38, says that he doesn't know anything about Cuenca and will be relying on YouTube to study him. To put it lightly, Marquez is not going to have any trouble with this guy at all. Even if you believe Cuenca is a legitimately good boxer, Marquez is a legitimately great boxer. Now take out any remote possibility that Cuenca can hurt Marquez, and what do you have?
Obviously this is just a tune-up fight meant to lead to something bigger, and Marquez is still hoping to face Manny Pacquiao again later this year, which could very well happen. He doesn't want to risk something big, but he also doesn't want to fall out of shape at his age. He's saying this will be his final year in the sport, and he wants to go out with his head up.
Rodriguez says the fight is headed to Morelia, Chiapas or Cancun, rather than the originally rumored Mexico City, where Abner Mares will be facing Eric Morel on the same date, live on Showtime.