Rafael Marquez signs with Golden Boy, ready for September return

Jeff Bottari

Rafael Marquez will be back in the ring in September after signing a new deal with Golden Boy Promotions.

Former bantamweight and super bantamweight champ Rafael Marquez has signed a deal with Golden Boy Promotions, and will return to the ring in September, according to a report at RingTV.com.

Marquez (41-8, 37 KO) is a good bit past his prime at age 38, but still provides good action fights. He is, of course, best known for his scintillating trilogy with Israel Vazquez, which later would include an ill-advised fourth fight that most tend to ignore. The younger brother of Juan Manuel Marquez has gone 2-3 since that fourth fight with Vazquez in 2010, beating Eduardo Becerril and Eric Aiken, while losing fights to better opponents in Juan Manuel Lopez (RTD-8), Toshiaki Nishioka (UD-12), and Cristian Mijares (TKO-9).

Mijares was his last opponent, in October 2012. The veteran has been on the sidelines since then, but Marquez could be a decent name to scalp for Golden Boy's younger fighters at 122, 126, or even 130. It may sound a bit harsh to pigeonhole Marquez as an "opponent" given he was once one of the best fighters in the sport and has had a really admirable, exciting career, but that's the reality of where he's probably at in his boxing career at this stage. There are a lot of guys he can beat -- including some prospects, most likely -- but chances are he's done as a true contender.

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