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Lightweight Shakeup: Casamayor-Marquez possible for October

Credit: Rick Reeno (Boxing Scene)


From Mr. Reeno's Boxing Scene article:

From the current Golden Boy layout, Joel Casamayor will meet Juan Manuel Marquez, who will make the move to lightweight, in the main event of an HBO pay-per-view on October 11.


(Juan) Diaz is still scheduled to return on September 13, but the opponent may become Michael Katsidis. (Jesus) Chavez is also being shifted around. Sources close to the situation have informed me that Golden Boy would like to match Chavez with recently signed Carlos Hernandez, and place that bout on the undercard to Marquez-Casamayor.


Joan Guzman, who is also moving up to lightweight, will probably land the fight with (Nate) Campbell. The Campbell-Guzman bout is slated for early August, with August 9 being the favorite.

Alright, alright, alright. Take a breath, calm down (assuming this is all as exciting to you as it is to me), and let's consider these fights.

But first of all: NONE OF THESE FIGHTS ARE SET IN STONE. None of these fights are even in the cement mixer yet. They're rumors. Good rumors, yes, but rumors.

That said, screw it, let's talk some jive.

Joel Casamayor v. Juan Manuel Marquez

Casamayor-Marquez makes all the sense in the world for Golden Boy, for Casamayor, and for Marquez. They keep all the money matching up two of their fighters instead of trying to make Casamayor-Campbell II and letting Don King get his mitts in there, and they also get to nudge HBO into pay-per-viewing that bad boy.

And before we start thinking about what could really be a phenomenal fight between those two, I want to say that my initial thought was, "Pay-per-view? Screw you!" Then I thought about it for a minute. The fact is, I don't immediately think "pay-per-view main event" when I think about Casamayor versus Marquez.

Why not? Barrera-Marquez was a pay-per-view, I felt great paying for that. Marquez-Pacquiao II is the same. Now, I was not keen on paying for Marquez-Barrios or the switched up Marquez-Juarez, and thankfully it turned out we didn't have to. But Joel Casamayor is a class above Barrios and Juarez in terms of star power and all that, and also as a fighter if he truly brings it. While Casamayor, in this situation, would be stripped of his interim WBO lightweight title, he would retain the real championship, and this would be a legit lightweight championship fight.

There are a lot of fights in the world that get put into pay-per-view main event slots that I wouldn't be as excited to see as Casamayor-Marquez. Hopefully they come with a lively undercard. Don't expect it, but hope for it. Past that, the only thing that gives me pause is still recalling the Casamayor-Santa Cruz "fight." While it's true that Joel rebounded with a thriller against Katsidis, I'll never forget having paid cold hard cash for the Cotto-Mosley show and being treated to Casamayor-Santa Cruz.

It's all very early and everything, but who would you favor? I think it's a great matchup for both guys. Despite the fact that Marquez would be moving up in weight, he's no smaller than Casa. Joel's 36, Juan Manuel's 34. Both can fight in any style, from a technical box-a-thon to all-out warfare. Marquez has obviously seen tricky southpaws before, so that shouldn't bother him. Toss-up fight if you ask me.

Nate Campbell v. Joan Guzman

These two have traded some pretty heated trash-talk in recent weeks, and this really seemed like a no-brainer, even when King doubled Golden Boy's purse bid offer for a Casamayor-Campbell rematch. 

I like Nate Campbell. He's a good dude, he's funny, he's worked very hard to get to where he is, and he never let setbacks derail him. He got up, wiped off the dirt, and went back to the gym. And while I think it's totally deserving and fair to rank him as the No. 1 lightweight in the sport, I wouldn't favor him against Guzman or Casamayor, and frankly I'd be about 50-50 on a rematch with Diaz. Nate's 36 years old.

Also, while the 32-year old Guzman isn't always a favorite of those that love action before anything else, it's hard to deny that he's very talented. Very crafty, very smart, very slick. I'd be rooting for Campbell, but I'd expect Guzman to outpoint him.

Juan Diaz v. Michael Katsidis

The only way we're going to find out once and for all if the 24-year old Diaz can really handle pressure is if he fights a guy like Katsidis. Katsidis is vulnerable, but he puts pressure on without fail. Diaz has been pressed twice, but Jose Miguel Cotto and by Campbell. Against Cotto, his natural ability saved the day and helped him rise above. Against Campbell, he crumbled under the weight of Nate punching right back with him, plus the terrible cut control in his corner.

Katsidis won't be overwhelmed by volume punching the way that Acelino Freitas or Julio Diaz were. Katsidis doesn't know the meaning of the word "quit." He has shown in his lone career loss -- and in other wars -- that he's willing to get knocked out in order to grab the brass ring.

With the way these two fight, there's almost no way it can be anything less than gripping action. And it's a minor crossroads fight for both, too. A second loss in a row would send either into a regrouping mode.

Jesus Chavez v. Carlos Hernandez

Chavez beat Hernandez back in 2005, his final fight at 130 pounds, and also the last bout prior to that fateful fight against Leavander Johnson. Jesus is 35 and hasn't been himself since the Johnson fight, which has been complicated by a knee injury. Hernandez, though, is 37 and hasn't fought since 2006. This is an entirely uninteresting fight being made with the hope that Chavez will win and someone can juice the last bit of nectar out of his name, matching him up with Diaz or Katsidis or Casamayor or Marquez or Guzman or someone in his next fight. Both have always been tough customers, but it's a little past closing time, isn't it?

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