Doug Fischer

Marquez blasts Ramos in first round

So much for Juan Manuel Marquez getting in some quality rounds before his anticipated third bout with Manny Pacquiao in November.

The future hall of famer knocked Likar Ramos out cold with a picture-perfect straight right hand midway through the first round of a scheduled 10-round junior welterweight bout on Saturday in Cancun, Mexico.

The fight, which was streamed live on Toprank.tv in the U.S., was supposed to serve as a tune-up for his mega-fight with Pacquiao on Nov. 13.

Marquez (52-5-1, 38 knockouts), who stopped Michael Katsidis in defense of his world lightweight title last November, did not want to be inactive for a one year before he resumed his rivalry with Pacquiao, hence the interim bout with Ramos (24-4, 18 KOs).

However, despite being the older man by 12 years, Marquez quickly dispatched the 25-year-old southpaw from Colombia.

“Sometimes that’s the way fights go, they’re short,” Marquez told Top Rank commentator Raul Marquez (no relation) after the fight. “I wanted to go more rounds, but I got a great punch on him and he couldn’t take it.”

So fans did not get a chance to see how well Marquez, who doesn’t appear to fight effectively above 135 pounds (the lightweight limit), would carry the 138 pounds he weighed in at for Ramos.

Marquez’s fight with Pacquiao, a welterweight titleholder, is set at a 144-pound catchweight, which concerns some of his fans.

He looked sluggish while dropping an embarrassingly one-sided decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a welterweight bout in September of 2009. Marquez, who weighed in at 142 pounds for that bout, did not possess his usual quick reflexes which helped him give Pacquiao hell in their first two bouts.

Marquez held Pacquiao to a controversial draw in 2004 featherweight bout and then dropped a razor-thin split decision to the Filipino icon in their heated rematch set at junior lightweight (130 pounds).

Marquez, who turns 38 next month, said he will do a better job of putting on weight for his third shot at Pacquiao bout than he did for Mayweather.

“I want (Pacquiao) to prepare well, because I’m going to prepare well,” said Marquez, who added that Mayweather’s style was a factor in his dismal performance against the ultra-talented American.

“Mayweather’s a defensive fighter, he wins rounds with a just few punches and he doesn’t let you do much,” he said, “but with me and Pacquiao it’s going to be a war.”

In the co-featured bout of the show, Marquez’s younger brother Rafael Marquez, a former bantamweight and 122-pound champ, got rid of some ring rust by dispatching overmatched journeyman Eduardo Beceri after five rounds of one-sided action.

Marquez (40-6, 35 KOs), scored a fourth-round knockdown with a well-timed left hook, was credited with a sixth-round TKO when Beceri, a last minute substitute, failed to get off of his stool for the start of the sixth round.

Marquez, who hadn’t fought since suffering an eight-round stoppage loss (due to an injury) to former featherweight belt holder Juan Manuel Lopez last November, looked technically sharp, albeit a little slower than usual, as he methodically stalked and broke down Beceri (12-8-2, 4 KOs) with hard jabs, body shots and accurate hooks and straight right hands.

The 36-year-old veteran hopes to get one more title shot, reportedly against Japan’s classy WBC 122-pound titleholder Toshiaki Nishioka, later in the year.

In the opening bout of the live TopRank.tv stream, junior flyweight titleholder Roman Gonzalez retained his WBA belt with a one-sided seventh-round TKO of game but completely out-gunned Omar Salado.

Gonzalez (29-0, 24 KOs), THE RING’s No. 7-rated junior flyweight, dropped Salado twice in the first round and totally outclassed the savvy veteran until a hook-left uppercut-double hook combination put the Mexican down again in the opening minute of the seventh round.

Salado (22-4-1, 13 KOs), whose face was a lumpy bloody mess from his attempts to trade punches with the powerful and deadly accurate technician, somehow made it to his feet once more, but his corner did the right thing by signaling to referee Julio Cesar Alvarado that their fighter had had enough. The bout was stopped 48 seconds into the seventh round.

Gonzalez, a former strawweight belt holder who is only 24, looked sensational. His offense was economical but punishing and delivered with textbook form. His defense, which is underrated, was also on point. Salado, a skilled 31-year-old former title challenger, could not hit Gonzalez, even when they stood in front of each other because of the Nicaraguan’s ability to slip and block punches on the inside.

A terrific future showdown exists between RING 108-pound champ Giovani Segura and Gonzalez at either junior flyweight or flyweight.

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