Doug Fischer

10: Mexico’s best bantamweight titleholders ever

NO. 7 RAFAEL MARQUEZ

Record: 40-6 (36 KOs)

Active: 1995-

Background: The 36-year-old younger brother of Juan Manuel Marquez briefly held the WBC and RING 122-pound titles and is still active as a featherweight, but the body of his career took place at bantamweight, where he compiled a record of 35-3, with 31 knockouts.

Marquez possessed bone-crunching power at 118 pounds, which was enhanced by underrated technique and skill, but his chin, always a bit shaky, failed him in stoppage losses to former bantamweight titleholder Victor Rabanales (in his pro debut), journeyman Francisco Mateos and contender Genaro Garcia.

However, Marquez’s second-round KO to Garcia would be his last at bantamweight. The Mexico City native won 16 straight from December of 2000 through August of ‘06, including consecutive victories against future hall of famer Mark Johnson (SD 10, TKO 8) and an IBF title-winning stoppage of then-undefeated ‘92 Olympic bronze medalist Tim Austin (TKO 8) in ‘03.

Marquez defended the IBF belt eight times, including back-to-back stoppages of RING-rated Silence Mabuza. He is scheduled to challenge Toshiaki Nishioka for the WBC 122-pound belt on Oct. 1.

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