By Marc Livitz: Juan Manuel Marquez easily weathered the storm and earned a unanimous decision victory over Serhiy Fedchenko to win the vacant WBO interim Super Lightweight title in Mexico City on Saturday. The win sealed a championship belt for Marquez in a fourth weight division.
The newly constructed Arena de Ciudad de Mexico hosted the Mexican legend’s first fight in his hometown after nearly eighteen years of memorable bouts from around the globe. Marquez exercised patience in the opening round while Fedchenko attempted get himself set into the action. The Ukrainian’s level of nervousness was clearly evident, although he was able to catch "Dinamita" with a short right at the midway point. A few brief exchanges between the two fighters in round two were later highlighted with an occasional and conventionally simple jab by each combatant. They both seemed to be waiting for the chance to pounce. The height difference between the two was not an issue, yet it was the visibly broad and muscular shoulders of Marquez that made an impression in the third stanza against his lanky opponent as he landed a number of powerful left hooks and bodyshots.
Although the visiting fighter from eastern Europe provided a game challenge to Juan Manuel, his head movement and attempts at lateral adjustments would only lead to his absorbing of strong and energy draining power shots from Marquez in round four. In the fifth, the Mexican legend did what he could to lure Fedchenko into a brawl. Juan Manuel’s accuracy was gaining ground at this point. A strong left uppercut from an outside angle greeted the Ukrainian inside the first minute of the sixth round. Fedchenko would have his brief moments, but it was usually after Marquez had connected with meaningful punches. Juan Manuel continued to look for the left hook to the body in round seven. Fedchenko was slowing down just a bit, but he wouldn’t go away. He showed a bit of renewed vigor in the eighth, but he didn’t exhibit much power in his punches.
By round nine, the defiantly pro-Marquez crowd had come to an abrupt hush. Not many would have expected the fight to go this deep in rounds.
However, Marquez was doing more than enough to win even though Fedchenko was doing his best to control the distance between the two. He was boxing the counter puncher. A strong left hook from Marquez wobbled Fedchenko a bit in the tenth. Within the last thirty seconds of the stanza, Marquez scored with a flush right and fired off combinations to the head and body of Serhiy which sent the Ukrainian back to his corner as a changed man.
His left eye was closing and "Dinamita" was connecting almost exclusively with power-laden punches. Marquez began to stalk his opponent. The fight did reach the twelfth and final period. Fedchenko was indeed still standing upright within the ring, although a strong right from Marquez almost dropped him. Luckily for the visiting pugilist that championship fights are no longer fifteen rounds. His legs were gone, yet Marquez couldn’t seal the deal in the fashion he would have loved to hand his hometown faithful. Nevertheless, all three judges were in agreement. Juan Manuel Marquez wins the WBO Super Lightweight title with a resounding and convincing unanimous decision win over Serhiy Fedchenko. The scorecards read as follows: 119-109, 118-110 and 118-110.
April 14, 2012