Marquez picks Abraham over Taylor
Former middleweight contender Raul Marquez fought and was stopped by both Arthur Abraham and Jermain Taylor, who open the Super Six Boxing Classic on Oct. 17 in Abraham’s hometown of Berlin, Germany.
Marquez believes the Taylor of a few years ago — the Taylor who stopped him in nine rounds in 2004, for example — might’ve given Abraham a tough fight but said the Taylor of today probably will be overmatched.
“I fought Jermain pretty close to his prime,” said Marquez, who was stopped by Abraham in six rounds last November. “He’s been in a lot of wars since then. He fought guys like (Bernard) Hopkins, (Winky) Wright, (Kelly) Pavlik, so obviously he’s not the same fighter any more. I think Pavlik took his heart.
“ÔÇª He’s been a great fighter, obviously. But I think his time has passed. I think Abraham is better maintained, a far better fighter at this point.”
Marquez said Taylor’s defense suffers when he gets tired, which he inevitably seems to do late in fights. That doesn’t bode well against Abraham, who Marquez said is the strongest fighter he ever faced.
“Jermain opens up sometimes he gets kind of desperate or tired or finds himself cornered,” Marquez said. “It happened against Pavlik, against (Carl) Froch too. Abraham is a real precise, accurate puncher. He lands most of the punches he throws. And he catches you good; you feel his punches.
“I think this will just be a matter of wearing (Taylor) down round by round. Maybe it will be a late-round stoppage.”
Taylor, who has lost three of his last four fights, has been convincing when he says he has trained harder and better for Abraham. Marquez doesn’t buy it.
“How many fighters have said they’re in the best shape of their lives?” he said. “It’s the same story. He’s an old warrior. You’d think by now he would’ve done it right. Nothing changes. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
Marquez also doesn’t like what he hears about Taylor’s weight.
“I heard he was down to 168 already,” he said. “I don’t think that’s good. He might come in at 167, 168. And when he’s in the ring, he might have gained only four, five pounds. ÔÇª Abraham will probably be weighing 185. I don’t know what they do. When I fought him, he didn’t look that big at the weigh-in; he looked drawn.
“I don’t know what he did, what he ate. He must’ve been 185, though. People saw the fight and said, ‘This guy looks so much bigger than you.’ He’s just a heavy, thick guy.”
Marquez picks Abraham to win the tournament, which also includes Mikkel Kessler, Andre Dirrell, Andre Ward and Froch.
Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]