Dan Rafael: Hernan Marquez

Segura, Marquez plan fireworks

November, 1, 2013
Giovani SeguraCourtesy Peter AmadorGiovani Segura expects plenty of action when he faces Hernan "Tyson" Marquez on Saturday.
Former flyweight titlist Hernan "Tyson" Marquez and former junior flyweight champ Giovani Segura, two of boxing's biggest punchers in the smaller weight classes and two of the most crowd pleasing fighters in any division, are both one win away from earning another title shot.

Marquez and Segura will meet Saturday night (UniMas, 11 ET/PT) in Hermosillo, Mexico, in a world title eliminator for the right to become a mandatory challenger for unified flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada (25-2, 18 KOs), who is from Hermosillo. Maybe Estrada will be ringside to scout his future opponent?

Whatever happens between Marquez and Segura, it figures to be an explosive fight and that's exactly how the fighters are talking about their clash.

"This fight will be a war," Marquez said. "We both like to brawl and take risks, because we know we have the power to knock out our opponents. I can't wait to get into the ring and give the fans a memorable night of boxing."

Said Marquez, "This fight with Marquez is about intelligence and power. I need to be smart and pick my spots and land some hard punches to keep him honest. But, sooner or later, the war will begin and my power will be the difference."

Segura (30-3-1, 26 KOs) and Marquez (36-3, 26 KOs) have both been in several excellent fights.

Marquez, 25, has won two fights in a row since being stopped by Brian Viloria in a November 2012 flyweight world title fight that was one of the most exciting bouts of that year.

Segura, 31, who is coming off an impressive fourth-round knockout of previously unbeaten Puerto Rican prospect Jonathan "Bomba" Gonzalez in August, also lost by knockout to Viloria in a 2011 flyweight title bout. But Segura has also been in some barnburners, including his first fight with Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon in 2010, when he knocked him out in the eighth round of a fight of the year candidate and unified junior flyweight titles.

The undercard was originally going to include former junior bantamweight titlist Juan Carlos Sanchez (17-1-1, 9 KOs) of Mexico against South Africa's Zolani Tete (17-3, 15 KOs) in a final eliminator to produce the mandatory challenger for Japanese titleholder Daiki Kameda (29-3, 18 KOs). However, according to the promoters for both fighters, it will instead take place Nov. 30 in Mexico.

Kameda won the vacant title after Sanchez was stripped for not making weight for a June defense. However, Sanchez decided to continue to fight at 115 pounds and was given the opportunity to fight an eliminator for the right to fight for his old belt.

Mosley-Mundine gets U.S. stream

October, 18, 2013
The Shane Mosley-Anthony Mundine junior middleweight fight, which will take place on Wednesday in Sydney, Australia, will stream live on ESPN3.com in the United States. The network finalized a deal on Thursday. The stream will begin at 8 a.m. ET.

The 42-year-old Mosley (47-8-1, 39 KOs) is long past his best days as a lightweight, welterweight and junior middleweight champion, but he is coming off a hard-fought 12-round decision victory against fringe welterweight contender Pablo Cesar Cano in May in Mexico. Mundine (44-5, 26 KOs), 38, has won versions of the super middleweight title twice, but later dropped down to junior middleweight.

• One of the best fights in the small weight classes currently on the schedule is the Nov. 2 showdown between former flyweight titlist Hernan "Tyson" Marquez (36-3, 26 KOs) and former junior flyweight champ Giovani Segura (30-3, 26 OKOs), who will meet in Hermosillo, Mexico in a flyweight title eliminator. Originally, the fight wasn't scheduled to be televised in the United States, but on Thursday it was announced by Top Rank that it would air on the "Solo Boxeo Tecate" series on Spanish-language network UniMas. The fight will most likely prove to be a slugfest.

Top Rank also added Saturday night's card in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to "Solo Boxeo Tecate." The main event will feature junior middleweight Omar Chavez (30-2-1, 22 KOs), son of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., in a 10-rounder against Michael Oliveira (21-1, 16 KOs).

Segura-Marquez promises action

August, 31, 2013
Giovani SeguraAP Photo/Andres LeightonFormer junior flyweight champion Giovanni Segura faces Hernan Marquez on Nov. 2 in Mexico.
If I was going to write down potential action fights, this one would be on my list: former flyweight titlist Hernan "Tyson" Marquez against former junior flyweight champ Giovani Segura.

They are both strong punchers who have been in a number of exciting battles and know no other way to fight but to go forward.

Well, guess what? They are going to fight, which is great news for all fight fans, especially if you like little guys who like to throw down. The battle of these Mexican sluggers could be thrilling.

Zanfer Promotions, which promotes both fighters, received approval at the recently concluded WBO annual convention to have them meet in a title elimination fight to produce a mandatory challenger for unified 112-pound titlist Juan Francisco Estrada. The fight has been scheduled for Nov. 2 in Hermosillo, Mexico.

Segura (30-3-1, 26 KOs) is coming off an impressive fourth-round knockout in Puerto Rico of highly touted prospect Jonathan Gonzalez on Aug. 17. Marquez (36-3, 26 KOs) has won two fights in a row since being stopped in the 10th round of an all-out brawl with Brian Viloria and losing his belt in the flyweight title unification fight last November.

BWAA awards ballot set

December, 28, 2012
Brandon Rios and Mike AlvaradoChris Farina/Top RankMike Alvarado and Brandon Rios went toe-to-toe in an all-action fight last October.

Over the course of two meetings, one on Dec. 1 in New York on the day the Austin Trout-Miguel Cotto fight and one on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas on the day of the Juan Manuel Marquez-Manny Pacquiao IV, members of the Boxing Writers Association of America met to finalize the ballot for the organization’s annual awards.

Over the next week or so, members will begin to receive their ballots, which are due back by Jan. 19. The winners will be honored at the annual BWAA awards dinner (public can purchase tickets). The date and location is not set, but it likely will take place around a major fight in the spring.

Here’s a look at who is on the ballot in each category:

• Fighter of the year: Nonito Donaire, Danny Garcia, Robert Guerrero, Juan Manuel Marquez and Brian Viloria.

• Fight of the year: Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado, Roman Gonzalez-Juan Francisco Estrada, Guerrero-Andre Berto, Orlando Salido-Juan Manuel Lopez II, Viloria-Hernan Marquez and Marquez-Manny Pacquiao IV.

• Trainer of the year: Nacho Beristain, Eric Brown, Robert Garcia, Ruben Guerrero, Virgil Hunter.

• Manager of the year: Luis DeCubas Jr., Cameron Dunkin, Frank Espinoza, Gary Gittelsohn, Al Haymon.

• Long and meritorious service to boxing: Bob Canobbio (CompuBox), promoter Lou DiBella, promoter Kathy Duva, referee Steve Smoger, Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler.

• Excellent in broadcast journalism: Bruce Beck (my broadcast partner at Epix), Max Kellerman (HBO), Tony Paige (WFAN radio), Bob Papa (HBO), Travis Pomposello (Epix executive producer), Dan Rafael (ESPN and Epix -- and honored to be nominated). Nominees in this category can only win once and it’s open to broadcasters, TV executives and production people.

• Good guy: Don Chargin (Hall of Fame promoter), Steve Farhood (Showtime), Norm Frauenheim (writer), Scott Ghertner (MGM and Mandalay Bay media relations), Wladimir Klitschko (heavyweight champ).

• Courage in overcoming adversity: Alfredo Angulo, Johnathon Banks, Danny Jacobs, Peter Quillin, Paul Williams.

Viloria-Marquez promises thrills

November, 16, 2012
Ever since the fight was made, it really annoyed me that premium cable networks HBO and Showtime made no effort whatsoever to buy one of the best little fights in boxing.

That would be the flyweight unification bout between Brian Viloria and Hernan "Tyson" Marquez, who throw down on Saturday night at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

"It will be a great fight, a war," Marquez said. "Both of us come forward, so the results should be explosive. That is what we want to give: a great fight to the fans."

I couldn't agree with him more.

Thankfully, new boxing broadcaster WealthTV bought the rights to the fight and will air live coverage of the card beginning at 9 p.m. ET. It can also be seen on a live stream at www.wealthtv.com, which charges 99 cents per month to watch its fights.

WealthTV isn't widely available, but the network has been showing some good cards of late, including those headlined by Lucian Bute-Denis Grachev, Adonis Stevenson-Donovan George, David Price-Audley Harrison and others. The network also has a slew of upcoming shows, including the Dec. 14 card headlined by the return of former light heavyweight champ Jean Pascal, who will face Aleksy Kuziemsky.

Hawaii's Viloria (31-3, 18 KOs), who is Filipino, and Marquez (34-2, 25 KOs), of Mexico, will battle for 112-pound supremacy. I'm confident it will be an exciting fight and, as a bonus, Philippines versus Mexico has emerged as one of the best rivalries in boxing.

Viloria will be making the third defense of his belt, and Marquez, who is now trained by the red-hot Robert Garcia, will be defending his title for the third time.

"I feel physically and mentally like never before," Marquez said. "I'm desperate to stand before Viloria, give it all in the ring, and the victory will be mine. I have dreamed of confronting Viloria, and this fight will open new roads and big fights."

In the co-feature, junior flyweight titlist Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez (33-0, 28 KOs) of Nicaragua -- one of the best pure punchers in boxing -- will make his fifth defense, against Juan Francisco Estrada (22-1, 18 KOs) of Mexico. If Gonzalez wins, there is a good chance he'll move up in weight to challenge the winner of the main event.

"I would like Marquez to win, and I'm sure that I can knock him out, if that fight came to be," Gonzalez said. "I have the perfect style for him, but now is not the time to think about that. I'm focused on this Saturday night's fight."