Originally written on North Texas Fisticuffs  |  Last updated 10/7/14

On Saturday night, just five months after losing to a controversial decision against the pound for pound king of the ring, Manny Pacquiao, Mexican legend, Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KOs) will fight against Serhiy Fedchenko (30-1, 13 KO’s) from the Ukraine.  They will step into the ring in the New Mexico City Arena in Mexico, and the winner will be the next WBO Light Welterweight champion. Marquez will more than likely add yet another world title to his heralded career, but it is just another stepping stone to a possible fourth match against Manny Pacquiao. Although that seems unlikely, anything is possible in boxing.

Marquez will be fighting in Mexico, his native soil, something he has not done since 1994. Somewhat strange to believe, but his career has taken him all over the world and now back where it all began.

Although the Ukranian is coming into this fight with a seven fight winning streak, that is probably the only statistic he has on the Mexican champion. He does have an excellent record, but he is now stepping into another stratosphere. According to the boxing records of each, Marquez has more knockouts than the combined fights than Fedchenko has total. Although Marquez is the older fighter, he has not lost a step in the fight game, and he is a master technician and superb counter puncher.

The Marquez fight is the headliner for the HBO Saturday night PPV event, but the more exciting fight is the match between Brandon “Bam Bam” - Bad Ass Mexican, Rios (29-0-1, 22 KO‘s) against Richard Abril (17-2-1, 8 KOs) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Rios was previously scheduled to fight Yuriorkis Gamboa, but he failed to attend the press conferences and eventually he was taken off the card. Actually, Rios’ new opponent attended one of the no-show appearances of Gamboa to make his pitch to step in and fight Rios.  In Miami, Florida at a press conference, Abril showed up and took a punch at Rios and a pushing and shoving match ensued. After this little rumble, Abril was offered to take the fight and he did.

To Rios’ surprise, and amusement, he later said he had never heard of Abril. Rios is quoted as saying "No unheard-of fighter like Abril will ever beat me." "He's going to go down and he's going to go down real hard. In the boxing world, Abril is in the darkness and I will keep him there. I haven't forgotten what he did to me in Miami. He's going to pay big-time."  The fight will be for the vacant WBA lightweight belt, a belt that Rios already owned, but he lost it on the scales in a previous fight. He actually won that fight and is still an undefeated fighter. After this fight he was supposed to retain the belt that he lost and move on to bigger and better fights.  He will move on to those fights, but unfortunately, he did not make weight again, but the result will be the same.  He will get a knockout before the 10th round and then more than likely move up in weight to fight Marquez or another superstar.  Rios is currently ranked as THE RING's No. 1 lightweight in the world.  If all the stars get aligned and the boxing gods see the light on Texas, and if Marquez and Rios win on Saturday, they both might meet at the Cowboys Stadium sometime in June.

Other fighters on the card include: Junior welterweights Mike Alvarado (32-0, 23 KOs) and Mauricio Herrera (18-1, 7 KOs), both 140 pounders for their scheduled 10-rounder, including Mercito Gesta (24-0-1, 12 KOs) and Oscar Cuero (15-7, 12 KOs), 138 pounders scheduled for 10 rounds.

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