Two brave warriors, both of Mexican decent, will brawl for lightweight supremacy come Saturday night in Houston.
Juan Manuel Marquez (49-4-1 36 KOs), the current Ring magazine lightweight king and highly considered as the true champion of the 135-pound division will have his hands full against the younger Juan Diaz, the former three-time world champion and newly crowned IBO lightweight champion.
Marquez last saw action last September against the tough and game Joel Casamayor, wherein he claimed the Ring magazine belt via an 11th round demolition job against Casamayor. Diaz, on the other hand, is coming from a solid split-decision win against Michael Katsidis also last September.
Although Marquez is much older at 35 years old, he seems to just keep on getting better as the years pass by. He is a smart strategist and one of the best counter-punchers in recent years.
Diaz, however, is a guy who likes to brawl and trade punches much like Marquez's nemesis, Manny Pacquiao. His aggresive style could spell the difference, as he is much faster than Marquez.
For Marquez, the fight is a stepping-stone to a dramatic third encounter against Pacquiao, which will be worth millions and would definitely cement his legacy as one of the best boxers Mexico has ever produced.
For Diaz, the fight is his ticket to a higher purse and much-more appealing fights in the future. With the Antonio Margarito controversy and the latter's recent suspension, the fight will also determine who will carry on the torch as Mexico's current "numero uno" fighter.
The stakes will also be much higher, as the fight is going to be sanctioned by the WBA and WBO thus the two prize fighters will fight for Marquez's Ring magazine belt, Diaz's IBO belt and for the vacant WBA and WBO lightweight championship.
What more could you ask for? There's drama, intensity, national pride, alphabet belts, and there's a strong motivation that comes with Pacquiao (specifically in Marquez).
Who's gonna reign supreme? There's only one way to find out.