With the first game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup kicking-off Friday, the entire world seems to have soccer fever including current WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine World Lightweight Champion Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez and former three-time Lightweight World Champion Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz. Marquez and Diazwill meet in “Fight of the Year: The Rematch” for Marquez’s Ring Magazine, WBA and WBO Lightweight World titles, Saturday, July 31 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and live on HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Although they will both be deep in training for their rematch of the 2009 “Fight of the Year” during the month of World Cup play, both fighters will be keeping a close eye on this year’s Cup. Below please find predictions and comments from both fighters as we head into this weekend’s World Cup kick-off.
JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ:
“I am not only rooting for Mexico, but I believe if they bring their character to the field and are strong physically and mentally throughout the competition, they have a chance to win the World Cup. It will be difficult, but definitely not impossible. They need go the whole tournament without injury and play like they have never played before.
“Their Group is very difficult. South Africa is going to bring everything that they have onto the field, but I think Mexico can beat them. The first game is definitely key.
“Cuauhtémoc Blanco is the heart and soul of Team Mexico. I look forward to seeing him play along with Guillermo Ochoa and Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez. I believe they can lead the team all the way to the finals.”
“My loyal fans are Mexican-American or American fans in general, so I am going to root for Team USA.
“I think we have a great chance of making out of the Group Stage. I know most people aren’t giving Team USA much of a chance to win, but soccer is like boxing, scoring one or two goals quickly is possible and a lot of the time enough to win the game, so anything can happen.
“After training each day in camp, I’m going to have a lot of spare time, so I’m going to be watching a lot of soccer. It’s going to be my new hobby.”
Marquez vs. Diaz II “Fight of the Year: The Rematch” is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Marquez Promotions, and sponsored by Tecate and AT&T. The 12-round rematch of the “2009 Fight of the Year” is scheduled for Saturday, July 31, and will be for Marquez’s Ring Magazine, WBA and WBO Lightweight World titles, and will take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The fight will be produced and distributed live on HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.