Brutality Delivered: Giovani Segura KO12 Hernan Marquez

By Matt McGrain on November 3, 2013
Brutality Delivered: Giovani Segura KO12 Hernan Marquez
Heart, chin, durability and determination were what made Segura a winner last night.

Saturday night in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, Marquez sustained a beating and brutal knockout wrapped up into one acrid ball of hurt…

Boxing was spoiled last night. Gennady Golovkin took another step towards becoming the most destructive fighter in boxing with an eight-round stoppage of Curtis Stevens after the heavyweight division at last delivered a thoroughly watchable fight in the shape of Mike Perez’s ten-round decision over Magomed Abdusalamov. Earlier in the evening, British cruiserweight Ola Afolabi squeaked past a surprisingly excellent Lukasz Janik in twelve scruffy but thoroughly enjoyable rounds.

As predicted last week on Boxing.com, all of this was eclipsed and more down in Sonora, Mexico, by favored sons Hernan Marquez and Giovani Segura. Both southpaw flyweights weighed 112 lbs. Both came to fight. In the first two rounds alone there was enough drama to fill most contests.

The first was all Segura as he was allowed to step inside without any toll being exacted almost as though Marquez wanted to test him there. What he found was not to his liking as he was forced into a messy stramash of a fight contested head-to-head, Segura’s chin resting on Marquez’s right shoulder as they slam-banged and grappled through the opening seconds. Marquez then found he could land crisp short punches whilst giving ground, but the head of steam that Segura was able to work up whilst pursuing looked alarming; here then was how the fight was to be balanced, the most classic dichotomy in all of boxing, could the retreating fighter exact a high enough toll to negate the aggressor’s natural advantages, both sporting and technical?

Not that Marquez was running, at all, he was giving ground in controlled steps, fighting all the way. Segura meanwhile replied to a hard Marquez uppercut to the body with a hard hook that wobbled his off-balance opponent. The mean punches he missed at the tail end of the round, all swing and torque and intentions provided for Marquez a preview of what it was he would need to swallow if either his legs or his offense failed him.

His reply, voiced in the second round, was superb as he looked repeatedly to sneak the extra punch home, teeing off with his technically superior punches but making room in his offense for a third or fourth shot where opportunities perhaps would not exist for many fighters. Having taken stock of the man in front of him in the first he made his peace with what suffering was necessary and restored balance to the fight with an organized, driving attack fired out of neat defensive moves such as the dip/right-hook combination that rattled Segura’s teeth towards the end of the round. Still, Segura, when he bought his way inside, bossed, and when Marquez hurt him with a straight and drove him to the ropes with neat punching, it was mere seconds before the veteran was ready to push back at his younger foe, who was once again forced to give ground. Warned for a low blow, Segura snarled his way out of the round, albeit one he had clearly lost.

That snarl was echoed at the beginning of the third as a hard Segura hook knocked his man into the ropes. Marquez appeared for a just a moment to be physically outmatched as Segura muscled his way inside, but he was soon firing back, hard straight lefts augmented by a dipping, hustling attack, accepting his opponent’s wordless, menacing challenge to fight inside. Segura looked for the body as he pushed forwards and Marquez replied in kind but was warned to keep them up.  Menaced from rope-to-rope, he redeveloped his fighting retreat as Segura insidiously crept forwards; a double handed attack to head and body probably bought Marquez the round, but the high-pace was already beginning to suggest that something would give.

In the fourth, it did, Marquez electing to take a knee after being stiffened by a straight and then grazed by a winging hook right on the bell. The eight-count was a harsh indictment of Marquez’s ability to survive the marauding Segura, but in the fifth he rallied like a champion. Segura, hyper-aggressive after seeing his man on the canvas in the previous round, drove Marquez back, landing punches that looked harder than those he had dropped him with in the fourth; beaten to the ropes, Marquez seemed for a moment on the verge of kneeling once more but instead he drove Segura before him with a two-handed attack of his own, a surge more clinical than that which he himself had suffered. In the middle of the ring the two fought it out for a moment before Marquez was again made to back up, forcing his way out of the corner with hard right hands, including one that seemed to have his opponent hurt—but only for a fleeting second, before Segura was fighting back hard. He nodded curtly to Marquez at the bell.

Segura took a savage sixth round on sheer insistence, generally on the receiving end of the superior punching, he nevertheless edged Marquez back both in terms of points and in terms of territory with his combination of stiff punching and sheer bloody-mindedness. Marquez flashed out a hard straight punch after the bell, his frustration beginning to show, a point down at the halfway mark by virtue of his prudent decision to take a knee.

Segura looked suddenly tired at the opening of the next frame and as he began to miss, Marquez rattled him with jabs and concise shorter punches. Swallowing a hard Segura uppercut inside, he gave way to his opponent’s bulling attack, punching back with short-arm combinations between rushes; a left hand as the seventh wound down appeared to have Segura wobbled and he parked his withering attack for a full ten seconds in the face of Marquez’s offense. The eighth, too, belonged to the younger man who landed one-two combos throughout and counter-punched beautifully off the ropes, but what was for him a disturbing and dispiriting truth was beginning to surface, namely that Giovani Segura was not going to go away—Segura was planting a flag that named him the badder man; the only way for Marquez to win the fight was for him to cut down that flag and throw up his own. Winning rounds, as he was, was less the result of some wider strategy and more an offshoot of the fact that he had to work this hard to stay alive. Segura was on him, and if he didn’t fight as hard as he was—if he couldn’t for some reason, fight that hard—he was lost.

Perched on the edge of a stylistic cliff, Marquez’s cleaner punching won him the ninth and tenth and somehow the fight had dragged its dog-tired ass into the eleventh. Segura, by my card, lay three points behind, and needed the dramatic to buy him the fight. So began the championship rounds and so began Segura’s final liquidation of the Marquez defense. Body punches sunk around the corner were the order of the day as Marquez tried to fight back through the fog of tiredness that seemed to envelope him; chased to rope after rope he landed several exceptional lead right-hands from the southpaw stance but was unable to capitalize on this good work as Segura pushed on and on. Finally, Marquez crumbled, ass through the second rope, hands still high, falling in front of the incessant Segura pressure more than any single punch. Going into the twelfth and final round, I had Marquez a point up.

His left eye closing, Marquez accepted his role as the pursued but tried to fight it out, scoring well in the opening seconds, firing from the outside, a range he would have loved to have fought more minutes at. Segura looked exhausted as the crowd called out to Marquez by his nickname of “Tyson, Tyson” and he seemed momentarily buoyed by this support, driving forwards into the attack. When Segura responded in kind, gritting his teeth for one final effort, Marquez gave ground, a sniping uppercut seeming to leave him on wobbly legs; he was driven to the ropes; they were fighting hard—and then Marquez was spinning to the canvas a victim of the most dramatic knockout of the year in the year’s best fight, a flush left hook from a square stance, ironically, given the two southpaws in the ring, the winning punch.

Segura, now 31-3-1, was the winner of the fight nobody deserved to lose. Marquez, who drops to 36-4, will have to think long and hard about a future that, at only twenty-five years of age, seems uncertain. Likely too small for the men above him, he also seems to be missing some vital ingredient which would make him a major player at flyweight. His only viable option seems to be to fight Segura in a rematch, but does he have the desire? And what did he lose this Saturday night in that Mexican ring? A sustained beating and a brutal knockout wrapped up into one acrid ball of hurt, this is not a fight any man could be sure to bounce back from.

Aside, perhaps, for Giovani Segura. He appears to be built from titanium. Make no mistake, his terrifying combination of heart, chin, durability and determination were what made him a winner last night. They are the formidable assets which he will now look to deploy against Juan Estrada, who conquered Brian Viloria in April of this year. Flyweight, the best division in boxing right now, produces such fights on the regular.

It is unlikely, though, that Estrada-Segura will reach these dizzying heights as a contest. Listing what was good about it took around 1,600 words. Listing what was bad about it would take exactly none.

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Giovani Segura vs. Hernán "Tyson" Márquez



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  1. Ted 03:04pm, 11/03/2013

    Last time was, well, orgasmic, for boxing fans. GGG - Stevens was maybe 3rd or 4th best fight.

  2. Clarence George 01:21pm, 11/03/2013

    Characteristically well argued, Matt, but I just didn’t at all care for Janik’s constant clinching and his draping himself over Afolabi à la Fury and Klitschko.

  3. Matt McGrain 12:42pm, 11/03/2013

    Hey Clarence.  To put it another way, Janik had never completed 12 rounds before last night.  Afolabi is still ranked amongst the five best CW’s in the world.  That fight had KO2 written all over it.  For Janik to extend Afolabi the distance was nothing less than an extraordinary performance.  The way he fired back with his face literally coming apart in the cutman’s hands was as rousing a display of heart as i’ve seen this year - he was unlucky, on my card, not to get at least a draw (I had him up by a round).  Unexpected, savage, brave…everything I want from a name I don’t know.

    Thanks Ted - it was my great pleasure though.  This was a jaw-dropper, I’ve never, ever, seen a fight live where there were so many changes of fortune in a given round.  I think comparisons with Boza-Edwards-Chacon II are justifiable, though I held back whilst I do a couple of re-watches and let the dust settle.

  4. FrankinDallas 12:21pm, 11/03/2013

    Tecate and Corona girls are 25% of the reasons why I watch boxing….

  5. Peter Salt 12:08pm, 11/03/2013

    Nicolas, they are just mindless bimbos who are paid to be there, Pay them no mind.

  6. Ted 12:07pm, 11/03/2013

    It sure was. Nice two-piece article, Matt.

  7. Clarence George 11:24am, 11/03/2013

    An ancillary observation, if I may:  I didn’t find Janik “excellent” or his bout with Afolabi “thoroughly enjoyable.”  Quite the opposite…on both counts.

  8. nicolas 11:23am, 11/03/2013

    How can any organization rank these guys above Brian Viloria, who stopped both of them? I have also always found it distasteful to have these women trying to be sexy in the corners of these fights (were the blond haired women twins) advertising a beer.  As shown in this fight, boxing is often a brutal business, not a sexy sport. I like to look at pretty women, but I don’t need it as part of by viewing boxing.

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