Lopez retains featherweight title with TKO over Marquez

Las Vegas : Juan Manuel Lopez of Puerto Rico retained his WBO featherweight title when challenger Rafael Marquez retired with a shoulder injury at the end of the eighth round on Saturday.

The undefeated Lopez, 30-0 (27 KOs) dominated much of the bout against Mexico`s Marquez (39-6, 35 KOs), a former bantamweight and super bantamweight champion bidding to win a title in his third weight class.

But the 35-year-old veteran staged a powerful rally in rounds four and five in an attempt to turn the tide, rocking Lopez with a right hand in the fourth and following up with a furious rally.

Lopez, however, recovered and by round six was stalking Marquez relentlessly, driving him repeatedly to the ropes and unleashing fierce hooks and uppercuts.

Marquez, however, told his corner after the eighth round he could not move his shoulder, having hurt it in the early stages, which prompted the stoppage.

"After the third round, I couldn`t even throw punches any more," said Marquez.

Despite his dominant performance, Lopez was full of praise for his defeated rival.

"He`s a world champion," said Lopez. "You get him hurt, and he`s going to come right back after you."

Bureau Report