Between the ropes, this weekend offers one decent, one very good, and one great matchup. I will deal with them in descending order.
Juan Diaz versus Juan Manuel Márquez: Diaz is the naturally bigger man with the relentless style that would seem tailor-made to bother Márquez. Márquez is the better boxer with the better skills who should be able to spin and potshot his opponent, but I'm not convinced that will be enough. Nate Campbell beat Diaz in large part because of his great work inside, and I don't have a lot of faith in Márquez's ability to do the same. One of the great pieces of advice I've heard in recent weeks about predicting fights is, Don't start with the fighter you think is going to win and then try to explain why he will do so. Instead, look at the fight as a blank slate, and try to imagine who is going have the stylistic advantage, and who is going to win the exchanges. Following that wisdom, Diaz has to be the pick. Plus, Diaz has the significant advantage of being the aggressor in front of a hometown crowd. But I'm going to ignore the above advice, and say that Márquez will find his way to a majority decision victory. If I'm wrong, I have only myself to blame, but sometimes, when selecting an entree and picking fights, you have to go with the gut over the brain.
Johnathon Banks vs. Tomasz Adamek: Banks is a likeable fighter who's showed a lot of heart and good pop on the (very few) occasions I've seen him in action, and I wouldn't be shocked to see him score an upset of Adamek. The Polish titlist has been in a lot of wars, and I think he will one day go from the height of his powers to looking like a has-been in just a few rounds. But I'm guessing that day is still far off into the future. The champ survives some early rough spots and scores a late-round knockout.
Chris John vs. Rocky Juarez: Like a handful of superstars in the '90s-era NBA, Juarez has the misfortune of being a very good competitor eclipsed by even better ones. Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Márquez have already played Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon to his Charles Barkley, and I think Chris John may as well be Tim Duncan. I'd like to be wrong, but I just don't see Juarez's fifth title shot being the charm. He's still among the best 126 and 130-pounders, but he's looked listless and gun-shy in his last few bouts. I think he'd have to imitate Diaz to defeat John, but that's just not the kind of fighter he is. John cruises to a comfortable UD.
Gancho is 9-3 on the year, although the Cintron-Martínez fight is about as much a loss as was the 1972 US basketball squad's defeat at the hands of the USSR.