Diaz set a busy pace in the early rounds and had great success landing his left hook over the right hand of Marquez. The 25-year-old stalked Marquez around the ring and seemed the stronger fighter, especially when he was able to pin the 35-year-old Mexican along the ropes. Marquez, however, was the sharper, more accurate puncher when the fight was contested in the middle of the ring and gradually turned the momentum in his favor.
Marquez suffered a small cut over his eye in the fifth round but it proved to be no problem for the veteran. In contrast, Diaz suffered a nastier cut over his right eye in the eighth round and it was all downhill for him from that point forward. Just as when he was cut in his loss to Nate Campbell, Diaz was bothered greatly by the blood and he immediately began to get hit with much greater frequency.
Diaz was dropped face first by a five-punch combination in the middle of the ninth round. He beat the count of referee Rafael Ramos but Marquez came in and landed a series of pinpoint punches, punctuated by a perfect right uppercut, which dropped Diaz for a second time. There was no need for Ramos to count as he waved a stop to the fight at 2:40 of the ninth.
Scoring: Through eight complete rounds, the judges had it even: 77-75 for Marquez, 77-75 for Diaz and 76-76 even. HBO's Harold Lederman had it 77-75 for Diaz at the time of the time of the stoppage.
Punch Stats: Total Punches: Marquez - 288 of 732 (39%); Diaz - 252 of 781 (32%). Total Power Punches: Marquez - 190 of 401 (47%); Diaz - 161 of 500 (32%).
After the fight, Marquez – saying he doubted Manny Pacquiao would fight him a third time - called Floyd Mayweather Jr. out of retirement. Mayweather may come out of retirement but it would likely be to face Pacquiao, who owns a draw and a win over Marquez in two fights that could have gone either way.
On the undercard, undefeated Chris John (42-0-2) successfully defended his WBA featherweight title for the 11th time ... but it was far from easy. Houston's Rocky Juarez (28-4-1) landed the heavier punches and took the final two rounds on all three scorecards but - even with a little hometown scoring - could still manage no better than a (rare) unanimous draw (114-114 on all three cards). John, an Indonesian fighting in the United States for the first time, outworked Juarez in most rounds, opened a cut over Juarez's left eye in the fifth and appeared to do just enough to get the decision. The bout was the fifth unsuccessful title shot for Juarez.
Scoring: All three judges scored the fight a 114-114 draw. HBO's Harold Lederman had it 116-112 for John.
Punch Stats: Total Punches: John - 344 of 1190 (29%); Juarez - 206 of 797 (26%). Total Jabs: John - 157 of 628 (25%); Juarez - 84 of 358 (23%).