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Juan Manuel Marquez knocks out Juan Diaz

February 28, 2009 |  9:42 pm

Marquez_300Juan Manuel Marquez claimed two vacant world lightweight belts tonight by rallying to knock out Texas' Juan Diaz at Houston's Toyota Center, according to Internet reports.

Marquez had wanted a quick rematch with Manny Pacquiao after their narrow March 2008 decision in a super-featherweight battle. Pacquiao rebuffed him to claim a lightweight crown and then beat Oscar De La Hoya at welterweight before signing to fight Ricky Hatton in May.

But now that Marquez has responded with impressive victories over Diaz and Joel Casamayor, his request is backed with enough credibility to make Pacquiao-Marquez III an intriguing bout later this year.

-- Lance Pugmire

Photo: Juan Manuel Marquez celebrates after stopping Juan Diaz with a ninth-round knockout on Saturday night. Credit: Eric Kayne / Houston Chronicle