Juan Manuel Marquez: What's it like to spar with JMM?Written by Leroy Cleveland
In March, Tru School Sports caught up with gym rat and rising super lightweight sensation Adrian Granados (18-4--2, 12 KO).
At 27 and on a five-fight win streak, the 5'9" Granados isn't shy about sharing a few details about his gym wars. And when asked what it was like to spar legend Juan Manuel Marquez, the young man was happy to oblige.
While trainer at famed trainer Nacho Beristan's gym circa 2010, Adrian insisted he had been getting the better of some quality stablemates during sparring sessions.
"They were like 'yo, this guy's good,'" an excited Granados told Tru School Sports.
"I was sparring with people and getting the better of almost everybody."They were all strong tough guys. [And] It's Nacho's gym so everybody's well-schooled."
"Juan [Manuel Marquez] was getting ready to fight Juan Diaz, and he was knocking out all of the sparring partners. They were all getting sent home."
After taking no prisoners that day, Adrian said Marquez took several days off from sparring before his handlers decided JMM needed more ring work.
"I was the only one there so they threw me in [with Marquez] ," Adrian told Brendan Taylor of Tru School Sports.
"I’m good at imitating styles ... so I was throwing mad punches at him."
Marquez was impressed with the young man's skills.
"And he [Marquez] was like, 'I want him [to spar with] I don't need anybody else,'" Granados uttered.
"Every day it was like me and him going at it."
Currently BoxRec's No. 8 super lightweight, Adrian praised Juan's patience under fire, and compact and precision-punching.
"He's a technician in there big-time."
Me, I'm just like whaling away on him [with] mad punches, [and] keeping that pace up - But he's there taking them [shots] and blocking them."
"He's like just waiting and waiting and then finally outta nowhere, he's like pop, pop, pop, pop. Like a quick 4 or 5 punch combination. And they were always thunderous shots."
"He was just so powerful."
Adrian, a true gym rat who has sparred with many fighters, insisted Juan Manuel Marquez is one of three fighters whose power is 'on another level.' Adrien Broner and Kermit Cintron are the others.
Marquez, of course, would go on to defeat Juan Diaz twice.