Mayweather v Marquez- From My View

By Jamie Savin: On September 19th Floyd Mayweather Jr makes his return to the ring following a self imposed 21 month hiatus against Juan Manuel Marquez at the catch-weight of 144lbs. A lot has been said about this fight be it that it is a mismatch given that Marquez has never fought higher then 135lbs before. After some analysis by boxing experts and reports that have been around various boxing websites, many people are thinking this fight will be a lot closer than first thought, especially if the Yahoo Sports poll is to be believed about a 51-49 split in favour of Marquez. Is that a result of the boxing public really believing that Marquez can beat the best of this generation at a weight he has never fought at before or is it a general distain for a man who plays the bad guy to try and boost PPV sales..

The general belief amongst most people is that if the Mayweather who was on top of his game before his hiatus is back then he will win a comfortable unanimous point’s decision or maybe a late KO with Marquez having little success. Marquez is a clever counter puncher but he is also easy to eat, compare that with Mayweather an excellent counter puncher with lightening speed and a knack for not getting hit. Marquez was game and showed true grit and determination in an excellent fight with Juan Diaz earlier this year scoring a knockout victory but he took far too many punches against a B-Level fighter. Here in this fight he is facing the best who if the Diaz fight is anything to go by will land at will, which will ultimately end up in a messed up Marquez and a Mayweather victory.

There is another train of thought which must be taken into account, what if Money Mayweather is not at the top of his game, what if the hiatus has taken something out of him? Does this open up a chance for Marquez to pull off the upset and lead him into a massive fight with the winner of Pacman/Cotto? There has been reports of a sparring session between Mayweather and highly rated light welterweight Lamont Peterson, depending on which report you read the outcome varies, one report states Mayweather looked awesome with his speed, reflexes and timing all being spot on forcing Peterson to stop after eight draining 4 minute rounds. The other report floating around says it was very competitive but with Peterson getting the better of Mayweather, the same report also states Peterson was slightly out of shape and was only just starting to get ready for his proposed matched with Bradley. If this is true it does raise some questions about Mayweather’s abilities since his break, his training camp, and if an out of shape but highly rated light welterweight can do this what can a fighter of Marquez’s ability do?

Sparring can often mean nothing though, as arguably the greatest of all time Ali was a terrible gym fighter and if you do enough reading of boxing you will know that many of the greats have been bettered by lesser fighters. There is another school of thought to this though which is equally valid as only recently Victor Ortiz beat up De La Hoya in sparring before De La Hoya took on Pacquiao and we all saw how that fight went. For every story about a great fighter being out worked by a lesser fighter in sparring, there is stories about fighters looking great in sparring both culminating in said fighter scoring the victory come fight night, but there is always that one time when these reports come out and when the said fighters fights on fight night they don’t look themselves and the shock loss happens.

The real acid test for Mayweather is when that opening bell rings only then will we see if Mayweather is truly back, when Marquez throws his jab only then will we see if the reflexes are at the level they were before the hiatus. It’s possible that the hiatus has recharged Mayweather’s batteries and his more ready to go then for any fight in his career in which case Marquez is in big trouble a focussed Mayweather is a frightening sight in boxing as he has the ability to not get hit but also to land combos of punches on his opponent. People may question his all time great status as he has never been pushed to the limit the closest he came was in the first Castillo fight in which he was reported to be injured but even then somehow managed to work out the decision. A lot of people say he was gifted the decision this seemed to anger Mayweather as he gave Castillo a rematch and went on to score the decision again. Following both the Castillo fights people thought Castillo had shown the blue print on how to potentially beat Mayweather but still he remains unbeaten. Many have tried to copy it/improve upon it such as De La Hoya and Hatton but both were out done by the skill of Mayweather. Can Marquez push Mayweather to places that he has never been before, maybe but he has to do things to negate the natural disadvantages facing him.

There is no way that Marquez can out speed Mayweather, but he has to stop Mayweather’s speed before it can do any real damage, the common answer to that is to work the body such as Castillo did, but as was seen in the Hatton fight, Mayweather learnt how to deal with pressure body punchers and even out worked Hatton in that sense. Marquez must control the centre of the ring if he gives this up then it will be a very long night for him, whilst Mayweather is excellent on the back foot his a lot better when he has the chance to dance around the centre throwing off his jab at will. Even in the Diaz fight Marquez did not look comfortable on the back fight the only time he looked like dominating the fight was when pressured Diaz forcing him back controlling the centre of the ring. It would take a fool to compare Diaz to Mayweather, but Marquez needs to focus on his own strengths to beat Mayweather, his resilience and heart could be tested like never before. There have been a lot of reports the Marquez is looking very comfortable at the weight his speed has come up with him which is crucial in a fight of this type but also he has been working a lot on strength training and this has lead to some people predicting a late knockout victory for Marquez. This is a real possibility if Mayweather is slightly out of step but Marquez will have work damned hard he’ll have to force Mayweather to fight on the back foot for pretty much the duration of the fight, work the body a hell of a lot and control the centre of the ring. On the other hand if Mayweather is tuned up and ready the fight could turn out to be an exhibition match with Mayweather showing his full array of skills like he did in the Hatton fight and Corrales fight.

There are a couple of ‘x-factors’ over this fight, the main one being is Mayweather back as despite as good as Marquez is his no Mayweather and despite all the heart and will in the world, he will lose a lopsided decision or potentially get knocked out due to a culmination of accurate punches. If Mayweather shows signs of ring rust Marquez could force himself into the fight and take Mayweather to a place his never been before he could put the 1 in the loss column. De La Hoya of course is backing Marquez to do the job but he would back anyone going against Mayweather as I remember he was backing Hatton to do the job, the vast majority of boxing experts are backing Mayweather and the only doubts they have are in reference to the ones mentioned above in regards to Mayweather’s potential ring rust. Why has Mayweather chosen Marquez for his first fight back in what he is calling his final five fights, well the answer is simple really if he beats Marquez in convincing style he has a bragging tool over Manny. Mayweather will state over and over I have beaten the man that ‘beat’ you twice so if you want to face the best this is what you’re in for. Of course this could mean nothing if Pacman loses to Cotto in November but if Pacman comes through that fight a true blockbuster of a showdown could be on. If this columnist was to put a bet on the fight, it would be covering my bet’s to say the least, Mayweather is understandably the bookies favourite and the point’s victory looks a safe bet but it is also tempting to back Marquez at relatively long odds to score the knockout victory as you never know.

As always share your thoughts on the article, and how you feel the fight will go, I do check the comments and will reply to any questions you ask etc... but if you wish to contact me I can be contacted via email,

Article posted on 16.09.2009

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