By Robert Jackson: With the fallout from the Mayweather/ Marquez bout behind us a final rendering regarding this event need be served up. Mayweather returning to the ring after a 21 month layoff magnificently outboxed and seemingly outclassed the Lightweight Champion Marquez. To Marquez’ credit he survived the late rounds barrage of Mayweather, weathered the storm and finished the fight on his feet, with ‘dignity’. What’s next for the Mayweather who was confronted by Shane Mosley (egged on by Golden Boy colleague Bernard Hopkins) who challenged him to a fight during the in-ring post fight interview?? Before discussing what’s next let’s put the Mayweather/Marquez affair under the microscope, so to speak..
This whole event came into being on the night of the Pacquiao/Hatton fight with Floyd announcing his return to the ring to face Marquez who called him out after his 9th round KO over Juan Diaz. Many of Mayweather’s critics and naysayers accused “Money May’ of trying to upstage Pacquiao and Hatton. That was not the case this is a COMMON practice used by HBO promote the NEXT big fight, a Cotto/Pacquiao press conference took place right before the Mayweather/ Marquez bout. The weight to be fought at for this bout was an area of contention for both teams with Marquez wanting a 143lb catch-weight and Mayweather wanting the fight waged at welterweight limit of 147lbs. Finally agreed upon was a catch-weight of 144lbs. The original July date got pushed back to September 19th when Mayweather suffered a RIB injury during training. It was surmised that he was hurt during sparring with speculation as to whom he was sparring with that caused the injury. Mayweather refused to reveal any details about the injury. It was also thought that the injury was faked because ticket sales for the July date were sluggish and with the September date being close to Mexican Independence Day sales would improve. Shane Mosley around that time spoke saying that tickets were not selling.
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer countered Mosley’s claim saying that sales were brisk. Other rumors have it that Mayweather secretly tried to reach an agreement with Pacquiao for a fight with Marquez receiving $1M to step aside. These secret negotiations supposedly happened because Pacquiao/Cotto negotiations had stalled over their catch-weight and whether the fight should be a title fight. The extra time allowed Marquez to adjust to the weight and Mayweather time to heal. Afterwards the fight was on and preparation proceeded normally. HBO’s 24/7 series chronicled the preparation of both men. More contention arose during the weigh-in when Mayweather failed to make the contracted weight of 144lbs and instead weighed in at 146lbs. Sources have it, that Mayweather advisors contacted Golden Boy officials on Monday or Tuesday of fight week and reported that Mayweather was struggling to make the contracted weight and may come in overweight. GBP contacted Marquez team with this news and the contract was amended to accommodate both men with a weight penalty assessed if weight wasn’t made. Mayweather reportedly signed the new contract on Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Marquez is rumored to have signed right before the weigh-in, rumor also has it that the NSAC said that Marquez’ initials weren’t present on the amended contract. Well anyway, Mayweather was fined $600K for coming in 2 lbs overweight. That $600K was added to Marquez purse. The fight was now on, and the REST is history.
With the rumored facts of the fight down on paper, here are the 6 things that “Money May” did right:
1) Rather than begging for a fight with Pacquiao who as the P4P King of boxing has become a tough negotiator. Mayweather fought the guy who Pacquiao refused to fight a 3rd time, with many having Juan Manuel Marquez winning one if not both of their previous fights. And by defeating Marquez so convincingly his place at the negotiating table for a fight against Pacquiao is secure.
2) After a 21 month layoff any comebacking fighter NEEDS ROUNDS to re-acclimate himself/herself to the rigors of 12 round bouts. Mayweather got his work in on Saturday nite 2 weeks ago.
3) Unable to make the 144lbs catch-weight Mayweather informed the appropriate parties ahead of time to make necessary arrangements so that the fight could go forth and paid the penalty assessed to him. Authors Note: in the history of boxing USUALLY when a smaller man challenges a bigger man the SMALLER man goes up to and fights the bigger man in his weight class. Only recently has the catch-weight fad caught on. And with the Pacquiao/Cotto matchup being fought at a catch-weight of 145lbs and ALSO being sanctioned as a TITLE fight that sets a bad precedence!
4) During the post-fight interview Mayweather accurately stated that he NEVER disrespected Hopkins or Shane Mosley at their victory coronations during the post fight in-ring interview. Mayweather further championed this theme during the post-fight Press Conference to the cheers of those present and to the consternation of both Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins. Since then Mayweather has gone on the offensive against Shane Mosley who has tried to characterize Mayweather as running from him. Mayweather has brought up occasions in 1999, 2005, and 2006 where his challenges to fight Shane Mosley were rebuked by Mosley, turning around ‘the who’s running from who’ argument in his favor.
5) If the rumors of a $6M IRS debt are true the IRS got PAID.
6) 1M+ PPV buys translates Mayweather into a boxing MEGA star, with reported percentages of the PPV receipts (up to an additional $5M) paid to ‘Money Mayweather’ , making this the highest grossing boxing PPV event of 2009 while also outselling a UFC PPV event on the same night. This also puts pressure on the Pacquiao/Cotto bout to do better numbers.