Boxing


Oscar De La Hoya Thinks Marquez Can Shock Mayweather, Says Juan Manuel Will Be Biggest Mexican Star Since Chavez If He Wins

by James Slater - A good number of fans, when the fight was first announced, felt as though Floyd Mayweather Junior had cherry picked a pretty safe opponent in Mexico's world lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez. Primarily due to the 36-year-old's size, these fans felt the July fight that was rescheduled for September 19th was nothing much more than a top quality tune-up bout for "Money." But is this way of thinking old hat now?

A couple of things happened that have maybe made some fans change their mind about the outcome of the September match-up. Number-one: Floyd's rib injury.. And number-two, the way the extra time to prepare has seemingly helped Marquez grow into his new weight (of 144-pounds the limit). If Mayweather's ribs were genuinely injured (and some feel the reason for postponing the July date had more to do with poor ticket sales than it did with Floyd's ribs) why can't Marquez, a good body puncher, as are practically all Mexican fighters, re-injure them?

As for the added time in which he's had to prepare for his first fight above 135-pounds, Marquez in training has so impressed Oscar De La Hoya that "The Golden Boy" has gone on record as saying he feels more confident than ever that the underdog has a real shot at "shocking the world."

As reported by Ring on line, De La Hoya left Marquez's training camp on Wednesday, and upon doing so he felt as though the Mexican warrior is in no way to be underestimated, either by Mayweather or by the fans.

"He trained inside this little gym," Oscar said to Ring on line. "It was over 100-degrees. He sparred eight rounds, did sit-ups, and he wasn't even breathing hard. He's in tip-top shape. It's going to be a good one. The guy is hitting hard. You can see it in his body, it's thick. He looks like a welterweight, a small welterweight. That's what Mayweather is, too, a small welterweight. I feel the postponement did Marquez a lot of good."

Maybe it did. Maybe more than it did Mayweather some good. Add "Money's" reflex-dulling 21-month layoff to the possibility that Marquez will not be that much the smaller man in the ring, and you could have an upset in the making. For those that criticised the fight, it should be remembered that everyone wants to see Mayweather fight Manny Pacquiao - the same Pacquiao who twice went life and death with the man Floyd is about to face. And though we don't know yet if Marquez can follow Pac-Man's lead and go up the weights as effectively as the Filipino has, he at least deserves the chance to give it a go before we write him off.

Could it be that Marquez will give Mayweather a much tougher fight than Manny would?

As to what it will mean for Marquez if he does pull it off, De La Hoya says Juan Manuel will be up there with another Mexican hero.

"He'll be the biggest fighter coming out of Mexico since Chavez," Oscar said. "He'll be huge. This is Chavez Taylor all over again."

If Mayweather-Marquez is half as good as Julio Cesar Chavez-Meldrick Taylor, no fans will even think about complaining!

Article posted on 04.09.2009



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