Mayweather/Marquez: Keys to Victory, Four to Explore, Official Prediction
By Vivek Wallace: Tonight marks the return of Floyd Mayweather jr. to the sport of boxing. Nearly two years ago, he left the sport as the consensus P4P king, and as he returns, his sole mission is to regain that status. The end goal is to ultimately square off against the Filipino's finest, but if he were to fall short in a pending showdown with Miguel Cotto, that mission would become even bigger, as it would ultimately have to go through an even bigger challenger. With Pacquiao, Mosley, and Cotto each in contention, paths are many, but destination is one. As we await tonight's official return of Floyd Mayweather jr., we embark on a final countdown as these two men prepare for war. Quickly, we take a look at the angles that count:
JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ - KEYS TO VICTORY
The biggest key for Marquez tonight is to act like a fast-break NBA team and remember to constantly push the pace. Sounds simple, but the complex logic is that pressing Mayweather will give him less time to do what he does best.....think. The more pressure Marquez adds, the more adrenaline he creates, and the less time Mayweather has to think, the more his out-of-sync adrenaline will translate to anxiety based mistakes. Past opponents were'nt able to use this tactic because he was always fresh, but facing a recently idle Mayweather who hasn't performed in front of a huge crowd in this type event in nearly two years now could be the best thing Marquez has going for himself.Another key to victory for Marquez will be consistency of the jab. When Mayweather goes into that defensive posture, whether it's the shoulder, the elbow, the forearm, or the bicep, he needs to keep touching Mayweather and setting traps with a lead jab, followed by more punishing shots. Finally, Marquez needs to relax. Those in Marquez's camp can attest to the issues the warrior has had with nerves in the past. Settle down and rise up....rather than being worked up and knocked down! (Think Pacquiao/Marquez I) If Marquez can remain calm, execute with a lead jab, and fight at an aggressive pace for 12 rounds, he could be up for the impossible by night's end.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. - KEYS TO VICTORY
For Mayweather, the keys to victory are quite simple. Space, space, and more space. Mayweather will need to use his brilliant footwork to take away aggressive angles and evade an almost sure-to-press Marquez. Another key element to the outcome in this fight is how much of Mayweather's typical patience he will bring back to the ring from his layoff. Usually, Mayweather breaks an opponent down systematically, pot-shotting with powershots early, wearing an opponent down, then seizing the moment late. That type of patience will be key with a fighter like Marquez who can adjust on the fly quite well. Last, Mayweather will need to do something he hasn't been able to do for a while in the ring now. That is use his size advantage. Use that reach to extend the jab, and use the weight to push him around. Marquez usually comes conditioned to go deep, but this will be his first time against a fighter this size, and also his first time against a fighter this good. Mayweather will need to exploit all angles if he wants a solid victory. Doing these things will certainly increase his odds.
FOUR TO EXPLORE - (THINGS THAT COULD INFLUENCE THE FINAL OUTCOME)
1.) THE 'SCAR-FACE' EFFECT: There will be a lot of celebrities on hand tonight, but the one going by the name 'Scarface' isn't quite Al Pacino. Recently on the HBO 24/7 series, it was pretty noticeable that the right side of Marquez's face (left side if you're standing in front of him) seemed very raw and sensitive. (Circular motion ranging from nose, eyebrow and cheekbone). No doubt, this will be where he cuts first. A nasty cut of this nature could mean Friday the 13th walking down Elm Street - as it would be pure horrific mayhem waiting to happen for the Mexican warrior. Will that weak skin tissue hold up or simply tear down? Definitely something to keep an eye on.
2.) AGE BEFORE BEAUTY?: Juan Manuel Marquez has been through a ton of wars over the years and despite his recent seminole moment in the ring against Juan Diaz, there's no question his clock is running out. Could tonight be the first night in his career where we all agree in unison that he has officially reached the proverbial 'westside' of his career, facing a falling sunset? It may or may not be, but a younger Mayweather who's still in his prime could very well make it appear that way. Guess we'll see.
3.) DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS: Statistically, Mayweather has rarely allowed opponents to connect with any frequency, holding Judah to an 18% connection percentage, Hatton to 16%, and Baldomir to an embarrassing 11%. If those fighters pressed the action and barely connected, can Marquez stick to counterpunching and realistically fare better? Hmmm......
4.) MATH OR SCIENCE?: Nacho Beristan has openly employed a strategy of steady energy, racking up more points and putting less focus on thinking too much. Mayweather on the other hand is expected to simply execute and box. Will the aggressive approach add up in the end, or will Mayweather's sweet science create a bitter chemistry for the Mexican warrior? Styles make fights, and an intelligent one usually wins them. Lets see what gets the job done here.
OFFICIAL PREDICTIONS - MAYWEATHER TKO RD11 & CHRIS JOHN UD OVER ROCKY JUAREZ
Marquez will bring his A-game and no question, it'll be enough to add some key moments in the fight, but after settling down and going to work, I fully expect Mayweather to slow Marquez with a bevy of powershots, mixed in a very diverse arsenal. As alluded to earlier, Mayweather specializes in making an opponent miss, and fundamentally, as good as he is, Marquez simply isn't polished enough to overcome that. We saw Juan Diaz stay competitive with Marquez and actually go into the championship rounds ahead on the cards. Diaz used tons of pressure to keep Marquez off balance, while Mayweather will use an immeasurable amount of brains, frustrating Marquez 'til the bitter end.
(For odds/handicapping of the bouts, take a glimpse at Erik Schaffer's odds)
(Vivek Wallace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEK747), Facebook, and Myspace).
Article posted on 19.09.2009