Boxing


Mayweather Defeats J. M. Marquez En Route to Mayweather vs. Pacquaio

Mayweather vs MarquezBy Frank Gonzalez Jr. - Last night in Las Vegas, at the MGM Grand, former Welterweight titlist Floyd Mayweather Jr. (40-0, 25 KO’s) made his come back after his nearly two year separation from boxing. His opponent was a man of high esteem but smaller physical stature, Lightweight titlist, Juan Manual Marquez (50-5-1, 37 KO’s). Floyd nearly pitched a shut out in this one, rendering the smaller Marquez impotent on offense and off balance on defense. Floyd floored Marquez in the second round and it would be hard to argue that Marquez won a single round the whole fight.

Styles make fights but having a list of advantages in your favor going into a fight is also helpful. Floyd had all the advantages in this one, from coming in two pounds over the contracted weight, (a weight that forced Marquez to gain pounds to make weight), being bigger, stronger and faster than his brave Mexican warrior opponent, who win or lose, stood to earn his best payday ever.. And Marquez definitely deserves the money, he’s been a fantastic fighter for a lot of years and though he was overshadowed early on by Barrera, Morales and Hamed, he was certainly in their league, if not better.

But Marquez did fight Manny Pacquaio twice. Their rivalry is still alive, as Marquez has a Draw and a controversial Loss against the Pac Man, who doesn’t seem interested in a rubber match with Marquez. Why would he? It’s a dangerous proposition for Pacman and with the direction this “best pound for pound fighter in boxing” moniker is taking him, why risk everything for honor when there’s so much money to be made?

Pacquaio vs. Mayweather has been cultivated in our minds to be the most anticipated fight of the year, maybe the decade if making money is the measure. In the subtle, not so subtle promotion for what promises to be one of the biggest Pay-Per-View events in boxing history, Marquez role was to show what Floyd might look like against Manny Pacquaio. Now we know. Or do we? Are we to assume Floyd beats Pacquaio? Why not? We assume Pacquaio is the best Pound for Pound fighter in boxing after he beat an old Oscar De La Hoya and a faded Ricky Hatton. Hell, Pacman didn’t even clean out any of his divisions. Listed at 140 pounds, Manny Pacquaio hasn’t fought a single titlist in that division and doesn’t possess any of the major titles and yet, he’s ranked above them all. How is that? Is it based strictly on the assumption that he’s better than Tim Bradley, Juan Urango, Devon Alexander, Marcos Maidana and even Amir Khan. That suspension of reality is required to sell the biggest PPV of all time; Mayweather vs. Pacquaio.

As for the Marquez vs. Mayweather fight, it was a sleepy affair. Though Marquez gave his all, changed his strategy a couple of times, as he tried to fight inside, outside, around side, but nothing he did was enough to make it a competitive fight. Mayweather popped his jab, threw counter left hooks effectively and was winning every round. This was about as one-sided a fight as I’ve seen this year and I watch Friday Night Fights just about all every week.

When it was over, the scores were 120-107, 119-108 and 118-109 all in favor of Floyd Mayweather Jr.

After the scores were announced, HBO’s Max Kellerman began interviewing Floyd, who was happy to endorse some commercial sponsors and talk about how good he looked. When asked about his being overweight coming into the fight, he didn’t want to talk about that. He did want to talk about Manny Pacquaio though and right before Kellerman could wind that up, Shane Mosley was inside the ring, pulling a Kanye West on Mayweather, interrupting his interview for his own purposes, in this case, to call Floyd out. Floyd was not interested in talking about that either and started to say his handlers will take care of who he fights next but Mosley yelled that the fans want to see Floyd fight him. Floyd got angry and soon as he started grimacing, the Golden Boy gang of Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley and company were arguing back and forth with Floyd and then Floyd said, “Do I go interfere when you’re being interviewed? Show me some respect!” Things got a bit cooler after that and Kellerman went back on topic again, bringing up the name of Manny Pacquaio.

At that point, Floyd grabbed the microphone from Kellerman and said, “You talk too much. Now I’m going do the talking!” And Kellerman cut off the interview as he said, “Jim…” The cameras cut away from Floyd and the banter in the ring and focused on Manny Stewart and Jim Lampley, who further opined on Mayweather vs. Pacquaio when suddenly, Juan Manual Marquez appeared beside him, wanting to say a few words.

Kellerman was right to cut that interview off. It was probably the bravest thing I’ve ever seen him do, company man that he is. I think most people buy Floyd’s fights because they want to see him get beat, even if by accident. Like many colorful characters in boxing, Floyd is one color, green. Why would we want to hear Floyd thanking his sponsors and “seven figure” advertisers instead of answering questions fans like me want to know, like why didn’t you make weight? Why did he select Marquez as an opponent?

While Mosley’s methods were crude, when in Rome…do like the Romans applied there. Anyone who saw that interview saw Floyd’s body language saying “I don’t want to fight Shane Mosley, I want to fight a man I KNOW I’ll beat, Manny Pacquaio.”

But Sharkie, why you so hard on Floyd? Why you hating? I ain’t hating on Floyd. I think he’s one of the most talented boxers I’ve ever seen. I just wish he’d fight top fighters in his own weight class. Is that too much to ask from the man who’s billed as the best in all boxing?

The hell with Mayweather vs. Pacman, I want to see Mayweather fight a top Welterweight. A better fight would be Mayweather vs. Mosley instead!

* * *

Comments can be emailed to dshark87@hotmail.com

Article posted on 20.09.2009



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