Mayweather Dominates Marquez - Would He Do The Same Thing To Pacquiao?
by James Slater - First, the positive. 32-year-old Floyd Mayweather Junior looked superb in all but shutting-out a brave Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas last night. Showing absolutely no ring-rust despite having his first fight in almost two years, "Money" looked as sharp as ever, perhaps even sharper. Sure, he was his usual defensive-minded self as well, but Mayweather's performance was highly impressive.
Now, the negative. I'm sure to be called a "Floyd Hater" by some fans for saying it, but can Mayweather pick on someone his own size next time please? As great as he looked last night, it has to be kept in mind how he was fighting a guy he seriously out-weighed and who was bravely attempting to fight when two divisions above his real weight class. Basically, Marquez's chances of winning were slim enough going into the fight, but when Mayweather had the effrontery to ignore the agreed upon 144-pound weight limit and choose to come in at 146 and accept a fine for doing so (when asked about this issue by Max Kellerman post-fight, Floyd refused to answer the question, saying he wasn't there to talk about money) "Dinamita's" chances of victory became even slimmer..
What the fans want now from Mayweather, who, perhaps was entitled to an advantage-laden return fight, is for him to face a guy who is his own size and who has a real shot at beating him. If he can then look like a million dollars in such a fight and win it, Floyd would really earn some praise. "Sugar" Shane Mosley would fight him in a heartbeat, as he again made clear by approaching Mayweather while he was being interviewed last night, but will "Money" risk his unbeaten record against the 38-year-old who seems unable to get anyone to fight him?
Some people have said Mayweather has avoided and will continue to avoid Mosley, and this is what hurts the 32-year-old's legacy. After all, ducking, or even allegedly ducking, a 38-year-old! Other real welterweights Mayweather could fight but won't, are Paul Williams (who insists he would be able to get back down to 147 should a super-fight opportunity present itself) and, if he gets past Manny Pacquiao in November, Miguel Cotto. Either one of the three superb fighters mentioned here would give Mayweather a real fight.
It looks more likely, though, that Mayweather will focus now on a fight with Pacquiao, should Manny get past Cotto. And here's the irony: fans everywhere would be more than happy, in fact they'd be ecstatic, if Mayweather signed to fight "Pac-Man" next year. Why ironic? Because Pacquiao, like Marquez, is no welterweight. But Floyd would not be penalised for facing another naturally smaller man in this case, simply because Pacquiao is such a great talent and because he is a fighter who has retained his lethal punching power whilst going up in weight - both factors giving the fans the belief that he will be able to defeat Mayweather. But here's the thing, against Mayweather at 147, Pacquiao would very possibly meet a similar fate to the one Marquez suffered last night.
Manny's fans won't like hearing it, but Mayweather, with his advantages in height and reach and in being the far more natural welterweight, would have a good shot at dominating the Filipino the way he did Mexico's Marquez (a man who is slightly taller then Pacquiao). Yes, because of his raw power and his own speed,and maybe because of his southpaw stance, Pacquiao would have more of a chance than Marquez had, but it's not too hard to envisage an elusive and accurately pot-shotting Mayweather coming away with a wide points win over "Pac-Man."
Unless Pacquiao is able to make Mayweather agree to come down to a lower poundage and box him at a catch-weight (would Floyd honour such an agreement anyway, or would he choose to come in at whatever weight he wants inside 147 and accept a fine again?) Floyd will (in my opinion) once again put on a master class against a significantly lighter man. But if he can do to Pacquaio what he did to Marquez, Mayweather will be given nothing but credit - even though there are real welterweights out there who have wanted to fight him for the longest time.
Mayweather-Pacquiao, if it gets made, will be hyped up in a huge way; and the fight will be far more interesting than the one we saw last night. But the 5'8," Mayweather (reach 72") will be more than capable of boxing another safety first but winning fight against the 5'6.5" Pacquiao (reach 67").
Article posted on 20.09.2009