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Mayweather-Marquez: Head to head

18
Sep

FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. vs. JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ

When: Saturday, Sept. 19

Where: MGM Grand, Las Vegas

TV: HBO pay per view, 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT



Weight: Welterweight

Title(s) at stake: None

Also on the card: Chris John vs. Rocky Juarez, 12 rounds, for John’s featherweight title; Michael Katsidis vs. Vicente Escobedo, 12 rounds, lightweights; Cornelius Lock vs. Orlando Cruz, 10 rounds, featherweights.

MAYWEATHER

The essentials

Age: 32

Height / Reach: 5-8 / 72

Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich.

Turned pro: 1996

Record: 39-0 (25 knockouts)

Trainer: Roger Mayweather

Fight-by-fight: http://www.boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?cat=boxer&human_id=352

The Ring rating: None

Titles: junior lightweight (1998-2002); lightweight (2002-04); junior welterweight (2004-05); welterweight (2006-08); junior middleweight (2007).

Biggest victories: Genardo Hernandez, Oct. 3, 1998, TKO 8 (wins junior lightweight title); Diego Corrales, Jan. 20, 2001 (Corrales was unbeaten); Jose Luis Castillo, April 20, 2002, UD 12 (survives close fight); Oscar De La Hoya, May 5, 2007, SD 12 (highest-profile fight); Ricky Hatton, Dec. 8, 2007, TKO 10 (Hatton unbeaten).

Losses/draws: None.

MARQUEZ

The essentials

Age: 36

Height/Reach: 5-7, 67

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico

Turned pro: 1993

Record: 50-4-1 (37 knockouts)

Trainer: Nacho Beristain

Fight-by-fight: http://www.boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=12222&cat=boxer

The Ring rating: Lightweight champion; No. 2 pound for pound.

Titles: Featherweight (2003-05; 2006-07); junior lightweight (2007-08); lightweight (2009-present).

Biggest victories: Manuel Medina, Feb. 1, 2003, TKO 7 (wins featherweight title); Marco Antonio Barrera, March, 17, 2007, UD 12 (wins junior lightweight title); Joel Casamayor, Sept. 13, 2008, TKO 11 (first to stop Casamayor); Juan Diaz, Feb. 28, 2009, TKO 9 (wins two lightweight titles).

Biggest losses/draw: Freddie Norwood, Sept. 11, 1999, UD 12 (for featherweight title); Manny Pacquiao, May 8, 2004, draw (for two featherweight titles); Chris John, March 4, 2006, UD 12 (for featherweight title); Pacquiao, March 15, 2008, SD 12 (for junior lightweight title).

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Skills: Both Mayweather and Marquez have elite-level intelligence, technique, and ring generalship. They possess the versatility to box, stalk, or counter punch at any point during their fights. They are economical and accurate combination punchers, masters of timing and distance. They are always poised and seldom off balance or over extended. They don’t make many mistakes and they don’t allow their opponents to get away with missteps. Mayweather is more fluid and mobile than Marquez, who is the more active and aggressive of the two master boxers.
Edge: Even

Power: In a pound-for-pound sense a strong argument can be made for Marquez, who has won 37 of his 50 victories by knockout, which includes his last two fights, an 11th-round TKO of Casamayor and a ninth-round KO of Juan Diaz. Both Casamayor and Diaz had never been stopped. However, those two bouts took place at lightweight, and most of Marquez’s KOs have occurred in featherweight bouts. Saturday’s fight is at welterweight, where Mayweather has fought since late 2005 and where he’s shown enough power to stop a shopworn Sharmba Mitchell and take out a then-undefeated Ricky Hatton. Mayweather’s punches sting enough at welterweight (and junior middleweight) to get the respect of naturally bigger and usually durable fighters such as Carlos Baldomir and Oscar De La Hoya.
Edge: Mayweather

Speed and athletic ability: One of the key components of Mayweather’s recent success is his rare ability to retain the speed he possessed at 130 and 135 pounds at higher weights. Mayweather’s lightening fast reflexes, hand-eye and foot-eye coordination enhance his already phenomenal speed. Marquez had very good hand speed at featherweight and junior lightweight, but he’s lost a degree of quickness at lightweight and one can only assume that he will lose a little more at welterweight.
Edge: Mayweather

Defense: Neither fighter wants to take unnecessary punishment in the ring, but Mayweather is arguably the sport’s best at hitting without getting hit in return. He’s able to defend against in-coming punches better than Marquez because unlike the Mexican fighter he makes use of constant head and upper-body movement. (Mayweather is also less active, which gives his opponents less of an opportunity to land punches during exchanges.)
Edge: Mayweather

Experience: Both fighters have uncommon seasoning. It’s hard to figure who has more experience. Marquez has more fights (55) than Mayweather (39), but the younger man had an extensive amateur career. Mayweather has a slight edge in the number of titleholders he’s fought (13 to 12), which includes three fighters once recognized by THE RING as true champs (Judah, Baldomir and Hatton). Marquez has fought two bona fide future hall of famers (Barrera and Pacquiao), and one borderline (Casamayor) . Mayweather has fought one bona fide future hall of famer (De La Hoya) and four borderline (Genaro Hernandez, Corrales, Castillo and Hatton). Mayweather has defeated all of the titleholders he’s fought. Marquez lost to three (Norwood, John and Pacquiao).
Edge: Mayweather

Chin: One of Mayweather’s most underrated qualities is his toughness but it’s hard to ascertain how good his chin is because of his uncanny defensive ability. He’s been in with punchers but they weren’t able to nail him with clean punches to his chops. Still, Mayweather has only been visibly buzzed once (vs. DeMarcus Corley) and has never been dropped (although some would argue that Judah should have received credit for a technical knockdown early in their fight). Marquez obviously has a good chin. If he didn’t Pacquiao would have knocked him out. However, Marquez has hit the deck six times (four in his two bouts with Pacquiao, once versus Norwood and once against Barrera).
Edge: Mayweather

Conditioning: Both fighters are always in optimum condition. When have ever seen either out of shape? Marquez’s conditioning is part of the reason (his lion’s heart is the other part) that he was able to get up from those three knockdowns in his first Pacquiao fight and survive Diaz’s early storm. Mayweather has never appeared out of breath during or between rounds. It’s safe to say that both fighters are almost fanatical about their training and conditioning.
Edge: Even

Wear and tear: After his loss to John Marquez made a conscious choice to box more aggressively which led to more knockouts and terrific TV fights against Terdsak Jandaeng, Jimrex Jaca, Barrera, Pacquiao and Diaz, however his modified style has taken a toll, which was evident in the cuts, bruises and lacerations that marked his face after each one of those fights. Mayweather has had hand and shoulder problems in the past but hasn’t hampered by them in his recent fights. He claims that taking last year off has helped his body heal from most of the nagging pains that plague most veteran boxers.
Edge: Mayweather

Corner: One of these days Mayweather is going to get credit for training himself but for the time being his trainer of record is his uncle Roger who has trained him for the entire decade and has obviously done an excellent job. However, apart from his nephew, Roger is largely unproven as a trainer. He has a rapport with Mayweather that translates to a relaxed corner between rounds, but he did show a hothead when he jumped in the ring after Judah fouled his nephew during their fight. Beristain, who has trained at least 12 world titleholders including Marquez’s brother Rafael and hall of famers Ricardo Lopez and Daniel Zaragoza, has never lost his head like that.
Edge: Marquez

Outcome: Despite his size advantage don’t expect Mayweather to start fast. He’s been out of the ring for almost two years and he respects Marquez, who will probably have to press the bigger man to make anything happen. Marquez will advance in intelligent fashion but he’ll have trouble dealing with Mayweather’s lateral movement, superior hand speed and ability to punch on the fly. The middle rounds will heat up as Mayweather loosens up and Marquez acclimates to his foe’s hand speed and the extra weight he’s carrying. Mayweather will momentarily rock Marquez with quick one-two from the outside but he will be discouraged from jumping on his smaller opponent when he’s caught with hooks and uppercuts on his way inside. Ignoring fatigue and a badly marked up face, Marquez will step his pressure up in the late rounds and Mayweather will give ground to the gutsy little warrior hoping to score off the ropes. He will, landing uppercuts and crosses that buzz his antagonist, but Marquez will stay on him and score with solid punches, including some hard lefts to the body. The action with Mayweather’s back to the ropes will be the best of the fight, which will end with a tit-for-tat 12th round.

Prediction: Mayweather by competitive but unanimous decision, 116-112.

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