"Welcome to Sucker Town!" Floyd Mayweather Jr. W12 Juan Manuel Marquez

In a disgraceful mismatch, Floyd Mayweather Jr. returned from a layoff of nearly two years to dominate reigning lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez over twelve rounds in a sham “catchweight” bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Final scores were 119-108, 120-107, and 118-109.

From the selection of Marquez as the opponent to the over-the-top media coverage that bordered on cheerleading to the pathetic weigh-in shenanigans to the tasteless behavior of Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley during the post-fight interview, this “event” was a despicable farce on par with any short con listed in the books, but it lacked the ingenuity and grace of a well-executed swindle. Even a three-card monte game, properly conducted, has more merit. This hoax, unlike a simple shell game performed in the street with cups or bottle caps, had the galvanized support of a boxing press more interested in bootlicking than in analytical thought. The Cruelest Sport, it should be noted, did not sell anyone a bill of goods about this travesty.

Marquez, now 50-5-1 (37), took a steady beating from the opening bell despite the fact that Mayweather appeared to lack his usual timing and footwork. Mayweather, 32, picked Marquez apart from the outside by alternating jabs to the body and head and by throwing sharp left hooks as both leads and counters. Although Mayweather dropped Marquez with a quick left hook in round two, it seemed like he was trying to work out a few kinks during the early stages of the bout. Marquez, 36, was brave and determined throughout, but his iron will was no match for the impossible task before him.

Each round was a mirror image of the one preceding it: Mayweather scored with his jab, connected with left hooks, dropped an occasional right over the top, and blocked most of the return fire thrown by Marquez. Occasionally Mayweather, 40-0 (25), allowed Marquez to flail away at him on the ropes, but the proud Mexican, who deserved better than to be placed in the humiliating position of being thrashed by a fighter two divisions above him, could not sustain an attack and resembled a man not waving but drowning. From time to time Marquez, 142, would land single shots, but he was too slow and, apparently, top-heavy, to run off combinations.

Mayweather, 32, seemed to use his jab more often than he has in the past and dominated every stanza. According to Compubox figures, Marquez did not land more than 69 blows in the entire fight (or 12 percent of his total punches thrown) and many of those came when Mayweather adopted his defensive posture and allowed the smaller man to take free shots. In the later rounds Mayweather, 146, began to mix punishing lead rights into his offense and a stoppage looked like a distinct possibility by round ten. Marquez suffered a small cut, some swelling, and a bloody nose and seemed resigned to his fate to begin the 11th. In that round, Mayweather outlanded Marquez by an inconceivable margin of 41 to 5. Somehow Marquez stayed on his feet and Mayweather appeared to give up hopes for a knockout finish in the last round.

“Number One/Numero Uno,” promoted by Golden Boy in association with Mayweather Promotions (wink), and Marquez Promotions (double-wink), is the latest debacle for a company given to blathering on about being saviors of the sport. Its “Back to the Future” routine has so far included $250,000 in small bills handed over to Manny Pacquiao as a signing bonus, “catchweight” bouts usually involving one of its own partners and principals, lots of sanctimonious rigmarole about superior GBP operational procedures, phony weigh-ins, a lawsuit over the alleged theft of the idea behind “The Next Great Champ” flop television show, and Oscar De La Hoya shilling for his promotions on blogs posted on the Ring Magazine website. The post-fight interview saw Golden Boy front office partners Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley harangue Mayweather in a tacky move reminiscent of pro wrestling shtick.

Any complaints printed/posted in retrospect about the fight–or about Mayweather himself for that matter–will no doubt be made by the same observers who claimed that size does not matter or that the fight would be “great” or that the keys to victory for Marquez were in reach or that Marquez would pull off an amazing upset because a waxing gibbous moon was in funky alignment with certain stars somewhere over the Azores. Mayweather, whose selection of opponents often leaves something to be desired, can now look forward to being roasted by the same media types who predicted a close and competitive fight.

Tags: BERNARD HOPKINS Boxing Catchweight Floyd Mayweather Jr. GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS Hoax Juan Manuel Marquez Oscar De La Hoya Shane Mosley Waxing Gibbous

  • boxwire

    Great Story.

  • Mark

    Good column. This was the fight that wasn’t. Mayweather is a punk. Time to fight Mosely or Cotto or retire. He was literally picking on a smaller man last night…older too.

  • E Brown

    I was really shock at Shane Mosley and B Hop yesterday. This guy just gave us 12 rounds of sweet science and in his interview you don’t have enough respect to let him speak. It is funny with Shane excellent champ but Floyd was calling him and Oscar out when he was younger and Shane did not want any part of a fight. It is funny now he needs Floyd for a fight the ball is in Mayweather court you fight under his terms lol. What I really really really was more surprise about was one of my favorite fighter of all times had the audacity to assist Shane up there to talk over Floyd as if Floyd is ducking him. When in a clear case he is ducking Roy Jones Jr. He was arguing over 60 40 on the radio show. An how all these people beat Roy but you were not willing to face Roy with a 60 40 split with 60 going to the winner. I feel he is going after the younger fighter because he always has the ablitiy to fall back on his age as the reason he lost a fight. With Roy he knows his legacy is on the line. Executioner is full of excuses. I watch boxing very closely I personally love B-Hop one of the greatest Roy one of the greatest I have to say what B-Hop did is more impressive to me as far as legacy is concern. Raw talent I have to give it to Roy them hands are to fast I understand why B-Hop would not want to face them. Second I believe Roy just has the style that will beat a B-Hop at any age. Forget about the Shane Floyd fight we want the winner of Cotto Pacman to fight Floyd. At the end of the day Cotto beat Shane. An we want to see B-Hop a legend a great boxer fight Roy a legend. I think it is the biggest fight in boxing outside of Mayweather vs the winner of Pac vs Cotto if promoted right.

  • JDL

    Maybe one day Floyd will fight someone in his weight division again. This fight proved absolutely nothing. I’m almost ashamed I paid for this. The fight went exactly as I thought it would. These “catch weight” fights are ridiculous. Floyd weighed in at 146 before the fight(2 pounds over the agreed upon limit of 142 taking a penalty of $600k rather than work off the extra 2 pounds) and then refused to weigh himself the day of the fight. Floyd’s a great fighter. There’s no denying that. However, if he continues to fight blown up featherweights, his legacy will suffer. But as you pointed out, why should he stop fighting featherweights, when he’s being paid MILLIONS to do so? I don’t exactly agree with what Shane did last night, but you know what? I’m kind of glad he did it even tho it was a bit tasteless…let the world know Shane that there ARE LEGITIMATE Welterweights out there willing to fight Floyd. Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Andre Berto, Paul Williams, Joshua Clottey, Luis Collazo, Carlos Quintana, etc….pick one Floyd.

  • http://www.thecruelestsport.blogspot.com/ CARLOS ACEVEDO

    Tons of “experts” bought into the hype of a fight that was a mismatch from the beginning. So, how can Mayweather be criticized after the fact when so many people were talking about how tough and skilled and determined JMM was and that the weight was not an issue? The problem here is that there is no check or corrective when one of these bogus matches pop up…especially if it is a GBP event…all of a sudden certain holier than thou publications/sites pretend to equanimity by saying “so and so” has a real chance despite being 20 pounds over his natural weight. It’s ridiculous. Not even Don King can get away with “mystery weights.” De La Hoya was all over the place touting JMM because De La Hoya is a salesman now, just as he was, to an extent, as a fighter, but his solemn expertise is more annoying than anything Arum or King can come up with. King is so bombastic that he is obviously trying to sell interest in a fight but De La Hoya is always so “sincere” in his predictions that it just makes him look like an idiot. And trust me, Don King is never going to get his own blog on a major boxing media outlet so he can hype mismatches.
    Also, these fights tap into the dopey P-4-P Fantasy league matchup syndrome so popular with certain segments of the media today. It’s like when you were a kid and you imagined how some DC Comics heroes would do against certain Marvel Comics heroes. It’s completely asinine and adolescent, but a favorite pastime of fans, bloggers, writers, and now even promoters.

  • Nathan

    I think what people were paying for on Saturday night was the chance to witness David beating Goliath. Unfortunately the story was twisted from the beginning as David, I mean JMM, was rewarded prior to actually defeating the Philistine Champion, I mean the GBP Champion. The middle of the tale clearly proved, as expected, that there simply wasn’t a stone or sling in Vegas quite big enough for this battle. In the end, good didn’t truimph over evil per se but spectacle certainly defeated integrity.

  • Jarvis Wood