Weigh In

  • Friday, September 18, 2009 6:25 PM
  • Written By: Sumner Widdoes

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The day before one of the most highly anticipated fights in recent years, Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez weighed in at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Mayweather tipped the scale at 146 lbs. and Marquez weighed in at 142 lbs. The fight takes place Saturday night and coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET on HBO Pay-Per-View.

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Three Days Left ...

  • Thursday, September 17, 2009 12:37 AM
  • Written By: Sumner Widdoes

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As the days dwindle to Floyd Mayweather’s bout with Juan Manuel Marquez this Saturday, both fighters are reiterating the magnitude of this weekend’s event, both for each others’ careers and for the sport of boxing as a whole. Mayweather comes into the fight with an undefeated record of 39-0, while Marquez looks to establish himself as the premier boxer in the sports after two dominating victories following a disputed loss to Manny Pacquiao.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Marquez acknowledged the challenge ahead of him. “In my mind, Floyd Mayweather is the best pound-for-pound fighter, and to be number one, you have to fight number one,” he said. “I know people are betting against me, but it doesn’t matter to me. I have my mind and I have my concentration, and I have the motivation to win.”

Marquez is relying heavily on the support of his Mexican countrymen and has dedicated the fight to them. He has increased his weight for the fight and is confident his speed and agility will not be affected as a result. That will be tested, though, fighting near to Mayweather’s natural weight.

“Mayweather is elusive and a counter-puncher,” he said. “I am going to go after him. There is a chance he might try to come after me, but I am going to go after him.”

And true to form, Mayweather is sure that his power and fighting style will bring him an easy victory. “This isn’t going to be difficult,” he said Wednesday. “Nothing is difficult. I just had to get back into the groove. I had to keep working hard.” And he knows that Marquez is beatable: “I am not like other fighters. Other fighters have been beat. There is no blueprint to beat me. There is a blueprint to beat Marquez, because he has been beaten before.”

Pretty Boy Floyd is adding to the pageantry of the event with special accompaniment into the ring. By his side will be wrestling superstar Triple H as Mayweather enters the ring Saturday night.

“He and his stature are huge,“ Mayweather said. “And I can’t think of a better person to escort me to the ring for my return to boxing.”

This is Mayweather’s first fight since retiring from the sport after a technical knockout of Ricky Hatton in December 2007.

Not only is Mayweather expecting the fight to launch him into the conversation of greatest fighters of all time, HBO Pay-Per-View is also expecting this match to set a new mark for excellence. The broadcasting company hopes to set a new record for Pay-Per-View sales for a live event, even surpassing Mayweather’s 2007 fight against Oscar De La Hoya, which brought in $136.6 million in revenue.

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The Golden Boy Weighs In

  • Wednesday, September 16, 2009 2:21 AM
  • Written By: Sumner Widdoes

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Oscar De La Hoya can provide a unique perspective on the outcome of Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather – Juan Manuel Marquez fight in Las Vegas. The Golden Boy lost to Mayweather in a 2005 split decision that was closely contested through much of the match, and he just returned from Mexico where he visited Marquez’ training facility and analyzed his workouts. Last week, De La Hoya spoke with reporters about how he feels the fight will play out, where Marquez can use his strengths to pull through and how Mayweather can affect his legacy as one of the greatest fighters ever.

Oscar De La Hoya: I just have this feeling that Marquez is going to pull this one off. I went down to Mexico and saw him train with my own eyes. I saw how much he bulked up; I saw how much strength he has gained. I saw how seriously he's taking this fight, and I'm convinced he will win this fight. Floyd Mayweather is the best fighter on the planet, and Juan knows that. He knows he's up for a big challenge, but he's ready and he knows that he has to put his life on the line and he's willing to do that.



Question: You fought [Mayweather], you know how difficult it is. How is Marquez - you say your convinced he's going to do it, but how? How is he going to catch up to him? That's the main question, you weren't able to do it, so how will Marquez do it?

Oscar De La Hoya: When you said how difficult it was for me, I mean that's exactly my point. It wasn't difficult. The first half of the fight wasn't difficult, but I'm the one that stopped fighting. I'm the one that didn't keep using that jab. I'm the one whose screws were coming loose on my shoulders and my back and I was falling apart.

I mean yes, Floyd Mayweather is an excellent boxer and he's the best fighter on the planet, no doubt about it. But Marquez, I mean styles make fights and I'm sure Marquez is - has- dissected Mayweather's style and it's not going to be an easy task but I'm just giving you my personal opinion that I have a feeling, being in there with Floyd and watching Marquez train, I just have this feeling he's going to win.



Question: How difficult is it to come back from a layoff like Floyd has had? It might refresh him but yet, you know you're going to be rusty. What is the main trouble he's going to run into with the lay off that long?

Oscar De La Hoya: Well it depends on how active you've stayed if you've been away doing nothing, than you're going to be rusty. But if you've been in the gym doing something, than you're going to maybe have trouble adjusting at first, or maybe you'll need a few rounds to adjust. But you know being the professional that Mayweather, Jr. is, I'm sure it's going to be no problem for him to adjust. But, at the same time, you know that Marquez is coming at you right from the get go, right from the start - I just feel that Mayweather's going to have to be playing catch up in the fight.



Question: You alluded to when you fought Floyd about how you did well early in the fight and then you kind of fell apart. Can you speak to the idea that Floyd's incredibly fast, yet there are plenty of examples in boxing history where guys who are much faster were neutralized simply by a jab. Do you think Marquez can do that?

Oscar De La Hoya: Yes. Obviously when I fought Floyd my jab was the key. You know I have a great jab and when I used it, I was unstoppable. That was my key to victory. When I stopped using it that's when Floyd was able to win the fight. Marquez has an excellent jab. Marquez is going to use the triple, the quadruple jabs. This is the fight of his life.

This is the opportunity of a lifetime and he knows it. And he has to go extra times to win this fight. He's a smart counter puncher; he's a smart fighter, and it's a matter of throwing those jabs and feigning those jabs, and not only throwing the jab but putting three, four, five punches right behind that jab. That's going to be the key.



Question: Where do you think Floyd Mayweather should lie among the great fighters of the past 35-40 years?

Oscar De La Hoya: Let me put it this way, the only way Floyd is going to be talked about among the best, he has to keep fighting the best, and he has to knock out some of the best, starting with Juan Manuel Marquez. He has to make a statement. He has to do something that no one has ever done, ever in Marquez's career, and that's knock him out. Then you can say, "Oh boy, here we go. We're watching a great fighter in the making and there's no doubt about it."

But he has to knock out Marquez. He has to make a statement because Marquez fought Pacquiao twice and Marquez, in my mind, beat him. But Pacquiao couldn't knock him out. If Mayweather can make that statement knock out Marquez and go after him, that's - you know, "Hello world, here I am. I'm the greatest!"

Gene Blevins - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions.

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Marquez Gets Emotional Boost From Mexican Independence Day

  • Tuesday, September 15, 2009 2:38 AM
  • Written By: Charlie Widdoes

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Among the myriad of storylines surrounding Mayweather-Marquez, perhaps the most significant to Juan Manuel Marquez and many of his followers around the world, is one that will actually manifest itself before the first bell rings on Sept. 19 in Las Vegas. Mexico celebrates its independence on Sept. 16, and his part in the country’s rich boxing tradition is not lost on “Dinamita” Marquez, nor the country he represents.

Going back more than two centuries, Mexico’s culture is ripe with great fighters and the proud story of its independence. Marquez is next in line.

"It is an honor to fight on Mexican Independence Day weekend," he said. "To be given the chance to fight on this important day in the history of my country is something I do not take lightly.”

His trainer, Nacho Bernstein, believes that Marquez will get a boost in the ring from the important moment.

"There is something about fighting on Mexican Independence Day that drives him to reach higher and try harder,” Bernstein said. "The fact that Juan Manuel is fighting the biggest fight of his career on Mexican Independence Day is something that is a truly an advantage because it gives him the extra push to succeed.”

That Marquez is already a world champion in three weight classes, is also an advantage, he believes, because he can concentrate on technique and building muscle, rather than working to lose weight like Mayweather must. Oscar De La Hoya, who fought many of his 45 professional bouts on Mexican Independence Day, agreed that as a “smart” fighter, Marquez will be ready.

"It is a date that I fought on many times in my career, and I am thrilled to pass the torch to Juan Manuel and see him carry it to victory and continue this great tradition."

And for a prediction, De La Hoya offered, "Mayweather is in for one tough fight on September 19, Marquez will have the whole country of Mexico behind him and that is a lot of pressure on Mayweather."

As he looks forward to his title bout with Mayweather, Marquez will no doubt have the tradition of 200 years of Mexican history, and greats like Julio Cesar Chavez, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales behind him.

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Marquez Aims To Solidify Himself As "Numero Uno"

  • Tuesday, September 8, 2009 11:34 PM
  • Written By: Stanley Kay

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On May 2, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez set the boxing world abuzz with an announcement that they’d be meeting in the ring. It came just hours before the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton fight, and the sizzle regarding Mayweather’s return from retirement grew rapidly.

But Mayweather’s decision to trade jabs with Marquez was fascinating to many. While he could have fought a lower-caliber opponent to nearly ensure a victory and earnings, Floyd decided to meet Marquez in what will be a tough battle.

With the Sept. 19th clash approaching fast, Mayweather must train for the man who gave Pacquiao his toughest tests yet. Many believe that Marquez actually defeated “Pac-Man” in at least one of their two meetings, yet Pacquiao was awarded the victory in each fight. Although Mayweather and Pacquiao have never met, a decisive loss for “Pretty Boy” against Marquez might thwart his claim to be “No. 1.”

But Marquez, the self-described “numero uno,” has evolved in his fighting style and his persona over the years. Marquez has reinvented himself as an offensive fighter to improve his popularity with the audience.

HBO’s “Marquez Ring Battles” gives a glimpse into the fighting style and personality of just the fourth Mexican boxer to be world champion in different classes. Though he could not earn a victory in either bout with Pacquiao, a win over Mayweather would catapult Marquez to the unquestioned level of “numero uno.”

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Mayweather-Marquez 24/7: Episode One

  • Thursday, September 3, 2009 10:44 PM
  • Written By: Stanley Kay

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Floyd “Money” Mayweather’s return fight will come against battle-tested Juan Manuel Márquez, a native of Mexico and a world champion in three weight classes. While Mayweather trains to shake off two years of inactivity -- rest or rust -- Márquez must move up to the welterweight class to fight undefeated “Pretty Boy” Floyd.

HBO’s Mayweather-Marquez: 24/7 chronicles the behind-the-scenes developments, including the intense training regimens of each fighter, leading up to their Sept. 19 meeting at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

This bout has no shortage of intriguing storylines. In the Mayweather camp, stationed in Las Vegas, there are the evolving roles of Floyd’s father and uncle in fight preparation. Outside the ring, Floyd’s car was linked to a crime scene, although he wasn’t there and isn’t a suspect.

Meanwhile, Márquez trains south of the border in Mexico City. He details his humble beginnings and the struggle his family faced when he was young. Some feel that Márquez was wrongly assessed a loss in each of his two fights against Manny Pacquiao. A victory against Mayweather would catapult Márquez into the spotlight of the boxing world.

Mayweather-Marquez 24/7 captures every aspect of the preparation and anticipation for “Mayweather/Marquez: Number One/Numero Uno.” The second installment of the program premiers Saturday, Sept. 5 at 10 pm ET/PT. In case you missed the first one, here it is:

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'Money' Mayweather Is Open For Business

  • Wednesday, September 2, 2009 12:13 PM
  • Written By: Sumner Widdoes

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With 18 days left until his return to the ring, Floyd Mayweather is taking a blitzkrieg approach to marketing his title bout with Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez. On Tuesday, Mayweather appeared on AM 570 KLAC in Los Angeles in the middle of a press conference call, during which he made sure to plug the premiere of the second episode of the HBO miniseries “Mayweather/Marquez 24/7” on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 10pm ET/PT only on HBO.

He is already the top Pay-Per-View boxer around, and come Sept. 19, fans will be able to watch “Money” Mayweather return from his 22-month retirement in any one of 170 movie theaters around the country. He says he feels better than before the extended layoff and that his only concern right now is taking down Marquez. But make no mistake, Floyd Mayweather is also here to live up to his nickname and solidify himself as an entertainment superstar.

Almost two years ago, after Mayweather put down Ricky Hatton in a 10th round TKO, many boxing analysts and fans hoped the champ would set his sights on Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino fighter who beat Marquez, David Diaz and Oscar De La Hoya in 2008 and knocked out Hatton in the second round earlier this year. But it was not to be – yet, at least – and Mayweather knows that in order to garner the kinds of astronomical Pay-Per-View numbers he did for his previous two fights, he must ensure the public that his challenger is worthwhile.

“Marquez is a Mexican bulldog," Mayweather said. "I know I need to have a good game plan to win. These other fighters (from other countries) have nothing to lose when they step in the ring with me 'cause when they lose, they’re gonna say they lost to the best when they get back to their country. ... After you go so far in your career, people want to see you fail, they want to see your downfall. But I’m strong-minded, I have a good team, and I’m a champ.”

As for the brief retirement — or extended layoff, whichever you prefer — Mayweather is supremely confident in his ability to regain his title form. “I feel fast, strong and my timing is there,” he said. “I grew a lot mentally as a person during the break and a feel good right now.”

And his trainer, Roger Mayweather, scoffed at the notion that an extended layoff from matches was a bad thing: “I know about fighters and I know about layoffs. If a fighter’s got skill, he’s gonna win. And all the great fighters took layoffs – Ali took three years off.”

In two and a half weeks, those words will be put to the test. And whether there is much veracity behind them seems less consequential than their desired effect on the general public: to bring in more viewers than any Pay-Per-View fight ever.

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