We are just about good to go. Floyd Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez both made weight on Friday afternoon at the weigh in ceremony taking place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Floyd (39-0; from Michigan; six time titlist in five classes) stepped on the scales and weighed 146 pounds , while Marquez (50-4-1; from Mexico; three time titlist) was 142 pounds for the non-title clash.
“I’m very, very happy, that’s the weight we wanted to weight,” Marquez said after the weigh in. “It’s a very difficult fight but not impossible.” We’d all been under the assumption that this would be a catchweight fight, at 144 pounds or under, but Mayweather last week said that a catchweight was not in play, and he cemented that by weighing 146 pounds. The men doing the broadcast, Col. Bob Sheriden and Dave Bontempo, completely abdicted their responsibilty to so much as masquerade as journalists, and didn't delve into Floyd's weight AT ALL. ESPN's Dan Rafael reported that the contract for the fight does indeed call for Mayweather and Marquez to weigh 144 or less. But Floyd apparently blew the contract off. Thus, sources told Rafael, Floyd will be fined $600,000, $300,000 for each pound, for being overweight.The overage will go into Marquez' share of the purse, believed to be over $3 million. It's a drop in the bucket for Floyd, who is supposedly guaranteed $10 million, and could make more from PPV proceeds. This move, flouting the contract, will not win Mayweather more fans, or cause those on the fence who felt that he had a point when he said he gets less respect than a white fighter of similar talent would, to look at him with newfound respect. USA Today's Michael Falgoust said that the weight change was above board, that the Nevada commission was consulted the day of the weigh in, and that Marquez agreed that Floyd could blow off the previously agreed-to contract weight, in exchange for a fee. Falgoust said the overweight penalty was $500,000. Fans, at least those who aren't prone to seeing Mayweather through rose-colored glasses, are wondering why Floyd felt compelled to weigh more than 144; is he worried that he'll need some extra oomph against the Mexican?
DL Hughley, rooting for Mayweather, oversaw the event with DJ Piolin, a Marquez rooter, and Michael Buffer made the trains run on time, as he directed the fighters to the scale in a full but not overstuffed room which truthfully featured less of the heated chanting and electricity that we’ve seen in recent weigh ins featuring Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton. Hughley and Piolin busted on each other back and forth, with Hughley making peepee jokes, and Piolin countering with Kanye West cracks. Hughley responded by calling Kanye as a------, so Piolin looked for other openings. Hughley yelled, “Ya’ll can do better than that” when he asked Floyd rooters to make some noise, and admitted that he’d need to come up with a chant, like the one Piolin led Marquez rooters in, to fire up his crew.
Triple H, the WWE star, came out to dead air. “Are you ready?” he asked, as silence reigned. He’ll walk with Floyd to the ring in Vegas. He left the stage after a couple minutes; being a seasoned performer, he knows when the crowd isn’t going to generate any heat for him. As I watch this, I am re-calculating my guesstimate on the PPV buy numbers. The number is going dooooownnnnnnn.
Now, as long as the IRS doesn’t show up with marshals and take away Floyd to the pokey, we should be on track to see how much a 21-month hiatus has blunted Floyd’s brilliance.
Indonesian Chris John (42-0-2) weighed 126 on the nose and Houstonian Rocky Juarez (28-4) was 126 pounds. They are rematching their February clash, which was declared a draw, though TSS saw John the winner. The WBA featherweight title, held by John, is up for grabs.
Californian Vicente Escobedo (21-1) hit 134 pounds, while foe Aussie Michael Katsidis (25-2) was 135 pounds on the nose. They jawed with vigor, smiling through their pent up fury, as they faced off for the cameras. They are fighting for the lightweight title given up by Juan Manuel Marquez, the WBO crown, the interim version.
And feel free to make of this, this press release, what you will..
JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ PULLS AHEAD IN LOS ANGELES TIMES POLL
"WHO WILL WIN MAYWEATHER VS. MARQUEZ?"
LOS ANGELES (September 18)-The people have spoken. In a poll asking "Who Will Win Mayweather vs. Marquez?" posted yesterday on Latimes.com, Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez is ahead of Floyd "Money" Mayweather,who isreturning to the ring after a 21-month layoff. The mega-fight, which is taking place tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 19 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. and will be broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View®, falls on the famed Mexican Independence Day weekend which gives Marquez the extra push to pull through for the Mexican people when he steps into the ring.
"I want to dedicate this fight to the Mexican people who are going to be here and all of the Mexican people around the world," said Marquez. "This fight is the most important fight of my career, and I am going to put everything in the ring."
Fifty-percent of those who voted have chosen Marquez, 48% chose Mayweather and 2% of people think the fight will be a draw.
"I am glad people think that Marquez is going to beat me," said Mayweather. "It just gives me more motivation to prove them wrong tomorrow night."
To view the Latimes.com poll please click HERE.
Who wins the WBO Middleweight title fight Dec. 19th?