LAS VEGAS-It was a sadist’s delight as Floyd Mayweather made his return to basically prove that it was a pipedream to believe that Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez had the tools to beat the former Pound for Pound champion on Saturday.
If you like 60-point victories then you would have loved Mayweather’s domination of Marquez that included a knockdown from a strafing left hook and a decisive unanimous decision in front of 13,116 fans at the MGM Grand.
It was a .357 magnum versus a popgun, a Pop Warner standout versus an All Pro, it was big brother beating up on little brother. It was Mayweather stepping in with all of the advantages, including the two extra pounds, and doing his job. But he may have started something he can’t finish and we’ll get to that later.
“He’s a great little man and he kept taking some unbelievable shots,” said Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) after finishing with nary a mark on his face after 12 rounds with former lightweight, junior lightweight and featherweight world champion. “When I dropped him he got back up. I dropped him with that shot that I don’t think he saw. He kept on fighting.”
After spending the first round measuring Marquez with left hooks, in the second round it was a quick left hook to the chin that dropped the Mexican fighter. He beat the count and both went back to countering.
Mayweather, who hadn’t fought in 22 months, walked in with a decisive weight advantage and used it to maximum capacity as he rarely allowed Marquez to land more than one blow at time.
“It was a very hard fight he surprise me with the knockdown,” said Marquez (50-5-1, 37 KOs) who was bloodied and battered. “He hurt me that time but no other time.”
Though Mayweather must have felt the strength and speed advantage in his favor, he rarely allowed the smaller Mexican to mount any serious rallies other than the third round and eighth round.
In the last three rounds it seemed that Mayweather had some opportunities to squash the pesky Marquez if he mounted a serious offensive attack. It never came.
“I think he brought his best out tonight. Don’t forget I came from a small class too so I know when you’re in front of a great fighter,” said Mayweather, who was gracious in victory. “There was one point in the fight when I pulled a counter punch and he actually tried to do the same thing.”
When the final bell rang it was no surprise that Mayweather won or that it was by wide scores. One judge scored it a shutout 120-107 and the other two judges scored it 118-109 all for Mayweather. He probably deserves to share the Pound for Pound title with current holder Manny Pacquiao.
During the post fight interviews Shane Mosley came to the ring to challenge Mayweather who was seemingly ambushed by the Golden Boy Promotions fighter.
“Shane is really desperate, that was disrespectful. That was my fight and my moment to shine and he ruined it,” Mayweather said.
John vs. Juarez
The rematch between WBA featherweight titleholder Chris John and contender Rocky Juarez was almost a mirror image of their first fight of several months ago, but this time the Indonesian fighter pulled out a unanimous decision to retain his world title.
A rally in the final round by Juarez who staggered John with a left hook felt short as the bell rang with the champion holding on. The judges scored it 117-111, 113-109, 114-113 for John.
“I was hurt in the last round,” said John, who fought Juarez to a draw in their first encounter.
Katsidis vs. Escobedo
Australia’s Michael Katsidis proved experience on the elite level counts for something as he mugged California’s Vicente Escobedo to take the vacant interim WBO lightweight title after 12 rounds by split decision.
Escobedo had his moments but just didn’t have enough of them to convince the judges and Katsidis that he won the fight. Neither fighter was knocked down but each had moments when they hurt the other. Katsidis had more of those moments than Escobedo.
One judge Mike Fitzgerald scored it 116-112 for Escobedo but judge Robert Hoyle 118-110 and Duane Ford 115-113 for Katsidis who captures another version of the WBO title.
“I’m a fighter who gives it his all,” Katsidis (26-2, 21 KOs) said. “I was willing to give more than he was.”
Escobedo thought he won but felt he proved his mettle.
“He was a strong fighter, he was tough coming in,” said Escobedo (21-2, 13 KOs), who was in his first title fight. “It was a good fight but not good enough.”
Cornelius Locke (19-4-1, 11 KOs) had four losses going in to the fight against Orlando Cruz (16-1-1, 7 KOs) but he proved he was not to be overlooked as he captured the vacant NABO featherweight title by knockout in the fifth round. A right hook floored Cruz who beat the count but was unable to continue as referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight at 2:08 of the round.
“He caught me with a good shot,” said Cruz of Puerto Rico.
Locke took the win in stride.
“I felt he wasn’t at my level,” said Locke, a Michigan native. “I was hurting him.”
In a welterweight bout Said Ouali (26-3, 18 KOs) of Las Vegas floored Phoenix’s Francisco Rios (17-11, 12 KOs) five times with almost every punch in the book. A couple of left crosses dropped Rios in the first round, then a right uppercut floored him at the beginning of the second, followed by a left uppercut for the third knockdown; a left uppercut for the fourth knockdown and a right hook for the fifth and final knockdown. Referee Jay Nady stopped the onslaught at 1:27 of the second round.
Cuba’s Erislandy Lara (8-0, 5 KOs) dropped an overhand left on Nicaragua’s Jose Varela (23-7, 16 KOs) head and floored the much taller and more experienced fighter. Varela could not beat the count at 2:12 of the first round.
Las Vegas’s Jessie Vargas (6-0, 2 KOs) dropped Raul Tovar (6-2, 2 KOs) twice in six rounds but couldn’t put the tough Texan away in a junior welterweight bout. A one-two combination floored Tovar in the second round and a left hook dropped him in the third round, but Vargas couldn’t finish him. The judges scored it 60-52 twice and 59-53 for Vargas.
Michigan’s Dion Savage (6-0, 4 KOs) dominated the granite chinned Loren Myers (7-7), of Fresno. After delivering some crunching blows in the first three rounds a barrage of blows forced referee Kenny Bayless to halt the fight 22 seconds into the fourth round, but Myers never was floored.
In a junior lightweight fight Newark’s Mike Perez (5-0-1) won a unanimous decision over L.A.’s Richard Ellis (4-3) after four rounds. Judges scored it 40-34, 39-35, 38-36 for Perez.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV