Win over Marquez shows Mayweather still has it
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the devil.
Without dipping my toe into the message boards and other fan forums since the final bell of his fight with Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday night, I can pretty much assume that as a prevailing sentiment.
But you know what?
He's a real-life Satan incarnate who can, ahem ... fight like hell.
In pitching a comprehensive shutout of Marquez — the critics' precomeback choice as the world's No. 2 fighter — in his first ring action since 2007, the "Pretty Boy" now known as "Money" has answered one question with dominant certainty.
He, and not Manny Pacquiao or any other 21-month stand-in, is the world's best fighter.
Don't believe it?
Watch the tape. Or rewatch it, as the case may be.
And over the course of 36 minutes, find me one thing that says otherwise.
One flaw. One error.
One chink in the armor that truly indicates — regardless of the fact different styles make different fights — Pacquiao will do any better if he gets his chance next year.
But before you do, though, I'll save you all a little time.
It doesn't exist.
Nowhere in a stretch of 12 rounds did Marquez do one thing or take one specific tack that caused the unflappable 32-year-old even a moment's worth of consternation.
Yes, he landed a couple right hands.
The first of which was answered with a sweeping left hook that put him on his back in Round 2.
Yes, he attempted occasional bull-rush charges.
All of which were answered with just enough movement, just enough shoulder roll and just enough of a counter right hand or another left, just for good measure.
And yes, he was on his feet at the end.
Though standing for the duration probably accomplished more for Mayweather — reintroducing him to the rigors of a title-distance bout, for example — than it did for Marquez, who picked up a few more welts, a few more scrapes and got a step closer to retirement than he'd been 24 hours previous.
Yes, it was that good.
And yes, I think Mayweather will do precisely the same thing — or similar enough — to Pacquiao.
Before, I believed it.
Now, I'm as sure as I can be without having already seen it happen.
And as for the weight issue that too many have been too happy to seize upon since Friday's events, forget it.
No matter how decisive Nacho Beristain wanted to make it before the fight — despite his fighter's initial insistence to the contrary — and how pertinent Marquez suddenly claimed it had been afterward, don't you believe it.
I mean, seriously folks. Come on.
Mayweather is 5-foot-8. Marquez is 5-foot-6.
Mayweather weighed 146 pounds. Marquez weighed 142 pounds.
Two inches and four pounds, no matter how they're distributed and what they consist of, simply aren't going to make as much of a competitive difference as was apparent Saturday night.
Ask Chris Byrd.
Or better yet, ask Mayweather about the 5-foot-10 Oscar De La Hoya he beat at 154 — a weight class he'd never seen.
While weighing all of 150 himself.
Two inches and four pounds, too. But not so much of a problem, huh?
To sum it up, regardless of catch-weights, contracts and $600,000 payouts, a simple truth exists.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is better than Juan Manuel Marquez.
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