Photo by Chris Cozzone
By Randy De La O
Juan Manuel Marquez and Floyd Maweather Jr fight this Saturday, September 19, 2009, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather is fighting for pound for pound supremacy and the money, and Marquez is looking, no doubt, to position himself for a third fight with Manny Pacquiao. Both are fighting for their legacy. I don't know what the odds are and I really don't care but Mayweather is the likely favorite.
I'll be pulling for Marquez to win. It's not like he doesn't have a good chance. He does. Considering he fought to a draw with Pacquiao in their first fight and lost by a split decision in the second fight, the difference between him and Paquiao is razor thin. Throw in the fact that many experts and sportswriters feel Marquez should have got the nod in both their fights and you have an indication of just how good Marquez is.
Marquez has fought 55 times with 50 wins, with 37 KO's, 4 losses and 1 draw. He lost his professional debut against Javier Duran in Mexico City in 1993 and remained undefeated until he met Freddie Norwood in 1999 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, losing a 12 round decision. It was a big setback. His next loss came in 2006 against Chris John in Indonesia. The last loss came last year against Pacqiao.
Marquez, an excellent boxer and counter puncher with a heavy hand has shown a capacity to endure and to comeback. The fights against Pacquiao have shown us that Marquez can come back in a fight after being knocked down, when a loss almost seemed a foregone conclusion. In his fight with Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz earlier this year, Marquez again showed an ability to endure and overcome. Marquez is a fighter with heart. That and counter punching will be the key to his victory should he win.
The two close fights with Manny Pacquiao and his victory over fellow Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera have brought him out of the shadows of both Barrera and Erik Morales, proving himself to be one of Mexico's best and a great fighter by anyone's definition of the word.
Mayweather, with 39 wins and 25 KO's, on the other hand has been exceptional from the beginning. His speed and cat like agility have been nothing less than phenomenal. There is no loss on his record. He has posted victories over guys like Genaro Hernandez, Diego Corrales, Carlos Hernandez, Jesus Chavez (twice), and Jose Louis Castillo, winning twice against Castillo, though the first fight was controversial the second fight removed any doubt. Mayweather continued his dominance with his victories over Arturo Gotti, Zab Judah, Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, by 6th round stoppage.
Still, I think the time is ripe for a Marquez victory. I think that Marquez is one of those fighters that has come into his own and will find a way to win. In the HBO special 24/7 Marquez revealed that he drinks his own urine as part of his training process. While I wouldn't touch the stuff for a million dollars, (Okay, maybe for a million) any one that can drink his own piss, will stop at nothing to win. There is a certain mental toughness and a certain amount of craziness that Mayweather picked up on when he was watching the video. It was evident.
Most of the boxing world wants to see a Mayweather - Pacquiao fight. I don't. Well that would certainly be the money fight, I still want to see a conclusion to the Pacquiao - Marquez rivalry. If Paquiao can get past Miguel Cotto in their fight in November (no easy task), he'll have to fight Marquez. That's the fight I'm waiting for.
I won't make any prediction. I will say that I hope Marquez can pull it off. Marquez has emerged as one of the pound for pound best in recent years. He deserves the attention. A fighter with a big heart will always have my loyalty and no one fighting today has a bigger heart.
Below are the weights of all the fighters on the card courtesy of Fightnews.com and Andreas Hale & David L. Hudson
From the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for tomorrow night’s “Number One/Numero Uno” card promoted by Golden Boy Promotions & Mayweather Promotions, televised on HBO-PPV:
Floyd Mayweather 146 vs. Juan Manuel Marquez 142
Chris John 126 vs. Rocky Juarez 126
Michael Katsidis 135 vs. Vicente Escobedo 134
Orlando Cruz 126 vs. Cornelius Lock 125
Said Ouali 146 vs. Francisco Rios 148
Erislandy Lara 155 vs. Jose Varela 156
Jessie Vargas 140 vs. Raul Tovar 141
Dion Savage 167.5 vs. Loren Myers 167.5
Mike Perez 133 vs. Richard Ellis 133