Better Late Than Never

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: July 21, 2009

NEW YORK (BASN) — The fight between Floyd Mayweather (39-0, 25 KOs) and Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs) was supposed to have occurred on July 18, but Mayweather pulled out with a rib injury. He has since disclosed very little information as to how the injury occurred.

“Well when it happened, I tried to work through it,” Mayweather said. “I was fine for a while, but then it happened again and I was like, well you know what; I can’t try to be a superhero or be Superman.”

“It’s best to take your time,” Mayweather added. “Take a little time off, let it heal and come back so when I do go out and perform I’ll be able to perform to the best of my ability for my fans.”

The rescheduled date of September 19, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is more than enough time for both fighters to be ready and compete at 100%. It will be Mayweather’s first fight in more than 1 ½ years since he defeated Ricky Hatton in 10 rounds.

Although Mayweather has been absent from the ring, he insists that he is still the man to beat. Mayweather believes that is the biggest draw in boxing, not Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, or anyone else.

“The biggest fight in boxing is Mayweather vs. anyone,” Mayweather said. “It doesn’t matter who I fight.”

The always boastful Mayweather is supremely confident and rightfully so. The 31-year-old from Grand Rapids, Michigan has won five division titles and remains unbeaten. It appears as though Mayweather doesn’t care who he fights.

“I don’t call out or chase opponents,” Mayweather added. “Opponents have to chase me. It’s like a t-bone steak. Basically I ate all the meat off the steak and then threw them the bone.”

Marquez chases newfound glory

There is no question that Marquez is chasing Mayweather. Marquez is moving up in weight after having competed at 122, 126, 130, and only once at 135. Marquez is considered to be one of the very best technical fighters in the game today.

Everything Marquez does, he does it very well. He throws combinations — digging deep to the body. Marquez is simply a ferocious boxer and is a very consistent fighter. Marquez will be put to the test when he meets Mayweather.

“It’s a very hard fight, but mentally I’m preparing myself to win and I feel I can beat Mayweather,” Marquez commented.

Marquez, who turns — on August 23 stated: “Winning will be the best gift of my life. I’m preparing myself and I’m putting all the ingredients together so I can beat Mayweather. I’m getting ready for the best Mayweather ever. I’m not thinking about his retirement. I’m getting ready for the best guy possible…the best fighter in the world.”

Marquez’ Hall of Fame career consists of a number of highlights and lots of action. Marquez has won 8 of his last 11 fights (8-2-1, 4 KOs). His only losses were controversial decisions to Pacquiao (2008) and WBA featherweight champion Chris John (2006).

Marquez also fought Pacquiao to a controversial draw in 2004. Marquez survived three knockdowns in the first round, but boxed beautifully for the remainder of the bout to escape with a draw.

He’s coming off perhaps two of the most exciting fights of his career as he became the only fighter to stop Joel Casamayor (TKO 11) last year and Juan Diaz (TKO 9) in February.

Following the Diaz bout, Marquez unified the WBO/WBA lightweight championships and is ready to move up in weight for perhaps the biggest challenge of his career.

Marquez is certainly the underdog, but doesn’t seem to mind at all.

“I think that life is full of surprises” Marquez added. “This is what motivates me. This is what makes me train hard. When I wake up in the morning, it makes me want to train hard, run faster and longer.”

Mayweather remembers Gatti, Arguello

When Mayweather won the WBC junior welterweight championship in June 2005, Arturo Gatti was the champion. Mayweather’s quickness, speed, sharp punching, and movement was simply too much for Gatti.

It was as though Gatti, as celebrated a warrior he was, shouldn’t have been in the ring with Floyd. Nevertheless, a fighter as talented and as dominant as Mayweather recognized Gatti’s ability to absorb punishment and continue fighting no matter what.

“I just want to say, blessings to the Gatti family,” Mayweather said. “Blessings to Arturo Gatti because he was one hell of a warrior. We know Gatti never turned away from any opponent – never turned his back on any opponent.”

“He fought anybody that was put in front of him and was a beast. He’s a guy that could get knocked down four or five times and come right back.”

Mayweather discusses Arguello: “I just try to keep my mind focused on the positive and hopefully raising my kids to be the best that they can be once they become young adults in this world.”

“I try not to keep my mind focused on tragedies, but Alexis Arguello was probably one of the best junior lightweights to ever put on a pair of gloves. He’d get knocked down four or five times, he’d come back in one shot. I mean, it would be lights out for you.”

Pacquiao vs. Cotto in the fall

If SHOWTIME’s announcement of the elite Super Six World Championship Classic wasn’t enough, then HBO Pay-Per-View will present possibly the biggest fight of 2009.

Discussions between the camps of Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 KOs) and Miguel Cotto (34-1, 27 KOs) have led to an agreement for a November 14th showdown. The fight is very intriguing for a number of reasons.

Pacquiao has lived up to the hype of being recognized as the best fighter in the world. His dominance has expanded from one weight class to the next. Pacquiao’s performances have been nothing short of exuberant and he continues to get better.

Pacquiao is coming off three of the finest performances of his career. In 2008, Pacquiao toppled David Diaz (TKO 9) for the WBC lightweight title before advancing to welterweight to outclass Oscar De La Hoya (TKO 8) before forcing him to quit on his stool.

In May, Pacquiao may have put the final dent into the career of Ricky Hatton. Pacquiao scored an impressive one-punch, second-round KO of the British star. Hatton was out cold on the canvas for several minutes and may never be the same fighter he was before losing to Floyd Mayweather in December 2007.

Cotto was one regarded as the best welterweight in the world prior to losing to Antonio Margarito last year July. With Margarito serving a suspension for attempting to use illegal hand wraps in a January prior to getting KO’d by Sugar Shane Mosley, Cotto has appeared to return to championship form.

Cotto demolished an undeserving Michael Jennings in February for the WBO 147-pound title before winning an impressive 12-round decision against Joshua Clottey in June.

Cotto is going to have his hands full in attempting to contain the explosive southpaw style of Pacquiao, who has proven to be unmerciful inside the ring.