De La Hoya pushes for Mosley fight
Postfight report by Andreas Hale
Photo by Chris Cozzone
The words from Oscar De La Hoya regarding the successful return to the ring of Floyd Mayweather bounced off the walls of the MGM Grand Garden media room.
The man who calls himself “Money” had just finished dissecting Juan Manuel Marquez for 12 rounds in front of a decidedly pro-Marquez crowd to earn a lopsided unanimous decision and reestablish himself as the top dog in boxing.
“He’s back and back with a vengeance,” De La Hoya said.
It didn’t take long for Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) to show that he hasn’t lost a step in the 21 months he’s been away from the ring. For 12 rounds, Mayweather plucked away with his jab, smacked Marquez with his hook and occasionally cracked the Mexican with his blazing fast lead right hand. When the scores by the judges came back reading 118-109, 120-107 and 119-108, it was clear that Mayweather was back. We didn’t need De La Hoya to affirm what the world saw in 36 minutes of boxing.
The case can be made that Mayweather overpowered Marquez (50-5-1) with his size. He was clearly the bigger fighter and his weight advantage was evident. However, one would think that a world-class fighter like Marquez would be able to make the fight somewhat competitive. Marquez tried with all of his will but he simply had nothing for Mayweather. His face was a swollen mess and he seemed frustrated with his inability to land anything substantial over the course of the fight. The Mexican contingency chanted his name, but Mayweather silenced them and sucked the air out of the arena with every punch.
“I thought I was a little rusty,” a modest Mayweather said after the fight.
The hand speed was there. He landed nearly at will, 290 of 493 of his punches found a home on Marquez’ face for an astonishing 59%. The defense was as impeccable as it ever has been as Marquez’ could only land 12% of his 583 punches.
Well perhaps Mayweather found himself “rusty” when he realized he wouldn’t be able to knock Marquez out. The Mexican strolled into one of Mayweather’s lightening fast left hooks in the second round and briefly found himself on the seat of his pants. But outside of that shot, Marquez was never really in danger of being finished.
“Marquez is tough as hell. I hit him with a couple of shots and I thought ‘I know he’s going to go down from this one’ but he didn’t. That’s that Mexican heart that he has in him,” Mayweather explained. “You know how Marquez is. Everybody drops him but he always gets right back up and fights until the end.”
Regardless of the fact that Marquez is widely considered the worlds’ number two pound-for-pound best – his stellar victories against Juan Diaz and Joel Casamayor and razor thin losses to Manny Pacquiao are a testament to his ability – the weight issue loomed heavy and took center stage in the months leading up to the fight.
On Friday, Mayweather had to cough up $600,000 after failing to make the bout weight of 144 pounds by coming in at 146. Marquez came in weighing 142 pounds – 12 pounds more than his usual 130 pound fight weight – and the difference was evident from the opening bell. Mayweather refused to weigh himself again before the fight so the world will never really know how much of a size advantage he had.
“I’m a little upset but I tried my best. The weight was a big problem. I think there was a 20 pound difference in weight,” Marquez said after the fight. “I’m not trying to make excuses. I came to fight twelve hard rounds and a lot of people thought I was going to get knocked out.”
Many of Mayweather’s critics will take away from his victory because of his distinct advantages. Taking away from a Mayweather victory is nothing new to “Money.” It’s something that he has had to deal with for the past few years.
“I’m always in a no-win situation no matter how you look at it,” Mayweather explained. “If I’m small and I beat a big man, then I was too fast for him. Then (the next fighter) is over the hill. There’s always an excuse. When am I going to get my just due and they say Floyd Mayweather is just a great fighter?”
It doesn’t seem like the media will give Mayweather what he is asking for until he steps in the ring with someone his size. The person that is his size stood by Oscar De La Hoya wearing a broad smile.
“A mega fight with Mosley and Floyd? Why not?” the Golden Boy asked. Shane Mosley made his presence felt as he interrupted Mayweather’s post fight interview asking for a fight. Mayweather was clearly offended by Mosley’s tact but the challenge was made in a public forum and it will be interesting to see who Mayweather chooses to fight next. Although Mayweather wouldn’t give anything away in regards to who he may select, he would address what took place in the ring after the fight.
“I simply (told Shane Mosley) when it’s his time to shine I don’t get in the ring, grab the mic and get in the way. When it’s their night, we should let it be their night. I have respect for them as fighters,” a visibly irritated Mayweather said as he tried to keep his cool. “Tonight is not Mosley’s night. No disrespect to him but Mosley is supposed to be in training camp (for his upcoming fight with Joshua Clottey). He doesn’t need to be worried about what I’m doing.”
As for the other elephant in the room, Mayweather made short work of the proposed fight with Manny Pacquiao.
“Manny Pacquiao has a fight with Miguel Cotto coming up so let the best man win.”
Many fight fans hope that a Mayweather/Pacquiao mega match will materialize next year. There is no clear-cut advantage for either fighter although one could compare their fights with Ricky Hatton (Mayweather TKO in the 10th Vs Pacquiao KO in the 2nd) and Marquez (Mayweather’s dominant decision Vs Pacquiao’s draw and narrow split decision) to try to figure out who is the better fighter.
“Different styles,” Marquez said when asked who was the better fighter out of Mayweather and Pacquiao. “Floyd is a defensive fighter 100%. He’s a good counter puncher. Pacquiao is a guy that likes to fight.”
With Pacquiao fighting in November and Mosley in either December or January, Mayweather will have a lot of time to figure out what he wants to do based on what both fighters achieve in the ring against tough opponents.
So how long will it be until we see Mayweather again in the ring? The world will have to wait for Mayweather to finish spending time with his children to find out while Pacquiao and Mosley jockey for position. In the meanwhile, the flashes of brilliance on Saturday night reminded us why he calls himself the best.
“He’s back!” De La Hoya said for, perhaps, the seventh time. No need for the reminders Oscar, we all know that the champ is here.