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Could Marquez upset the odds against Mayweather?

Floyd Mayweather Jr Juan Manuel MarquezBy Liam Santiago: In recent times, boxing has seen many surprises and upsets in big fights across the globe. We witnesses Amir Khan get knocked out in fifty four seconds by an un-heard of boxer. We saw Manny Pacquiao score two knock downs before knocking Ricky Hatton out cold. And in not so recent times, boxing fans were stunned to see old master Bernard Hopkins school unbeaten knock-out artist, Kelly Pavlik and claim a unanimous points victory.

Most boxing experts have been embarrassed in the past twelve months with the big favourites losing in a dramatic fashion. So, why should the September bout between Juan Manuel Marquez and Floyd Mayweather be any different?

The jump up in weight is expected to have an affect. Yes, the move out of the lightweight division is likely to be a positive advantage for Mayweather, the natural welterweight, especially as Marquez is at the age of 35. This is the big question that will determine the outcome of the mega fight. Can Marquez handle the leap up in weight? If he can he stands a huge chance of being crowned victorious.

The Mexican legend has drawn with Pacquiao and came very close to beating him in their rematch. He is a tough warrior, and I do not use that word lightly. Love him or hate him, Mayweather is class. He has also faced some tough opponents such as Gatti, De La Hoya and Hatton. He is not what you would call untested, but if Marquez is on his game, he might get a shock.

Mayweather has the best defense in boxing today, he has the speed and the power, as Ricky Hatton found out in Las Vegas, 2007. He also has a tremendous heart. He is rumoured to call his uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, at three AM demanding training sessions. Although it sounds a bit like a Rocky Balboa movie it does outline the determination and will to win of the skilful welterweight.

The fight has been agreed at a catch weight at 144 pounds. Although the normal welterweight maximum limit is 147, Marquez has never fought over 135. That is a big jump. Marquez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, however, does not feel that will prevent the Mexican from being crowned victorious. He said. ‘Marquez beat Casamayor and knocked him out. Then he fought Juan Diaz and knocked him out too. People are going to be suprised at how good Marquez really is. He can beat Mayweather’.

Marquez has pursued a mega bout with Mayweather for years and insists he has the secret to beat Mayweather. Mayweather, however, claims that Marquez is in for a shock and ‘should be careful what he wishes for’. If Marquez can draw Mayweather into a war and really wear him down and work away at the body, he might just cause the biggest upset in boxing since Amir Khan’s knockout loss to Briedis Prescott.

Also, the fact that Marquez is a top quality counter puncher might take away Mayweather’s advantage he has known in all his previous bouts. ‘Pretty Boy’ has usually had the advantage as a counter puncher, which has
saved him in so many fights. He is now about to face a counter puncher of similar ability counter punching as himself which, although some say it might make a dull fight, it will be a big advantage to Marquez.

If Mayweather does pull off the win, it will of course be criticised by every boxing journalist, in every corner of the world. They will claim Marquez was unnatural at 144 pounds and was at the end of his career. They will claim he is now ‘shot’ and the win was meaningless. I don’t think so. Marquez is at his peak. Whether he can follow up with this great run of form at the catch weight is the only factor that might put him at a disadvantage.

If Mayweather can win, he will look to the other fighters on the horizon. I don’t see him fighting Pacquiao as the pair are unlikely to ever agree on money, both wanting the lion’s share. There is plenty more talent out there for ‘Money’. Paul Williams is getting better and better. Shane Mosley would give his right arm to share a ring with him, as would Miguel Cotto.

Boxing fans will demand him to fight this fighter or that fighter and will never be satisfied that he has done enough. He is not untested, but he can be tested more. The old boys in the gym used to regularly tell me, ‘if you’ve never tasted defeat, you shouldn’t even be fighting for a world title’. Muhammed Ali once said, ‘Only a fighter who has tasted defeat knows what it takes to be victorious when the fight is even’. Marquez certainly understands that. And maybe Marquez can pull off yet another huge upset that will bring him one step closer to a dream rematch with Manny Pacquiao.

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