By Bal Kang: I wanted to take a step back before I wrote this piece as I wanted to gather my thoughts and not get to emotional, although I must stress I found it difficult. Now that the dust has settled and after reading countless articles I finally decided to put my take on the weekends ‘big fight’ however my angle is different to what has dominated most sports/boxing pages with the exception of a few.
During the past weekend we were given the Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather jr dose in more ways than one. I haven’t watched the HBO version yet but I did watch the fight on Sky Sports. I am very much interested in getting yours the ‘Fight Fans’ views but I was disappointed at the thoughts and feedback from the Sky Sports team, yes, from commentators to the studio panel.
I know Floyd Mayweather Jr is a wonderful talent, I do not doubt that in anyway and I am not suggesting that Juan Manuel Marquez would have beaten Mayweather had things been any different, not at that weight anyway. Marquez would have stood a lot better chance if the fight had taken place about three years ago and ideally at Super Featherweight, ideally being the operative word. Being a passionate ‘Fight Fan’ I know Mayweather Jr has many skills, in particular a great defence but I also know that he beat a much smaller man, a much, much smaller man who has equally as good skills and talent as ‘Money’ but was unable to display his in all their glory at a much advanced weight against an opponent who was naturally bigger, but felt the need to seek an even greater advantage by weighing in at 146lbs, heavier than the agreed weight limit and four lbs over an already much smaller Juan Manuel Marquez who weighed in at 142lbs.
Furthermore the Mayweather camp declined to the ‘unofficial’ weigh in which takes place on the day of the fight, you see this on HBO versions when they show you the ‘tale of the tape’, figures of the official weigh in and the weight they will actually enter the ring on the day of the fight, we gleam from this how much a fighter has hydrated back up to.
Without jumping to any conclusions, if I were a betting man I would suggest Floyd hydrated back up to around 160lbs on fight night and Marquez around 148lbs, so we’re talking about a difference of possibly up to three actual weight divisions!
Now what I find very disturbing is the sense of balance and reality that went missing in the early hours of Sunday morning. The Sky Sports commentators spoke of how Mayweather was making an incredibly exceptional fighter in Marquez look nothing more than ordinary, failing to mention that Marquez was fighting at Welterweight against a fully fledged Welterweight when he himself (Marquez) is naturally a Featherweight!
So to some of the more casual boxing fans who believe it or not, may have been watching Marquez apply his craft for the first time, may have walked away from the fight thinking “wow, look what Floyd did to Marquez”.
A certain Sky Sports commentator remarked on how Mayweather was handling Marquez far easier than Manny Pacquiao was able to. I’m not sure if that particular commentator would still stand by his comments on reflection? Because to my knowledge back in 2004 and 2008 Pacquiao fought Marquez at Featherweight and Super-Featherweight, yes that’s right they both weighed the same weight, I can’t recall Pacquiao holding any sort of weight advantage on fight night or at the weigh in. So if that was an attempt to benchmark than I would stress that’s not a like for like comparison.
After the fight the viewers were treated to the panel of experts, these are men who I have respect for but I was deeply disappointed with their comments and especially the lack of balance of what actually took place. I find it difficult to agree with a ‘panel of experts’ comparing Mayweather to Sugar Ray Leonard based on that performance. I mean someone who pays for the monthly subscription to watch these fights and genuinely gets excited about the pre and post fight studio panel discussion, I was left feeling extremely disappointed with what was being said.
Approximately four years ago, Mayweather Jr was in the ring with Sharmba Mitchell at 147 lbs, a few months later, Marquez was in the ring with Chris John at 125lbs, the same Chris John that was on the undercard of ‘numero uno/number one’.
Maybe it was the fact that Marquez was so thoroughly beaten, however you look at it, it was a perfect defensive boxers performance by Mayweather but however you look at it, it was against a ‘hand picked’ naturally smaller, made to order opponent who was visibly effected by the extra weight and as a result he sacrificed all of his skills that had taken him towards the top of the pound for pound rankings.
To say I couldn’t hide my disappointment would be an understatement or more to the point, I felt like a true modern day great, possibly Nacho Beristains’ greatest ever champion was sold short; he’s a true master and didn’t deserve to be treated like this!
Why was there no mention, not even the slightest mention of this fight being a mismatch right from the moment the fight was announced? Why was there no mention that Marquez did very well to go the distance, why was there no mention of the obvious size and weight advantages that Mayweather had over his opponent, or did they think these advantages were so obvious they didn’t warrant even being mentioned, not even once as a reminder?
I talk to quite a few people about Boxing and as one of them said “the real fight fan can’t be fooled” so I pledge to the ‘experts’ please do not try and pull the wool over the real fight fans eyes!
For those of you who have read my previous work you will know I am not biased or I try not to be, but reality is this media manipulation that Mayweather has put upon us really needs to stop. The media need to stop buying into this and as soon as that happens then, and only then, we might just see Mayweather in a real meaningful fight. I’m conscious this drum has been beating for a while; I can assure you it will keep beating louder until Mayweather fights a real Welterweight!
A great warrior like ‘Dinamita’ Marquez will want no-one feeling sorry for him, but I can’t help it my fellow amigo’s because I looked at his facial expression when Mayweather stepped onto the scales and weighed 146lbs, there was look of disbelief, a look of “I’ve been conned”, I mean it was a mammoth task to begin with for Marquez which was made even more so with the extra weight advantage that Mayweather bought for $600,000.
Sky Sports showed the post fight interview with Mayweather which had more excitement than the actual fight but what about Marquez? I mean I don’t know what happens behind the scenes, time constraints etc, but I would have much rather listened to Marquez than the ‘panel of experts’, the great Mexican warrior deserved to be heard and the British public who had watched the fight on Sky Sports would have no alternative but to stand to attention.
As a ‘Fight Fan’ I have it in my DNA to watch as much Boxing as I possibly can and I would give Mayweather all the credit he deserves if he had fought the likes of Margarito, Cotto and Mosley amongst others. Or why not do what Marquez has done and step up to fight someone like Paul Williams or even Kelly Pavlik, even by just stepping up to face these kind of challenges could potentially pave the way for Mayweather to be seen as a ‘Bigger Big Man’ in more ways than one.
I recall watching Brian Kenny undertake an interview with Mayweather on his ESPN show a while back, when Floyd was asked the question about a potential fight with Mosley his response was to the effect that Margarito, Cotto and Mosley have all been beaten, he’s beaten him and he’s beaten him and they’ve all beaten each other, yet I (Mayweather) I’m unbeaten” had I been sitting in Brian Kenny’s chair my response to that would be well you have not given them a chance to try and attempt to beat you, as you won’t fight them!
Now all of you Mayweather fans will not believe me when I say I have nothing against Floyd jr, I actually believe if I sat down with him that he would be quite a likeable guy, but as a fan of Boxing I find it hard to stomach when the real fight fans are being made a mockery of.
Should and it’s a big should, should Pacquiao beat Miguel Cotto then it’s inevitable that a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight might well materialise and it will be huge, however, I call out to Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao, please do not give an inch at the negotiating table, I’m confident they won’t but I would not make that fight a single pound over 140lbs. Weight divisions exist for a reason, that reason was evident over the weekend, Pacquiao is the same size as Barrera, Morales and Marquez, he would be stepping up to a fully fledged Welterweight who could campaign effectively as a Light Middleweight and if he (Mayweather) wanted to attempt a Marquez or a Pacquiao he could even have a fight or two at Middleweight.
I know many people will disagree with me, subject to Pacquiao getting past Cotto, I think deep down Pacquiao is far to small for Mayweather and Floyd knows that, I’m not suggesting Pacquiao can’t beat Mayweather, Pacquiao will still take the fight because he rightly so is a phenomenon, but I don’t think it’s a fight that should be made above 140lbs.
The reason for this is some people are giving a lot of credit to Mayweather for beating Marquez especially a lot of the British press, I have even read this morning how one writer for a very reputable newspaper has stated that all Mayweather needs to do now is beat Mosley and Pacquiao in that order to confirm his all time great status, another has already stated that after his performance against Marquez, Mayweather without any dispute should be considered an all time great, amongst the greatest boxers that ever laced up a pair of gloves. Yes a win over Mosley would have a lot of substance despite Mosley getting on a bit, but a win over Pacquiao means nothing, nothing at all, it proves that he can defeat a much smaller guy, a guy who is smaller in every single department than Mayweather, apart from in courage. If we could measure each mans courage it would outweigh Mayweather without any shadow of a doubt!
If any of you ‘experts’ are reading this then I point you to one of my previous articles ‘Marquez, Pacquiao – The Little Big Men’ I would ask you to read it before you start landing the plaudits on Mayweather.
The real star of the show was Juan Manuel ‘Dinamita’ Marquez; even though he was robbed of his dynamite before he even stepped in to the ring!