Mayweather/Marquez Fight, the unfair advantage

Is Oscar De La Hoya following in Don King's footsteps?

Look it up. Trash talking is an attempt to insult an opponent prior to a sporting event in order to gain an advantage by intimidation. The goal of the trash talker is to have that boastful and insulting language sound genuine.

Within the past two weeks a few football players, a tennis player and a politician tried their hand at eliciting that same affect on a football team, a line judge and the President of these United States, but since they were not of the same social ilk as a professional fighter, their outbursts were considered laughable, even imbecile.

Boxers are a cut above. They back up their words with their fists. When we saw Floyd Mayweather, Jr. doing his thang, looking down at Juan Manuel Marquez with that “You-ain’t-nothing look. You may be a scrappy dog but you ain’t ever faced the likes of this dog,” it was genuine.

Tonight, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, we’ll see if that boasting was backed up. In this 144-pound, catch-weight showdown we have 6-time title-holder, Floyd Mayweather (39-0, 25 KO’s) taking on 3-time world champion, Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KO’s).

For Marquez, this bout comes just two fights after his first move up to 135 pounds. This will truly be an uphill battle against a larger man. In boxing a weight advantage in the lighter weight classes of four to nine pounds can be critical. At the weigh-in Marquez weighed 142 pounds, his opponent 146½ pounds.

Keith Kizer, the executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, said there was no issue with the weight from the commission standpoint. Of course not, nothing is going to stand in the way of a big payday. Kizer said he went to Marquez’s locker room prior to the weigh-in and asked him if he was aware that Mayweather could be weighing in at more than 144 pounds. Kizer said Marquez told him he had no problem with it. The wording “more than 144 pounds” was deceitful. How about, “At this point Mayweather weighs four and a half pounds more than you and by fight time, he could weigh anywhere between 10 and 12 pounds more than you.”

And what did he think Marquez would say? Marquez’s manager should have over-ruled his proud fighter with a condemnation: “All right then, the fight is off. We followed the rules of the contract; apparently the Mayweather camp had no intention of following the rules.”

To top it off, Mayweather arrived at the MGM Grand for the weigh-in about an hour later than the scheduled time agreed upon by the Nevada Boxing commission. That added time gave Mayweather even more time to take an enigma, have a body wrap, etc. You name it to lose weight.

You may think this difference doesn’t mean much, but boxing analysts know better. After the two boxers replemish their bodies, I’m certain that weight advantage increased for Mayweather and Marquez remained at the same 142 pounds. Mayweather has fought at welterweight since 2005, but Marquez has only fought three times at more than 130. Marquez weighed 134 pounds in a Dec. 9, 1996, bout against Rodrigo Valenzuela. He was at 135 pounds when he fought Joel Casamayor on Sept. 13, 2008, and was at 134 pounds when he beat Juan Diaz on Feb. 28. It has been more than four years since Mayweather weighed less than 146.

Therefore, even if the two fighters were at the same skill level, which they are not, the scrappy Mexican boxer is at a decided disadvantage when getting hit by the heavier blows. The money offered had to be Marquez’s motivation for overlooking the huge handicap. We know all about Mayweather’s motivation. Despite making incredible sums in the past, he is now facing bankruptcy.  So the fighter with the unblemished record, the taller boxer with the longer reach and quicker hands most assuredly has every advantage in tonight’s fight.

Marquez, who’s willing to do whatever it takes, has very little chance of winning tonight’s bout. You can forget his optimistic tone. “I feel as good and happy as I can,” said Marquez. “I always put forth the effort, and now I see the reward. I don’t want to be the Mexican No. 1 fighter. I want to be the global No. 1.”

Most every boxer puts forth his maximum effort. But at the same time they need to have their battles fought on a level playing field.

I have another question for you. Is it my imagination or is boxing promoter Oscar De La Hoya morphing into another Don King. Even though I understand he’s just doing his “job” in hyping this fight, but to say, “He (Marquez) is just getting started. We haven’t even seen everything Juan Manuel Marquez is capable of doing, and (Mayweather) is about to find out.” De La Hoya’s coolness that pre-supposes that the 36-year-old, Marquez, is about to win this fight is laughable.

Personally, I’d love to see Marquez, the more likeable guy, win this match but I know it’s not going to happen. By the same token I respect Mayweather for always telling it like it is. The ever-imposing, trash-talking Money Mayweather backs up everything he says.

When De La Hoya was doing his hype at the Press Conference, I’m sure every journalist in the room enjoyed the background rejoinders from Mayweather, “You (meaning De La Hoya) couldn’t beat me.” And then he added for good measure, “You can both get in the ring. I’ll take both of you’s on!”

What you can respect about athletes like Mayweather or for that matter, James “Lights Out” Toney, is that they always tell you exactly what they’re thinking. They’re not artfully measuring every response like a politician.

Mayweather fired one last salvo at the Latin version of Don King. “I know he (De La Hoya) truly doesn’t like me, and I don’t like him. I don’t like him from the bottom of my heart.”

I just hope Money Mayweather doesn’t hurt one of Mexico’s heroes.

Share This Post

Pin It on Pinterest