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Friday, May 29, 2009

Ticket Sales Show “Cash Cow” Floyd Is Really Just A Box Office Goat

If you have the patience to sit through one of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s self serving diatribes you will undoubtedly hear him tell you that when it comes to ticket sales and PPV buys he is the “Cash Cow” in boxing.

So far ticket sales for his upcoming fight with Juan Manuel Marquez tell us otherwise.

Tickets for “Number One/Numero Uno” went on sale this past Friday morning and as I sit to write this article late Monday night, a quick check of Ticketmaster reveals that there are plenty of tickets left for the Las Vegas battle….PLENTY!

Oh sure all the 150 dollar tickets are gone, and one could easily argue that Marquez fans are the ones who gobbled up those low priced seats. But in every other price range there a tickets-o-plenty. In fact if someone wanted to snag 10 ringside seats up (most allowed in one transaction) right now…they could. The only way all the ringside and other expensive seats sell is if Floyd buys them himself, goes to his favorite night club and throws them up in the air the way he does fake hundred dollar bills. But unlike the counterfeit hundreds (allegedly), most of these tickets will lie on the floor for the janitor to sweep up.

When Super Fights and/or Mega Fights tickets go on sale we were getting used to the promoter announcing in the first 2 hours that tickets have been “SOLD OUT” but arrangements have been made for closed circuit venues to open up on the night of the fight so everyone will be able to witness the battle.

No such announcement was made last Friday and it’s highly doubtful we will be receiving one anytime soon or at all for that matter.

In fact, the only times in recent history that announcement was made either the names De La Hoya, Hatton or Pacquiao were attached. Not coincidentally, the only time Floyd has been involved in a box office bonanza is when he had a dance partner like Oscar and Ricky. Floyd may be a whizz on Dancing With the Stars, but he’s got two left feet when it comes to waltzing with the Benjamins.

The fact is Floyd Mayweather Jr. was not a pay-per-view star before his 2007 fights with Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, the numbers speak for themselves:

Mayweather, already a two-division Champ when he took on Arturo Gatti for a super lightweight title in his first pay-per-view fight in June 2005 did 365,000 buys, and you could plausibly argue that it was the vastly more popular Gatti who pulled in the majority of the buyers.

Floyd’s fight with Zab Judah for a 147 pound strap in April 2006 sold 375,000 PPV buys even though Floyd’s promoter at that time, Bob Arum, predicted it would do more than the 1.4 million buys De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad Jr. did in 1999.

Mayweather’s “fight” against flavor of the moment Carlos Baldomir in November 2006 did a paltry 300,000 buys.

The numbers don’t lie and the truth will be revealed when anemic PPV numbers come in after the fight.

In this “mega-fight” with Juan Manuel Marquez – which HBO somehow decided was worthy of the 24/7 treatment – Floyd won’t get any help from his dance partner, because Marquez, for all his accomplishments, has never been a box office PPV star. Even when he fought Manny Pacquiao in a very highly anticipated rematch, HBO reported 400,000 buys, which was good numbers for the little guys back then, but this a new day and age. The majority of the seats at the house for the Pacquiao-Marquez fight were filled by Filipinos, not Mexicans. And it’s fair to assume Pacquiao fans generated the lion’s share of the PPV purchases as well.

In their efforts to generate sales for this fight, the press tour was taken to England in a desperate venture to try and bolster PPV buys. But the Brit tabloid “The Sun” laid to rest any hopes this promotion was going to be a hit in England. The Sun said bluntly, “Floyd Mayweather was in London with Juan Manuel Marquez to promote his fight on July 18. It’s a fight Mayweather is expected to win. He will be too big for Marquez. The reason they are in Britain? The promoters believe it will generate big pay-per-view numbers here! At 4.30am in the morning! Dream on.”

Given the state of the economy and the slow start to ticket sales it is very realistic to believe this fight may do only 400,000 in PPV buys and if it breaks the 500,000 mark everyone involved should consider themselves lucky at best.

Everyone but HBO, the promoters and the fighters that is. :)

If the PPV numbers come in far lower than expected, HBO will certainly be second-guessing its decision to pour time and considerable money into another one of their 24/7 series. Time-Warner, which owns HBO, might also get on the horn to the network president Ross Greenburg and ask him how he so misjudged the potential of this fight.

Fact is, any boxing industry analyst could have told HBO that given Marquez’s anonymity beyond the Mexican community, and the over-inflated value Mayweather has given himself as a PPV draw, going for a 24/7 on what would seem to be a tune-up – albeit a difficult one – for “Money May” was a very questionable proposition. If HBO had said no to Floyd on the 24/7, what would he have done, gone to Showtime? This was probably seen as an investment by HBO in a huge Pacquiao-Mayweather showdown, but given Floyd’s aversion to be being hit, that fight may never take place.

The biggest losers on this fight will be the promoters.

It’s very conceivable that Golden Boy and the respective Mayweather and Marquez promotional companies, who like all promoters had to pay the purses on a PPV fight – are going to lose their proverbial butts on this one. The fighters also lose, too, because their contracts include a percentage of the PPV revenue.

Sorry, but there is no way in hell anybody who speaks only Spanish gives a darn about Mayweather, and in my humble opinion we’ve seen way too much 24/7 of all the Mayweather’s, especially Floyd Jr.

But Mayweather Jr. probably demanded it, and HBO invested the money just to make him happy, not to mention it’s a good way to suck up to “Pretty Boy” just in case he does grow a set of cajones and fights Pacquiao somewhere down the line. (I’ve already predicted he won’t).

Bottom line here, Mayweather is throwing around HBO money like the dollar bills he tosses around at strip clubs and he is getting away with it.

Nevermind what you are reading elsewhere that Mayweather is boxing’s true reality star and that we can hardly wait for HBO’s 24/7 to begin. That’s just more sucking up to HBO and Mayweather by the Fat Man.

The numbers speak for themselves and right now the dismal ticket sales are pointing to Mayweather vs. Marquez being one of the biggest PPV busts of all time.

Source: pound4pound.com

Mayweather Won't Bow To Pacquiao, Hits Marquez Critics

If negotiations ever come about, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is not planning to cave in and give Manny Pacquiao the lion's share of the money. Viewed as the richest fight in boxing, most insiders see the monetary negotiations as the biggest issue with making the fight come together in the future.

Mayweather faces Juan Manuel Marquez on July 18 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Marquez is moving up from 135 to 144-pounds for the fight. Mayweather is coming down a few pounds from 147. Most critics have said Marquez is too small.

Speaking with BoxingScene.com's Luis Sandoval, Mayweather said the critics are just making excuses.

"I'm always in a no-win situation. Every time I fight a guy they say the guy is over the hill or I'm too big or I was too fast. They are always going to have an excuse. Marquez is a good fighter. To beat a fighter like that it takes hard work, dedication and preparation and belief in a good team, and I have a great team," Mayweather said.

Top Rank's Bob Arum, promoter of Pacquiao, has gone on the record several times and takes the position that his fighter deserves more money than Mayweather. Speaking with BoxingScene, Mayweather says the money will have to swing in his direction and he sees no reason for Pacquiao to get more money.

"I don't have to go out there and chase fighters. I earned my spot. I beat Oscar De La Hoya two years ago, just like I beat Ricky Hatton two years ago," Mayweather said.

"You just ask yourself, in 2007 I total grossed $250 million in one hour. And with my fight with Hatton, Hatton was never on pay-per-view before and my numbers with Hatton did better than Pacquiao's numbers with Hatton. That's for Leonard Ellerbe and Bob Arum to negotiate who gets the lion's share."

Source: boxingscene.com

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mayweather out to reclaim mantle as boxing's best

Love him or hate him, the mere mention of Floyd Mayweather's name elicits a strong reaction from boxing fans. His mainstream profile has also grown bigger than any other fighter's because of a run on the popular reality series "Dancing With the Stars," a heavily hyped wrestling appearance at last year's WrestleMania, not to mention starring in a ubiquitous AT&T commercial that seems to be on television every 10 seconds.

But after 17 months out the ring in a retirement virtually nobody thought would last, the former five-division champion indeed finally announced his comeback earlier this month.

On July 18 (HBO PPV) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Mayweather (39-0, 25 KOs) will face lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs), the pound-for-pound star who will jump two divisions for the fight at a maximum weight of 144 pounds, nine more than where Marquez is champion.

"I'm not overlooking Juan Manuel Marquez, and I hope he's not overlooking me," Mayweather said. "He knows I've been off awhile so he might think I'm rusty, but I'm not. I'll be ready."

When Mayweather walked away, he was on top of the sport, the universal choice as pound-for-pound king and the reigning welterweight champion. His final two fights in 2007 against Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton generated a staggering 3.4 million pay-per-view buys in the United States.

Now, Mayweather says he is back to reclaim the mantle of No. 1 that Manny Pacquiao now holds, even though, as Mayweather says, he never lost his status in the ring.

"One day, somebody may shut my mouth. As of right now, I'm the top dog," Mayweather said. "I'm the king. I'm here to stay. I left on top, came back on top. I'm here to fight and reclaim what's mine. Nobody has ever took my throne. So how am I not the king if nobody ever took my throne?"

With his impending ring return, Mayweather, who is in London with Marquez wrapping up this week's six-day, three-city, two-country media tour to promote the fight, brings an avalanche of publicity to boxing.

"He crossed over to being a mainstream star," said Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's close friend and adviser and CEO of Mayweather Promotions, which is working with Golden Boy on the fight. "He will bring more fans to the sport and overall that will uplift the sport."

Mayweather certainly injects a jolt into the sport like no other and he's more than happy to tell you all about it.

"When you talk boxing, you talk Floyd Mayweather," he said. "I'm back because the sport of boxing needs Floyd Mayweather. The sport truly needs me and the fans really want me. Wherever I go, they go crazy. I'm the most controversy in the sport."

If you buy the rap, the good news for boxing is that Mayweather is back for the long haul. A source with direct knowledge of his deal with Golden Boy Promotions told ESPN.com that Mayweather's deal is for five fights.

That ought to give him ample time to face boxing's biggest names, including an eventual showdown with Pacquiao, the fight the public is already demanding. If Mayweather gets past Marquez, which he is expected to do as a 3-1 favorite against the smaller man, there are several potential megafights for him: Pacquiao, Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto among them.

So what about it, Floyd?

"The thing you got to realize about Floyd Mayweather is I don't need to call out no fighters," he said, making it clear that he thought Marquez deserved to win both of his controversial fights with Pacquiao [a draw and split decision].

Ellerbe made Mayweather's plans after Marquez a bit more clear.

"I can tell you this right now that we're gonna line all these guys up, whoever the so-called best guys are, whoever they say they, and we'll line up," he said. "Obviously, he can't fight them all in one night. But one by one, so whoever it is. He left the best, he's coming back the best. All roads lead to Floyd Mayweather."

Besides Pacquiao and Cotto, difficult bouts to make because of Mayweather's terrible relationship with Top Rank's Bob Arum, his former promoter, there is also Mosley.

"Mosley had a good win with [Antonio] Margarito," Ellerbe said. "We can't fight him right now, but he's one of the top fighters. We recognize he's one of the top fighters. He can get it too."

The time off was something Mayweather said he needed after several major fights in a row. He said he returned because he missed boxing. He also undoubtedly returned for the money, even though he doesn't want to acknowledge the millions he owes to the IRS.

"Floyd truly needed a break away from the sport and he had to realize that he missed the sport," Ellerbe said. "I think by him taking the time off and doing some other business ventures, he realized it. He's well rested."

Said Mayweather, flashing his million-dollar smile, about his return: "Somebody got to keep the sport up and running, so why not me?"

Source: sports.espn.go.com

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Video: Mayweather vs Marquez New York Press Conference

Pictures: Mayweather vs Marquez Press Conference in NY

Marquez's Dreams of Pacquiao are Riding on a Floyd Win

Since 2004, Juan Manuel Marquez has been focused for the most part on a single fighter - Manny Pacquiao. After getting knocked down three times in the first round and battling his way back to a controversial draw, the Mexican champion was convinced that he should have won a decision and chased the rematch. He got his wish in 2008, fighting Pacquiao to a close split-decision loss, and this time many thought he should have won.

Since the rematch Marquez has done everything is his power to land the trilogy bout. He flew to the Philippines and confronted Pacquiao at a local show - demanding a trilogy fight. Marquez would then follow Pacquiao to the lightweight division and cleaned house by knocking out Juan Diaz and Joel Casamayor to capture two of the four major titles at the weight. After Pacquiao jumped to 147 for De La Hoya and then dropped to 140 for Hatton, Marquez would quickly announce plans to move up to 140.

When Floyd Mayweather Jr. was making plans to return, with an obvious clash with Pacquiao as the clincher. Marquez knew the only way to block that fight, and force a third meeting with Pacquiao, was to face Mayweather. He called Floyd out, Floyd accepted, and they clash on July 18 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Top Rank's Bob Arum says the only way a trilogy bout would take place, is if Marquez beats Mayweather. He doesn't give Marquez a big shot to win and doesn't see a trilogy bout ever taking place if Mayweather gets his hand raised. Marquez has given Pacquiao more trouble than any other opponent.

"This fight [Mayweather-Marquez] is not seen as particularly competitive," said Arum to the Los Angeles Times. "If Marquez, by some stroke of luck, beats Mayweather, then sure it'll happen. But if Marquez loses, why fight him? It won't be a mega-fight. And that's what Manny wants."

Source: boxingscene.com

Mayweather-Marquez: NYC Press Conference

Floyd “Money” Mayweather has returned to the sport to recapture what was once his, the status as the number one pound for pound fighter in the world.

In hopes of regaining that status, Mayweather wasted no time on regaining that status when he signed on to face who many consider the number two pound for pound fighter Juan Manuel Marquez.

The two will meet July 18 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where tickets are scheduled to go on sale Friday. They'll fight at a catch-weight of about 143 pounds, eight more than Marquez has ever fought and the lightest that Mayweather has been since 2005.

After two days of media activities in Los Angeles, today was the first of two days worth of appearances in the Big Apple that is on tap, which included today’s press conference at the tallest building in New York: The Empire State Building.

Mayweather, who is the King Kong of boxing, stood with Marquez on the 80th floor of the world's most renowned skyscraper to discuss their mega-fight.

“"I'm expecting the best Floyd Mayweather ever," Marquez said Tuesday, at the news conference. "I'm putting in my mind that he never retired, so I'm expecting the best."

Marquez is coming off one of his most impressive wins of his career when he stopped Juan ”Baby Bull” Diaz in the ninth round in one of 2009’s best fights so far.

With the win, Marquez captured the WBO and WBA 135-pound titles to his resume in the process.

But Juan Diaz is no Floyd Mayweather and with the move up in weight against one of the best boxers of our time, Marquez knows this will not be a walk in the park.

He has done some hardcore training in the mountains of Central Mexico. He has been packing on muscle and doing a brutal regimen, which included 25 days of weight training. With this kind of training, Marquez feels he can pull the upset.

“I don’t like easy fights. This fight is very important for my life and career,” said Marquez. “I always prepare myself to win, he's not a machine, he's a human being, and human beings can be beat."

Floyd Mayweather already has been in the gym for a few months and claims he's at 147 pounds and pronounced himself fit after a run through Central Park in the morning.

Source: bleacherreport.com

Floyd Mayweather set for return to ring against Manual Marquez

NEW YORK — When Floyd Mayweather Jr. walked away from boxing, he was widely considered the pound-for-pound king, the mythical mantle bestowed upon the best in the game.

Now that he's back, at least one person believes Mayweather still is: lightweight champ Juan Manual Marquez, whom he'll face in his highly anticipated return.
"I'm expecting the best Floyd Mayweather ever," Marquez said Tuesday, at a news conference on the 80th floor of the Empire State Building to help launch the fight. "I'm putting in my mind that he never retired, so I'm expecting the best."

The two will meet July 18 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where tickets are scheduled to go on sale Friday. They'll fight at a catch-weight of about 143 pounds, eight more than Marquez has ever fought and the lightest that Mayweather has been since 2005.
Neither believes the weight will make much difference.

Mayweather already has been in the gym a couple of months, ever since giving his adviser Leonard Ellerbe the green-light to screen potential opponents. Mayweather claims he's close to 147 pounds and pronounced himself fit after a run through Central Park on Tuesday morning.
Marquez has been packing on muscle while training in the mountains of central Mexico.
He said the brutal regimen, which has included several weeks of lifting boulders, has given him confidence that he'll be the one to finally dethrone the king.
"I always prepare myself to win," Marquez said quietly, sitting a few feet from where the outgoing Mayweather held court with dozens of reporters. "He's not a machine, he's a human being, and human beings can be beat."

Mayweather, the former five-division champ, hasn't stepped in the ring since knocking out Ricky Hatton in December 2007, when he was still basking in the aura of his transcending victory over Oscar De La Hoya. He'd cashed in his "Pretty Boy" nickname for one more befitting his agenda - "Money" - and was showing up everywhere from "Dancing with the Stars" to WrestleMania.

That's when Mayweather abruptly called it quits, turning his attention to show business.

Mayweather's year away from the ring opened the door for Manny Pacquiao to step through, and the charismatic Filipino icon did it in destructive fashion. Where Mayweather needed 12 rounds to beat De La Hoya, Pacquiao needed eight; where the flamboyant welterweight needed 10 rounds to stop Hatton, the smaller Pacquiao needed only two earlier this month.

Now, much to Mayweather's chagrin, many consider Pacquiao the best.
"I respect him for what he does, I respect him in the fight game, but I've never been beat," Mayweather said of Pacquiao, who's lost three times, the last in 2005. "Nobody has the antidote for Floyd Mayweather."
While most presume the two will eventually settle the pound-for-pound dispute in the ring, Mayweather (39-0, 25 KOs) must first deal with Marquez, his hand-picked opponent.
Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs) lost a slugfest by close split-decision to Pacquiao in 2008, a bout that Mayweather and many others believe the Mexican fighter won. Five years ago, Marquez rallied from three first-round knockdowns to earn a bloody draw with Pacquiao in their first bout.

Marquez's stunning knockout of Joel Casamayor last year and his brutal knockout of Juan Diaz in February entrenched him as one of the most electrifying fighters available. More importantly, they produced an opponent that intrigued Mayweather enough to return to the ring.

"Marquez is a warrior," he said, conferring rare praise upon one of his foes. "He's a hell of a fighter. I don't have to come here and bad-mouth anybody."
Mayweather paused for a moment, then added: "They say to be the best, you got to beat the best. I think they got Marquez in the dark and somebody has to give him a shot. Why not me?"

Source: google.com

Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez Press Conference Photos!

Source: goldenboypromotions.com

Late L.A. lunch with Mayweather Jr. and Marquez

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his July 18 opponent, Juan Manuel Marquez, will conduct a public news conference today at 2 p.m. at the Los Angeles Central Library's outdoor plaza.

Mayweather (39-0, 25 KOs) hasn't fought since knocking out England's Ricky Hatton in the 10th round of their December 2007 bout in Las Vegas. He was in negotiations to have a rematch against Oscar De La Hoya last summer when he opted to retire.

In his absence, Manny Pacquiao became the 2008 fighter of the year, according to the boxing writers, and claimed the mythical title of best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Pacquiao's second-round destruction of Hatton on May 2 affirmed that title.

But now Mayweather has the opportunity, in a welterweight bout expected to be fought at a 144-pound catch weight, to defeat the man who has fought Pacquiao tougher than anyone in recent years. Marquez, a world lightweight champion, fought Pacquiao to a draw in 2003 after surviving three first-round knockdowns, and then lost in a narrow split decision in March 2008.

The popularity of Mexico's Marquez was obvious at Sunday's public appearance at Olvera Street, and his toughness gained even more credibility when he defeated the younger Juan Diaz by ninth-round TKO in February. It should be a pro-Marquez crowd today at the library, 630 W. 5th St.

The question is how Marquez will handle another move up in weight (he fought Pacquiao last year at 130 pounds) and deal with the brilliant speed of Mayweather. And how will the layoff affect Mayweather?

Both fighters and their representatives are scheduled to stop by The Times today and we will ask them those questions for use here at the Fabulous Forum and latimes.com/sports.

Source: latimesblogs

Mayweather/Marquez 24/7 - Full Information and Times

NEW YORK – HBO Sports’ groundbreaking “24/7” reality franchise, which has captured seven Sports Emmy® Awards, will return with MAYWEATHER/MARQUEZ 24/7, an all-new four-episode, all-access series, it was announced today by Ross Greenburg, president, HBO Sports. Debuting SATURDAY, JUNE 27 (9:30-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), the series spotlights a host of intriguing storylines, with Floyd Mayweather, the sport’s most irrepressible superstar, returning after a year-and-a-half absence to face Juan Manuel Marquez, one of boxing’s most accomplished performers, as they prepare for their July 18 welterweight pay-per-view showdown in Las Vegas.

Noted Greenburg, “This latest edition of ‘24/7’ features all the ingredients that we look for in greenlighting the ‘24/7’ franchise: big-time boxing stars, engaging storylines and in Floyd’s case, a larger-than-life personality that is tailor-made for reality television. This fight is sure to generate a lot of interest, and we hope to present another compelling television program.”

Episodes two and three of MAYWEATHER/MARQUEZ 24/7 debut on subsequent Saturdays – JULY 4 (9:45-10:15 p.m.) and 11 (10:00-10:30 p.m.) – while the finale debuts FRIDAY, JULY 17 (9:30-10:00 p.m.), just one night before the fight. All four episodes will have multiple replay dates on HBO, and the series will also be available on HBO On Demand.

MAYWEATHER/MARQUEZ 24/7 will provide exclusive behind-the-scenes access, along with in-depth interviews, as these determined warriors prepare for the second mega-fight of 2009. This is Mayweather’s third “24/7” appearance, while Marquez is making his HBO reality series debut. Regarded as the best boxer of his era, the undefeated Mayweather (39-0, 25 KOs) is back at full speed both in and out of the ring after a brief self-imposed retirement.

Marquez is a dynamic fighter (50-4-1, 37 KOs) from Mexico City who shares at least one thing with his flashy opponent: They’re both willing to fight anybody in the sport, regardless of division. Marquez is moving up from the lightweight ranks to the talent-rich welterweight division to challenge boxing’s most provocative star.

Storylines for this fast-paced series will include the interaction between Mayweather and his uncle/trainer, Roger Mayweather, and Marquez’s rock-solid relationship with his longtime trainer Ignacio Beristain.

MAYWEATHER/MARQUEZ 24/7 is the latest installment of the widely acclaimed “24/7” franchise that began in 2007 on HBO with “De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7” and “Mayweather/Hatton 24/7.” The series continued in 2008 with “Calzaghe/Jones 24/7” and “De La Hoya/Pacquiao 24/7,” and resumed in 2009 with “Pacquiao/Hatton 24/7.”

Newsday.com has observed, “HBO’s 24/7 series is the best sports program on television. Bar none.”

At the 2009 Sports Emmy® Awards, “De La Hoya/Pacquiao 24/7” was honored in the category of Outstanding Edited Sports Series/Anthologies, while “Calzaghe/Jones 24/7” was honored in the categories of Outstanding Edited Sports Special, Outstanding Editing and Outstanding Post Produced Audio/Sound. At the 2008 Sports Emmy® Awards, “De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7” was honored in the category of Outstanding Edited Sports Special, while “Mayweather/Hatton 24/7” was honored in the categories of Outstanding Camera Work and Outstanding Writing.

On Saturday, July 18 at 9:00 p.m. (ET)/6:00 p.m. (PT), HBO Pay-Per-View presents “Mayweather vs. Marquez,” live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The executive producers of MAYWEATHER/MARQUEZ 24/7 are Ross Greenburg and Rick Bernstein; coordinating producer, Dave Harmon; producers, Thomas Odelfelt and Abtin Motia. Liev Schreiber narrates.

Source: boxingscene.com

Mayweather, Marquez in NYC!

Floyd Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez pose on the 86th floor observatory of the Empire State Building in New York at today’s press conference to announce their July 18, 2009 PPV fight at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Source: fightnews.com

Mayweather-Marquez LA presser!

With the recent announcement of Floyd Mayweather Jr. coming out of retirement, it has become a big buzz with boxing fans not only that he coming back to the sport but also that he is immediately putting his undefeated record on the line by facing the dangerous highly touted five-time world champion in three weight divisions Juan Manuel Marquez in a 12 round bout entitled “Number One/Numero Uno.” The first stop of the media tour for the mega fight took place Monday in downtown Los Angeles to announce their battle taking place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV on July 18. “That’s right. I’m back and you can all get ready for another chapter of the Mayweather experience!,” said Mayweather. “I told my CEO Leonard Ellerbe from the start that I wanted to come back fighting the best fighters out there and Juan Manuel Marquez is one of the best in boxing today.”

When asked what made him come back to the sweet science he simply answered.

“I missed the sport.”

“I am not overlooking Marquez so I hope he doesn’t overlook me either. Just because I have been retired doesn’t mean I will be rusty,” proclaimed ‘Money’ Mayweather. “I am not here to rate myself. I let the fans and the media to decide that.”

There were rumors circulating the Internet about Mayweather getting a high $15 million dollar payday for his return, negotiations with Don King for future bouts and a possible fight with Manny Pacquiao.

“It doesn’t matter how much I make. We fight for checks not bragging rights.”

“Yeah! I talked to Don King, he’s a well-respected guy. It’s not a crime to talk to someone.”

“Manny is good but people are forgetting Erik Morales was able to beat him. He has gotten knocked out before so anything is possible but right now I am focusing on Marquez, he’s a top notch fighter. This is no tune up fight.”

In the era of great Mexican fighters such as Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, Mexico City’s Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs) has made it clear over the last few years that he may be the greatest of the bunch.

“This is the most difficult fight for me, but is not impossible,” said Marquez as he addressed the media. “I am training in the mountains of Mexico, this is one of the strategies we’re using to help with my weight. I am also lifting rocks to build strength.”

When asked what techniques one can use against the undefeated (39-0, 25 KOs) Mayweather Jr.

“Luis Castillo was one of the few who almost defeated Mayweather. Nacho Beristain is studying the fight and we have determined that being aggressive and gaining speed is the key to beat Floyd.”

“Floyd is the number one pound for pound and that is why I agreed to fight him at welterweight. I am very happy with the results of my career and I am happy for this opportunity but most of all I am confident I could beat Mayweather.”

Tickets go on sale Friday, May 22 at 10 a.m. and are priced at $1,000, $750, $600, $300 and $150. Tickets can be purchase at all Ticketmaster outlets and MGMGrand.com.

Source: fightnews.com

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mayweather-Marquez Reviewed By Mexican Boxing Figures

The upcoming fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez, scheduled for July 18 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, is a topic of hot debate in the boxing industry. Marquez moves up by nearly two weight divisions to meet Mayweather at a catch-weight of 143-pounds. Several well-known figures in the Mexican boxing scene take a look at the biggest fight of Marquez's career.

Tiburcio Garcia, who trained Jose Luis Castillo for both fights against Mayweather, says Marquez is more than able to pull off the upset.

"He has to be focused, and have discipline in the ring. Against Manny Pacquiao he showed a lot. For him to beat Mayweather is not impossible. Juan Manuel should take advantage of Floyd's inactivity. Both of them have a good a boxing technique but if Márquez arrives without fear, he is going to win", Garcia said to The Record.

Rudy Perez, who trained Marco Antonio Barrera, among others, says the experience of Marquez will be the key.

"Without a doubt this will be a battle of strategies but Marquez can beat him because he is more intelligent," Perez said.

Former champion Erik Morales, who wants to fight Marquez down the road, says the fight will be a tough one for his countryman.

"Although I think it's difficult, I believe Marquez can get the upset. I would for him to win. It took him a lot to get to this level and now he is here. It would be very good for him and for Mexican boxing, if he won. But Mayweather is a natural welterweight and Marquez is a natural super featherweight. If he can handle the weight, he should be able to win," Morales said.

Younger brother Rafael Marquez, doesn't think the weight will be a problem.

"I don't believe the weight will influence the fight. The two are more or less the same in stature and that is important. I believe that the experience of my brother will get him the victory over a slippery opponent such as Mayweather," Marquez said.

Source: boxingscene.com

Monday, May 11, 2009

Marquez Vows "I Will Beat Floyd Mayweather Jr"

WBA/WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez is already training hard at the Romanza Gym in Mexico City, taking his first steps in camp to prepare for the biggest fight of his career. Marquez moves up to 143-pounds to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr on July 18 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The calm that prevailed yesterday at the Romanza Gym was interrupted by the entrance of several television cameras and a herd of reporters. Reason: Juan Manuel Marquez was to start his training with a view to meeting against Floyd Mayweaher of July 18 in Las Vegas.

Marquez sees some flaws in Mayweather that he plans to exploit. During last week's press conference to announce the fight, Marquez told BoxingScene.com that he was pretty confident of an upset. Mayweather's physical attributes don't appear to be a issue either.

"I'm positive that I'm going to beat Mayweather. It's true that he has a two inch height advantage, a little bit more reach and he is a great fighter - but I know how is beatable, and I will do just that on July 18 in Las Vegas," Marquez told ESTO.

Marquez had told BoxingScene that he planned to keep his camp in Mexico for the full duration, but because of the swine flu epidemic in the country, he may head off to Big Bear, California at some point. He knows the public has him as a heavy underdog. It doesn't bother him. He likes the role of the underdog.

"This is not the first time that I'm the betting underdog. For example, I encountered Manny Pacquiao twice, and in both fights he was the big favorite. Even though I lost the rematch by one point and had a draw in the other, I am sure that I won both fights. Pacquiao said that he hoped to fight Mayweather in November, because Floyd is going to win me, but [that won't happen]. In November I will be his opponent," Marquez said.

Source: boxingscene.com

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mayweather-Marquez Under Fire By Sulaiman

Floyd Mayweather Jr and Juan Manuel Marquez will fight on July 18th, in a contest which sees them unbalanced concerning weight.

Mayweather, who’s coming back from an "oh so brief retirement" since last June, prior to which he poleaxed Ricky Hatton in December 2007, has fought as high as the super welterweight division, but his natural category is welter at 147lbs. While Marquez who’s comfortable at featherweight or 126lbs, has only fought twice at lightweight or four pounds up. So little wonder that Golden Boy is trying hard to catchweight it at 143lbs.

The reality is that four weight divisions separate the two and this makes the contest lopsided.

Although Mayweather Jr is a five division WBC Champion and has the opportunity to fight for a title in his comeback because he’s also an Emeritus Champion, this fight is not being held under the auspices of the WBC.

Nevertheless WBC President Jose Sulaiman is questioning it. He said: “They do not belong with each other. They are very far apart in the divisions. They are both fighters and will do their best, but there’s a lot of difference. There should be something to do, against allowing the freedom of promoters in the way that they are doing this.”

Don Jose also made his assessment of the relative qualities of the two by commenting: “Mayweather is a great fighter. Marquez is a very good fighter. He’s not a great fighter. Let’s make that very clear.

“It’s difficult for me to call it a mismatch. I can tell you that there are a lot of advantages for Floyd against Marquez. But mismatch….I don’t know, because Marquez has a big heart. He’s a lion in the ring, but I think he is going to be beaten.”

“In his last fight against Diaz he was losing the fight on all the cards of the judges and it was only because of his experience and his intelligence that caused him to change the bout and knock the other guy out.”

Source: boxingscene.com

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Is It Time to Change Mayweather's Moniker to Chicken Boy Floyd?

The word out of Las Vegas is that after months of behind the scenes negotiations, Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather couldn't wait one more day to set up the fight everyone wants to see happen.

The question now is, will this proposed Mayweather/Pacquiao mega-fight ever happen?

And why couldn't Jr. wait one more day.

When Larry Merchant pointed out that Mayweather has always had a sense of "perspicacity" when choosing opponents, I know I wasn't the only one reaching for the dictionary to find out what the word meant.

According to Webster's perspicacity means, "of acute mental vision or discernment."

In other words, Merchant was saying that Mayweather won't fight people he doesn't think he can beat...

Which is why people are wondering if the fight boxing fans around the world want to see more than any other might never actually happen.

Because, for all of Floyd, Jr.'s skill, he probably can't beat Manny Pacquiao at this point in time. Most likely he would have to get on a bicycle just to survive, and no one is going give him points for doing that.

A lot of people think that the money will be too great for Floyd to turn down, but he turned down millions to fight Oscar De La Hoya a second time, and I don't think that fight would have turned out much different than their first battle...which he won going away.

Mayweather tried to steal the Pac-Man's thunder last Saturday and ended up with egg on his face when Manny's total destruction of Hatton so eclipsed his unretirement announcement that most boxing scribes didn't even waste their time to write about it.

Now comes word that the Marquez fight isn't even a sure thing as the two camps continue to argue whether they are fighting at a catch weight of 144 pounds or the full 147 pound welterweight limit.

If that fight doesn't happen PBF, the man who glossed himself the "King" on Saturday will have to grovel like a knave to fight either Sugar Shane Mosley or Manny.

And it's pretty obvious now that Mayweather doesn't really want to fight either of them.

Most likely because he knows he can't beat them. And he for sure can't beat Paul Williams, although I would give him the nod over Miguel Cotto.

So, the ball is in Mayweather's court, and right now it's questionable whether he's the king of his court or just another joker like his Dad.

Source: bleacherreport.com

Mayweather vs. Marquez - A Worthy Semifinal

With every great performance always comes the demand for an encore. Sports fans often wax poetic about their heroes going out on top, but it’s never truly enough. The more they succeed, the more we want to see them tested at least one more time.

Naturally, the moments following Manny Pacqauiao’s devastating second round knockout of Ricky Hatton were filled with the obligatory two word question that always follows every major event – “Who’s next?”

The possibilities are endless for Pacquiao, who makes it that much easier to mix and match with his penchant for weight jumping. His amazing career has spanned ten weight classes, collecting belts in six of them, including an unprecedented four lineal world championships.

His past four fights have come in four separate weight classes, resulting in five knockdowns, four wins, three knockdowns and three championships. If the plan is to continue to maximize his earning potential – and by that, the realization that fighters are paid in dollars and not percentages – then the next trip will presumably come at welterweight.

There’s Shane Mosley, who deliberately sat on the sidelines following his upset thrashing of Antonio Margarito earlier this year for no other reason than to wait out the winner of Saturday’s monster event.

There’s Miguel Cotto, whom promoter Bob Arum is already threatening to stand at the head of the pack in the Pacquiao sweepstakes, though still lying ahead is a dangerous showdown with Joshua Clottey in New York City, next month.

Both fights are intriguing, and ones where Pacquiao enjoys the best of both worlds – clearing the lion’s share of the available license fee for the fight, which will undoubtedly net him a third straight eight-figure payday.

But thanks to the timely return of boxing’s previous pound-for-pound king, as well as the bravery of a former adversary, there’s only one future opponent that truly matters – the winner of the July 18 super fight between Floyd Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez.

It borders on hysteria that people are already finding reason to nitpick at this fight, obviously missing the forest for the trees.

Mayweather, who hasn’t fought since stopping Hatton in 10 rounds in December 2007, foregoes a traditional tune-up match in agreeing to a catchweight against one of the very best in the sport today.

Marquez steals a page out of his rival’s playbook, moving up 1 ½ divisions for what amounts to a win-win scenario: he collects by far the biggest payday of his career, and is already the considerable underdog going in, making a potential win all the more sweeter.

Both fighters could’ve gone the traditional route in chasing the money. Mayweather could’ve cherry picked from the Contender alumni directory in seeking a high-profile tune-up bout in which he’s able to keep 99% of the money. Marquez could’ve pursued a mandatory lightweight title defense, and would’ve certainly been forgiven for such a path considering the savage nature of his all-out war with Juan Diaz earlier this year.

Had either of the two traveled in such a direction, boxing fans (and media members) would’ve complained that their decisions lack originality, and is little more than marking time when bigger fights could’ve been made.

Instead, they face each other, in a rare superfight that produces far more than short-term results no matter the outcome.

The fear among those not exactly overcome with anticipation is that they believe an old boxing axiom to be true – a good big man always beats a good little man.

Oscar de la Hoya tried to alleviate such fears at Saturday’s press conference, pointing to his own career-ending knockout loss to Pacquiao as proof that fights don’t always play out as they’re suggested on paper. Of course, such a reference was met with the correction that in his case, a shot bigger fighter usually falls to a streaking smaller fighter.

It’s entirely possible that things play out as expected, and that Mayweather is simply too much for Marquez, whose as great as they come but has never before fought above lightweight, a division he only recently entered last fall. Mayweather left lightweight in 2004, fighting three times at 140 before spending his last five fights at welterweight or higher.

The only true wild card in this fight is how much Mayweather will have left at age 32 and coming off of a 19-month layoff. The undefeated former five-division titlist (including three lineal championships) is always in tip-top physical shape, but how sharp he will be against one of the very best technicians in the game remains to be seen.

Of course, the multi-million dollar question is how effective Marquez will be at a career-high weight. No matter how great a fighter may be, almost everyone eventually hits a ceiling. Winky Wright was regarded as one of the very best in the world thanks to his body of work at 154 and 160, but proved to be a fish out of water in his 170 lb catchweight bout with Bernard Hopkins a couple of years ago.

Though on the wrong side of his prime, Marquez appears to be every bit as effective at lightweight as he was years ago as a featherweight. The reason: he’s not only one of the best fighters, but also one of the smartest in the game, always showing a penchant for adapting on the fly. A case could be made that he should still be undefeated, with his three losses and draw all heavily disputed to this very day.

Considering the date, it’s hard to reason that Mayweather could’ve secured a better choice of opponent for a pay-per-view event.

Miguel Cotto is already facing Joshua Clottey a month prior.

Fights with Andre Berto, Paul Williams or even Vernon Forrest aren’t happening so long as they and Floyd remain under the advisory umbrella of Al Haymon

Shane Mosley has already made it clear that he intends to wait until at least the third quarter of 2009 for his next fight, believing that he could entice either Pacquiao or Hatton to move up to welterweight.

Looking immediately above and below welterweight, there are plenty of intriguing options, but none that make a bit of difference at the box office.

With Mayweather-Marquez comes a fight where the next move can be planned no matter the outcome. Should Mayweather come out on top, fans will immediately call for a showdown with Pacquiao, a bout the boxing world has craved since well before Mayweather pondered a break from the sport.

Many a fan already craves a third fight between Pacquiao and Marquez. Just think of the buzz that would come with such a fight should Marquez upset the odds and become the first to hang a loss on Mayweather’s career.

Regardless of what comes out of July 18, the winner will be in direct line for a year-end banger with Manny Pacquiao. It’s the most lucrative fight that can be made today, not to mention one that once and for all cements the claim for the sport’s very best fighter in the world.

Perhaps “Number One/Numero Uno” borders on false advertising in describing Mayweather-Marquez, but it’s certainly the path the winner will travel, making their July 18 super fight as remarkable a semifinal act as you can ask for in the sport today.


When news first came down of HBO looking to replace long-time color commentator Larry Merchant with Max Kellerman in 2007, critics spoke out en masse against the move. Even Kellerman himself went to bat for Merchant, clearly (or at least publicly) uncomfortable with forcefully replacing a boxing personality whom he’s admired for so long.

There’s no question that when he’s on his game, Merchant as good as they get behind the mic. There are few as witty as the longtime boxing scribe-turned-announcer, who can turn a phrase better than just about anyone in the game today.

But then there also those moments where the more he talks, the more you wish the HBO brass ignored the public outcry and simply sent the Hall of Fame broadcaster packing.

Saturday night was an occasion for the latter.

As lead commentator Jim Lampley gushed over the aforementioned summer clash between Floyd Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez, Merchant didn’t hesitate to take shots at the former pound-for-pound king for whom he’s rarely had a kind word.

First came the quip that at age 32, Mayweather is only coming off his second retirement. Then as discussion picked up surrounding the fight, Merchant took it upon himself to dissect Mayweather’s knack for selecting opponents, and also for those whom he elects to not fight.

One of the names claimed to reside on the “avoid at all costs” list is Shane Mosley. Merchant claimed that Floyd once wanted such a fight when the three-division champ was thought to be at the end of his career, but now suddenly wants no part of a rejuvenated Mosley.

It would be a compelling observation – if there were any truth to it.

The point at which Mayweather passionately pursued a Sugar Shane showdown was in 2006, when Mosley scored back-to-back stoppage wins over Fernando Vargas, both at junior middleweight. Mosley was a mere 3-4-0-1 NC over a four-year stretch prior to 2006 and hardly on Mayweather’s mind at the time. It wasn’t until there was genuine worth in such a fight did he begin to pursue it.

Plans for such a match were eventually squashed when Mosley cited a toothache as cause to sit out the rest of 2006. Talks resurfaced in 2007, but two different bouts were instead made – Mayweather-Hatton and Cotto-Mosley.

Fast forward to 2009. Mosley destroys Antonio Margarito and is once again regarded as the best welterweight in the world. Rumors were already swirling of a Mayweather comeback.

Mosley-Mayweather, mid-2009. Sounds like a plan, right?

Not so fast.

Instead, it was Mosley who went on record for anyone who would listen (including these very Boxingscene.com pages - http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&id=18951 ) that a Mayweather fight didn’t interest him anywhere nearly as much as enticing either Pacquiao or Hatton to move up in weight. If that couldn’t happen, then perhaps a rematch with Cotto, provided that it takes place on the West Coast.

Mayweather? Mosley instead played Golden Boy stakeholder and campaigned for Marquez to land that fight.

In that vein, Mosley actually received his wish, or at least part of it. His guy received the fight of his dreams, leaving Shane free and clear to negotiate a fight with Pacquiao.

Perhaps it can be argued that the HBO production crew was pressed for time, and didn’t afford Merchant or anyone else on the broadcast to elaborate.

Then there’s the more likely scenario, where Merchant couldn’t stomach the thought of anyone, least of all his own broadcast partner, to heap any amount of praise in the direction of Mayweather, and instead took the opportunity to remind boxing fans how bitter he can be when given the space.

Whatever the case, shame on HBO for not curbing his enthusiasm, especially on a night when we’re supposed to be celebrating everything that was right with the sport. Merchant could’ve ignored the comment altogether, and demand that his broadcast partners to instead focus on the evening’s main event, the year’s first true super fight.

Or, to paraphrase a quote he’s used several times before:

We could’ve been given a more compelling argument as to why Mayweather isn’t necessarily good for boxing. What we got instead… was junk.

Source: boxingscene.com

Mayweather vs Marquez Presser Pictures

Source: myboxingfans.com

Mayweather-Marquez is on!

On July 18, Floyd “Mainstream Money” Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez meet on a PPV card billed as “Number One/Numero Uno” at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The bout was officially announced today. “Credentials don’t lie and the record speaks for itself,” said Mayweather. “When it comes to July 18, I don’t need to tell you what I’m going to do. A small man will never retire me. I’m here to stay. I’m here to fight and reclaim what’s mine. I’m the king and nobody has taken my throne. Tonight, any man can win. Its a gamble. But when you are betting on Floyd, that’s for sure money. Keep your money under your mattress until July 18.” Marquez countered, “If I want to be the best fighter in the world and I need to beat the best. The best fighter is Floyd Mayweather. This fight is for who is the #1 fighter in the world.” Promoter Oscar de la Hoya commented “Can we believe that now the bigger man is always going to win? When I fought Floyd it was competitive. When I fought Manny he stopped me. When Juan fought Manny - I don’t care what they say - Juan beat him. So I believe Juan can beat Mayweather. Marquez can never be counted out.” Mayweather manager Leonard Ellerbe proclaimed “The king is back! Floyd has truly transcended the sport. Wherever he goes - the malls, the grocery stores, even the strip clubs - they all ask ‘when is Floyd coming back?.’”

Source: fightnews.com

Fight vs. Marquez set for July 18

LAS VEGAS -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. insists it's not all about the money.

Not totally, anyway.

"I guess I just missed boxing," Mayweather said Saturday. "Somebody's got to keep the sport up and running. Why not me?"

That was the question Mayweather asked himself as he took a break from the sport that has consumed his life from the time he learned to walk. He wasn't gone long, but his 11-month retirement was enough to make him realize that he wanted to fight -- and fight a lot more.

"I'm still the biggest draw in boxing," Mayweather said. "Everybody wants to fight me because they know I'm the cash cow."

Mayweather, 32, will return to the ring July 18 in a fight against lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, who will move up two weight classes to get his share of the riches a Mayweather fight can produce. It will be his first fight since he stopped Ricky Hatton in the 10th round of their December 2007 bout.

"I left on top, and I came back on top," Mayweather said. "I'm here to fight and reclaim what's mine."

Indeed, when Mayweather announced his retirement last June he was generally regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, an honor now mainly given Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather's decision to retire instead of fighting a rematch against Oscar De La Hoya led to Pacquiao getting the shot that he capitalized on.

Mayweather announced his comeback plans in a theater at the MGM Grand hotel, just hours before Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton were to meet in a 140-pound fight in the hotel's arena.

Mayweather, should he beat Marquez, could get the winner of Saturday's fight in the fall, but he wasn't planning to stick around and watch it.

"I'm taking my daughter bowling tonight," he said.

Mayweather, who is unbeaten in 39 fights, brushed off questions about the state of his finances, saying he made $8 million last year without having a fight and that the rumors he was in financial difficulty were just that. But the lure of many more millions was in the back of his mind as he began sparring once again in recent weeks, the itch to fight returning.

Mayweather was always well known in boxing, but it was the HBO reality series "24/7" featuring his dysfunctional family before his fight with De La Hoya that really cemented his fame. He took advantage of it to appear as a contestant on "Dancing With The Stars," made an appearance as a wrestler in Wrestlemania and currently appears in an AT&T television commercial.

"I bring the most controversy to the sport," he said. "The others are too nice. This is a brutal sport."

Mayweather and his advisers were coy about the contract weight for the Marquez fight, saying it would be a welterweight bout. But De La Hoya, who will be promoting the fight, said it calls for a 143-pound limit instead of the 147-pound welterweight limit.

That was a concession to Marquez, who just last year weighed 129 pounds for a fight against Pacquiao and has only fought twice as a lightweight. Though moving up in weight, Marquez is still considered a dangerous opponent, and many thought he won both his fights against Pacquiao.

Source: espn.go.com

Floyd Mayweather vs Juan Manuel Marquez!

LAS VEGAS (May 2, 2009) - The boxing world received two gifts this week, not only the announcement that six-time world champion in five weight divisions Floyd "Money" Mayweather has returned to the sport, but also that he was immediately putting his undefeated record on the line when he faces the dangerous and highly touted five-time world champion in three divisions Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez in MAYWEATHER vs. MARQUEZ "Number One/Numero Uno" on Saturday, July 18 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada which will be broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9pm ET / 6pm PT. Mayweather's return and the fight were announced today at a press conference at MGM Grand..

"That's right. I'm back and you can all get ready for another chapter of the Mayweather experience!" said Mayweather. "I told my CEO Leonard Ellerbe from the start that I wanted to come back fighting the best fighters out there and Juan Manuel Marquez is one of the best in boxing today."

"To be considered the best in the world, you have to fight the best, and I have made it clear even when Mayweather was away from the sport that he was the only man I really wanted to fight," said Marquez. "I'm happy that he's come out of retirement and accepted my challenge. Unfortunately for him he might be sorry he came back at all."

The summer showdown between Mayweather (39-0, 25 KO's) and Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KO's) will be promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions in association with Marquez Promotions.

"Mayweather Promotions is proud to announce the return of Floyd Mayweather after a much needed rest," said Ellerbe. "But he is coming back with a vengeance and clearly Marquez is a significant challenge for his return. It is going to be an extremely competitive and exciting fight."

"Floyd Mayweather is back and Juan Manuel Marquez is ready to fight," said Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer. "Mayweather is clearly making a statement by accepting this challenge to fight the dangerous Marquez in his first fight back. Having seen Floyd perform live in his two previous fights, I know a big challenge brings out the best him. Boxing is in for a great night on July 18th."

"Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez has the potential to be one of boxing's all-time great fights," said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. "Not only are they two boxers destined for the Hall of Fame and two of the greatest technicians of this era, but they also both have a warrior's spirit that comes out when they get tested. I know that they'll push each other to the limit when they step into the ring July 18th."

"MGM Grand is thrilled to host Floyd Mayweather's return to the ring and welcome back the great Juan Manuel Marquez," said Richard Sturm, President of Sports and Entertainment for MGM MIRAGE. "We anticipate this to be one of the hottest fights of the year and look forward to the exciting night of boxing these two champions will deliver to the MGM Grand Garden Arena."

"Floyd Mayweather is a special athlete and it's heartening to see him return in such a big fight against an accomplished opponent in Juan Manuel Marquez," said Ross Greenburg, President of HBO Sports. "Boxing fans will be intrigued by this mid-summer match-up."

For these two future Hall of Famers, all that really matters is what happens when the bell rings on Saturday, July 18 and with Mayweather's return to the ring in a quest to reclaim his pound-for-pound title by taking on Marquez, a man looking to add once again to his amazing legacy, this is a true mega-fight which will determine who is the premier boxer of this era.

Information on ticket availability will be made available shortly.