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Monday, August 31, 2009

“Fighting Words” – Mayweather vs Marquez: The Hard Sell

Saturate the market. Get names in newspapers, segments on screen. Remember that all publicity is good publicity.

The Sept. 19 pay-per-view featuring Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez is not a hard sell. But with less than three weeks to go, it is being sold hard.

The sweet science largely takes a hiatus in the summer months. The desert of Las Vegas is too hot. Television viewership drops. And network executives tighten their purse strings, saving up so as to end the year with a bang.

Since June, HBO has aired just three boxing broadcasts, as many as it put on in May alone. In the past three months, Showtime, too, footed the license fee for a trio of shows, along with picking up domestic rights to rebroadcast a fight staged overseas.

Attention turns, then, to the fall and winter slates. First up to the plate: Mayweather-Marquez.

Mayweather-Marquez was once set for July 18. But Mayweather injured a rib in training camp, postponing their bout. Conspiracy theorists suggested another reason: low ticket sales due in part to the economic downturn, in part to poor scheduling.

The new date takes advantage of Mexico’s Independence Day, which falls just three days prior. Major pay-per-views featuring Mexican fighters have become a regular occurrence in recent years.

And this year, that $50 purchase is a lot easier to make than in years before.

The first eight months of 2008 saw HBO put on five pay-per-views. It would finish the year with four more. The first eight months of 2007 also saw five pay-per-views broadcast or distributed by HBO. Another three would come.

This year, HBO has broadcast just one pay-per-view and distributed one other. Some promoters have put on smaller, independent pay-per-views, most notably last month’s bout between Roy Jones Jr. and Jeff Lacy. HBO only has two pay-per-view shows slated for the remainder of the year: Mayweather-Marquez and Miguel Cotto-Manny Pacquiao.

For those salivating for big-time boxing, Mayweather-Marquez is not a hard sell. It pits Mayweather, the former top boxer, pound-for-pound, against Marquez, whose accomplishments have long landed him high on the same list.

Mayweather should be the heavy favorite. The bout will be contested at a catch-weight of 144 pounds. Mayweather, a welterweight, will need to cut a few extra pounds from a body that is always in shape. Marquez, most recently a lightweight, will need to add the right combination of heft and muscle.

Marquez has been hittable, be it against second-tier opponents such as Jimrex Jaca and Terdsak Jandaeng or against former world titlists such as Juan Diaz. That Marquez has won anyway is a testament to his ability to adjust mid-fight, landing the right punches at the right time.

Mayweather, already bigger and stronger, will be faster, too, an advantage widened even more by Marquez slowing due to weight gain. Juan Diaz was able to press the fight against Marquez. Mayweather, criticized by some in the past for opting to box instead of trade, should be more than able to mimic Diaz’s early success.

It is a seeming mismatch, but it is an event featuring two of the sport’s top craftsmen. And that is why those charged with marketing the match are kicking their efforts into high gear.

Until just recently, there was little buzz for Mayweather-Marquez, and more conversation instead about Cotto-Pacquiao.

That has changed.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. began last week with an opportunity plush for plugs – as guest host on the Aug. 24 episode of World Wrestling Entertainment’s “Monday Night Raw.” For storyline purposes, the show has seen celebrities serve as “general manager” for a night, giving WWE and the celebrities the same dynamic seen with “Saturday Night Live.” The show can work storylines around the celebrities, and the celebrities can get publicity for their new movies. Or, in this case, an upcoming fight.

Mayweather didn’t appear on “Raw” until nearly an hour into the episode, perhaps because he was dealing with drama outside of either the boxing or wrestling ring. A vehicle of his had been seen at a Las Vegas roller skating rink where a shooting had occurred. Though Mayweather was not a suspect, police had searched his home.

Last year, Mayweather was part of a hot angle in WWE programming that culminated in his taking part in a match at WrestleMania 25. Last week, Mayweather did confront the same wrestler he met in 2008, The Big Show, and he interfered in a tag match. But he only took part in one other segment. For much of the first hour, WWE broadcasters insisted Mayweather would arrive shortly, which suggests that he was running late. He was not able to use his spot on “Raw” to its full potential.

Mayweather went on to answer questions Friday on an ESPN.com live chat, part of the round of media appearances. And on Saturday, the first episode of the “Mayweather-Marquez 24/7” miniseries aired on HBO. As usual, it set the stage effectively, casting Mayweather as one part brash villain obsessed with his riches, one part misunderstood man who gives back to his community.

Marquez, more known for what he has done in the ring than who he is outside of it, got to speak about his background, about where and how he was raised. He is the working-class hero portrayed not just as Mayweather’s opposition, but somewhat as his opposite.

There are three more episodes to come. And the sales pitch is far from over.

More than two years ago, Oscar De La Hoya’s mainstream appeal carried the promotion but combined with Mayweather’s pedigree and personality to set revenue records. De La Hoya not only was facing a better boxer than him, but one so cocky and antagonizing that customers wanted to pay to see Mayweather lose. Mayweather followed the same strategy for his bout with Ricky Hatton, a fight that drew thousands of Hatton’s supporters to Vegas from overseas.

Marquez is not a box-office draw on par with De La Hoya or Hatton. It is Mayweather who now carries much of the burden in promoting the fight. But there is a promotional machine behind him.

His name has been and will be in newspapers. He’s being featured in segments on screen. Even the legal drama – the shooting at the skating rink, the unrelated arrest of his uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, for assault – helps. Any publicity that gets people talking is good publicity.

As long as people buy what he’s selling.

The 10 Count

1. Nate Campbell’s technical-knockout loss Aug. 1 to Timothy Bradley has been overturned, changed to a “No decision” after a hearing last week in front of the California State Athletic Commission.

Bradley and Campbell clashed heads early in the third round of their fight. Campbell suffered a gash over his left eye that referee David Mendoza wrongly ruled was the result of a punch. That was the visible injury. Campbell was also seeing spots in his left eye, the result of bleeding within or behind the eye.

Campbell survived the round and returned to his corner, saying he could not see. A ringside physician called the bout off.

The blemish has been taken off of Campbell’s record, but the damage still lingers – he is a 37-year-old who can still contend for a title, but Bradley, who holds a junior-welterweight belt, will probably not give Campbell a rematch.

The question is whether any of the other beltholders at 140 feels there is enough reward in facing Campbell to compensate for the risk.

2. Bradley has a mandatory defense due against Lamont Peterson. That said, a near-brawl between Bradley and Campbell following last week’s athletic commission hearing shows that a wise promoter could capitalize on some legitimate bad blood and put on a rematch.

Outside, after the hearing, Bradley reportedly told Campbell, “You got away with quitting. You got away with quitting,” according to what multiple sources told BoxingScene’s own Rick Reeno.

They exchanged words, Reeno wrote, and Campbell took off his jacket and walked up to Bradley.

“You’re going to see me again,” Campbell is reported as saying. “You might see me in the ring, or you might see me on the sidewalk like this, but you will see.”

Great stuff. Where were the cameras?

3. The 118-110 scorecard Texas boxing judge Gale Van Hoy turned in for the Aug. 22 bout between Juan Diaz and Paulie Maligning (in which he favored Diaz, 10 rounds to 2) was already indefensible. And then Van Hoy tried to defend it.

“Maybe, in retrospect, I was wide in my score. Maybe I was off by a round or two,” Van Hoy was quoted as saying to Michael Marley of Boxing Confidential. “Paulie’s got a good jab, but it kept hitting Juan’s gloves. There was not enough power in those jabs.”

Except Diaz has to do something in return. I gave Malignaggi more than two rounds alone just in the latter half of the fight, when more often than not he made Diaz miss and did more damage, even with his supposedly soft jabs.

HBO commentator Max Kellerman has described aptly in the past how rounds should be scored: One determines which fighter one would rather have been in each round.

4. All that said, Diaz-Malignaggi was not a robbery despite the scores, 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113 in Diaz’s favor.

I scored the bout 115-113 Malignaggi but noted a couple of close rounds that could have swung the score to a 114-114 draw or a 115-113 Diaz victory.

Would there have been any uproar had all three scorecards read 115-113 for Diaz?

The issue is not that David Sutherland and Gale Van Hoy had Diaz winning, but how many rounds they gave him.

It wasn’t a robbery. It was questionable scoring that fuels ammunition for those who believe Malignaggi had the deck stacked against him in Diaz’s hometown.

5. Boxers Behaving Badly, part one: Davey Hilton Jr. can’t seem to stay out of trouble, it seems. The former super-middleweight titlist appeared in court last week on charges stemming from – you guessed it – another incident involving his longtime girlfriend.

Hilton, 45, had been ordered not to have any contact with the woman. In May, he allegedly got in an argument with her before grabbing her and threatening her with a knife. That case is going to trial in October.

There have been at least two other alleged assaults. In January, Hilton was acquitted on charges of assault and sexual assault after the woman said she no longer wanted to press charges; a judge then found there to be no evidence in the case.

Hilton claims this latest incident saw the woman threaten suicide unless he got back together with her, according to The Canadian Press. Police say a night of drinking saw the woman end up with a swollen lip.

Hilton has been charged with assault and uttering threats. He is being held without bail.

Hilton, convicted in 2001 of sexually abusing two teenage girls, was freed earlier this year after serving close to eight years in prison. He was nearly arrested again while in jail for refusing to sign a document agreeing to stay away from youths under 16 for the next year. He ultimately signed.

Hilton’s victims, his daughters, had been abused between 1995 and 1998. After their father was incarcerated, they revealed their identities.

Hilton was released on parole in 2006 and served out much of the rest of his sentence in a halfway house. His last bout before then had come in 2000, the title-winning split-decision over Dingaan Thobela. But Hilton, who had turned pro in 1981, returned to the ring in 2007 and went 10 rounds in a victory over some dude named Adam Green. That raised his record to 41-2-2 (26 knockouts).

6. With four months left, it looks like Hilton could end up giving Johnny Tapia some competition as this year’s “Boxer Behaving Most Badly.”

Too bad Scott Harrison won’t be out of prison in time to see his dubious torch get passed.

7. Vernon Forrest case update: The three men charged in the murder of Vernon Forrest were indicted last week, and the prosecutor in the case said he will seek the death penalty if the men are convicted, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that prosecutors have amassed enough evidence against a suspect to warrant a trial. It is not an indication of guilt.

Damario Ware allegedly approached the former welterweight champion and 154-pound titlist outside of an Atlanta convenience store, seeking to rob him as he was putting air in one of his tires. Jquante Crews is allegedly the driver of the getaway car.

Forrest, who had a gun on him, shot at Ware and chased after him before turning around and walking back to his car. On the way back, he exchanged words with Charman Sinkfield, police told the newspaper. Forrest realized he had confronted the wrong person and turned away to leave. Sinkfield, who allegedly was working alongside Ware and Crews, then shot Forrest in the back.

8. Arturo Gatti case update: Amanda Rodrigues, the widow of Arturo Gatti, plans to sue Brazilian police for “wrongfully accusing her of murder” in the July death of Gatti, Rodrigues’ lawyer told The Montreal Gazette.

Rodrigues was held behind bars for 18 days after Gatti was found dead. Police originally ruled the death a homicide before deciding it was a suicide, that Gatti hanged himself from a stairway with a purse strap. Rodrigues was then released from jail. A second autopsy conducted in Gatti’s native Canada has apparently revealed injuries not found by Brazilian authorities.

I’m sure there will be more to come…

9. Three truths:

MMA fighter Chuck Liddell will be on this season of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” partnered with Anna Trebunskaya, who is from Russia.

Retired boxer Joe Calzaghe will be on this season of BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing,” partnered with Kristina Rihanoff, who is from Russia.

And neither will be anywhere near as entertaining to watch as Zab Judah doing “the Brooklyn Shuffle” against Kostya Tszyu, who, yes, is from Russia.

10. Saw the report from British tabloid The Daily Mirror about the domestic dispute between Ricky Hatton and his girlfriend. Both had been drinking heavily, police said, but the altercation never got past yelling.

Neither were charged, and apparently there’s no truth to the rumors that his girlfriend ended the argument by rendering Hatton unconscious with a picture-perfect left hook.

Source: boxingscene.com

Yes, Marquez believes he can beat Mayweather with speed

It's a very interesting strategy considering that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has the fastest hands since Meldrick Taylor. And he's a better fighter than Taylor.

But Juan Manuel Marquez plans on beating Floyd with speed. They said as much on a media conference call and alluded to it on HBO's 24/7. As the lighter fighter, JMM would usually have a handspeed advantage over nearly anyone else he'd face in the higher weights. He won't be faster than Floyd, but he may be faster than anyone else Floyd has faced, so the strategy is worth watching. Remember it was Pacquiao's speed, and not Oscar De La Hoya's size and power that decided their fight.

Here's what Marquez and trainer Nacho Beristain have said on the subject:

"We're not working or training for Mayweather that's been out of the ring or that can be less fast, not as fast or without the distance," said Marquez. "I'm training for the best Mayweather there is. And that's what we're working hard to achieve, working on the speed, working on the strategy inside the ring. We're looking forward to facing the best Mayweather... It's going to be a very difficult fight, I am going to come in with a lot of speed like I have always done and that makes it very difficult."

"There's always concern when you're bulking up in weight and working and training that you're going to lose a little bit of speed," said Beristain. "But no, on the contrary I'm very happy to say that Juan at this point in training has been acquiring much more speed than in fights in the past. Everything's come together. So, we're looking very, very good. I'm very happy to how things are coming along. And we'll see on September 19."

Source: newsday.com

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Roach talks down Marquez-Mayweather

In an interview at the boxing site Fight Hype, trainer Freddie Roach had little good to say about next month’s bout between Juan Manuel Marquez and Floyd Mayweather Jr., saying “They’ve already given up on pay-per-view audiences. They know it’s not going to sell well.”

Roach, no doubt, is speculating based on rumors about the fight not doing well in ticket sales. It’s still not clear yet whether this fight will do well on PPV or not, because the HBO Mayweather-Marquez 24/7 series hasn’t started yet, and that may be all that it takes for this fight to explode with the casual fans.

It’s not as if there’s any alternative bouts next month to compete for the boxing dollars for fans. The only real competition that the Mayweather-Marquez fight has is the UFC 103 event, which will be taking place on the same night. That, however, is a completely different sport and the effects of that fight card taking place on the same night as the Mayweather vs. Marquez fight may end up being negligible.

Roach says “There styles don’t match up,” referring to the fact that Mayweather and Marquez are both counter punchers. Roach thinks that this will lead to the fight ending up in a dull match with neither fighter taking many chances on offense. I can see what Roach is saying, but I think he’s dead wrong about this as well.

Both Marquez and Mayweather have been much more offensively minded as of late. Marquez may have been more prone to counter punching in his fight with Manny Pacquiao, but that’s only because he was facing a dangerous puncher and he didn’t want to get knocked down or out by Pacquiao.

Since that fight, Marquez has looked much better on offense in fights against Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz. The same goes for Mayweather. He looked bad against the bigger and stronger Carlos Baldomir, but Mayweather looked a whole better offensively against Ricky Hatton in Mayweather’s last fight in December 2007. I think it comes down to their opponents. Sure, Mayweather and Marquez can counter punch at times, but they mostly do this against dangerous punchers and are a lot more bold when facing opponents that they have little to fear from.

To listen to Roach speak, it seems as if he’s hoping the Mayweather-Marquez fight does do poorly for some reason. Why he would want this is unknown. Logically, it doesn’t make sense at all. If it does poorly, Mayweather’s reputation will be hurt in the boxing community, and this in turn will have a negative effect on a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight down the road.

Roach should be hoping that the fight does well, because it would mean that Mayweather is still a huge box office star and would be the perfect opponent for a big money fight against Roach’s fighter Manny Pacquiao sometime in 2010. It almost looks as if Roach may be jealous about the Marquez-Mayweather fight, perhaps because while that fight is being hyped, the Cotto vs. Pacquiao bout has to take a backseat. There’s other fighters out there besides Manny Pacquiao.


Episode 1: Mayweather vs Marquez 24/7

Mayweather vs Marquez 24/7 Episode 1

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mayweather Will Have More Than Marquez On His Mind

The upcoming Mayweather-Marquez catch-weight fight is getting a little more interesting. And all due credit for that has to be given to Floyd Mayweather. Forget about how you great you think he is or isn't as a fighter, Mayweather must be given his props for the way he's navigated his career since turning pro in October of 1996.

Mayweather gets to call the shots more so than anyone in boxing right now with the exception of Manny Pacquiao. I like Mayweather a lot as a fighter and think more highly of him than some may think. However, he's not a fighter I'll remember after he retires. When I think of an all-time great fighter/boxer, the name Floyd Mayweather isn't remotely close to the top of the list of fighters who I recall or think of.

However, when I think of fighters who were brilliantly managed he's at the top of the list. Even more so than Mike Tyson. In fairness to Floyd, Mike was a heavyweight and had dynamite in both hands along with combining speed and accuracy. Tyson was the best promoted fighter in boxing history, but he was also managed by two guys, Jim Jacobs and Bill Cayton, who were terrific at manipulating the boxing media. And they were aided by the fact that even the most novice boxing observer only had to watch Tyson fight once to see he was not just another heavyweight who could punch, something that made promoting and selling him much easier than Mayweather.

Mayweather is a fighter that you have to see fight a few times to appreciate some of the little subtle things he does in the ring that are calculated and thought out. More than that, he's basically managed himself and learned exceedingly fast just how the business of boxing works outside the ring. This led to him taking a more active role than most other upper-tier fighters have in how their career progressed and moved along. It may have not always made for the best fights from a spectator vantage point, but it's served him well and the risk/reward factor just about always worked to his advantage.

Some fighters are born with the "it" factor when it comes to charisma and fan appeal. Muhammad Ali was an irresistible presence and a huge draw whether he was a bad guy in the sixties or a good guy during the seventies. Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya were perceived as good guys and both loved playing that up. Floyd doesn't have natural charisma. He comes off badly and is hard to tolerate when assuming the role as the bad guy, and he's dull and boring when playing the good guy role. That's why he's really gone out of his way to pump up the PPV sales for his upcoming fight with Juan Manuel Marquez. Mayweather got where he is on the backs of bigger ticket sellers, and now he's fooled people into believing that he's a ticket seller.

Only this time it's all on him because he has purposely gone out of his way to make it about him. In Mayweather's three highest profile bouts against Arturo Gatti, Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, his opponent had the bigger following and was considered the bigger draw. Both Gatti and De La Hoya earned a bigger purse than Mayweather when they fought, and in De La Hoya's case it was slightly more than twice as much as Mayweather.

In his upcoming fight with Marquez, Mayweather is clearly the star and draw. That said, Marquez is/was a great fighter with a huge Hispanic following. And as Floyd himself has said repeatedly, "(B)lacks and Hispanics" dominate boxing. If fighting Marquez weren't enough to keep Mayweather occupied, a few weeks ago he dared UFC head Dana White to schedule UFC 103 the same night he fights Marquez. And to the shock of no one, White did just that.

Mayweather has gone out of his way in taking shots at MMA and acting as if it's irrelevant, even though it's not. The fact of the matter is Mayweather for the first time in his career has to carry the promotion and must do it on a night that runs in direct competition with another combat sport. Most believe that Mayweather will beat Marquez, but odds are it won't be a terrific fight, simply because of Floyd's size advantage coupled with his mindset and style. The intrigue of Mayweather fighting Marquez isn't whether or not he'll win, it's more the case of gauging how much he has left and how he matches up with Manny Pacquiao for a Super-Fight hopefully sometime next year.

Ever since he's announced his comeback, Mayweather has proclaimed he's the top draw in boxing. Obviously, he's concerned about living up to that and if for some reason UFC 103 has a better buy rate than his fight with Marquez, he'll never be able to live it down. That's the reason for his appearance on the WWE's "Monday Night RAW." Along with that the Mayweather-Marquez fight will be available at a discounted price in some movie theaters across the country, something that hasn't happened since the second fight between Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard back in November of 1980. That was a time when that was the only way to see a big fight live without attending it in person.

You better believe Mayweather will have more than just Juan Manuel Marquez on his mind the night of September 19th 2009. He not only has to beat Marquez somewhat convincingly in the ring, he also has to beat UFC 103 at the gate. One fight will tell us where he's at as a fighter, the other will inform us just how big of a PPV star Floyd Mayweather really is. If he's able to pull this one off, in spite of all of the obvious marketing distractions with the fight, he really has shown incredible savvy.

And because of that, Mayweather-Marquez is a little more interesting.

Source: thesweetscience.com

Guns and ammo confiscated from Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s home

Las Vegas police investigating a shooting outside a skating rink seized two handguns, ammunition and two bulletproof vests from the home of boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and two cars.

One of the alleged victims in the shooting incident told investigators that the six-time champion threatened him 10 minutes before another man shot at his car from the rink's parking lot as they drove away Sunday night, according to search warrant documents obtained by the Associated Press on Thursday.

No one was hurt in the shooting. Mayweather has not been named as a suspect, and a man police are seeking has not been arrested, police Sgt. John Loretto said.

Source: latimes.com

Toe-to-Toe with HBO's Ross Greenburg

This is a special version of toe-to-toe. We chatted with Ross Greenburg, the President of HBO Sports, which in the sports television industry is like being president of the New York Yankees. But we also got some incite into the upcoming “Mayweather-Marquez. 24/7” series, which debuts on Saturday night at 10:45 p.m.

Mayweather Jr. – and his father to some degree – has offered some of the most entertaining and bizarre moments in the brief but captivating history of the 24/7 series. Saturday’s show starts the buildup to the September 19, pay-per-view showdown between Floyd and Mexican champion Juan Manuel Marquez.

Neutral Corner: So we welcome Floyd Mayweather Jr. back to 24/7.

Ross Greenburg: It's going to be entertaining. I've seen some of the rough cuts already. It's Floyd as you've always remembered him. He hasn't changed that personality. It's dramatic, exciting, can't-wait-to-see-what-Floyd-does-now television.

NC: Has anything changed about Floyd?

RG: He's not throwing money at the screen for 30 minutes. He's settled down a little, but he's still Floyd. He's still brash and overly confident and ready to go to work.

NC: How much does boxing miss Floyd?

RG: Boxing missies him. Whenever you take that type of a personality out, you are going to have a problem. This is a guy who has risen to superstar status, we desperately needed Floyd back.

NC: What’s your sense of how much of what we see is the real Floyd or Floyd playing to the camera?

RG: There's no question he sees the camera go on and he knows he's on. But I've been around him enough off camera to know that there's no sleep button, he's just constantly on the go. I'm not going to say that he doesn't have a certain television flair, that he doesn't invent, but most of it is the real thing. I was at a dinner with him and a friend of mine in Los Angeles and for two hours we didn’t get a word in edge-wise. There are definitely two sides of him. He grew up in a dysfunctional family, which he'll admit, and Floyd's stuck in the middle of that. And that's part of the program as well. He's not coming from Ozzie and Harriet in terms of his experience and family. You are dealing with a pretty combustible situation and it's amazing that he can construct some kind of normalcy in his own family.

NC: Is Floyd Sr. back?

RG: Floyd Sr. is back involved. That actually developed in our last 24/7 with Pacquiao and Hatton. Floyd Sr. said some gracious things about Floyd Jr. and I alerted them to that. They watched the show and there was a coming together. We developed into a peacemaker. So they are back as father and son and we show that in show one.

NC: Did you expect 24/7 to be as successful as it is?

RG: All we knew was that we were creating a type of program that would appeal to a younger demographic. My daughters go from one reality show to the next. I knew we had a chance to get the mainstream fan back into boxing and at the same time reach a new audience. What producers Scott Boggins, Rick Bernstein and Dave Harmon have done was magical. In the edit room, Thomas Odelfelt and Abtin Motia created some of the best docu-drama on television.

NC: You are moving away from “reality television” and calling it a “docu-drama.”

RG: Yes, because this is real television. These are two fighters preparing for a very real sports event. This isn’t 12 people living in the same apartment trying to win a singing competition. I don't like the words "reality television," because it's less than real in many cases. The precursor to “24/7” was “Hard Knocks,” what we did with the NFL training camps. We used “Hard Knocks” to explore what we can do in boxing. And since Chad Ocho Cinco has expressed an interest in boxing, I’ve already alerted Leonard Ellerbe (Floyd’s manager) that the best all-time “24/7” show would be Floyd Mayweather Jr. against Chad Ocho Cinco.

NC: Talk about the fight itself. There are those who will say this fight is Floyd picking on another smaller fighter. What’s your take?

RG: Ask Manny Pacquiao if Juan Manuel Marquez is to be taken lightly. There are certain people in boxing who will tell you that there has never been a boxer who has been able to adjust like JMM can during a fight. Look at the Diaz fight. He was getting beat and then he took him out. He'll also fight in rounds six through 12 as if he is fighting in the first 30 seconds of the fight, fresh as a daisy. He is born and bred, a Mexican fighting machine. And as we've known in the past that some of the greatest technical fighters of all time have come out of Mexico and you combine that with the will and the skill, this is a tough opponent for Floyd. There are two questions. The first is, can Juan Manuel Marquez climb up to the 144-pound level. The second is, can Floyd Mayweather Jr. come back in the same style and mode or has he lost a little bit since the last time we saw him.

NC: OK. In the history of HBO boxing, what’s the 24/7 that you would have loved to do?

RG: It would definitely involve Sugar Ray Leonard. I think two greats ones would have been the first Sugar Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns fight. And the second would have been Leonard against Marvin Hagler. That fight was like six years in the making. I actually used to bug Ray in the early 1980s about that fight, that was my dream fight for Ray. You had the flamboyant, the electric superstar and the image of Hagler, who was about destruction in the ring.

Source: newsday.com

Juan Manuel Marquez, Ignacio Beristain Interview

Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain: I would like to send a special hello and best wishes to everybody. All the boxing fans around the world--not just California, not just Nevada, but everywhere because this is a fight that the whole world's been waiting for. So I'd like to send all the best to everybody.

Oscar de la Hoya: I would now like to introduce to you - he's the number two pound-for-pound on the list.. He's the number one Mexican fighter in the world. People would even consider him the number one fighter pound-for-pound in the world. He has a record of 54 with 37 KOs, he is trained and managed by Nacho Beristain he has had a great 15-year career. Former WBA/WBO Featherweight World Champion, he also had a great tremendous amateur career with Golden Glove win under his belt. His first fight against Manny Pacquiao on May 8, 2004 ended in a draw and the second fight against Manny Pacquiao on March 15, 2008, he lost in a highly controversial split decision. He was the first to stop Casamayor in September 2008. And most recently, he stopped Juan Diaz in the ninth round for the WBO/WBA 135 pound title fight in February of 2009. Without any further ado I would love to introduce to you the champ from Mexico City, Mexico, Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez.

Juan Manuel Marquez: First of all thank you very much I'm very, very happy to be here and I want to thank all the fans for all the support they're giving me. We're very, happy with the way training is going and the preparation, it's gone very well. And I send all the best to all the fans around the world. Thank you.

Q: Juan, I have two quick questions and first it's with the utmost respect that I ask what is your strategy for beating someone who is naturally bigger, faster and younger? And secondly has it been hard to retain your speed while you put on weight?

Juan Manuel Marquez: Well the strategy is that you have use to counter the speed, the youth and the bigger fighters is the strategy that I've always used in my fights...a lot of intelligence and a lot of the skill is what has brought me to where I'm at today. And to answer the second question, we've maintained work and speed at the same time. When I finish sparring sessions with the bigger gloves, I take them off and I put on the lighter gloves to work on speed. So throughout camp that I've worked on speed so that we have that when it comes to fight night.

Q: Juan Manuel, you mentioned your intelligence and using that as an advantage, but I also want to know if you believe Mayweather's lay off is something that you can exploit in any way?

Juan Manuel Marquez: No, that's not even in my mind. We're not working or training for Mayweather that's been out of the ring or that can be less fast, not as fast or without the distance. I'm training for the best Mayweather there is. And that's what we're working hard to achieve, working on the speed, working on the strategy inside the ring. We're looking forward to facing the best Mayweather.

Q: Oscar, this fight on paper, when you look at these two fighters, Juan Manuel obviously is one of the best fighters in the world pound-for-pound, but there seems to be prevailing thought that he's too small for Floyd. And do you think people are looking past his overall accomplishments and what is it that you can do as a promoter to convince people more that this is a very competitive fight?

Oscar de la Hoya: Well we're coming into a new era in boxing where weight doesn't matter anymore. It's all about who wants to fight, who has the better skill, who really wants it. I think in past fights including mine with Manny Pacquiao, it doesn't matter how big you are. It doesn't matter how small you are. It matters how much you want it because inside the ring, if you fight until the end you're going to win the fight. And one thing about Juan Manuel Marquez, I mean I was with him in the press conference with Mayweather and he's not that much bigger. And so I think it's going to be a huge advantage for Marquez going up a few pounds and Mayweather having to come down just the way it was with Pacquiao and myself, and I feel that people know that Mayweather is in for one tough fight on September 19. Marquez will have the whole nation of Mexico behind him because it will be the Mexican Independence weekend and that is a lot of pressure on Mayweather because he has to perform. He has been away for almost two years and Mayweather has to perform so I think it's going to be one tremendous fight where you can never ever count out the smaller guy.

Q: Juan Manuel, how do you imagine the fight? How do you plan on stopping him and - or how do you plan on stopping his speed?

Juan Manuel Marquez: It's going to be a very difficult fight, I am going to come in with a lot of speed like I have always done and that makes it very difficult. And to the second question, you've got to come in and bob and weave and bend and make him miss and then counter him and wait for the right moments and pick your shots.

Q: With less than a month to go for the fight, how is the preparation and how are you feeling?

Juan Manuel Marquez: Very good. The preparation has gone very, very well. There have been no injuries and come September 19 we're going to be ready.

Q: Do you think this fight with Mayweather is going to be much more difficult than your fights with Pacquiao?

Juan Manuel Marquez: Yes, definitely, I do believe so. He's a counter puncher, he's very fast and elusive and also a very defensive fighter so that will make it much more difficult.

Q: Sunday was your birthday. How did you celebrate it?

Juan Manuel Marquez: I celebrated with my family, but I am very concentrated right now, I'm totally focused on the fight. And I just spent some time with my family which is very important. But right now my focus is on the fight.

Q: Nacho, I'm not sure this is accurate, but a Filipino Web site quotes you saying that you are concerned about Juan Manuel's speed in light of him building up in bulk. Is that true? And either way is that a concern? Or has his speed declined at all because of the bulk?

Nacho Beristain: No, there's always concern when you're bulking up in weight and working and training that you're going to lose a little bit of speed. But no, on the contrary I'm very happy to say that Juan at this point in training has been acquiring much more speed than in fights in the past. Everything's come together. So, we're looking very, very good. I'm very happy to how things are coming along. And we'll see on September 19.

Q: One last follow-up for Juan, is there any way to quantify how much weight you've gained either in pounds or kilos or are you not clear on how much you've gained in terms of bulk?

Juan Manuel Marquez: With the postponement of the fight it was originally scheduled for July and then moved over to September. It actually helped us to continue working on building muscle. Right now I'm approximately about 65 kilos. And I'm very happy. I mean its all muscle and I feel good. I feel strong.

Q: The promotion for this fight is very, very big. In fact, Oscar it seems even bigger than some of your fights. I know that this fight will be shown in movie theaters in the US. Where will it be shown in Mexico?

Oscar de la Hoya: Yes, you have two great fighters, the best fighters, in boxing today. And not only the best fighters in boxing, but the best fighters that the fans want to see.
And you're right, that this fight is being promoted bigger than a lot of my fights. We're going to be showing it in 170 theaters across the country, but also in Mexico with Televisa.

Q: Oscar, as a promoter of this fight, can you visualize and can you see maybe down the line the winner of Marquez and Mayweather fighting the winner of Pacquiao-Cotto?

Oscar de la Hoya: Right now let's concentrate on this fight. And obviously if Marquez wins this fight he becomes one of the biggest fighters in Mexico along the lines of Julio Cesar Chavez. But after this fight we will sit down and go over everything. There's a lot of fights out there for him. And let's concentrate on this fight at the moment.

Q: Yes. The other day at WWE Monday Night Raw, one of the wrestlers predicted that Juan Manuel was going to knock out Mayweather. So, the question is, Juan, do you expect or are you going out there for the knockout?

Juan Manuel Marquez: We don't like to predict. We don't like to say we're going to knock them out or win by decision. We're just going to go in there and work very hard.
We've been working four or five months for this fight, looking forward to it. And we're going to work hard. We're going to push them. We're going to go in there. And if the knockout comes great.

Q: How are you taking all this pressure being the defender of Mexican fighters and fighting for your country, fighting against the great defensive fighter like Mayweather, the bigger fighter? How are you taking all this pressure? And how are you able to stand it?

Juan Manuel Marquez: On the contrary - I don't see it as pressure. I see it as motivation. I just work hard and I appreciate everything that's been done and to the level that it's been done by my promoters. And I understand the magnitude of this fight. What I do is in training, I separate it. I do my work in the gym. I train really hard. I get ready. I'm focused for the fight. And in my mind I separate. I know what's in the gym and what's out. And on September 19 I'm going to be 100% focused.

Q: Mayweather has said at your best, Juan Manuel, you will never reach what Mayweather once had. Now that he's coming back - he may not have exactly what he had back then, but that - that you will never reach him at his best speed or strength. And how do you feel about Oscar saying that you're number two on the pound-for-pound list?

Juan Manuel Marquez: I'm glad he's thinking that way. On September 19 we will find out.
I'm going to work hard. Like I said in the past he's a greater fighter. He's the best fighter. But we will see what Juan Manuel is able to achieve in his eyes. And as far as Oscar, I'm very honored that he considers me in the top of the world. But I want to make it clear that it is on some pound-for-pound list that they have me as number two. In our eyes, Oscar's eyes and many experts' eyes, Mayweather is number one pound-for-pound. And that is why the title of the fight is "Number One/ Numero Uno".

Q: Nacho, how did the postponement of the fight effect training?

Nacho Beristain: We've been in this game a very long time. We have the experience in boxing. It's something that happens. What today is red tomorrow can be green, and then we know and we work around that. It actually helped Juan Manuel. We took advantage of it because the more time he was able to work on strengthening and gear towards our goal. And our goal is to come out with the victory on September 19.

Q: Hey this is for Mr. Beristain, if you could just talk a little bit about how Juan Manuel's boxing has improved over the last few years? How he has developed as a fighter?

Nacho Beristain: Well, Juan Manuel, ever since he was a youngster, and I can go back to knowing him almost as a young child, he showed attributes of being a great fighter and what he's become. And obviously through the years he's matured in and out of the ring. He's learned his craft very well. The only thing that sometimes concerns me is that, he sometimes gets a little bit tired of the routine. But I do believe that Juan Manuel can become the first Mexican born fighter to win titles in four divisions. And I haven't talked to him lately about it, but I hope that the itch of accomplishing that will keep him motivated and focused to continue on trying to reach this before he retires.

Q: Yes, this question is for Juan. How does it feel making this kind of money? Did you ever imagine that you'd be making this kind of money for a fight and how does it affect you in your preparation?

Juan Manuel Marquez: No. That's never in your mind as far as you're going fight-per-fight. Obviously it's a good thing, but I think it just reflects on the sacrifice and the hard work is being paid off. And as far as the postponement of the fight, it actually helped so that we could achieve more time - with more time to get to where we want to go so we're 100% and not worrying about any type of over training as well.

Q: My second question is about ten years ago both you and Floyd fought on the same card. In fact that day I think you lost yout first fight ever against Freddie Norwood and did you ever imagine you'd be fighting Floyd Mayweather, now and for this - what's at stake?

Juan Manuel Marquez: No, like I said, you never know what lies ahead. And yes you're right; we fought on the same card. I was a co-main event in 1999 to his - he was the main event. At that time, no it wasn't in my mind that we could fight.
But now here it is on September 19. It's an honor and I'm very motivated and very happy to be fighting one of the best fighters out there.

Q: Oscar, as a promoter, there's been so much talk about weight in this fight.
Do you feel that fight fans today care about the title belt or are they more concerned about the individual matchups? And as someone who promotes boxing, what do you try to do now? Look for the best matchup such as this fight, or do you care about the weight divisions anymore?

Oscar de la Hoya: The matchup is what matters most. The fans do not care about what title is at stake. The fans don't even know about what title is at stake because there's too many. And we at Golden Boy wanted to make sure we put on the best fights possible for the fans. When you have Juan Manuel Marquez against Floyd Mayweather and the whole card from top to bottom, being an excellent one, this goes to show you that the fans just want to see great fights. People are asking for great fights and it's about time that a promoter comes along and gives you great fights. So when you have two fighters going up for a title, it doesn't mean anything anymore. What matters most is that to give the fight fans the best fight possible. And that's how boxing is going to progress. That's how boxing is going to stay alive and well the way it is now because you're watching the best fighting the best.

Q: Thank you and I have one question please for Juan. Do you find the television show 24\7 to be a distraction to you or do you find it to be an interesting to your work out as you prepare for this fight?

Juan Manual Marquez: No I am very happy to have them here. As the Mexican media has told me and all my friends the press, I am the very first Mexican to be on the 24\7 and to me that's a huge honor. And I treat it like they are not here when it comes time to training. I train like they're not there but I'm really, really honored to be the first Mexican on a 24\7.

Q: This question is for Juan Manual Marquez or for Nacho Beristain I was wondering if you could shed some light on your sparring sessions? Maybe tell us a little bit about who you have sparred with, how big the sparring partners are or if they are all fast and defensive minded boxers?

Nacho Beristain: We have a couple of sparring partners that have been sacrificing and working really hard to help Juan. Alejandro Barrera who is a Mexican fighter, has been working with Juan and he's been very happy with the work.
We also have a young Panamanian fighter, who's very, very fast and showing Juan a lot of the difficulties, boxing defensive wise that we expect to see on fight night and today we're going to confirm a young fighter out of Venezuela that is leaving Mexicali on his way back and will stop in Mexico to see if he can help Juan. I am hoping it's Jorge Linares, not his brother because he might be too big for this point in training which we are looking for a lot of the speed now with faster fighters.

Q: Okay, the question is for Nacho, Juan Manuel and Oscar, it's been passed by Nevada Boxing Commission that the instant replay can now be used for the fight and this could become the first big fight that it will be used. What benefit and how can it help the status of boxing and maybe in this fight?

Nacho Beristain: It's a great opportunity to sort of stop a little bit of some bad calls from the judges or bad decisions, for instance if it would have been used in the fight with Juan and Manny Pacquiao it could have been a different outcome.
Everybody in the world saw Juan Manuel win. And it would help, because it leaves a sour taste when you have stuff like that happen. So hopefully this is a great opportunity to prevent that a little bit.

Oscar de la Hoya: Not only that, but the instant replay can show if it was an illegal blow, a head butt, if the cut was caused by a punch, or an elbow and it could benefit the outcome. It could benefit the fighter and change the outcome.

Kelly Swanson: As an update, Floyd Mayweather will have his national conference call with his trainers next Tuesday, September 1 followed by his media day on Wednesday, Sept. 2 in Las Vegas. Juan Manuel will also be holding his media day in Mexico City on that day as well and then we lead into fight week and everybody will receive a fight week schedule. In the coming weeks we also have several press releases that we are sending out with some other updates so we look forward to your continued coverage and we'd like to thank Juan and Nacho for being with us today and Rob Diaz for his help with the translation.

Source: eastsideboxing.com

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mayweather vs. Marquez: Does Anyone Care?

Floyd Mayweather Jr. considers himself the number #1 fighter in boxing, even after two years away from the sport. He feels that he should still be considered tops despite not having thrown a punch in two years. It seems as if it doesn’t register with him that when a fighter has been out of action they are no longer considered to be the top fighter in the sport. On September 19th, Mayweather will be facing Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Few people really care to see this fight and it looks as if Mayweather shot himself in the foot by choosing Marquez rather than Manny Pacquiao, who the boxing public wanted Mayweather to fight. Sure, it would have been a risk for Mayweather to take the fight without having fought a warm up bout or two, but after all, if Mayweather is really the number #1 fighter in boxing, he should have been able to handle a fighter like Pacquiao easily, tune-up or not.
Mayweather says that Marquez called him out, which is why he chose to fight him. That’s pretty hilarious because Mayweather is always being called out and he never takes a fight with anyone unless he himself wants the bout. Mayweather’s estimation of his own popularity with the boxing public appears to be a tad off.

He probably thought the boxing public would want to see him fight Marquez regardless, and would scoop up tickets by the handfuls for the fight to see Mayweather mix it up with an opponent who fights two divisions below him at lightweight.

Mayweather could have fought Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley, two of the best welterweights in the division and the fight would likely be much more popular than his bout with Marquez is turning out to be.

Of course, Mosley and Cotto wouldn’t be able to bring in anywhere close to the kind of numbers that a fight with Pacquiao would, but they would still be a good substitute for Mayweather. Both Mosley and Cotto were probably deemed to be too dangerous for Mayweather to fight, hence he chose for the much smaller Marquez to fight.

The lower risk for Mayweather has had negative side effects with boxing fans, because with the Marquez-Mayweather fight less than a month away, the fight is barely being talked about on the net. HBO is going to try and sell it with their 24/7 Mayweather-Marquez series that begins on August 29th, but it’s unknown whether that will excite too many people into wanting to purchase the expensive $49.95 card.

It’s going to take a lot of advertising to sell this bout to the boxing public in this kind of economy. The reason is because most people already know who’s going to win. It’s not always interesting to watch Mayweather fight in the first place because of his safety first style of fighting, but then when you mix in an opponent that is much smaller than him like Marquez, it’s kind of a put off. Who wants to pay to see a fight where you know that Mayweather is going to win? That’s not even interesting to me.

There’s got to be some suspense and sadly, it’s missing with this fight. I predict that this fight won’t do well with pay-per-view sales. I hope this is a lesson to Mayweather that when he fights, he can’t just push any opponent on the boxing public and expect them to blindly buy the tickets to watch it.

Floyd Mayweather episode of Raw lacks punch

To paraphrase a famous movie quote, as far as Raw guest hosts go, Floyd Mayweather could have been a contender. He could have been somebody instead of a bum, which is what he was.

Based on Mayweather’s showmanship and his fine performance at WrestleMania last year, I was expecting the boxing star to be an entertaining guest host on Monday night’s episode of Raw. Instead, “Money” Mayweather was practically worthless.

He didn’t make his first appearance on the show until late in the first hour, and he was in just two segments total. Mayweather, who was supposed to be in charge of the show, didn’t even book the main event (Triple H did). The only talent that Mayweather interacted with was Chris Jericho, The Big Show, MVP and Vince McMahon.

Before Mayweather finally graced the audience with his presence, the announcers kept saying that he was “on his way” and would “be here any minute.” I’m guessing that Mayweather really did arrive at the arena a lot later than he was supposed to, because it sure seemed like WWE was stalling for time. The segment at the top of the show with DX and McMahon lasted more than 20 minutes, and the first match did not take place until 9:32. Perhaps Mayweather was running behind schedule because of the police investigation of a shooting outside a skating rink in Las Vegas Sunday night that allegedly involved one of Mayweather’s associates.

With Mayweather’s lackluster appearance setting the tone, Raw just never hit its stride this week.

Other thoughts on Monday’s show:

The DX-McMahon segment, which saw Shawn Michaels and Triple H set up an elaborate celebration in honor of McMahon’s 64th birthday, had its moments, but it definitely began to drag after a while. At 9:18, McMahon asked, “How long is this going to go on?” I was thinking the exact same thing. …

When a large fake birthday cake was brought to ringside, I was certain that either Santino Marella in drag or Mae Young was in it. Instead, Big Dick Johnson popped out (I can’t believe I just wrote that). How does a gyrating, oiled-up fat guy in a Speedo qualify as family entertainment? The divas have reportedly been reprimanded for showing too much cleavage, but the obscene BDJ is OK? What is the “WWE Universe” coming to? …

Based on how Triple H was interacting with McMahon during the birthday segment, it seemed as if WWE was asking viewers to suddenly forget that McMahon was his father-in-law. Their family ties were acknowledged later in the show, however. …

The six-man tag match main event that pitted DX and McMahon against Legacy was OK. McMahon got a nice birthday present by scoring the winning pin on Orton. With the way it was done – Orton took a super-kick from Michaels and an Attitude Adjustment from John Cena in succession to set up the pin – I didn’t mind it the WWE champion jobbing to the WWE chairman. …

I like the way WWE followed up on the incident during the Orton-Cena match at SummerSlam in which a fan jumped in the ring and got involved in the action. Legacy acknowledged in the opening segment that the “fan” was Brett DiBiase, Ted Jr.’s younger brother, but that Orton had nothing to do with his actions. It was presented in a way that suggested Orton was behind it without having him come right out and admit it. …

The confrontation between Mayweather and The Big Show, his opponent at WrestleMania XXIV, was disappointing, although I’m not sure what more they really could have done. With Mayweather scheduled to fight on pay-per-view in less than a month, he and his people most likely didn’t want him doing anything physical. …

Mayweather was booed at first, but the fans warmed up a bit to him when he sided with MVP and Mark Henry. …

MVP was very good on the mic when confronting Jericho and The Big Show. Henry got a big pop when MVP revealed that Henry would be his tag team partner. I liked the pairing of these two. …

In the nontitle tag match between MVP and Henry and champions Jericho and Big Show, MVP pinned Jericho after using brass knuckles that were handed to him by Mayweather. Babyfaces using brass knuckles to win? What’s up with that? …

Something tells me that whenever the Jericho-Big Show team needs to lose to build for a pay-per-view match, Jericho will always be the one doing the job. …

Alicia Fox pinning divas champion Mickie James in a six-woman tag match was a surprise. Is the James-Gail Kim program over already? …

Is it just me, or was Jillian Hall’s voice not that bad when she was imitating Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday?” …

What was with all the noise in the background when DX was plugging merchandise backstage? If that was an inside joke, I must be on the outside.

Source: baltimoresun.com

Money talks for gobby Floyd

BEFORE Floyd Mayweather Jnr stepped into the ring with Ricky Hatton, he mixed training with appearing on Dancing With The Stars.
Money failed to dance his way to success on the show and called time on his boxing career after stopping Hatton in the 10th to retain his WBC welterweight title.

But the mighty dollar talks loudest in his world so the unbeaten 32-year-old is currently preparing to face Juan Manuel Marquez in a comeback bout on September 19.

And it appears Mayweather is as keen as ever to remain in the spotlight.

While Marquez is quietly preparing ahead of the Las Vegas showdown, his opponent has been taking care of business in the WRESTLING ring.

Mayweather returned to the WWE on Monday night as the latest guest host of Raw — and wasted no time in renewing his rivalry with the Big Show.

Having used brass knucks to KO the giant grappler at WrestleMania XXIV, he helped MVP and Mark Henry defeat Show and Chris Jericho in a tag team match.

And judging by the reaction he received from the crowd, not too many tears will be shed if the cocky American comes unstuck against Marquez.

Source: thesun.co.uk

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mayweather vs Marquez 24/7 Preview

Floyd Mayweather must take risks to prove he's not just a fair weather champ

Golden Boy Promotions are doing their best to whip up interest in the return of Floyd Mayweather Jnr next month.

Ticket sales are slower than hoped.

These are not the best of times to be selling ringside seats for top dollar.

But a slow market in Las Vegas is only part of the story. Pretty Boy Floyd is learning the hard way that the view he has of himself is not one shared by the world.

Mayweather is touched by genius, no doubt. He has every shot in the book and more. The truth is he might turn out better than even he thinks if he put himself to the test more.

Mayweather fights on his terms. His dismantling of Ricky Hatton was a classic case. He knew he would have too much for Hatton yet still he would not come down to 140lbs to fight him.

It is not about the weight, he said afterwards. It is about the fighter. He makes my point for me.

He should have taken Hatton at lightwelter, not 147lbs, to prove his boast of being the best pound for pound.

His comeback against Juan Manuel Marquez might be tougher than he thinks but ultimately I expect him to have too much for the Mexican.

So do the punters. That is part of the reason they are staying away.

There was a fight against Miguel Cotto out there. Another against Manny Pacquiao. That would have been the heroic thing to do.

Source: mirror.co.uk

Mayweather to 'host' WWE 'Raw'

"Hosting" a professional wrestling event is not the world's most appealing résumé bullet point, but if you're Floyd Mayweather, that's probably irrelevant. In an effort to appeal to that demographic to hype his Sept. 19 bout with Juan Manuel Marquez, Mayweather will appear on the WWE's "Monday Night Raw" program Monday night on the USA network. And considering he has that fight in four weeks, it's unlikely he'll be taking any steel chairs to the face.

If you find yourself lost in the narrative, consider that Aaron Glazer, a writer for the Examiner.com site, wrote, "Randy Orton has been bullying guest hosts for weeks, even going so far as to attack Freddy Prinze Jr." Things are clearly coming to a head.

Not an unwise move for Mayweather, who would categorically love to chair a "victory" for boxing in a head-to-head revenue comparison Sept. 19. It's also a feat that's not likely to be duplicated by the UFC, which has long held a slightly hypocritical attitude toward Vince McMahon's theatrics. Despite Brock Lesnar's success, the promotion has been lukewarm to fellow former WWE star Bobby Lashley and his credible amateur wrestling background. The UFC also allegedly didn't want Kurt Angle to appear on TNA Wrestling if he had signed with the MMA promotion.

Boxers and other celebrities -- "Raw" has apparently been doing this guest-hosting thing for weeks now -- can seemingly get away with it, but MMA still has a complex about even flirting with impropriety. How a martial artist would feel out of place on that kind of broadcast while Mayweather appears right at home is a curious thing.

Source: espn.go.com

Police: Mayweather vehicle seen at shooting scene

LAS VEGAS — Police in Las Vegas say they're searching boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s Rolls-Royce at his home after witnesses reported it was involved in a shooting outside an ice skating rink.

Lt. Patrick Charoen said Monday that police obtained a warrant to search the vehicle at one of Mayweather's Las Vegas-area homes after the shooting late Sunday night outside the Crystal Palace Skating Center.

Charoen (shar OHN') says no one was hurt in the shooting, but a vehicle was hit with several bullets between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Mayweather isn't named as a suspect. Charoen says witnesses only identified his vehicle, which drove away.

The 32-year-old Mayweather is scheduled to fight a welterweight bout Sept. 19 against Juan Manuel Marquez.

Source: google.com

UFC 103 or Mayweather Jr. vs. Marquez: What you watching?

September 19 is going to be a special day for fans of fighting as we are treated to fights from two sports. The first is the UFC 103 where we will get to see Franklin and Belfort fight it out and the second is a Welterweight boxing fight between Mayweather Jr. vs. Marquez.

This will be a huge night for pay-per-view as sports fans, how often are they treated to two great fighting events on one night. Normally UFC events draw in huge crowds, but they may have to step up its counter-programming efforts in fear of losing viewers to what is considered to be one of the biggest boxing matches this year.

If we had to choose what event we would be watching on September 19, it would have to be the fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. as this is his comeback fought. How would anyone want to miss such a huge event. If we had to make a prediction, we would have to say that Floyd Jr. would take the win over Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez.

Source: inentertainment.co.uk

Mayweather, Jr. vs Marquez: Taking The Path of Least Resistance

When former P4P numero uno and welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr (39-0-0) announced his sudden retirement after his last fight in 2007, it was met with criticism, and was seen as an eventual escape from facing real competition in a division littered with quality oppositions. His overall career, was actually widely criticized, even though it bannered a flawless record of no losses and world championship belts in three different classes.

For someone blessed with abundant talent, great boxing skills, and good pedigree, Mayweather, Jr. was perceived to have been only looking for easy money fights instead of fighting the best available opposition, especially during his stint at the welterweight division. Potential big fights with Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, and even Paul Williams were on the horizon after his victory versus Junior Welterweight champ Ricky Hatton, but as what happened, he retired prematurely.

His fight with Hatton, not surprisingly, only bolstered the negative perception about his supposed “soft” competition. He faced a fighter who was moving up to the welterweight division, and whose last fight (and his only other fight) in that division was a showcase of struggle. Ranged against a limited but legitimate welterweight in Luis Collazo (26-1-0 at that time), Hatton showed in that fight, and probably the boxing world as well, that his strengths and effectiveness at 147 were nowhere near or the same when he was at 140, where he held the IBF, WBA, and IBO belts since 2005. Although Hatton won in the end, it was a very disputable, controversial unanimous decision.

Less than a month from now, Mayweather, Jr. will be returning to the ring after almost a two-year hiatus, taking on the challenge of lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1). And just like before his retirement, his return is also met with loud howls of criticism and the reasons are obviously plenty.

Because any way you look at it, the Mayweather, Jr.–Marquez fight is simply a case of one very skilled super featherweight fighter moving up to an uncharted division to battle one very skilled welterweight; a mismatch in terms of size. Mayweather has been fighting comfortably in the welterweight division for years now, while Marquez has gone up to lightweight just recently, which is two divisions down from welterweight, and though he looks stronger and gives impressive display of absolute heart, grit, and toughness there, he sometimes looked more vulnerable than ever, especially against his fight with former lightweight champion Juan Diaz, who bullied and pressured him effectively early on.

Aside from the size difference, Mayweather, Jr., like Marquez, is fundamentally sound offensively, and even has a significantly better defense overall. And for everything El Dinamita would bring to the table, Mayweather has them in aces: both are naturally accurate counterpunchers and technically well-rounded boxers, but Mayweather has all the physical advantages — faster, quicker, stronger, and more athletic. And let us not forget the age. Marquez, at 37, has been defying Father Time for some time now, and has been in bloody battles in almost all of his recent fights, most notably against Diaz, Casamayor, Pacquiao, and Barrera. Sooner or later, the wear and tear would pop out, and with him going up in weight once more, and against an equally elite boxer in Mayweather, Jr., who knows? There is a big chance this could be it.

The odds are very much stacked big-time against perhaps, and arguably, the best Mexican warrior since Julio Cesar Chavez in this match-up, and it will take a great combination of heart, skills, determination, and conditioning on his part to upset the heavily-favored Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Realistically, the only hope Marquez can hold on to is to have the Pretty Boy feel the effect of his ring inactivity and the reported injury he got from a sparring session leading to this fight, and wilt under his now-aggressive style of offensive attack. This will be a competitive fight, if only because Marquez’ toughness and skills will not allow it to become such a one-sided blow-out, but eventually, Mayweather’s equally elite boxing skills, considerable size advantage, and style shall prove to be decisive in this clash.

It is clear even before the announcement of this fight four months ago, that this is merely a tune-up for Mayweather, and whatever promotional gimmicks the spin doctors from Golden Boy Promotions and his own promotion would want us to believe, the fact remains that Mayweather is taking the path of least resistance here in his quest to land a huge showdown with the current P4P king, Manny Pacquiao.

Among the active boxers in his division, he could have faced the WBA world champion in Shane Mosley and regain back his belts. But Mosley, who pulverized his last two opponents, “Tijuana Tornado” Antonio Margarito in nine brutal rounds, and Fernando Mayorga in the 12th round, and who despite his age, is looking stronger than ever. Stylistically, and with his size advantage, Sugar Mosley should give Mayweather a really difficult fight. Another potential big fight for Mayweather that he could have chosen is a fight with Puerto Rican and WBO Welterweight title holder Miguel Cotto, who at this point, is at his prime and should be ready for any challenges. Unfortunately, it seems Mayweather, Jr., not unlike before he retired temporarily, has decided to take the criticisms once again than to take the best available fights and have the chance of forever silencing his detractors and critics alike.

Source: philboxing.com

New-Old Option For Fight Fans: Watch Mayweather vs. Marquez In Theater

If you are wanting to check out the Floyd Mayweather/Juan Manuel Marquez bout on Sept. 19, but your significant other is acting as a roadblock, and wants to head out for a night on the town instead of hanging at home for the pay per view, you might be able to salvage a compromise. Golden Boy Promotions is hooking up with National Cinema Media and will show the Sept. 19th card in some 170 movie theaters on fight night.

Richard Schaefer hosted a conference call to announce the plan, which he hopes will bring a new bunch of fight fans to the table, particularly younger folks who are hesitant to stay in on a Saturday night. The recommended ticket price for the card, which runs at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, will be $12.50-$15. Schaefer said he wasn’t worried that the theater option would not cannibalize his PPV stats. He also said that reports that ticket sales are lagging are false, and that the card is shaping up historically to be one of the largest non-heavyweight draws, ticket-wise.

Schaefer acknowledged that he isn’t a trailblazer with this move. He recalled that the last fight to be shown on a widespread basis in movie theaters was the Sugar Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran ‘No Mas’ fight, which unfolded on Nov. 25, 1980.

“It’s a good way to bring younger people to boxing,” the Golden Boy executive said. He said that he’s been crafting this plan for several years, and hit on the idea as he was out at the movies with his kids, who expressed interest in watching boxing on a mega screen.

NOTE: The AP is reporting that on Monday Las Vegas police searched a vehicle registered to Floyd Mayweather Jr., at his home, after that vehicle was allegedly present at an attempted shooting at an skating rink. The authorities did not report that anyone was injured, but said that a vehicle, presumably the one registered to Floyd, was hit by gunfire on Sunday night between 10-11 PM.

Source: thesweetscience.com

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Marquez no match for Mayweather—Floyd Sr.

MANILA – Trainer and former fighter Floyd Mayweather, Sr. proclaimed that his son, Floyd Jr., is still the best boxer in the world.

“Ain’t nobody beat him,” Floyd Sr. told David Tyler of DoghouseBoxing.com. He added that his son is the best “because I taught him everything when he was a kid.”

“Name me one boxer’s son that did better than his father. Only my boy and that’s because I didn’t spoil him when he was little,” he continued. “He worked hard and I taught him to always stay in shape.”

He, however, admitted that he is not training Floyd Jr. for his comeback fight against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“I am here on my accord representing myself and of course offering advice to my son and brother if necessary,” he said.

His brother, Roger, is the one training Floyd Jr.

Floyd Sr. is confident that his son would triumph in his much-anticipated comeback bout, saying that Marquez does not have a change against “Pretty Boy Floyd.”

“I’ve been watching a lot of Marquez fights and he has good boxing skills just not good enough to beat my boy,” he reasoned. “My son will hit and move and roll his punches the way I taught him.”

He said Marquez may be fast but his son is faster.

“He has good speed but he’s not as fast as my son.”

The “Number One/Numero Uno: Mayweather vs Marquez” was originally slated on July 18. It was postponed because Mayweather sustained a rib injury while training.

Not worried about Pacquiao

The elder Mayweather went on to say that he knows how to beat pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao.

“Speed is nothing if you can’t find something to hit,” he noted.

“You counter that speed with constant movement, make him come to you, turn him so he is always lunging when he throws the left, that’s how to beat Pacquiao,” he declared.

Because of this, Floyd Sr. said is not worried about the Filipino boxing icon’s speed and power if ever a Pacquiao-Mayweather showdown will take place.

“That’s exactly what I told Ricky Hatton during training camp,” remarked Floyd Sr. who trained Hatton for the “Battle of East and West” where Pacquiao scored a second round knockout victory last May 2.

However, Floyd Sr. said Hatton refused to heed his advicem hence the loss.

Prior to Pacquiao’s sensational knockout of Hatton in Round 2, the “Pacman” knocked down the Briton twice in the opening round.

Source: abs-cbnnews.com


A mouthwatering undercard for next month's Floyd Mayweather-Juan Manuel Marquez bill has been announced.

The chief support will be provided by Chris John and Rocky Juarez, who will meet in a rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 19.

The duo's first fight in February was one of the best of the year which ended in a controversial draw. Again, the unbeaten John will have his WBA featherweight title on the line.

Indonesian John said: "I thought I won our first fight but now I am going to show how much I appreciate being champion and beat him again.

"It has always been my desire to fight in Las Vegas and on the big fight cards. On September 19 I will be able to do this and show the whole world that I am one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport today."

Houston native Juarez hopes to make the most of his second chance.

"I am very fortunate to have another chance at a world title and a chance to show the world why I feel like I did enough to win the first fight," he said.

"I am getting older and therefore it becomes even more important to reach my long-standing goal of becoming a world champion."

Meanwhile, the WBO's interim lightweight title will be up for grabs when Michael Katsidis fights Vicente Escobedo, while former welterweight world champion Zab Judah faces Antonio Diaz in a 10-rounder.

Judah had initially been pencilled in to fight Briton Matthew Hatton, but the fight collapsed due to a dispute over what weight it would be staged at.

Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar de la Hoya, whose company is promoting the bill, said: "In these three fights we have two world championships, three current or former world champions, three Olympians and an exciting rematch of one of this year's greatest fights.

"As a fan, I can't wait to see these fights and the fans will not want to miss this card."

The headline fight sees former pound-for-pound king Mayweather make his ring return after almost two years in retirement.

Source: sportinglife.com

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mayweather vs Marquez Countdown

Juan Manuel Marquez: Waiting for the call

It is the prom all over again. Kinda, sorta. Juan Manuel Marquez went on two dates with Manny Pacquiao. They had a lovely time and were the talk of the boxing world. The trouble started when Marquez decided not to call Pacquiao after their first encounter.

Rumors were rampant that it was Juan's dad , one Nacho Beristain, that may have in fact put the kibosh on date number two. That was a shame because the first date had gone so well with it's swollen lips , busted noses and knockdowns. It was the classic first date.

It took four years to get these two crazy kids back in the ring together. Each had grown in popularity and each had become even better than before. The date went fantastically. It had body punches and hard left and right hands. And oh yes, there was even another knockdown, how sweet.

But the night didn't end exactly like Juan had envisioned. Manny was declared the winner in a great fight and as he left the ring one could hear Juan say, "call me".
Juan has been waiting by his phone ever since then. But Manny never called. Juan's hopes were raised earlier this year when Manny's dad, Mr. Roach to me and you, said that he thought a third date would be great. But he made it clear that Juan and his family would have to stop crying about date number two.

Manny now has Miguel Cotto's name pencilled in for November 14. At the same time Juan has agreed to a September date with that rather loud young man, Floyd Mayweather. Many believe that Juan is just trying to throw Pretty Boy's name in Manny's face. Maybe make Manny a little jealous about what could have been.

But Manny isn't playing that game. He says he has gone on to bigger and better things and it would suit him just fine if Juan's name was never mentioned again.

Now, it has come to our attention that Manny has a wish list for three more mega dates and Juan's name isn't on there. So how can Juan get his name back on that list? His plan is to apparently pummel Floyd on their date. You know , the good old fashioned kind of beating we only see on classic fight films. His hope is to make Manny so jealous that he will have no alternative but to call him.

Unfortunately for Juan, Manny doesn't have a jealous bone in his body. So while the rest of us kids at the prom would love to see these two get back together, it just isn't going to happen.

So Manny says , "thanks for the memories Juan, but it is time for you to move on and see other people."

And just like that one of the best fighters in the world has a date with Floyd and then will go back to waiting by the phone. Waiting for that one call. But it won't be from "him".

That waiting by the phone can make for some long nights. I know. Been there, done that.

Source: examiner.com

Ndou backs Mayweather over Marquez

BOXING is so motivated by jealousy that it is rare for a boxer to talk positively about another boxer.

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

Mayweather, the American who is based in Las Vegas, Nevada, brags about his ability while Pacquiao, from the Philippines, remains humble.

They make boxing, one of the hardest sports, look so easy but do not enjoy the credit they deserve .

Money aside, Mayweather – whose nickname is “Pretty Boy” – prefers to be known as “Money Mayweather”.

Mayweather, 32, won WBC titles at super featherweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, as well as the IBO International, IBA and WBC welterweight divisions.
He defeated top-name fighters like Angel Manfredy, Diego Corrales, Jesus Chavez, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, Oscar de la Hoya and Ricky Hatton.

This arrogant fighter, who stopped Phillip “Time Bomb” Ndou at the prime of his career in 2003 in the seventh round, is still to taste defeat after 39 fights with 25 knockouts.

Fight fans come to venues in the hope they will be the first to see him lose .
Mayweather’s last fight, a million- dollar clash with Hatton, ended with victory in the 10th round in Nevada in December last year.

Mayweather retired after that fight. He will make a highly anticipated return to face Juan Manuel Marquez next month.

Instead of focusing on what he can or will do against Marquez, doubting Thomases have concentrated on the arrest of his uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, for allegedly assaulting a female boxer, Melissa St Vil. Lovemore Ndou is the only fighter who talks highly of Mayweather.

“He is such a talented fighter. Like him or hate him, Floyd will beat both Marquez and Manny Pacquiao with one hand behind his back,” said the Australia-based South African who holds the IBO welterweight strap.

Source: sowetan.co.za

Mayweather ready to join greats

Floyd Mayweather believes he will rightly be remembered as one of the greatest fighters of all time if he beats Juan Manuel Marquez.

The six-time world champion steps out of retirement to face the battle-hardened Mexican - a five-time world champion himself in three weight divisions - in a hotly-anticipated fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 19.

Undefeated world champion Mayweather believes victory over Marquez will cement his status in the top bracket of boxing's greatest fighters, past and present, and he is relishing the chance to join the legends of the sport.

The 32-year-old said: "To be labelled as one of the best fighters of all time, to go down in history as one of the best, you have to fight the best fighters in your era - and he's one of the best fighters in my era.

"I'm just training getting ready for September 19. I'm staying focused, me and my team are just preparing, we'll take one day at a time until we get to where we want to get to."
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Source: clubcall.com