Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Case for Marquez Beating Mayweather - Part Two

By Lee Payton

Photos © Ray Kasprowicz

In Part One, I examined the important numbers, like Mayweather's advantages in height, reach, weight and age, as well as the possible effects of his 2 year lay-off.

Part two will deal with what I consider the "meat". I'll break down the styles of the fighters and touch on some intangibles before taking a stab at who may have the edge after 12 rounds.

Mayweather is a defensive wizard, with great reaction time, solid fundamentals and educated feet. He's one of a very select few in boxing that can sit in the pocket or along the ropes and make quality fighters look ordinary. In truth, he may be the best defender I have ever seen.

On offense though, I see a few chinks that Marquez can exploit. For instance, these days, Floyd is basically a pot-shotter. If you are not familiar with the term, it means he is a fighter who uses his feet to set up single punches from the outside. It's a style he loves because of the safety factor.

Can he beat a brilliant counter puncher with a single shot here and there? When he's in pot-shot mode, he only throws 2 punches - a lead left hook and a quick lead right that he jumps in with. I'm not sure anyone can afford to leave their feet when facing a technician of this quality. If Marquez is not already prepared for these two punches, I believe that he will adjust as the fight goes on. He has on every other occasion, right?

We have all heard Mayweather talk about how he thinks he will be the first man to stop Marquez. Of course this is likely all talk. Mayweather only cares about winning. However, I do believe there is some extra pressure on him to perform, which could mean we're in for some early fireworks. If Money comes out uncharacteristically aggressive, he will get tagged. When that happens, I think he'll chill out on the macho thing and turn on his legs.

If Floyd decides to do more moving than punching, we're probably looking at a tactical affair. Some feel that a slower paced fight is in his favour, but I don't necessarily agree. Marquez is one of the most patient fighters in the game. Throughout his entire career he has shown the ability to come out on top of rounds in which he's only had to throw about 40 punches.

Furthermore, if the underdog sticks to the body first (like I believe he will), and if the judges are paying attention, his punches could end up being the one landing the cleaner scoring blows.

I've mentioned Marquez' amazing ability to counter in combination. When he sees an opening, it's just a natural reaction to respond with 3 or 4 crisp punches, up and down. Mayweather can also counter with the best of them, but the difference I see is in the creation of those opportunities to respond. From what I have observed, Floyd is a master of exploiting the openings that his opponents give him. He's not great at creating them himself, which is why guys who have fought him at a slower pace have always done better than those fighters who just tried to blow him up. I don't see Marquez leaving himself wide open very often, given his history.

Enough with the technical stuff though. Many times fights are won or lost on those factors we can't see or touch. Boxing is just as much a game of guts, timing and determination as style and physical attributes.

During the first installment of HBO's 24/7 series, Nacho Beristain said that his pupil has an "extra sense". I thought that was such a brilliant quote. He is talking about that extra indefinable quality that all great fighters possess. You can't quite put your finger on it, but it's there. It's that added something that makes them just better than most everyone else. He said it comes from all of Juan Manuel's experience and hard work in the gym. It's no coincidence that the best fighters tend to be the hardest workers. Floyd is going to have to deal with someone who knows what being "great" is all about. It is something he has never had to contend with before. He is not going to have his way in there.

Marquez is as determined as any fighter in the world today. When other fighters weaken or lose focus, he takes it to another level. I don't think it is any stretch to say that he is mentally tougher and more secure than Mayweather. That is significant in any fight.

Another factor to consider is timing. Like I've mentioned before, it has been two years since Floyd was last seen in a boxing ring, and while I think the negative effects will be minimal, if there was ever a time to beat him, this is it. When he was off "making it rain" or whatever, his opponent was achieving the greatest results of his entire career.

Mayweather is a great fighter and an all-time talent, but no boxer comes back 100% after a vacation of that length. And they don't usually come back against the best fighter they have ever fought either.

So who will have their hand raised when it's all over? I don't know. Ask me on Friday, September 18th, and I'll have a final pick. I will say that I think this fight is a lock to go 12 rounds. Patient aggression and body punching vs slick boxing and some eye-catching punches. I see a lot of close rounds, which makes it such a tough call. You just never know what the judges will like on any given night.

My bottom line is this: Marquez will miss more than usual, but Mayweather will get hit more than usual.

What's the betting line on a draw?

email Lee Payton


Jorge said...

I again agree with ur excellent break through of each fighter, I also think that Manny Pacquiao can beat Floyd. In the other hand marquez has gone 24 rounds with what most consider the best in the world and we all kno who that is. Manny is a fast kid and Marquez handled it very well , this is a type of fight that marquez has been waiting for, he (marquez) has one main goal and that is a 3rd fight with Pac, in order for him to achieve this goal is to beat Mayweather, and I personaly believe 100% that he WILL beat Mayweather (in my humble opinion). Now, nothing to take away from the hype of the fight, but not alot of people outthere know the carreers of both, I do. I can tell u that Castillo beat Mayweather in their first encounter, and guess what style was Castillo using (counter punching and adjusting to Floyds style). What do you think Marquez does? Mayweather has had his good ones too, Chicanito Hernandez which was Mayweathers 1st title shot and won the fight by tko after Hernandez corner stoped it after the 8th and became the only fighter from the 96 olympics to win a title. that goes to show how good of a fight this is going to be. I will be back here to discuss with u if its all possible Mr. payton this great event happening on Mexican Independece Day Sept 19.

Gary Louis said...

Brilliant Article!

luvbrothel said...

I agree. I've seen Marquez adjust beautifully to a whole bevy of situations as his fights wear on. Its a rare 'gift' or 'sense' that very few fighters have. I've must have watched the Marquez/Diaz fight 10 times just to watch Juan adjust to an onslaught he never faced before from an opponent bigger and more aggressive than any he's ever faced before. Great stuff. De La Hoya lost a close fight to Floyd. If you watch that fight and then imagine JMM in De La Hoya's place, with superior accuracy, more punch angles and better counter punching, I have no doubt that Marquez wins, possibly by KO.

sbeezy said...

I'd have to disagree and by reading this article I guess you have never fought before and only experienced boxing from outside the ropes. Counter punching is all about timing. If Marquez is getting hit with shots he can't stop because of Floyd's speed then how is he going to time anything. Also, Floyd is not going to be there for a return shot like most of Marquez's opponents. If Marquez gets tagged by Juan Diaz, then what do you think a faster, accurate puncher like Mayweather will do? No knock on Baby Bull but him and Mayweather are two different grades of fighters.

Aside from all the technical reasons look at both fighters history. How many times have we tried to find a reason Floyd will lose and come up with nothing but the opposite outcome? As Teddy Atlas puts it....Marquez has found and knows how to lose while Floyd Mayweather is undefeated.

Lee Payton said...

I don't see Floyd hitting Marquez at will. He didn't hit Castillo or Oscar that easily. The Diaz comparison is OK, but Money is not going to storm after him like a wildman, so it means little.

The fact is, Floyd is in there with the best fighter he has ever fought. A man that can match his own very high boxing IQ.

Should be a boxing purist's kind of fight.

sbeezy said...

It's not going to be a Gatti-like (RIP) thrashing, but I don't think Marquez is hard to find. He's been marked up before so I can't see why a puncher as accurate as Floyd couldn't find him.

I'll agree Marquez is the best fighter Floyd has ever faced. However, I've always thought and saw more up close on the last 24/7 that Marquez can be wide with his punches. Mayweather throws really straight short shots so this is why I don't think it will be that hard of night for Floyd. Plus Floyd tends to roll the wide punches with more ease. I think Marquez is a smart fighter, but not as smart as Floyd. Floyd wouldn't have gotten dropped 4 times by the same guy by basically the same punch at that.

On a side note, I just came across your blog and must admit I'm pretty impressed. My apology if I questioned your boxing knowledge earlier.

Jorge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jorge said...

This is definately something we all need to watch and come back the next day and let loose on what u thought of the fight. like i mentiond B4 I dnt think that Mayweather will beat Marquez but thats just my opinion, sometimes as a fighter u kno the techniques and angels of how to fight a typical fighter, which is why theirs trainers like Nacho, he never fought and has good training skills and can show u how to beat the best p4p fighter Pacman, but one as an observer can tell what or which flaws a fighter has. Not to take away nothing absolutely nothing away from Money Mayweather he is a bad motherfuker (sorry for the fowl language) but every dog has his day and sep 19 will be his. I will be the first to give it up to all the great fans Mayweather has and tell them that i was wrong and u all were right, but i expect the same if Marquez gets him.

Lee Payton said...

Thanks for your comments guys.

And sbeezy, glad you like the site. Feel free to question my boxing knowledge any time. That's why I'm here. :)

As for the fight... still no decision on a winner, but I am sure it will be a close, competitive affair.

Can't wait!

Juggler said...

Speed Kills!! Floyd just too fast for Marquez at this point in their careers. Can't see Juan winning many exchanges in this one. I think Floyd wins an easy dicision.

Juggler said...

Speed Kills!! Floyd just too fast for Marquez at this point in their careers. Can't see Juan winning many exchanges in this one. I think Floyd wins an easy dicision.