The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

JM Marquez is Pretty Good, Y’know

“He needs to dispose of Marquez, which shouldn’t be a difficult challenge. While Marquez is an elite fighter, he’s a lightweight. Mayweather is not only the bigger man, but also he’s the far quicker man and better boxer.

It would be a shock if Mayweather were to lose the fight.”

Kevin Iole

Am I the only person out there who doesn’t buy for a moment that Floyd is just going to walk all over Juan Manuel Marquez? I think Floyd should be the favorite, but the idea that all he has to do is show up for a win is… a bit optimistic. I’ll do a serious breakdown closer to the fight probably, but a few points:

– Marquez is a lightweight, but Mayweather is hardly a towering, physically imposing welterweight. He’ll have a size advantage but his style doesn’t really involve using that to any great degree- he won’t walk Marquez down, he won’t muscle him on the inside, he won’t plant his feet and swing for the KO. To the extent Mayweather is helped it’ll probably be in shrugging off Marquez’s power, but Floyd’s chin has never been much of a question mark anyway.

– Mayweather is probably quicker, indeed; but his punch output has been declining for years, and against fighters with even a rudimentary concept of defense (by which I mean: Not Ricky Hatton) he’s starting to have trouble getting punches off. He’s one at a time, relying more and more on his defense to let him back up, dodge and counter, or occasionally get off a quick lead as a fighter comes in on him. Marquez has very good defense especially when he’s got time to see the punches coming, and he’s phenomenally accurate and varied on offense; he may walk Floyd to the corner, hit him three times, take one in response, back off, and repeat. That’s not a good math for Floyd.

– I have no idea what it means to say that Floyd is “the better boxer” in this context. He’s got some skills which Marquez does not at this point (primarily defensive positioning), and Marquez has some which Floyd does not (primarily punching variety); I don’t see that as being clearly superior in any meaningful sense. It’s JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ, for God’s sake- the man gives up very little in technique to anyone you’ll ever see.

– Marquez thinks he can win. Thinks he WILL win. He is not now and never has been a guy who takes a fight just for a paycheck; do not underestimate the value of this. Marquez will not go away in this one.

– Floyd’s now 32 years old with a long string of injuries in his past mostly to his hands, he’s not fought in over a year, there’s reports swirling that a random sparring partner worked him in training and caused his rib injury, his entire game is based on quickness and pinpoint timing, and there’s a strong suspicion that he’s fighting for money far more than anything else these days. This is not a good combination.

-Go backways on Floyd’s record, and it’s just not that much to talk about of late. Hatton…well. He speaks for himself, and he’s the best win on here. De La Hoya was a great fighter at the end of his rope, losing as many as he won, and who never really performed well again after the Mayweather fight- and still nearly beat Floyd in a fight which went to a split decision. Baldomir was a joke, a creation of Zab Judah’s lack of professionalism. Judah himself actually won rounds early before mentally disintegrating, and is 3-2 with losses in his only serious fights (Cotto, Clottey) since the Mayweather fight, which he came into on the back of a loss. Sharmba Mitchell was ancient, reduced by knee injuries and fighting above his prime weight, and retired 2 fights late on the back of a KO loss to Paul Williams. Arturo Gatti, may he rest in peace and with no disrespect intended to the departed, was fighting above his best weight, went 1-2 in his remaining 3 fights, and was just not on Floyd’s level. Henry Bruseles was far more of a joke than even Baldomir. Chop was a pretty good fighter at 140 but was coming off a loss, and no one on earth would mistake him for JM Marquez. N’dou was a moderately talented plodder who lost his next fight and retired for nearly 5 years. Victoriano Sosa was a good fighter at 135, but no one’s putting him in the HOF. None of these men, with the arguable exception of Zab (who won rounds) is exactly an offensive dynamo.

And all of a sudden it’s 2002 and Floyd’s fighting Jose Luis Castillo, a fantastic fighter he deserves all the credit in the world for defeating twice. But that was 2002; and Juan Manuel Marquez, even at 35 and many pounds above his best weight, is still lightyears beyond every other fighter Floyd has faced since then. And he’s not facing the Floyd of 2002, who was an awesome spectacle of talent and intelligence inside the ring, and who looked at times unbeatable; he’s facing the version who lost rounds and had trouble keeping the faded Oscar De La Hoya off of him, and that’s a best case scenario assuming the year and a half plus layoff between his last fight and this hasn’t taken too much more of that once-otherworldly talent with it.

Like I said, Floyd’s Floyd, and if you’re betting he should probably be your man for this one depending on what odds you’re getting. But if Marquez wins I won’t be in the least bit shocked, and if Floyd does win this fight I’m going to give him a lot more credit than others may if he wins convincingly. The early prediction here is that slow-starting Marquez gives away one or two too many of the early rounds and lives to regret it in a very close decision loss.

EDIT: Re-reading this (I think I wrote it 5 days ago), it comes off a bit harsh. With guys like Bruseles and Baldomir it’s not that they’re joke fighters, it’s that there was just never any realistic chance of them competing with a top-3 P4P fighter. So the fights against Floyd were inevitabilities taken because they were easy money with HBO paying for them, and because it meant Floyd didn’t have to face anyone tougher.

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July 21, 2009 - Posted by | Boxing | ,

2 Comments »

  1. I’m surprised that Iole is going that far out on the limb, saying that it’s basically a guarantee. But, with that being said, I would be shocked if JMM won more than four rounds…I see it being more like 9-3, 10-2.

    Comment by Tony M | July 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] wrote about this one a while back and I largely stand by that analysis. I think Floyd will win the fight; I think […]

    Pingback by Preview & Predictions: Mayweather vs. Marquez « The Ship Be Sinking | September 18, 2009 | Reply


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