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Preview And Predictions – Floyd Mayweather Jr. Vs. Juan Manuel Marquez

The fight poster says that this fight will decide who is number one (numero uno). Manny Pacquiao has a lot to say about that.

However, this is still a big fight. It’s Floyd’s comeback after a 21 month layoff. It’s Marquez fighting against the odds in what is for a very deserving pay day. Will Floyd have any ring rust? Will Marquez’s weight disadvantage be too much?

We have a great panel of boxing writers and bloggers who have given me their predictions to publish in our preview.

Here is the panel:

George Kimball – George is the author of the fantastic book Four Kings: Leonard, Hagler, Hearns and Duran and the Last Great Era of Boxing. He also writes for ESPN.com, Boxing Digest, Irish Times, and The Sweet Science.
Bill Dwyre – Bill is a columnist for the LA Times and he’s written some great material already about this fight. You can read his great columns on his LA Times page.
Tim Starks – Tim writes The Queensberry Rules and has been a guest on FGB Radio a couple of times.
Jake Emen – Jake is a self described boxing fanatic who writes a blog for the new website Boxing Equipment 24/7 and is the editor at Pro Boxing Fans.
Jereme Warneck – Jereme writes a blog at number1contender.net, which focuses on wrestling, boxing, MMA, and video games and is also a correspondent for F4WOnline/Wrestling Observer.
Duan Greally – Duan is a writer for Fight Game Blog.
Big D – Danny is a writer for Fight Game Blog.
Brotherman – Robert is a writer for Fight Game Blog.
GG – That would be me, editor of Fight Game Blog.

George Kimball – Mayweather by 9th or 10th round TKO

Historically speaking, boxers of a certain age not named Ray Leonard have not fared well in comeback fights after layoffs as long as Mayweather’s, but the odds are so stacked in his favor — and forget his two fights at 135; Marquez is being asked to fight at 14 pounds above his optimal fighting weight that he ought to win anyway, wearing Marquez down by the ninth or tenth round. (The ongoing wrangles with the law won’t make much difference; that stuff is all business as usual around the Mayweather household.)

And if things aren’t going Mayweather’s way? What are the odds on a disqualification, anyway? If Money can’t figure a way to foul his way out, you can bet that Uncle Roger will.

Bill Dwyre – Marquez by late round TKO

I’m probably nuts, but I’m gonna pick Marquez in a late round TKO. I think Marquez is a smart fighter and Mayweather, the bigger and probably better fighter, will have just enough rust from his two-year layoff to let Marquez get into the fight and get some traction in later rounds.

Tim Starks – Mayweather by 8th round TKO

Tim’s prediction is here.

Jake Emen – Mayweather by 11th round TKO

Juan Manuel Marquez is a fantastic fighter, but in facing Floyd Mayweather he has too many things working against him. Mayweather is the bigger fighter, he has quicker hands and he has more power. He has also even better defense and counter punching than Marquez can boast of. The game Marquez will drop his usual counter punching tactics and opt to be aggressive, however Mayweather will make him miss more often than not and begin landing hard body shots. After Mayweather’s typical 4 round warm-up period, expect him to turn up the heat, busting Marquez up in the process. Nacho or the referee will come to his rescue in between rounds 10 and 11.

Jereme Warneck – Mayweather by unanimous decision

There are 2 issues people seem to be keying in on in projecting what will happen in Saturday’s match between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez. The first is size. The thought is that Mayweather will have a huge weight advantage in the ring over Marquez, who is moving up 9 pounds for this match. That is not necessarily accurate. Mayweather is a very small 147-pounder. In fact, the Las Vegas resident does not even cut weight to make a 147 pounds. In reality Mayweather is really a naturally large 135-pounder. Mayweather is such a phenomenal boxer he was able to become the champion at 147 pounds. Mayweather will probably enter the ring on Saturday at no more then 146 pounds. After rehydrating, Marquez entered the ring versus Juan Diaz in February at 140 pounds. After 5 months of training, Marquez may enter the ring heavier then Mayweather. Mayweather at 5′ 8″ tall, is only 1″ taller then the 5′ 7″ tall Marquez. The big difference will be in arm length. Mayweather has a 26″ arm length measured from the armpit to the end of the fist, while Marquez has a 22″ arm length.

The other key thing people are focusing on is Mayweather’s 21-month break from official competition in a boxing ring. This should not be as big a factor for Mayweather as it would be for most normal boxers. Mayweather is a naturally driven athlete, beyond what most normal people can comprehend. Even during his break from competition, Mayweather has been working out harder then some boxers do when preparing for a match. Mayweather was even still sparring during his “retirement”. The 1996 Olympic bronze medalist wins matches with his superior conditioning and ability to stay strong late in matches. That should not change in this match.

There has probably not been a match up with boxers that had a combined boxing IQ in a long time. Neither boxer is going to surprise each other with some strategy the other cannot adjust to in the ring. In the end, Mayweather probably wins by unanimous decision. Even though he is the slightly larger boxer, Mayweather has the speed advantage. In boxing people always talk about power, but speed is usually the determining factor in matches.

Duan Greally – Mayweather by decision

I believe that for anyone to beat Floyd Mayweather ideal conditions are required, and I just feel that Marquez is giving up way too much here. Floyd already has the benefit of a huge reach advantage which will be very hard for him to negate. Then there is the weight issue. Juan is 36 years old; this is not the time for him to make such a colossal jump in weight. He will lack the physical strength he enjoyed at 135, and we don’t know what type of power his punches will carry at this heavier weight. Speed was already going to be a concern against Floyd, and carrying an extra ten pounds is only likely to accentuate that problem. I find it very hard to see how Marquez can impose himself on this fight.

Floyd is younger, quicker and stronger. This is just too much of an uphill battle even for someone as great as Juan Manuel Marquez.

Big D – Mayweather by decision

I wrote a detailed column about Floyd and his big comeback. It will all depend on him realistically. If he hasn’t lost a step, we’ll see another great performance. If not, he COULD get rocked. But if you were to put a gun to my head, I’d say Floyd wins via 12 round decision after a fight where he wears down Marquez early, slows down in the middle, then finishes strong.

Brotherman – Mayweather in the 12th round

Floyd Mayweather has been carring on like a Shakspearean king two scenes before he gets his head cut off. Marquez, 15 pounds higher than his optimum fighting weight, isnt the one to put him on the chopping block.

GG – Mayweather by 11th round TKO

I have to think that being bigger, faster, and stronger is going to be too much, even for a warrior like Juan Manuel Marquez. I think the layoff works to Floyd’s advantage because it’s probably the first time in a while that Floyd is fairly healthy. I think Marquez is going to fight a great fight for about 6 or 7 round and then Floyd will just take over.

It’s 7-1 in Floyd’s favor according to the panel.

Thanks to everyone on our panel for their prediction and we’ll be back here tomorrow covering the fights.

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