In a Tuesday conference call that included his trainer Nacho Beristain and promoter Oscar de la Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez said he felt very ready for his September 19th bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr., a bit of a contrast to the bulk and speed concerns that Beristain recently expressed.
Marquez said come Sept. 19, he’ll use attributes that have lifted him to that 50-4 mark, including hand speed and ring smarts. He’s been taking off his heavy sparring gloves, he said, and lacing up lighter gloves to keep his hand speed alive.
JMM isn’t banking on Floyd being rusty, seeing as the Michigan fighter, aged 32, last gloved up in December 2007, against Ricky Hatton. "I’m training for the best Mayweather, and looking forward to the best Mayweather," JMM said.
You know what? Forget a bit of a contrast; this is a stark contrast. Apparently his speed is fine. So someone's jiving. Or Nacho just didn't want to bring it up again on the conference call, I guess.
Marquez would be very wise to expect and train for the best Mayweather, because he won't be able to beat Floyd if he's ready for anything less. The fight is a physical mismatch in a lot of ways, and even with the layoff, I doubt Floyd will be so rusty that he won't have the skills left to slip and counter Marquez to death. Mayweather is a different type of fighter than anyone Marquez has ever beaten. JMM is headed to the Hall of Fame, and rightly so, but let's look at his best wins: Juan Diaz, Joel Casamayor, Marco Antonio Barrera (Barrera's last good performance, and a much closer fight than it was scored), and then guys like Robbie Peden, Derrick Gainer, Rocky Juarez, Orlando Salido, etc.
None of them fight like Mayweather. Yes, he's faced Manny Pacquiao twice and had his arguments both times (I feel he won the second fight by a point), but even Manny isn't Floyd. I'm not saying he's better or worse than Pacquiao, but Mayweather is just a completely different specimen. He's his generations best practitioner of the pure art of boxing, save perhaps for Ivan Calderon. Marquez, like everyone, is going to have a lot of difficulty with that.
In typical Marquez fashion, though, he isn't boasting, bragging or making big picks:
"I don’t like to predict," JMM said. "If the kayo comes, great. I’m going to push him."
I have no doubt he'll leave it all in the ring on September 19.
Perhaps most interesting from the call overall is Oscar de la Hoya's (in his own typical fashion) saying whatever pleases the most people at that time:
Not surprisingly, since a title isn’t up for grabs, De La Hoya said that fans care mostly about the matchups, and since there are so many titles out there, can’t keep track of who has one anyway. “The fans don’t care what title is at stake,” he said. He congratulated Golden Boy for loading up the Sept. 19 card, and said it was high time a promoter has done this. “That’s how boxing will progress…the best fighting the best.”
Oh really, Oscar? Is this your first mega-card as a promoter? I guess it was high time to load up Mayweather-Marquez, just not so much when Oscar was grabbing money on top of the card.