Michael Marley of the Examiner reports that the mood at the camp of world lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez is getting really bad. Brick mentioned this in today's Mandatory Eight Count post, but I think this one is worth talking about further.
Trainer Nacho Beristain is especially melancholy, it appears:
Beristain normally has a Bill Belichick, Gloomy Gus sort of emotional outlook but insiders say he is especially downcast now.
"He’s told Mexican journalists that people are surrounding Juan Ma and his boxing brother, Rafael, and blowing up their heads," one LA-based fight guy said. "Nacho has complained about not having any Mayweather style sparring also. Nacho is thrifty himself but he views promoter Golden Boy as thriftier."
Marley wonders why Golden Boy hasn't tried to get Steve Forbes or even junior middleweight/middleweight Ishe Smith in to spar with Marquez. Smith had a fight on August 22, but "2 Pound" isn't doing anything right now and last fought in March. Forbes is no Mayweather, but he might be able to give JMM some looks, and I'd agree that would be a solid sparring partner.
What truly amazes me is that it would seem nobody has called Shane Mosley. Mosley is famous for his ability to mock the style of others and is not just a Golden Boy fighter, but is part of the office, too. You could argue or speculate that perhaps Mosley has no personal interest in Marquez beating Mayweather, as I'm sure he'd love to get Floyd lined up next year. You can also argue that Mosley-Marquez is just not a fair fight and sparring with Mosley might not help Marquez very much at all if all he does is get beaten up.
Luis Mesorana of Texas had this to say:
"Only because Juan Ma has balls, Mexican balls, do I see him going 10 rounds," Mesorana said. "This ain’t Pacquiao he’s fighting here. Some guys, like Ken Norton against Muhammad Ali, always give a certain opponent problems. But, if Marquez thinks Floyd is going to be easy to hit like Juan Diaz was, he’s wrong.
"Also Juan cuts easy and he is no defensive genius. Marquez is a good boxer but Mayweather is something else. He’s too small and Mayweaher’s speed is too much.
"Mayweather is patient and he will cut Marquez," Mesorana said. "Juan will fight emotionally while Floyd is patient. His Mexicanism, his emotionalism, will betray him. Mayweather is going to mentally frustrate him. You know it and Nacho knows it."
This could certainly all be an attempt at mind games, but if that really is the case, I have to say this has been one of the downright worst-promoted fights in the history of boxing. Here's what we've been told:
- Mayweather saying right off the bat not that he's too big or strong or fast for Marquez necessarily, but that Marquez is "too small." So why would I want to see you fight him, Floyd?
- Beristain saying Marquez is doomed because he put on too much muscle to get to 144 and lost his speed. It's sounding better and better! A too small fighter who doesn't have his speed now, oh boy!
- More reports of Beristain allegedly being desperate in camp, now having it compared to leading a man to his execution. Jesus, I can't wait for this one. They've made it sound so competitive and enticing!
In fact, the only guy that's been on the record over and over about this being a competitive fight is Oscar de la Hoya, who always sounds kind of like he's putting you on, but now sounds like he's flat-out grinning and lying and trying to take your money for a weak fight. I'm still excited to see this fight go down because of that small chance that Marquez lands a win in what could be a watershed moment for Mexican boxing and the sport on the whole. But I think it's inarguable that they have done an absolutely terrible job of making anyone want to see this fight, and it goes to both sides.