Oscar De La Hoya says in his weekly blog that Juan Manuel Marquez will shock a lot of people when he fights Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sept. 19 in Las Vegas on pay-per-view television. Here’s why:
Everything is in Juan Manuel Marquez’s favor now. Floyd Mayweather has a lot of distractions, he’s been away from the sport for two years and he has a rib injury. I strongly feel everything is falling into place. This is the right time for Marquez to beat him.
And even if Mayweather didn’t have these problems, I feel Marquez’s style is well-suited for Mayweather. Mayweather is going to want to prove not only to himself but to all the fans that he can put on a good show, which means he is going to have to stand in front of Marquez. That will work in Marquez’s favor.
Marquez is not a slow fighter at all; he’s faster than people think. He showed that twice against Manny Pacquiao, who is very fast. And Mayweather doesn’t throw punches in bunches like Pacquiao. He throws one, two punches and that’s it. That will allow Marquez time to think and find openings. It won’t be like Pacquiao, who throws punches from everywhere the whole fight.
Another question is Mayweather’s age. Once you hit 30, things start to change. It will be very interesting to see how that affects Mayweather, especially because he’s been away for two years. Marquez (36) has already experienced that and has been able to adapt to changes in his body and mind after 30.
I also feel Marquez won’t respect Mayweather’s power at all because he’s been in there with hard punchers. I’ll tell you one thing: Mayweather does not hit hard. The only thing Marquez has to worry about is Mayweather dancing around all night long, sticking that jab in his face. That’s it.
Again, I don’t think Mayweather will do that, though. I just don’t think he’ll want to run from a smaller guy. If Mayweather thinks he’s the best fighter pound for pound –- and he does -– he’ll have to stand toe to toe with the smaller guy. He’ll be pressured to do that because that’s what the crowd at the MGM Grand will want.
Mayweather has this big ego. I’m sure he’s thinking, “I can take care of a guy as small as Marquez with no problem.”
I think the delay of the fight [from July 18 to Sept. 19 because of Mayweather’s rib injury] is a blessing in disguise. It gave Marquez more time to get stronger, to bulk up and get his speed back. You start out using heavy gloves and then use smaller and lighter gloves to get faster as your body adapts to it.
Marquez has a tremendous jab and will to win. If Marquez does for 12 rounds what I did [against Mayweather] for seven rounds, he can win the fight easily. It doesn’t take all the power in the world; it just takes planning your shots right. It takes smarts. And that’s what Marquez has. He’s one of the smartest fighters on the planet.
As long as you use your jab against Mayweather he’s lost. He doesn’t know how to block a jab. And if you feint him, it stops him in his tracks. You don’t want to allow Mayweather time to think; that’s when he can be dangerous. You have to jab, to feint. That’s the key.
Mayweather’s layoff also will be a factor. Two years is a very long time to be away from boxing. I’m sure he went to the gym here and there but actually being in a competitive fight up in the ring, with eight-ounce gloves, is a whole different thing. I’m sure he’ll have some rust the night of the fight.
I can see the first round being a feeling-out round. Mayweather will realize right away that his weight advantage is not a big deal at all the way he thought it would be. I feel things will start to heat up in the second round, when Mayweather will start hearing boos from all those fans who come in for Mexican Independence weekend, all the rowdy Marquez fans.
Then Mayweather will want to prove that he can stand in front of a smaller guy with no problem. That’s when things will start to unfold in Marquez’s favor. Mayweather is not invincible. I truly feel Marquez will expose him.