Can’t hardly weight: Heavy questions face Floyd despite big victory

APTOPIX Mayweather Marquez Boxing It turns out I was right about Floyd Mayweather winning his match against Juan Manuel Marquez by decision, and also that Marquez’s history of being a slow starter would hurt him, as Floyd downed him in the second round and dominated the early portion of the fight. But what I wasn’t right about is that Marquez would make an impact in the middle rounds, as he was pretty much completely shut out.

I knew Floyd was bigger than Marquez, but I didn’t expect him to show up two pounds heavier than the catch weight at the weigh-in, a significant amount. He had to pay per pound to allow the fight to go off. And though Floyd doesn’t fight like a big man, using his fluidity and quickness to his benefit, he obviously used his size advantage.

Mayweather lost a deal of respect by being either unable or unwilling to make weight, essentially making this a fight between a good big man and a good small man. The good small man never wins that fight. This isn’t the Tour De France.

The most telling example of how Mayweather used the fact that he was just bigger is that Marquez’s punches looked like they did absolutely nothing, which is indicative of a smaller fighter coming up to fight at a higher weight and leaving his punching power behind.

So where does that leave us? Well, we have a dominant fighter who still has something to prove because of a perception that he only takes fights he’s pretty sure he can win. If Floyd says he’s the best fighter in the world, Max Kellerman is right, he has to fight people his own size.

Sidebar: I have met Max and do personally like him, but he has to drop the poor-man’s Larry Merchant act we saw on Saturday. Floyd didn’t need to be ambushed by Shane Mosley there with Kellerman as a gleeful accomplice. Regardless of what you think of the validity of his achievement, the man is big business and delivered in a big fight. Let him bask in the moment rather than attempting to steal it as your own. In addition, Floyd is far more entertaining than Kellerman could ever be. As Floyd said:

I’m going to do the talking. You do too much talking!

That said, I think we have to see Floyd fight Sugar Shane. Everyone talks about Manny Pacquiao, but I think Floyd is still too big for him. Manny would present a lot more activity, but this is still a fighter who’s over 20 pounds heavier from when he started out.

The fact of the matter is that the promotion of this fight suckered a lot of people – myself included – into thinking that Marquez could hang. But what ends up happening is that you look at Floyd’s last few fights, and you realize that they’re all fighters he knew he could beat. He was too quick for Oscar, too good for Hatton, too big for Marquez.

We need to see Floyd against some fighters that we actually think can beat him sizewise, and I’m not sure that includes Pacquiao, though everyone would want to see that. Until Floyd fights Mosley or Miguel Cotto, we have to recognize him for what he is: a wonderful fighter who does an excellent job of picking his fights to stack the deck in his advantage.

And he can be so much more than that.


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