Current WBC Welterweight champion and one of the most overrated fighters to come out in a long time. While a great defensive fighter, he has somehow been put by some in the same league as Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson. If you actually sit down and watch a Mayweather fight, what you'll end up feeling by the end is utter frustration from the lack of action. Proponents say that this exemplifies his dominance, while real fight fans will tell you that his safety first, counter punching, get on your bicycle and win on points style is bad for boxing.
Furthermore, the guy is a spoiled, arrogant, self important, ass. He actually has the audacity to declare himself the best of all time. He fails to see that the only reason his last few pay per view fights have grossed high numbers was due to the opposition bringing in giant fan bases. Arturo Gatti, Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya all brought in the large majority of their audiences while all Floyd could do to drum up interest in himself was to act like a complete jackass on HBO's 24/7 series.
Another reason to balk at his claim to being the best of all time is his lack of good opposition. In comparison, Sugar Ray Robinson had over 100 fights in his career dominating most until the late stages when he was too old to fight. Mayweather has 38 fights. And while early on he fought tough opponents like the late great Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo, over the last few years the names on his resume read like a list of unknown journeymen. Phillip N'dou, Sharmba Mitchell, Henry Brusseles, Carlos Baldomir, a washed up version of Arturo Gatti, and perennial underachiever Zab Judah. Some people will point to De La Hoya as a quality opponent but this reflects an ignorance about the sport. De La Hoya of 8 years ago may have been a good fight, but the current version of De La Hoya has lost 4 or his last 5 fights and is clearly on the downside of his career. But since he is still a financial draw people mistake him as a great fighter.
In reality the Mayweather phenomenon is more of a mirage. His management has consistently matched him against "name" fighters on the downside like Gatti and De La Hoya to pad his record while avoiding the tough fights, like the Miguel Cotto's and Antonio Margarito's. This has created a small but fanatical fanbase who will argue with you about Floyd till the bar closes down, that he is the best and doesnt need to fight anyone to prove himself. This logic contradicts itself and is typical of doublethinking Mayweather fans. The reality is that Mayweather is only interested in the "fights" that will make him the most money. And due to his overly defensive, running, counterpunching style, he has a very strong chance at winning most of his fights on points. If you like boxing the way its fought in the amateurs, then he is your man. If you like boxing as done in the professional ranks where the guys actually fight each other, then I suggest you watch the Rafael Marquez/Israel Vazquez trilogy or the Manny Pacquiao/Juan Manuel Marquez fights. All these fighters have just as much skill as Mayweather, the only difference is their actually there to fight.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. being interviewed by ESPN:
Espn: Floyd many say you need to fight Miguel Cotto to prove your the best welterweight in the world.
Floyd: Miguel Cotto??? (incredulously) who has he beat?
Espn: everyone he's fought, most of them by k.o
Floyd: I dont need him, he need me. Im the best ever, he's not worthy. Like I said before, Floyd is the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be. Period.
Espn: so what are you gonna do next Floyd?
Floyd: Dancing with the stars. Look out Mario Lopez, Im comin' for you!!
Espn: Ummmmm, okaaaaaaay...
Brilliant Mexican boxer who has been World Champion at Featherweight (126) and Super Featherweight (130). His style is a blend of blazing speed, cold blooded combination punching, knockout power with supreme ring intelligence. In terms of boxing technique he is second to none. Trained by legendary Mexican trainer Nacho Beristain, Juan Manuel is a devastating counter puncher and a nightmare for anyone across the ring from him.
Coming from a family with a strong boxing pedigree, he is the brother of the younger, more violent 122 lb. legend Rafael Marquez. The difference between the brothers lies more in their approach than their technique. While Rafael is a seek and destroy killing machine, Juan Manuel uses a merciless counter punching style with clinical precision. However in his recent bouts with Manny Pacquiao, Marco Antonio Barrera and Rocky Juarez, Juan Manuel has been engaging in more and more entertaining firefights creating an increasing buzz around his fights.
His biggest moment came in May 2004 against Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao. Having just upset Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera a few months prior, Pacquiao was the hottest name in boxing, looking to rip through boxing's toughest division. Marquez was considered one of the 3 elite Mexican fighters at the time along with Barrera and Erik Morales. Going into the fight opinions were split, but the sentiment was that it was a great style matchup sure to create a great fight. It did not disappoint. J.M.M came out in a more offensive posture and began pounding Manny right away for the first minute and a half of the round. All of the sudden Manny unloaded a powerful one-two combination and put Marquez on the canvas. Marquez popped up right away with a bloody nose and began to engage Pacquiao again who happily dropped him again. At this point the crowd was stunned at the notion that fight might end this soon. Especially since Marquez didn't have a history being blown out of fights. Marquez gamely got up again and stood toe to toe with Pacquiao trading power shots until Manny landed one more left which sent Marquez down by the ropes. This time it looked serious as Marquez seemingly looked up from the ground only to put his head back down staring up at the lights signaling a surrender, but within a second picked himself up and made it out of the round. Walking back to his corner with a badly broken and bloodied nose things looked bleak for the classy Mexican Champion.
The crowd was roaring in appreciation and were waiting for the coup de grace in the next round. Even the HBO commentators expected that Manny would finish him off in the next round. No fighter gets knocked down three times and wins a fight. What came next will go down in boxing lore for all eternity. With his nose bleeding profusely, badly broken and his confidence shaken by a horrible start to the fight, Juan Manuel Marquez would come out in round 2 and begin to steady himself. Not only did he figure out Pacquiao but he began to go on the offensive, busting up Pacquiao over the next 11 rounds. By the fifth round he was in control of the fight and the crowd was absolutely mesmerized in the change of momentum. Both fighters would finish strong in an all out war. The fight would end up as a controversial draw with most observers feeling Marquez deserved the nod for outboxing Pacquiao in the majority of the rounds. It went on to be one of the best fights of the year.
Juan Manuel Marquez is currently ranked as the number 5 best pound for pound fighter in the sport. Coming off an excruciatingly close 1 point split decision loss in the rematch with the aforementioned Pacquiao his reputation remains intact due to the hotly contested, highly competitive nature of the fight. Both fighters had great moments in the fight. Marquez would stagger Pacquiao and buckle him a few times and generally outbox and outwork him and Pacquiao would put Marquez down in an exchange in the third round. Needless to say the fight raised more questions than it provided answers and the cry for a third fight is deafening. The fight would easily be the front runner for fight of the year if not for the fight two weeks prior between his brother Rafael and Israel Vazquez.
As long as he continues to fight, watching Juan Manuel Marquez is like watching Michaelangelo paint. He is the definition of what a near perfect professional boxer should look like in the ring. An Amazing blend of speed, power, intelligence and footwork. Much like his brother, outside the ring he is a fan friendly gentleman loved and respected by boxing fans around the world.
Guy 1: Man, has there ever been anything like the Marquez Bros. in the history of boxing??
Guy 2: Not really, usually one brother is good and the other one kinda sucks. The Marquez Bros. are like the Super Mario Bros. of boxing.
Guy 1: Seriously, Juan Manuel Marquez death by a thousand cuts or Rafael Marquez death by firing squad, either way pick your poison.
Former Bantamweight Kingpin who ruled the division with an iron fist for nearly 7 years beginning in 2001. He destroyed every fighter at 118 with fan pleasing impunity and bone crushing knockout power. Among his biggest wins are his 2 fights with future Hall Of Famer Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson and fellow future Hall Of Famer "The Cincinnati Kid" Tim Austin, whom were both k.o'd by Marquez. A feat deemed nearly impossible against this caliber of fighters.
Rafael Marquez is trained by legendary Mexican trainer Nacho Beristain which partly explains his high pedigree in the sport. Like his brother pound for pound superstar Juan Manuel Marquez, Beristain fighters are among the best schooled in the sport. He throws perfect punches from every angle with blazing speed, pinpoint accuracy and deadly power. His punches have been described as "slashing" because they often cause deep lacerations to the faces of opponents.
His most notable accomplishment in boxing has been his unforgettable trilogy with fellow Mexican badass Israel Vazquez whom Marquez moved up in weight to challenge for the 122 lb. title in March 2007 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Boxing fans knew they were in for a special night and Marquez having cleaned up the 118 lb. division came out and forced Vazquez to quit on his stool after the 7th due to a badly broken nose. The fight itself was a knock down drag out war with Marquez tasting the canvas in the 3rd round and the fans knew that a rematch was called for and a rematch would be hard pressed to be as good as the first fight.
That rematch came in August 2007 in Hidalgo Texas and proved to be an instant classic. The artistry, skill and savagery of the second fight cemented it as one of the greatest of all time and won it honors for Fight of the Year 2007 by the media. This time around Vazquez came in with superhuman determination in trying to avenge his loss. Marquez coming in a bit overconfident seemed to forget his game plan and try to decapitate Vazquez from the onset, setting the stage for one of the best brawls in the history of the sport. This style was better suited for Vazquez however and the referee jumped in at the end of the sixth to stop the fight. Many say the stoppage was premature but either way, there was now an official trilogy in the air.
The culmination of this amazing rivalry was set where it began, The Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Due to their weight, their first two bouts did not receive the deserved attention from the media. Generally speaking, sports media does not give any attention to the lighter weight fighters unless their name is Oscar De La Hoya. For this reason even though their first two fights were among the best ever in the history of boxing, only the small hardcore boxing fan base knew to watch them and box office sales were relatively poor for this caliber of fighters. Showtime who televised the trilogy went on the offensive and promoted the third fight properly and this time around the Home Depot Center was sold out, with yours truly, Jack Nicholson, Sylvester Stallone among other stars in attendance. The air was loaded with anxious energy for the two warriors to come out. After the pageantry's ended the fighters got it on once again. To the amazement of everyone in attendance the third fight was the best of the three which seemed almost inconceivable given how good the first two were. This fight was a 12 round classic for the ages with Marquez leading on all cards going into the twelfth round, having dropped Vazquez in the fourth and outboxing him for most of the fight with punishing combinations. Not to say that Vazquez was not in the fight, far from it. Going into the twelfth round Vazquez knew he needed something big and he came storming out of his corner like a bat out of hell all over Marquez like a cheap suit following him around the ring, strafing him with power shots. Marquez tried to jab him off him and clinch at times, (one of the few moments in the whole fight there was any clinching) but Vazquez would have none of it and continued to walk him down landing power shots. If Marquez stays on his feet he wins a split decision, however with about 10 seconds remaining Vazquez lands a bomb and staggers Marquez against the ropes which hold him up constituting a knockdown and costs him an extra point. He would get up and lose a split decision by a single point!! Controversy over a low blow call in the tenth against Marquez ensued as well as the knockdown call in the final round, prompting everyone in boxing land to call for a fourth fight. Unless a better fight emerges in 2008 (highly unlikely) this fight will no doubt sweep fight of the year honors again. Much to the delight of boxing fans around the world it appears as if there will be a fourth fight sometime early next year due to the overwhelming demand by the public. If ever a pair of fighters complemented each other, its these two.
A fan friendly gentleman outside the ring, Rafael Marquez will go down as one of the greatest boxers of all time and in light of this classic rivalry with Israel Vazquez one of the most respected and beloved fighters of this era.
Boxing Fan 1: Hey man, you watching DeLaHoya/Mayweather 2?? That's gonna be soo cool...
Boxing Fan 2: Pssh, if I wanted to see a sterile, corporate transactions I'd watch CNBC.
Boxing Fan 1: You mean there's better fighters to watch?
Boxing Fan 2: Damn right and you could start with RAFAEL MARQUEZ!!