Despite worries of ring rust from his 21-month layoff from boxing, Floyd Mayweather proved he hasn't lost a step in a decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas Saturday night (September 19).
From the beginning, it was an exciting fight that almost ended quickly when "Money" Mayweather dropped Marquez in the second round with a short left hook.
Stlll, Marquez got back to his feet and the fight went the 12-round distance, as Mayweather won in a unanimous decision with scores of 118-109, 120-107, 119-108.
"He's a great little man. He was really hard to fight and he kept taking some unbelievable shots," Mayweather said. "When I dropped him with that shot, which I don't think he saw, he got back up and kept on fighting."
In the later rounds, Marquez was reduced to taking potshots from Mayweather.
"I've been off for two years, so I felt like it took me a couple rounds to really know I was back in the ring again. I know I'll get better," Mayweather said. "Marquez is as tough as nails."
Marquez has been regarded as one of the two best pound-for-pound fighters coming into the bout. However, he was significantly undersized.
He's been a featherweight for most of his 16-year career, never fighting above 135 pounds. Saturday's bout was supposed to take place at 144 pounds, but instead the weight limit was changed before Friday's weigh-in because Mayweather was over. He paid a $600,000 penalty, or $300,000 per pound, to the Nevada Boxing Commission.
The bout was Mayweather's first since his December 2007 knockout win of then-undefeated Ricky Hatton.
Marquez's last fight was against Juan Diaz, who he knocked out seven months again in the lightweight division.
"It was a very hard fight. He surprised me with the first knockdown. He hurt me in that round, but not any other time," said Marquez, who fell to a 50-5-1 record. "I don't want to make any excuses, but the weight was the problem.
"He's too fast," the defeated boxer continued. "When I hit him he would laugh but I knew he felt my punches. I tried to work the speed, but the difference was the weight. If I had three or four fights at this weight I would've done better."
Mayweather remains undefeated, improving to 40-0-0.