Floyd Mayweather Jr made a triumphant return to the ring with a unanimous 12-round points decision over Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas.
The unbeaten Mayweather knocked down Marquez in the second round and continued a punishing assault on the five-time, three weight world champion for the remainder of the fight. The scores of the three judges, 118-109, 120-107 and 119-108, underlined his dominance in his first bout since December 2007 when he beat Britain’s Ricky Hatton. It was his 40th win, with 25 inside the distance while Marquez slipped to 50-5-1 in the non-title welterweight match. Mayweather weighed in four pounds more than the Mexican, incurring a reported $600,000 fine for breaking the terms of the bout, and also had an advantage in height and reach. But advantages aside, it was a massively impressive return by the American, who is nothing but confident. “I’ve been off two years, but I can get better,” Mayweather told reporters.
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He is now set for a moneyspinning showdown with Filipino Manny Pacquiao, who has forged his reputation as the best pound for pound fighter on the planet in Mayweather’s absence. Pacquiao also dispatched Hatton and is facing Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto in the Nevadan city on November 14. Victory will set up reportedly the richest fight in boxing history against six-time world champion Mayweather, who has spanned five different weight divisions in garnering his titles. Marquez enjoyed some success in the second round before feeling the force of Mayweather’s punching. He felt the differences in height and weight were a factor.
“There are no excuses, but I really felt the difference in weight,” said Marquez, who holds the WBA and WBO world lightweight titles and moved up to take on Mayweather, who paid tribute to his durable 36-year-old opponent. “He’s tough as nails,” Mayweather said . “He’s a great little man.”