Mayweather on the money
Floyd Mayweather Jr. made an impressive return to the ring with a unanimous points victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas.
Last Updated: 20/09/09 5:04pm
Floyd Mayweather Jr. made an impressive return to the ring after a 21-month layoff with a unanimous points victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas.
The 32-year-old dominated all 12 rounds of the non-title welterweight contest and made full use of both his left jab and agile movement at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Mayweather also put his Mexican opponent on the canvas in the second round - the victory taking his professional record to 40-0 with 25 knockouts.
"I've been off for almost two years but it felt really good to be back," said Mayweather, whose last appearance brought a 10th round stoppage of Ricky Hatton in December 2007. "I was happy with the victory but I know can get better."
Mayweather, who has won six world titles at five different divisions, held a significant weight and reach advantage over five-times world champion Marquez and was a heavy favourite going into the bout.
No sign of rust
Watched by a crowd of 13,000, he showed no sign of rust and controlled the pace of the fight with his lightning hand and foot speed, rock-solid defence and telling combinations.
Mayweather landed a couple of early left jabs and drew blood on Marquez's forehead before the latter ended a fast-paced opening round by pinning his opponent against the ropes.
Marquez was again on the offensive early in round two, but Mayweather then put him on the canvas with a stinging left hook.
Mayweather, moving nimbly and frequently leaning back to avoid head punches, took advantage of his longer reach to dominate the next three rounds.
The Mexican frequently drove him on to the ropes, but Mayweather remained in control and repeatedly landed left jabs.
He ended the 11th round by landing a crunching right hook and maintained control until the final bell sounded to end the 12th.
"That guy is tough as nails," added Mayweather, for whom the judges scored the contest 118-109, 120-107 and 119-108.
"He was a great little big man. I threw a hell of a shot that dropped him, and then he got back up and kept fighting. He's a tough guy."
The 36-year-old Marquez, who moved up two weight classes for the fight, now has a record of 50-5-1 with 37 knockouts.
"It was a very hard fight," he said. "He surprised me with the knockdown. He hurt me in that round but not at any other time.
"I don't want to make excuses but the weight was the problem," added Marquez, who was four pounds lighter at Friday's weigh-in.
"He's too fast. When I hit him he laughed but I knew he felt my punches. I did the best I could do."