By Chris Robinson
Moments before the tense weigh-in between Floyd Mayweather and Robert Guerrero, I crossed paths with Mexico City’s Juan Manuel Marquez.
Mayweather (43-0, 26 KO’s) defends his WBC welterweight crown later tonight against Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KO’s) inside of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in a Showtime pay per view attraction and Marquez showed himself to be intrigued when asked for his thoughts on the matchup.
“I think this is a tough fight for the two fighters, but the fight is a tougher fight for Guerrero [because of] Mayweather’s style,” stated the four-division champion. “His speed, he counterpunches very good. It’s a difficult style.”
Of course, Marquez knows Mayweather very well, having lost a wide unanimous decision verdict to him three and a half years ago. On that fateful September night, Marquez was dropped in the second round and seemed completely befuddled by Mayweather’s brilliant blend of quickness, sharp-punching, and overall ring generalship.
Taking a moment to further elaborate on the clash of styles, Marquez revealed what each man would have to do to have success.
“Mayweather keeps Guerrero at the distance, landing so many punches, counter punches,” said Marquez, whose English has improved notably over the years. “And Guerrero, he needs to pressure and land combinations.”
Those giving Guerrero a realistic shot at victory are banking on the belief that the 36-year old Mayweather has slowed down a bit. In his last fight, Mayweather suffered a bloody nose and found himself caught up in a lot of back and forth action with Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto before winning a comfortable decision.
Marquez loved Cotto’s attack in that fight but saw him slow down in the later rounds, perhaps giving a sign of what Guerrero must avoid if planning on being victorious tonight.
“It’s a great fight,” said Marquez of Mayweather-Cotto. “For me, I think Cotto won several rounds and he [was] tired in the last three rounds. He left the fight in the last three rounds. Mayweather won the fight, but Cotto won some rounds.”