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September 17, 2009

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Home » Sports » Boxing

Mayweather credits mother for comeback to the ring

FLOYD Mayweather Jr, who returns to the ring this week after nearly two years in retirement, credits a trip to the Bahamas with his mother for sparking his hotly anticipated comeback.

The undefeated American, a former world champion at five different weights, will take on Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in a non-title welterweight bout on Sunday (Shanghai time), his first fight since beating Britain's Ricky Hatton in December 2007.

Shortly after his 10th round stoppage of Hatton in Las Vegas, Mayweather announced he would not fight again because he had lost his desire for the sport.

"I was going to the gym, playing basketball and partying a little," Mayweather told reporters in Las Vegas on Tuesday about his various activities since retiring. "I travelled a lot."

It was on one of those trips, according to Mayweather, that his mother Deborah turned to him and said: "Everyone on the whole island keeps asking when you're going to fight again."

Having mulled over those words, the American returned to his home town of Las Vegas where he went to the boxing gym and sparred eight rounds. After sounding out several close friends, he decided to make his official return to the ring.

The American will make his comeback in the same MGM Grand ring where he beat Hatton, this time against a multiple former world champion who has moved up two weight classes for the fight.

Marquez has an imposing career record of 50-4-1 with 37 knockouts and Mayweather acknowledges his opponent is a "good fighter".

When Mayweather beat Hatton, he was widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world but that mythical crown has since passed to Manny Pacquiao, largely because of the Filipino's wins over Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya.

Mayweather, however, believes his own victory over Hatton was of a higher quality and that his return to boxing will bring a much-needed jolt of excitement to the sport.

"People seem to forget, I fought Ricky Hatton when he was undefeated and I laid down the blueprint for how to beat him," the flamboyant 32-year-old said. "And again, when you look at the tape of when Hatton fought Manny Pacquiao, when Pacquiao hit him he wasn't even looking when he threw the punch. He threw a Hail Mary punch."

Pacquiao demolished Hatton with a stunning second-round knockout in May to claim the IBO light welterweight crown.

"I'm not saying Pacquiao's not a good fighter," Mayweather (39-0) added. "I'm not saying that I'm the only star in boxing. There are other stars in boxing. But there's only one mega-superstar."


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