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September 21, 2009

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Home » Sports » Boxing

Mayweather mauls Marquez

FLOYD Mayweather Jr celebrated his return to the ring after a 21-month retirement with a unanimous points victory over Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in a non-title welterweight bout in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Widely regarded as the best defensive fighter of his generation, the American dominated all 12 rounds against his smaller opponent with his left jab and agile movement to improve his career record to 40-0 with 25 knockouts.

Mayweather, who held a significant weight and reach advantage over five-time world champion Marquez, was a heavy favorite going into the bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and knocked down Marquez in the second round.

The 32-year-old showed no sign of rust after his lengthy stint away and controlled the pace of the fight with his lightning hand and foot speed, rock-solid defense and a series of telling combinations. "I've been off for almost two years but it felt really good to be back," he said.

The flamboyant American was back in the ring for the first time since his 10th-round stoppage of Britain's Ricky Hatton at the same venue in December 2007.

"That guy is tough as nails," added Mayweather, who gained one-sided verdicts from all three judges - by 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 to challenge the American, slipped to 50-5-1 with 37 knockouts. "It was a very hard fight," said the Mexican who had never fought above 135 pounds.

"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.

The bout was watched by a crowd of 13,000 including basketball great Magic Johnson and boxers Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins.


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