Sunday September 20th, 2009

Here we go, fight fans. The final undercard bout -- Chris John's successful defense of his WBA featherweight title against -- just finished and we're minutes away from Floyd Mayweather's return to the ring. First, a quick recap of tonight's other notable fights: Shelly Finkel's prized prospect, junior middleweight Erislandy Lara, KO'd journeyman Jose Varela, Mayweather protégé Cornelius Lock scored an impressive stoppage of unbeaten featherweight Orlando Cruz and Australian brawler Michael Katsidis survived an early cut over his left eye to win the WBO interim lightweight title in a split decision over Vincente Escobedo. No surprises there and some pretty entertaining fights.

11:33 p.m. -- The MGM Grand is buzzing with Marquez fans, who outnumber Mayweather fans something like 50-1. Maybe Pretty Boy's fans are running late. There are also more than a few empty seats.

11:39 p.m. -- Tyrese Gibson just banged out the national anthem. Strong performance, much better than his puzzling rendition during the NBA Finals, when he ended the song with "the home of the Lakers."

Marquez headed to the ring. The crowd sounds like it's completely behind him. He looks a little nervous. Ominous sign?

11:41 p.m. -- Tame entrance song for Marquez. I'd love to tell you what it is but I -- and no one around me -- has any idea.

11:42 p.m. -- Huge eruption for Marquez when he hits the ring. Sporting the green and white Mexican colors. Still looks nervous.

Something to remember: This fight will be fought with eight-ounce gloves, which usually favors the bigger puncher. That's Mayweather.

11:44 p.m. -- Another reason Marquez can win: The promos for Floyd only show his wins over Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton. Small body of work for someone who declares himself the best in the business.

11:45 p.m. -- Mayweather being escorted to the ring by WWE star Triple H. Surprisingly, Floyd Mayweather Sr. also enters the ring with his son. I knew those two were getting along better, but that's a little surprising.

11:46 p.m. -- From the "I Know You Were Wondering Dept.": Triple H did not do his patented spit into the crowd. You have no idea how much I wanted him to do that.

11:47 p.m. -- Mayweather stalking around the ring, pauses to glare into press row. Looks like he is all business tonight.

11:48 p.m. -- The boos are raining down on Floyd as Michael Buffer introduces him. He loves it. His advisor, Leonard Ellerbe, loves it. And Triple H looks like he wants to Pedigree someone.

11:49 p.m. -- OPENING BELL

11:50 p.m. -- Both fighters feeling each other out. Mayweather swings a wild left hook that misses.

11:51 p.m. -- Weak jabs, no one really wants to mix it up yet. Good left hook by Mayweather connects. Mayweather looks fast, dodging all of Marquez's shots. Marquez can't touch him cleanly. Marquez flurries, no real danger for Mayweather.

ROUND 1 -- Close round. Give it to Marquez 10-9.

11:54 p.m. -- Marquez comes out aggressive, Floyd's still tentative. I don't think Floyd has figured out a good strategy yet. Good right by Marquez! Good right by Mayweather!

11:54 p.m. -- Down goes Marquez with a quick left hook! Mayweather attacking now, he seems to have found the angles. Marquez still swinging wildly. Good right to the body by Marquez. Mayweather has blazing hand speed. Marquez blocking but Mayweather is getting them off.

ROUND 2 -- I scored 10-8, Mayweather.

11:59 p.m. -- Marquez still coming forward. I don't know about that strategy. Hatton tried it. Mayweather gets off a good combination. Marquez answers with one of his own. Marquez not jabbing enough, just looking for the big shot. Marquez charges in but Floyd ties him up. Mayweather smirking at Marquez now.

ROUND 3 -- Close round. 10-9 Marquez.

12:01 a.m. -- Marquez comes out swinging again. Floyd is a master of defending punches. Nothing is coming through clean. Floyd not jabbing much either.

12:03 a.m. -- Marquez with a clean right to the head! Mayweather connecting with the jab now, why doesn't he use it more. Marquez stumbles after a wild swing.

ROUND 4 -- Close round, 10-9 Marquez.

12:05 a.m. -- Floyd more aggressive, but Marquez is charging. Good back and forth. Mayweather jabbing a little more but Marquez is getting good head movement. Good three punch combo by Marquez. Floyd absorbed some of that with his gloves.

12:07 a.m. -- Good left hook by Mayweather. Marquez charges in with a flurry. Another great hook by the Pretty Boy, and Marquez charges again!

ROUND 5 -- The sheer volume of punches wins this round for Marquez. 10-9 Marquez.

12:09 a.m. -- Floyd coming forward, trying to touch up Marquez a little more. Marquez has an answer though. More flurrying by Marquez. Most of them are being blocked, but the judges are going to see the punches being thrown. Hard right by Mayweather to Marquez.

12:11 a.m. -- Marquez's face is red now. Mayweather cornering Marquez. Clean right hand connects.

ROUND 6 -- 10-9 Mayweather.

12:13 a.m. -- Marquez backing up a little. Floyd's power might be wearing on him. Marquez trying to still throw punches in bunches but they are glancing off of Mayweather's body. Marquez's hands are dropping a little. Mayweather pot-shotting with jabs and rights.

12:15 a.m. -- Mayweather bumps his own chest and waves Marquez forward. The man is nearly impossible to hit cleanly. Good left hook by Mayweather. Marquez looking a little frustrated.

ROUND 7 -- 10-9 Mayweather.

12:18 a.m. -- Mayweather still slipping that jab. Marquez desperately trying to get inside, but Floyd is too fast. Marquez lands a good right but Mayweather bounces back with more jabs. Marquez has to find a way to dodge that jab.

12:19 a.m. -- Mayweather cornered, but everything Marquez throws is being gobbled up by Floyd's arms and gloves.

ROUND 8 -- 10-9 Mayweather.

12:22 a.m. -- Floyd the aggressor early, still landing the jab. Marquez looking old and tired now. Mayweather more offensive, looking for openings. Good 1-2 combo by Mayweather. Marquez still punching but not scoring.

12:23 a.m. -- Hard combination by Mayweather! Marquez bleeding pretty good now. His nose may be broken.

ROUND 9 -- 10-9 Mayweather.

12:26 a.m. -- Mayweather stalking Marquez. Hard right by Mayweather rocks Marquez. That jab is like a surgical knife. More combinations from Mayweather.

12:28 a.m. -- Marquez's face is bright red now. Marquez connects with a late flurry but it's not enough, Mayweather prances to his corner.

ROUND 10 -- 10-9 Mayweather.

12:30 a.m. -- Mayweather still bouncing that jab. I know I'm repeating myself, but it is a spectacular weapon. Marquez cornered but sneaks out. Mayweather still jabbing. Hard right by Mayweather rocks Marquez again! Looping hook by Mayweather connects.

12:32 a.m. -- Hard combinations send Marquez backwards! Mayweather is grinning now.

ROUND 11 -- 10-9 Mayweather.

Blog contributor Cheapo Tony -- who once again refused to take my advice on who to bet in this fight -- has checked in: Marquez looks like it's the 10th round ... Mayweather looks like its the first.

12:34 a.m. -- Mayweather just pot shotting Marquez at will. Credit Marquez for hanging in but he is getting rocked. Hard combinations from Mayweather. He might be looking for the knockout. Marquez coming in now, looking to make one last flurry. Mayweather counterpunches beautifully and gets the better of it. Hard right hand by Mayweather!

LAST ROUND -- There's the bell! 10-9 Mayweather.

It was a predictable fight. Mayweather started off slow, like he said he would, and picked up momentum as the rounds wore on. This looks like a clear decision for Floyd.

RESULT: Unanimous decision, Mayweather. Shutout on two scorecards. Impressive. Very impressive.

Mayweather is sure to face questions about Manny Pacquiao. If Pacquiao can get by Miguel Cotto, that's the fight that needs to be made.

12:45 a.m. -- Now a near melee is about to break out in the ring. Shane Mosley just crashed Floyd's interview, and Max Kellerman is in the middle of it.

Thanks for reading blog fans, I'll have a full recap of the night on Monday.

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