Mayweather in top form on return to ring
Boxing:Floyd Mayweather returned to the ring for the first time in more than 20 months with a deeply impressive unanimous points victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas.
Mayweather, 32, who announced his retirement after conquering Manchester’s Ricky Hatton in December 2007, looked as if he had never been away from boxing as he gave triple world lightweight champion Marquez the runaround in this non-title welterweight fight.
After a cagey first round which saw Marquez aim but mostly fail to land a series of left jabs and hooks, the Mexican did connect with a neat combination in the second — only to find himself on the floor within seconds, on the end of a crunching left hook.
Marquez recovered his composure from mid-round but had to contend with an elusive opponent, who continually kept him on the move yet found his target whenever he chose to get in close.
By the fourth, Marquez had the added complication of a cut above his right eye - and one useful right hand apart, still he kept missing when he went for the big shots.
It was Marquez who was using up all the energy, Mayweather’s footwork and agility providing a contrasting efficiency of effort.
Mayweather’s only apparent danger was complacency, and he was caught momentarily in the seventh.
But normal service was quickly resumed, Mayweather goading the Mexican as he tried but failed to get through expert defences.
From the ninth, the former five-weight champion and overwhelming favourite decided to up the tempo in search of an early finish. That did not materialize against a famously tenacious opponent — but there was never any question about Mayweather’s superiority.
After the 40th victory of his unblemished career, Mayweather wanted to talk only about his and Marquez’s respective performances — despite the post-fight attentions at close hand of prospective new opponent Shane Mosley, who had been a ringside spectator.
World welterweight champion Mosley is one of a handful of possible big-name fights on Mayweather’s agenda.
But the man himself was disinclined to hint at who may be next on his list, saying only: “I have had two years off. I can get better.”
Of Marquez, he added: “He is as tough as nails. I take my hat off to him. He is one hell of a fighter.”