Boxing prodigy Floyd Mayweather, Jr. wasted no time reminding us why he is
one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world today. Moments after
the opening bell sounded, Mayweather landed the first in an imperishable
storm of lightning fast power punches from all angles on challenger Carlos
Gerena. Firing double right hand leads and crunching left hooks up and down,
Mayweather wasted no time in establishing that he was the fighter and Gerena
was the heavybag.
Whether leading with the left hook or beginning his stinging combinations
with a forceful stick, Mayweather was firing four and five punch bursts and
landing. For the first half of the opening stanza, Mayweather never gave
Gerena a chance to breath, let alone react. Slowing down only partially in
the second half of the round, Mayweather sized up Gerena’s midsection and
launched a gigantic right uppercut that crashed into Gerena’s sternum. The
punch would have certainly sent Gerena down on all fours if a millisecond
later Floyd hadn’t recocked his right hand and fired it down the pike into
Gerena’s head. The punch lifted Gerena’s torso upright and over as he landed
on his back.
Beating the count on seriously wobbly legs, Gerena rushed Mayweather while
gesturing to his chin. Mayweather obliged him be cracking him again with
rights and lefts until, backed to the ropes, Gerena ate two more home run
style left hooks and crashed to his side for the second knockdown of the
round. Again Gerena beat the count, and this time the round was over.
Displaying patience beyond his youth, Mayweather began the second round by
slowly picking off Gerena. The challenger mostly watched Floyd, although
when he did bully in, nothing came of it. Having asserted his dominance,
Mayweather was now putting on a show. Calmly and coolly, Mayweather would
decide to showcase his uppercuts, and land the punch off of both hands. Left
hooks were thrown at the beginning and end of combinations. Gerena ate them
all. Mayweather was in boxing Nirvana, and the grin on his face showed it.
Before the fourth round, Floyd Sr. urged his fighter to concentrate on the
body. Floyd Jr. obliged him with a wicked display of bodywork. In a
textbook demonstration, Mayweather would crunch Gerena to the body, bend him
over as a result, and then stand him up with two more punches to the head.
Again Gerena motioned to his chin, and again Mayweather hit him on it. Three
consecutive gestures on Gerena’s part invoked three increasingly powerful
lead right hands that landed flush. It’s unclear what Gerena was trying to
prove, other than the fact that a round can be scored 10-8 without a
In the fifth, sixth, and seventh, Mayweather carried on with the show,
chopping Gerena down bit by bit. Having not fought for 110 days, his longest
pro layoff, Mayweather was intent on working through his repertoire, which
included samplings of Ray Leonard’s footwork, Roy Jones’ handspeed, and even
Naseem Hamed’s lean-back-hands-down defense. It was nothing short of
The seventh round was not unlike the previous six, with Gerena soaking up
crisp power punches from all angles. With 30 seconds to go, Gerena
inexplicable yelled "NO PUNCH!" at Mayweather. The agitated champion sought
to show him otherwise, grunting loudly as he dug the hardest bodyshots and
left hooks of the evening before the bell rang. Still chanting "No punch" at
Mayweather had Floyd riled up in his corner between rounds. Luckily, Dr.
Flip Homansky saved Gerena from young Mayweather’s wrath, halting the one
sided contest between rounds due to the excessive punishment Gerena had
Now 22-0/17, Floyd Mayweather expressed hopes of division unification,
suggesting bouts with Robert Garcia, Joel Casamayor, and Lakva Sim. All
would be entertaining, perhaps even close bouts. But after tonight’s
showcase, Mayweather would be the heavy favorite against any of these
Question: What is worse than a highly anticipated matchup between two rugged
tough fighters that turns into a boring fight? Answer: When you top off
that bout with a questionable decision.
WBA featherweight champion Freddie Norwood posed and postured his way through
12 rounds with tough, but ineffective challenger Juan Manuel Marquez and
somehow earned a lopsided decision that probably should have gone to the
At the opening bell, both fighters began a very tentative and respectful
distance from each other, as Marquez sought to feel out Norwood’s southpaw
stance, and Norwood looked to land against the rangy Mexican challenger. In
the second round, after more feeling out, Norwood landed a big left to the
jaw after Marquez rushed in wide open and sent him on the seat of his pants.
Marquez beat the count and ate two more big left hand counters from Norwood
before making it out of the round. It amounted to Norwood’s biggest offense
of the night.
Now wary of the champion’s power, Marquez fought more tentatively. Although
he countered Norwood’s counters with effective right hands, his more renowned
left hook was nowhere to be seen. Still, when matched with Norwood’s sleep
walk offense, it seemed enough to win most of the first half of the fight.
Norwood exerted most of his energy by wrestling with Marquez in the many
clinches, and after tonight’s performance Norwood solidified his reputation
as one of the sloppiest fighters in the game. But beyond that, there was
very little happening for most of the fight. As both men paid respect with
distance, both were also looking for the single punch that would shift the
fight definitively in their favor. The result was a majority of the punches
being range finding jabs that caught nothing but air, and a lot of big misses
that morphed into clinches. It was ugly, to say the least.
In the seventh round, the was brief action after Marquez landed a double left
hook to Norwood’s head that sent him down to one knee. Unfortunately, Joe
Cortez was on the other side of the fighters, and his angle provided him with
a view of Norwood’s own left hook which landed simultaneous with the one he
ate. To Cortez, Norwood’s knockdown looked like a slip, and was ruled so.
No matter. With seconds left in the eighth, Marquez knocked Norwood down
again, this time clearly, with a tidy one-two.
But in between these two knockdowns was non stop stinker of a non-fight.
Norwood’s offense never added up to more than two or three counter left
hands, even in the rounds he won on my card. Marquez often was coming
forward, and throwing, but not landing much. Still, it seemed enough to give
him a good lead.
Norwood stormed back in the final two rounds winning each by landing only a
few clean shots, as Marquez jabbed and shot right hands that never landed.
At the end, I scored the fight 115-113 for Marquez, with rounds 1 and 5
scored 10-10 due to the extreme inactivity of both men in each round.
Naturally, a 115-113 fight could swing either way with a round or two scored
differently, but when the cards were read, Norwood’s unanimous decision was
as wide as the butt-induced gash on his left eye: 117-112, 115-11 and
114-112 all for the champion Freddie Norwood.
It was an awful fight, more boring than even David Reid’s recent snorefest
over Keith Mullings. Norwood (35-0-1/20) wrestled, complained, and posed for
12 rounds, earned a gift W, and probably shot to the top of the list of
fighters Naseem Hamed is looking to fight.