Boxing: Mayweather looks to Pacquiao for a truer test

It was business as usual for Floyd Mayweather on Saturday night when he went through the motions in a fight that resembled an exhibition of defensive mastery at the MGM in Las Vegas.

Mayweather overcame all the normal problems associated with being out of the prize ring for 21 months to perform with beauty at times during 12 totally one-sided rounds which left Mexico's former triple world champion Juan Manuel Marquez looking like a bruised and confused journeyman.

However, the win needs to be carefully considered before Mayweather is given back the title of best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. Marquez was handpicked and filled the role of brave and respectable loser perfectly, but the reality is he had no chance of winning. Marquez was handsomely paid to lose and he earned every cent that he left Las Vegas with yesterday.

Mayweather forced Marquez to gain 10lb for the fight and then weighed in 2lb over the contracted limit of 144lb and was forced to pay Marquez $600,000 (£369,000) extra as compensation. It meant that Mayweather was 12lb heavier than anybody Marquez has ever met before and that was simply too much weight.

Marquez sought to get close, tried to counter, which was once his speciality, but Mayweather, who also had a six-inch reach advantage, moved and countered with easy precision and, to be brutally honest, the fight's life as a compelling and competitive encounter was over after 30 seconds.

In round three Marquez connected with a clean right and Mayweather smiled, stepped back, and delivered a stunning short hook behind the Mexican's guard, sending him crashing to the canvas. Marquez regained his feet to survive the round and the rest of the fight, but admitted he was hurt.

At the final bell Mayweather won on all three cards but, amazingly, two of the three judges decided that he lost a round or two. Mayweather enjoyed about two minutes of calm after the fight before the offers started to arrive from those who are willing to challenge him and, by the way, make about $20m for their trouble.

However, Mayweather has his eyes set on the winner of the 14 November fight between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, which will set up a showdown of old-school proportions next May. Mayweather is back and it never looked like he had been away.

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