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Despite sitting on the sidelines the last 21 months, Floyd Mayweather Jr returned in top form tonight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to reestablish his authority as the finest boxer of his generation and in the world today.
Following up his 10 round dismantling of Ricky Hatton in December, 2007, Mayweather came back to his former stomping grounds of Vegas to shove aside the aspirations of Juan Manuel Marquez over the twelve rounder at welterweight.
Much had been made of Marquez's two highly contentious contests against arch-rival Manny Pacquiao during the media buildup leading up to tonight's clash but the masterful Mayweather aptly showed that meant nothing when stacked up against his prodigious gifts.
Looking much the larger fighter, Mayweather systematically figured out the willful but mere mortal Marquez as the rounds went on.
Early on, Marquez looked to press his Michigan-born opponent but a ripping Mayweather left hook in the second canvassed the Mexican and changed the tone of the bout.
Marquez beat the count and was understandably more cautious afterward but hovered at just the right distance outside for Mayweather to maximize his reach and speed advantages.
Marquez tried to come in and make a fight of it, and while he did land a few good punches in each round, he paid a heavy price for each incursion into Mayweather territory.
Mayweather displayed exceptional handspeed and effortless footwork but even better timing as his accuracy and punch selection were breathtaking at times.
Big-hearted Marquez never stopped trying, but during the last few rounds was really absorbing heavy punishment and did well to finish the 12th and final round on his feet.
When the scorecards were announced, Mayweather was awarded the unanimous decision by wide marks of 120-107, 119-108 and 118-109.
Mayweather improves to 40-0 (25) while Marquez falls to 50-5-1 (37).
No title was at stake but Mayweather clearly grabbed back the mythical pound for pound crown from potential upcoming opponent Manny Pacquiao following the dominating performance over Marquez.
However, Pacquiao gets the chance next month to take the pound for pound title once again as he will do what Mayweather has yet to do and that is face a reigning welterweight champion in their prime when he challenges Miguel Cotto.
As perhaps a preview of things to come, 38 year old WBA welterweight champ Shane Mosley rattled Mayweather by challenging "Pretty Boy" in the ring as he was being interviewed after the bout, resulting in a bit of posturing by by both fighters.
On the undercard, WBA featherweight champ Chris John, 43-0-2 (22), outslugged Rocky Juarez, 28-4-1 (20), in a rematch to their draw in January, winning a 119-109, 117-111 and 114-113 UD after 12 rounds.
Lightweight Michael Katsidis, 26-2 (21), annexed the Interim WBO belt with a hard fought split decision over Vicente Escobedo, 21-2 (13), via scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 112-116.