Mayweather ready for Marquez

(BBC) – Floyd Mayweather is confident there will no ring rust when he returns to action after a long lay-off against Juan Manuel Marquez on 19 September.

The former five-weight world champion, 32, is back after retiring in December 2007, after he beat Ricky Hatton.

“I feel fast, strong and my timing is there,” said the American.

“I feel the same way as before I left. Actually I feel a little better. I think the break helped because I haven’t had a break since 1987.”

Mayweather, who has won all of his 39 fights with 25 knockouts, faces the formidable Marquez for The Ring welterweight title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

And Mayweather said maintaining his unbeaten record had been the key motivating factor in preparing for the fight.

“When you go out there [against a fighter] with an undefeated record, there is no pressure on these fighters because they have nothing to lose,” he said.

“If Marquez gets beat in 12 rounds or he gets knocked out, they are still going to love him in his country because he had the chance to face the best. They will say: ‘You lost but you lost to the best’.

“But in the US it doesn’t work like that so we have to work that much harder to stay on top.

“If I win, it’s normal. If a guy gives me a tough fight or even comes close to winning, that’s abnormal. Everybody expects me to dominate.

“It’s extremely important for me to go out there to perform well and dominate.

“I’ve got to go out there and be smart, be intelligent and listen to my uncle Roger [Mayweather, Floyd’s trainer]. If I do that, we will come out ‘A’ OK.”

Mexican Marquez, 36, is a former three-weight world champion, but has only ever fought as high as lightweight before.

However, he has 50 wins from 55 professional encounters, with 37 knockouts, and has drawn once and lost narrowly to Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao.

“He is Mexico’s numero uno,” said Mayweather. “He’s one hell of a fighter with over 50 wins and champion in more than just one weight class.

“Believe me, Marquez is not going to lay down. There’s going to be blood, sweat and tears on 19 September.”

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