Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s ring return after a 21-month absence was a success, as he pounded out a unanimous decision over Juan Manuel Marquez.
The bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas was a rout, with Mayweather, who ran his record to 40-0, winning every round on one of the judge's and the Associated Press's scorecards. The two other judges scored it 119-108 and 118-109 for the man, whom had been deemed the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world before his "retirement."
HBO carried the action on pay-per-view, the same night UFC presented its 103rd PPV card.
The win was the first step in what boxing buffs and HBO hope is a megafight next May that will pit the "money man" versus Manny Pacquaio, who captured the "pound-for-pound" sobriquet during Mayweather's hiatus. Pacquaio is scheduled to fight Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand on Nov. 9.
However, Mayweather's dominance -- he knocked the smaller man down in the second round, while landing 59% of his 493 punches, versus just 12% for his opponent -- may prove somewhat detrimental to selling the next fight. Eighteen months ago, Pacquaio won a tight decision against Marquez.
Pacquiao, though, pummeled the bigger Oscar De La Hoya into eighth-round submission last December and a subsequent retirement, during a bout that drew 1.25 million PPV buys and generated $70 millionand retirement last December.
For his part, Mayweather scored a decision over boxing's erstwhile "Golden Boy" in May 2007, garnered a record 2.4 million buys and $134.4 million in revenue.