News September 2009

Mayweather Jr: Fans grow tired of his safe fights

25.08.09

Floyd

Floyd Mayweather has been both acclaimed and criticised for his performance over Juan Manuel Marquez across internet land the past week.

The epic 24/7 build-up assisted the illusion that this fight would be something special. That Marquez would somehow upset the rusty Floyd and shock the world with a brave, brawling effort that would cement his name in the history books.

The reality is that the fight never ignited on account of the (delete your opinion appropriately) defensive master-class / negative safety-first tactics, deployed by Mayweather.

Whilst there were moments of interest, mainly during the post-fight press conference where Shane 'offended Floyd' by asking for him to fight the champion at 147lb, the rest of the broadcast was distinctly forgettable.

It was the equivalent to a baked potato without butter. It was a bland, forgettable fight.

Many boxing purists may wax lyrical about the techniques and moves shown by Floyd. But whilst Marquez is good, infact no, a great lower division fighter - he has no business at welterweight at all. This was even more evident in the stats released that in 36 minutes of ring action, Marquez only managed to land 69 shots of any note.

Juan has not come in for any scrutiny in the aftermath, infact he has gained respect for showing the guts to take a fight with a much bigger and technically skilled opponent in Mayweather. Sure Juan will have a big cheque to ease his bruises, but in the scheme of things i'll bet his share of the takings will be dwarfed by Floyd's despite being the only man in the ring looking for some action.

Floyd will probably make more in his next fight, than all the contestants of the entire Super Six tournament added together, despite offering no significant risk taking, nor giving the public a true fight against an equally sized and ranked opponent.

Floyd has contested that he is the true pound for pound champion since he has returned from retirement. Whilst technically he is the most gifted 'boxer' around right now, his hunger for a blood thirsty finish which often the boxing fan's crave is never delivered. "When I see blood...i go for the kill" he declared during the HBO 24/7 show. Sure you do Floyd, sure you do.

Prince Naseem Hamed had his cocky brilliance and outspoken opinion's on himself, at least we can say he backed it up in the ring by delivering that knockout-excitement. From his dramatic ring entrance to a blockbusting KO victory at the end. Naz was a genuine entertainer in every sense. Naz had his enemies and critics, people whom would pay to see his fights in the hope that he'd lose.

Those critic's wishes were granted that night in April 2001 when Marco Antonio Barrera pulled the points win out of the hat against the odds. Naz's enemies were satisfied that night but I guess upon reflection they would have preferred that Naz came back with a huge KO win in a rematch and set the record straight, before continuing with his hijinx against the other champions in and around his weight division. Love him or hate him, Naz entertained.

But going back to Floyd, it would seem people want to see him get beat so he will genuinely retire for good. Tired of his antics and exciting lifestyle OUT of the ring, they now despise the way Floyd tediously proclaims himself the 'Pay Per View' king.

In 6 months time, when Floyd has likely outpointed the winner of Cotto vs Pacquiao, his fate will probably be sealed. The defensive genuis will have bored to tears even the most ardent boxing fan and Mayweather junior will probably declare himself the greatest of all time and will sit at home counting his HBO loot for years to come.

But will there be a Mayweather's greatest hits DVD? it's doubtful.

It's almost a decade since the fight with the late, great, warrior Diego Corrales. Since then he's managed just 4 stoppages from 15 fights.

Philip N'dou (lovemore's cousin) has fought 3 times since that 2003 loss to Floyd, winning just once against a journeyman.

Henry Bruseles was a no-mark light welterweight tune up fight, as was a shopworn 60-fight veteran and former lightweight Sharmba Mitchell, a fighter with no business at welter other than to earn a last hurrah pay check or two.

His fourth and final stoppage win in the last ten years was against Ricky Hatton. I could be tempted to declare that Floyd was assisted by the referee - or that Ricky rushed straight onto a shot. But the truth is that Floyd boxed a brilliant fight against his opponent - but he was forced to fight by Hatton.

Ricky has an army of fans that Floyd could only dream of and this was mainly due to his action-packed style of gutsy aggression, cuts, knockouts and excitement.

It was this attitude of Ricky's that made the fight what it was. His agreement to fight at Floyd's weight, in Floyd's town, with Floyd's gloves, on American soil is something that Mayweather should try himself one day.

Sadly, i don't think that day will come for Floyd. In a similar vein to Joe Calzaghe, his body of work will be scrutinised by boxing forum anoraks for years after his retirement. They will declare that he never tested himself and despite his technical gifts, for that reason, he will never be regarded as a GREAT.

Lifestyle Flashy... but work-life dull.

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