Saturday, January 2, 2010

Money May, but Money never will.

Note: This was originally written on the 24th of September however, due to "logistical" problems, I have only just cleaned it up for mass consumption. Thus, some of these facts are over 3 months old. I know. Shame.

Floyd Mayweather. Ugh. No name in the sport of boxing brings such polarity. Long discussed as one of, if not the, premier fighter in the sport, Money May polarizes fight fans like no other boxer in the world today.

The best defensive fighter since a prime Pernell Whitaker, Mayweather is blessed with unnatural hand speed and reflexes. Able to turn his opponents aggression against them, Money May has collected titles from 130-154 and, up until his retirement in ’07, was considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the game.

Mayweather’s accomplishments speak largely for themself. A ’96 Olympic medalist (bronze in the 57kg class), Mayweather has won six titles in five divisions as well as being named Ring Magazine’s Fighter of the Year in both 1998 and 2007. He has beaten all types. Slick boxers like Genaro Hernandez, come-forward brawlers like Chavez, Castillo and Hatton as well as rangy punchers like Corrales.


Even with all these accomplishments at hand there is still something missing from Mayweather’s resume and his detractors will tell you (of which I am one) that, although he is supremely talented , he has never faced tough opposition at 147. His latest win over Juan Manuel Marquez only provides more fodder for this argument.

Catchweight bouts are now a reality in boxing more than ever. And why not? For it allows fighters more divisional freedom and would help to negate natural weight advantages. For the bout against Lightweight king Marquez, the weight limit was set at 144. This would mean that Marquez would be jummping up 9 pounds (from 135 when the reality is that Marquez is a 130 pounder) whilst Mayweather would only have to drop three. Money May was completely disrespectful in not even trying to make the weight limit after weighing in at 146. As if the deck wasn’t already stacked against Marquez, Floyd showed the world that he is almost unwilling to take on a competitive opponent at 147. Don’t believe me? Then why has he absolutely refused to fight Cotto, Margarito or Mosley? Even after Mosley publicly challenged him Mayweather didn’t want it. Mosley is the recognized CHAMPION of your division. Isn’t that the aim of any sport? Become the champion?? So when the champ calls you out and you don’t want it then what does it say about you really?! Yes. Yes. Sugar Shane probably could have handled it a little more respectfully. However the point is still completely valid.

In fact, name ONE decent welterweight Mayweather has fought?

Hatton? Blown up (and limited with no chin) 140 pounder.
De La Hoya? Fight was at 154. Money May wins a split decision over someone past his prime who had been dominated more convincingly by Sugar Shane.
Sharmba Mitchell? Another 140 pounder with no real notable wins

Money May’s only real 147 pound wins were over Zab Judah and Carlos Baldomir, neither of which are particularly impressive…well, not impressive enough to call yourself the top welterweight on their basis. Judah even knocked him down (although unofficially). Yes he did. Look. At 50 seconds in. The decision here was also controversial as, after a Judah low blow, Roger Mayweather (Floyd’s uncle) stepped in the ring and choked Judah unconscious. 3 minutes in. An act which cost him 200K and effectively barred him from working a corner again.

The issue here is, that although Mayweather has had some fantastic performances from Super Feather to Light Welter, he has only been impressive against naturally smaller opponents at 147. He beat up Corrales at 130, and Castillo (although most felt ‘El Terrible’ won their second stoush) at 135 and then went on to top do what Pacquiao did to De La Hoya to Arturo Gatti. If he is not gonna fight the top tier at the weight then why even bother campaigning at it? The disappointing thing is that we know the answer to this….

Mosley has continually (and publicly) been calling him out for years. Yes. Money May did also call out Sugar Shane. But, when faced with the reality of facing him, Mayweather is surprisingly quiet. Not only Mosley, but Mayweather has turned down offers to fight most, if not all, of the 147 pound class. Even an $8 million offer to fight Margarito in 2006 (which was pre-Cotto).

Regardless of his claims to the contrary, his comeback is clearly about money. The whole of Mayweather-Marquez 24/7 was Money “making it rain” and claiming that everything was “straight paid for” despite evidence to the contrary.

Who are you fooling really?

Don’t get me wrong, his fight against Marquez was a superb display and ranks as compubox’s most onesided beatdown with Floyd connecting 59% of his punches compared to Marquez 12%. Unbelievable.

But hearing him play the race card and showing his opponent and the boxing fraternity disrespect by not even trying to make weight is deplorable. Why should someone be able to brag after stacking the deck so considerably in their favour?

Is this blog biased? You’re damned right it is!! But only because I believe in boxing as a sport. You fight to be the champion and, although it is a product of the professional era, rising to the top should be paramount. I’m just sick of seeing Mayweather hand pick inoffensive opponents then act like he is the best fighter in the game.

Others fighters may lose, but at least they fight everyone.

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