By Kirk Jackson
Hall of Fame Trainer Freddie Roach certainly thinks so.
“I think Mayweather is shot, his legs are gone, and Manny will knock him out,” said Roach to Boxing Scene.
“He just can’t move no more. His legs are shot. He’s done.”
This is a belief echoed from Roach for years now. We can count back since at least the Floyd Mayweather vs. Shane Mosley fight back in 2010.
It appears every time Roach brings up Mayweather’s lack of mobility and shot legs, Floyd attempts to debunk Roach’s opinion with brilliant exhibitions of boxing.
Last year, Mayweather boxed circles around Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and moved around the ring quite well against Robert Guerrero. More recently, Mayweather also created distance between himself and Marcos Maidana late in both of their fights this year.
But what is Roach trying to say? Which point is he trying to prove? That is the pivotal question.
Is this pre-emptive psychological warfare or an honest assessment?
In years past, Roach criticized Mayweather for being fleet of foot and for not being an action-packed fighter. A fighter like he was in his hey day, or like his main pupil Manny Pacquiao is.
Every fighter has their own style, can’t fault for Roach or others for being brawlers, can’t fault Floyd Mayweather or a Pernell Whitaker for instance, for being defensive-minded pugilists.
But Mayweather has also displayed the ability to stand in the pocket and fight within that pocket, on the inside. Something he does not get credit for, seemingly because he is held to such a higher standard compared to everyone else.
There is some truth behind Roach’s remarks regarding the physical decline of Mayweather.
His legs are not “shot” he can still move around the ring and be quite elusive. But he did not look quite as sharp as we’re accustomed to seeing Mayweather.
This is based on the eye test, because it’s hard to argue any kind of physical decline with Mayweather, having landed over 50 percent of his punches and limiting Maidana to a 22 punch connect percentage in his last outing.
Based on the eye test, Mayweather seemed to tire a little bit towards the middle to late rounds. Some of his hooks were slightly sloppy and Maidana landed some punches we normally would not expect to see land on Mayweather.
This is a combination of Maidana’s awkwardness and overall skill, because he deserves credit for what he was able to accomplish. Some of Mayweather’s recent distractions and trouble within his “Money Team” infrastructure may have played minor roles as well.
And lets face it, the self-proclaimed “The Best Ever” is 37-years-old. A king can’t rule forever and Father Time truly is undefeated.
It’ll be interesting to see the kind of physical condition Floyd Mayweather is in for his farewell tour next year.
Were these last two outings from Mayweather a blip on the radar, or a sign of decline and precursor for things to come?