By Sean Crose
Don’t let anyone fool you. It’s okay to consider yourself young if you’re in your late 30s. Unless, of course, you’re a professional athlete. Then you’re not young. Then, despite all the advancements being made in the fields of conditioning and sport’s medicine, you’re on borrowed time career-wise. After what happened Saturday night in Vegas, it’s clear that the ring life of Floyd Mayweather, the best pound for pound fighter on earth, is on borrowed time.
Photo: USA Today
Some may even hesitate to call him the pound for pound best at this point. It’s even safe to say there are those who are currently blowing the whole thing completely out of proportion, claiming Floyd simply isn’t that good and that it took a “real fighter” like Chino Maidana to prove it. Such talk is nonsense. Mayweather was, and still is, a magnificent fighter of historic proportions.
He just may have to make some changes now if he doesn’t want a check in his loss column. Even if his age had nothing to do with his performance the other night against Maidana, Floyd would still be well advised to make some sound alterations to his prep time before bouts. He was never invincible – and now the world sees that, great as he is, he’s more beatable than most people thought.
In other words, there’s no reason for the guy to continue taking unnecessary risks. Change may not always be a good thing, but often times it is. And Floyd should probably change now. Here’s what he needs to do:
First, it’s time for Floyd to start studying his opponents more closely. I know he’s famous for not watching replays of his challenger’s bouts, but that has to change. Relying on his ability to figure guys out almost cost him the things he holds dear on Saturday night. Just think of how much easier The Moment might have been for Mayweather if he had only prepared for Maidana’s dirty brand of awkward aggressiveness more closely.
Also, the man they call Money needs to cool it with all the peripheral stuff. I’m talking here about the babes, the bling, the entourage, and the playing around. On recent episodes of Showtime’s All Access, Mayweather was seen at a photo shoot, hanging out in clubs, and generally doing a whole lot of socializing.
Maidana, on the other hand, looked to be living like a monk. Sure, he was seen at some sporting events – a boxing match, in particular – but it was clear his upcoming bout with the great Mayweather was what was driving his agenda. While it’s true Mayweather was taking the impending fight seriously himself, his life appeared to be filled to the brim with distractions. That sort of thing may not have impacted Floyd before. Now, though, it’s time for him to hunker down and prepare in an old-school style.
That means there needs to be as few peripheral things for the man to focus on as possible while he’s in training. He’s got his whole life to have fun when he retires. While he’s prepping for a 12 round fight, however, he needs to live life appropriately. Everyone knows the guy works hard. Now he has to work hard without the distractions. It’s okay to have a circus around you when you’re entering a ring. Before that moment, though, it’s probably best if you attain some degree of solitude.
Last but not least, Floyd may – and, I repeat, MAY – want to try to improve his punching power, so long as such an attempt wont effect his speed. For if he had been able to hit harder, Mayweather might have actually put Maidana on the mat at least once on Saturday night. Did you see those shots Floyd was landing – so accurate and well executed? Imagine if they had more oomph behind them?
Again, though, Floyd’s punching power may actually be something he simply cannot change. He’s had hand problems for years, after all. It would be unwise for him to risk making those problems worse. Still, if he consults his team and the right professionals, Mayweather may actually learn that he can, in fact, be able to punch more powerfully.
And that might solve a lot of problems. √