Perceptions unlikely to be erased: Floyd Mayweather fights guys he knows he can beat
By Kirk Jackson
He only fights guys he knows he can beat, is a common phrase used by critics of Floyd “Money” Mayweather. It is one of many collective complaints echoed by detractors.
He only fights for money. He cherry picks his opponents and hasn’t fought anyone. He won’t stand toe-to-toe with his opponent.
So he fights for money, okay that’s obvious. As a professional PRIZE FIGHTER, why wouldn’t you fight for money? In such a dangerous sport, where not only your career can end with one punch, your entire life can vastly change or end off of one punch, why not fight for the most money possible?
All professional athletes get paid to perform. With any profession, you get paid to perform, I certainly hope you wouldn’t work for free. The all-time great fighters fight for money; Ray Robinson, Willie Pep, Muhammad Ali, Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Manny Pacquiao, etc.
The fans won’t care for the fighter after their career is over. The fans won’t be paying the bills, they will not financially take care of their favorite fighter’s family, even if that fighter ends up as a brain dead vegetable in the hospital.
Some say Mayweather hasn’t fought anyone.
It’s easy to nitpick anyone’s resume. Some say Mexican great Julio Cesar Chavez faced many scrubs in career. Former opponent Greg Haugen said Chavez mostly taxi-cab drivers from Tijuana. It wasn’t the case, but any fighter’s resume can be dissected in positive or negative fashion. Mayweather does have a quality resume.
In the match-up of Hagler and Leonard back in April of 1987, some people may argue Leonard waited for Hagler to slip out of his physical prime before he finally decided to face him and Leonard even admitted such.
Fast forward to the 7:20 mark.
Some critics complain that Floyd Mayweather refuses to stand toe-to-toe and fight. Instead he supposedly runs around the ring for 12 rounds for a boring decision victory. The “artful dodger” if you will.
Would you stand in front a person who is stronger and has a 10 pound plus weight advantage and willingly exchange punches to the face back and forth? Would you trade punches back and forth with Mike Tyson? Sounds idiotic right?
How has that brand of fighting worked out for Antonio Margarito?
In regards to fighting toe-to-toe, fighters do not willingly want to get hit. The fighters that sit and exchange punches back and forth most of the time do it because they have to. Not everyone is defensively skilled where they can dodge most punches at will.
Looking back at the fight between Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler, an argument can be made that most of Leonard’s work during the fight, aside from his flashy combinations to punctuate the rounds consisted of “running” and clinching.
That was the correct game plan for Leonard. Why would he stand in front of the stronger Hagler and trade punches blow for blow? It would not make sense. As an effective fighter, you fight utilizing your strengths and try to avoid exposing weaknesses.
Some people call it running, I call it using the ring to your advantage and fighting intelligently. A fighter can move or dance around the ring for a variety of reasons.
It can be a defensive tactic to stay out of a puncher’s range and to keep the opponent off balance, making it difficult for their opponent to set-up their attack. Dancing on the outside is also a method for the fighter to set-up their attack as well.
Can the detractors of artistic fighting define running?
How do you “run” in your fights, but have knock-outs on your record? 26 KO’s through 45 fights to be exact.
And for the record, there have been countless fights in which Floyd Mayweather stood in the pocket and went punch for punch with his opponent in exciting fashion.
He did so against Phillip Ndou, Jesus Chavez, Genaro Hernandez, Arturo Gatti, Miguel Cotto, DeMarcus Corley and Emanuel Augustus who was then known as Emanuel Burton.
Highlights against Phillip Ndou
Highlights against Jesus Chavez
Highlights against Gatti
Fight against Emanuel Augustus
The detractors either have memory loss issues or they are jumping on that negative bandwagon of media propaganda, spewing out nonsense and not having an understanding for the sport in general. Using that ESPN Skip Bayless logic. Some people are just haters.
If this fighter is “running” why doesn’t the opposing fighter cut the ring off?
In regards to knockouts, this may be a strange concept, but it may possibly be quite difficult to score knock-outs moving up multiple weight divisions and fighting bigger guys.
In his most recent fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Floyd was outweighed by at least 15 pounds. Despite that disadvantage, Floyd did fight Canelo in the pocket for most of the fight.
The critics want Mayweather to go for the knock-out and be a more entertaining fighter but at the same time, you guys keeping asking him to fight guys who are naturally 15 plus pounds heavier.
If it’s not Canelo then it is Sergio Martinez and if not him than it is Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Pretty soon people will be asking him to fight Wladimir Klitschko.
And now at the age of 36, it’s kin hard to knockout guys when you’re constantly being outweighed, especially when you spent most of your career at the junior lightweight division.
Some also complain of his lack of punching power and he shouldn’t be penalized because of his lack of power.
It’s actually more impressive he can dominate fighters and make them look bad despite lacking the punching power.
Boxing is called the “sweet science” and can be interpreted many ways. Most people consider it to be the ability to hit and not get hit. A fighter displaying the great ability of timing, power, accuracy, speed and great footwork.
Usually defensive fighters are associated with the term, but many other styles of fighters’ box utilizing the “sweet science” and the art is not discriminatory. In other words, defensive fighters such as an Andre Direll may not necessarily be the best practitioner of the “sweet science” although he is a talented fighter in his own right. He is just an example.
Floyd Mayweather is a great example of a fighter utilizing his skills and perfecting the ways of the “sweet science.”
In short, he uses feints, timing, precision punching, speed, etc. blending all of these traits together to effortlessly use his offense and defense to beat his opponents. That’s what he should get credit for.
At the end of the day, if a fighter is left brain dead as a result of taking too many punches because he decided to stand and trade blows back and forth to please the fans, will the fans take care of that fighter?
Will the fans financially take care of that fighter’s family? The likely answer is no. Let fighters fight how they fight and appreciate them for their own style unique to their needs.