The shills keep calling Floyd Mayweather’s performance against Juan Manuel Marquez “spectacular”, “virtuoso”, etc. but to my eyes it was a disappointment. Marquez is 36 years old – well past his best, prime years – and he boxed in a weight class two above the one of his last fight.
Mayweather, with enough advantages already, refused to reveal his weight on fight night, suggesting he had something to hide. Some insiders speculate he possibly weighed 160 pounds vs. Marquez. Why not just let the world know? What’s to hide?
So with a fading 36 year old lightweight as his handpicked opponent, everything was set for Mayweather to look spectacular. But he failed to pull the trigger and got out with another impressively dominant but boring, uneventful points win. Did you see the less than enthused looks on the faces of HBO’s Ross Greenburg and Mark Taffet? Put it this way, they looked like they could have been waiting on a long line at Motor Vehicles.
Could it be possible that Mayweather at just 32, can’t pull the trigger any more?
Yes, it’s very possible.
As usual, Floyd had all the advantages over Marquez. With those advantages in height, speed, youth and strength, Mayweather still boxed like a timid man. Whenever Marquez attacked, Mayweather’s number one intent was to avoid all the punches first, before striking back. He looked scared of being hurt or knocked down by a lightweight. When Floyd launched his own assaults, he primarily threw one at a time, so as to avoid getting caught with anything wild.
Sure it was a good display of hit and not be hit over an overmatched, 36 year old. But the sporting consumers expect more than that, they expect Hagler vs. Hearns or Cotto vs. Margarito.
The fact is, there are enough formidable challenges out there for Mayweather. Cotto, Pacquiao, Williams and Mosley would provide much action and adventure than Marquez. And there is no doubt those dream fights would amass much more revenue than the little known Marquez ever could.
Give credit to Shane Mosley who tried to shake things up when he challenged Floyd as he spoke after his win with Max Kellerman. Shane was attempting to secure a big payday for himself while adding some drama and pizzazz into the sport, in his own way. Not quite like Cassius Clay with Liston or Mike Tyson vowing to eat the children of Lennox Lewis, but he tried. And everyone now wants to see Mayweather vs. Mosley, with the winner to face the Cotto-Pacquiao winner. Everyone that is except for Mayweather, who seemed scared and uncomfortable with Mosley.
Mayweather, accustomed to having everything his own way, having everything choreographed and set up in his favor by his advisors and managers and protectors, became upset that Mosley dared to challenge him on live TV. But it was hypocritical in essence, because Mayweather took pleasure in being publicly challenged on HBO by Hatton and Marquez.
Mayweather is also hypocritical in the way he castigates Pacquiao and Cotto for not being their own boss, for having to discuss their decision-making with their promoter Bob Arum. When Mayweather is confronted by dangerous challenges he does not like, he evades answering tough questions by using the cop-out that “It’s up to Haymon and Ellerbe,” which is a blatant double standard. Didn’t you say you’re your own boss, Floyd?
But that’s the way it is in the world of Mayweather, where all that matters is staying undefeated, even if it entails ducking and dodging all opponents that can knock him out. What’s really going on here is a continuing fraud of the sporting public with handpicked mismatched business exhibitions under the guise of world championship boxing.
Maybe Mayweather knows, deep down, he is a celebrity business boxer now, completely incapable of competing with a full fledged prime welterweight beast like Cotto, Pacquiao, Mosley or Williams.
Paul Williams is unquestionably the top welterweight in the world today, whether he gets paid like it or not. Williams would not only beat Mayweather, he’d “put him in a cemetery,” laughed one member of Team Williams who did not want his name associated with that explosive quote.
Williams knows he’d beat Mayweather too, as he recently told me his blueprint to do it, “I would love to get Mayweather,” says Williams who is 37-1, (27 KO’s). “But a lot of people don’t realize with Mayweather, you can’t stand there and box that guy. He’s too fast for that. You gotta fight him. You gotta make him fight the whole three minutes, the whole fight. Make it a fight. And you got your best chance of beating him.”
That’s exactly what you could easily imagine Cotto, Margarito and Mosley doing to Mayweather, non stop aggression and relentless assaults. Constant pressure. Of course, they were each ducked.
Williams understands that Mayweather lacks what it takes to ever fight him and has given up any hopes of landing such a lucrative assignment. “When we had the 147 belt and we were calling out Mayweather, he went into retirement. So when we go up in weight, he comes out of retirement. So I’m not saying he’s ducking me but that fight’s not going to happen.”
A lot of key welterweight super-fights have not happened and will not happen. Why not? Because Mayweather can’t pull the trigger any more.
Scoop’s first book “Heavyweight Armageddon: The Tyson-Lewis Championship Battle” was called “A smashing success,” by Emanuel Steward, “One of the two best boxing books I ever read.”