By Kirk Jackson
He’s defeated guys who were known as ring technicians, fighters such as Oscar De La Hoya, Genaro Hernandez and Juan Manuel Marquez.
He’s beaten guys with speed with equivalent or even superior to his own, opponents the likes of Zab Judah, Sharmba Mitchell and Shane Mosley.
Guys who brought the pressure, tenacious fighters like Jesus Chavez, Jose Luis Castillo, Ricky Hatton and Robert Guerrero.
Of course he’s defeated naturally much bigger guys who packed power, challengers like Diego Corrales, Victor Ortiz, Arturo Gatti, etc.
Floyd Mayweather 44-0 (26 KO’s) has emerged victorious on every occasion and aims to push his record to 45-0 when he takes on Saul Alvarez this September at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
There’s a good chance he will defeat the younger, upcoming fighter, but that remains to be seen.
One opponent Mayweather has not had success with during his career is his long standing war with the media.
There are some writers and reporters who recognize his accomplishments and contributions to the sport. But there are many more that often discredit what he’s done, criticizing him at every turn. He doesn’t get the same respect guys of like Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard and Manny Pacquiao from the media.
It’s like with Bernard Hopkins and Marvin Hagler. They didn’t get the respect they wanted until late in their careers. Another comparison would be like with Barry Bonds and Kobe Bryant.
These were players in the respective sports, who were at some point the best players of their sport. Instead of commonly being recognized as such, many members of the media would acknowledge other players like Sammy Sosa or the Mark McGwire’s of baseball and with basketball guys like Vince Carter or LeBron James.
And not only were they acknowledged, but seemingly placed on a pedestal. Until certain things were uncovered, at least in the cases of Sosa and McGwire.
It’s a problem because the media influences how most people think. If there is an athlete with a bad reputation, his or her merits in their respective fields get dissected and discredited more than an athlete with a positive reputation.
Athletes like Pacquiao, Leonard are referred to as media darlings probably because of their endearing personalities. When the lights are on, they come across as humble, personable people.
Mayweather, Bonds and some of the other athletes who receive negative press, can come off as arrogant jerks at times.
Some of that is it’s the basis of their true personality on display and in some cases it’s an act to bring attention to themselves and sell tickets. It’s good for business.
At the end of the day there is some arrogance in every great athlete. How else would they get to the pinnacle of their sport without having supreme self-confidence? Even if an athlete is a complete prick, I would rather witness that than a disingenuous athlete.
Mayweather has never been given his proper respects from the mainstream media. He’s gone into fights with injuries, like when he had torn rotator cuff against Castillo and sprained wrist against Cotto and still pulled out victories.
He’s defeated most of the better fighters from his era, fought in five different weight classes and has a championship reign spanning across three decades. He’s been a world champion since 1998.
But Floyd is perceived as an artful dodger, even though his resume of accomplishments and list of opponents is superior compared to most fighters and certainly far precedes anything his next opponent, Alvarez has done.
Even after Mayweather’s fight with Robert Guerrero this past May, there was a demand by most media writers suggesting it’s necessary for Mayweather to fight Alvarez.
Why was there such a demand for Mayweather to move up a division and fight a guy more than 20 pounds naturally heavier than him? What is it about Alvarez that requires this fight to be made?
Alvarez is a good fighter, has potential, but there is a lot to be desired. He only fought his first credible opponent this past April against Austin Trout.
He did pass the test, but most of the guys he’s come across have been past their prime; Shane Mosley, Kermit Cintron. Or moving up several weight divisions and too small; Jose Angel Cotto, Matthew Hatton, Josesito Lopez.
Mayweather actually fits the description of the typical Alvarez opponent. Mayweather is older at 36-years-old and smaller, for this is his third time moving up to the junior middleweight division.
Only difference with Mayweather and previous Alvarez opponents is Mayweather’s overall talent and skill set is considered even by his detractors as one of a kind. Another difference is this fight will be fought at a catch weight of 152 pounds, a stipulation that should benefit Mayweather.
If Floyd beats Alvarez the critics will say what they always say. The opponent was either too slow, not skilled enough, or whatever else is usually said and Floyd will be asked to move up and fight the Klitschko brothers or somebody.
This fight for Mayweather against Alvarez doesn’t even matter for his legacy. If Mayweather wins people will say Alvarez wasn’t ready and the catch weight had an effect. If Mayweather loses people will say he finally got exposed. He loses either way.