Learning From The Greats: Subtle Secrets of Floyd Mayweather Jr’s Success
By John Tsoi
It is safe to say that the title as the face of boxing is wide open right now. No fighter has made a statement convincing enough to fill the void left by Floyd Mayweather Jr following his retirement from the sport. Gennady Golovkin submitted sub-par performances against Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs, while Canelo himself was marred in the clenbuterol scandal. Other pound-for-pound boxers such as Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko and Errol Spence Jr are still looking for more signature victories in their respective weight classes. As we stay privileged watching these fighters continue to prove themselves, let’s take a walk down memory lane and look at why Floyd was always a notch above others at the top, including his habits and tactics that the up-and-coming ambitious boxers can learn from. Rest assured that it is not just about the obvious “hard work, dedication”, but instead, the more subtle secrets that might have eluded our eyes.
First of all, Floyd’s noctural training schedule had worked out really well for him. While most boxers train during daytime, he took pride in training when others are sleeping, which many perceive is his method of gaining a mental edge. Yet, any logical person can deduce that he must be resting while others were training in the morning. Therefore, there must be another reason why he craved late night workouts. Remember your last trip to a boxing event? They usually occur at nighttime, where main events usually start late. Floyd has accustomed both his mind and body to train at the period of time when others are already resting, which translated to great performances at his late night fights. Of course, one can argue that other boxing greats who trained conventionally also performed equivalently well. However, the slightest of advantage makes a huge difference, especially when facing top opponents and having a style that demands high concentration. Thus, Floyd’s amazing reaction time and overall awareness serve as a testament to the effectiveness of his unique training timetable.
Moreover, his fighting style contributes massively to his successful career. From “Pretty Boy Floyd” who had speed and power, to “Money Mayweather” who unfortunately has rather brittle hands and therefore adjusted to being a more defensive boxer, he was never a one-punch knockout artist. He thrived by winning rounds regardless of whether he hurts his opponent or not. We all know what happens when a boxer who is used to knocking everybody out meets a foe who can take his punches. At the highest level of the sport, carrying the media-built mantra as a knockout king could easily backfire against the boxer. What’s most amazing about Floyd’s mentality, particularly in the latter stages of his career, is that you never see him aiming to finish off his opponents unless an opportunity presents itself, nor did the media expected knockouts. Errol Spence Jr, a talented boxer who is currently riding a knockout streak towards his next fight, has a style only half-similar to that of Floyd. The difference is that Spence himself, along with the pressure imposed by the media, anticipate knockouts in mid to latter rounds. When a fighter with such style fails to break down the enemy, a shroud of self-doubt could loom over the fighter which is detrimental. We have yet to see how Spence will react when an opponent can handle his pressure and style, something we will likely see when he squares off against Crawford in the future. Floyd was devoid of that pressure to eventually score knockouts. All he had to do was outpoint them over the twelve rounds, which forced his rivals to deliver the action and subsequently, adjust to his style instead of following theirs. Such mentality allows Mayweather to exercise caution without over-committing, and most importantly, transferred the burden of a fight to his opponent.
Over the course of Floyd’s career, he embraced the “bad boy persona”, where even some of his own countrymen cheered against him. This allowed him to be more relaxed because he did not have to be a national hero who carries a whole country’s expectation like Manny Pacquiao or Anthony Joshua. Even for lesser-known fighters, making the walk to the ring against a hostile crowd could sap their confidence. For example, Brandon Rios was admirable for admitting that whilst looking confident and ready, he was intimidated and nervous deep down inside, especially when he fought in a Macau arena with partisan crowd in favour of Pacquiao. For Floyd, being booed is normality that he is used to, while being cheered on is probably a bonus. Therefore, he was never fazed by the media or the crowd. Being a known master of mind games, he understands the importance of winning the mental battle before the bell rings.
The final secret lies on the level of media exposure that Floyd allowed during his training camps. When we search for his past training camp footages, chances are that we will only find those from media day workouts which he obliged, from network documentaries, plus snippets of workout clips from his social media accounts. Otherwise, you rarely see his full workout videos, unlike many other boxers who constantly allow media access in the gyms day in and day out. Having reporters strolling around, recording and incessantly asking questions could be a disturbance, stripping your much-needed focus for training. In addition, it would be no surprise that Floyd could have secret training methods or innovative workouts that outsiders do not know of, merely because he kept a tight media access and employed a group of loyal personnel who do not leak information. This is a savvy move since an attentive coach can spot bits and pieces of the game plan that an opposition camp carelessly divulge due to the media, or even possible injuries that one is trying to hide. In short, Floyd showed his meticulousness by disclosing his training camps with as few details as possible, but enough to promote a fight.
For the new generation of fighters vying to take the top spot left by the crafty American, learning from a boxing great like Floyd Mayweather Jr is not about copying everything he did, but to develop a mindset in approaching each fight comprehensively, just like how he attended to the physical, psychological and pre-fight aspects of boxing, all of which ultimately led him to find his niche in the sport. Love him or hate him, he showed us that success is not by doing what works for others, but finding and doing what works for oneself.
Rising To The Occasion: Maurice Lee
By: Sean Crose
Some people have tough backgrounds. Others have backgrounds so searing, it’s a wonder they’ve survived, much less prospered. Count Maurice Lee as being among the ranks of that second category. Aside from Manny Pacquiao, and perhaps Gennady Golovkin, this writer has never spoken to someone with such a challenging back story. A 7-1 southpaw from the Floyd Mayweather stable of fighters, Lee’s is nothing if not a story of perseverance. Growing up in California, the super lightweight was largely raised without the presence of a father, as his father was incarcerated. Lee’s mother also had stays in correctional institutions.
As for Lee, the young man found himself street fighting at the age of five so that adults could cash in on the winnings. Then, at the age of eleven, the pre-teen was shot seven times – once in the head. “I still have a bullet fragment in my head,” he tells me. Lee’s brother, who was with him at the time, was also shot. “I had to carry him home,” Lee says of the incident. And yet here Lee is, ready to face Joel Guevara on the undercard of the Ishe Smith – Tony Harrison card, which will be aired live on Bounce TV from Vegas this Friday night.
“I’ve had a very, very hard life,” Lee admits. Through faith, however, the man claims he was able to rise above the circumstances which could have destroyed him. “I felt that was God,” he says of his survival. “I give all glory to God.” Adhering to the adage that God helps those who help themselves, the fighter literally entered into the Mayweather universe unexpectedly several years back. “I just drove to Vegas and knocked at the door and said I’m here to spar Floyd Mayweather,” he says.
Rather than slam the door in his face, the crew at the Mayweather Gym had Lee spar one fighter after another. Then, convinced he was the right man for the job, team Mayweather had Lee spar Floyd himself – in preparation for the superfight with Manny Pacquiao, no less. Afterwards, Lee actually found himself a part of the famed Mayweather stable of fighters. “Man, he just showed me I’m on the right path,” Lee says of Floyd.
Describing the experience of being part of team Mayweather as “a blessing,” Lee points out how he’s been given quite the opportunity. “You’re constantly reminded what you can do with the sport through your promoter,” he says. So, does he see Mayweather himself much these days? “I saw him on his birthday,” says Lee, “and went to his house and hung out.” Lee makes it clear, though, that high living isn’t the only thing Mayweather is about.
“He goes in the zone,” Lee states, recalling Mayweather in training. Indeed, Lee describes the Mayweather training camp as “consistent,” and makes it clear that the words “hard work” were far from a throwaway line for the media. “He works out 2-3 times,” he says of his mentor. “The intensity of his training,” Lee claims, is notable. Lee also puts to rest a rumor that Mayweather took his last fight lightly, due to the nature of the competition. “For McGregor,” Lee claims. “He trained just as hard as he did for Pacquiao.” Something that proved unfortunate for the UFC star.
Lee openly admits that he himself hasn’t shown Mayweather’s dedication in the past, a fact that was highlighted by his last fight, a late 2016 unanimous decision loss to Cameron Krael. Lee, though, states that he learned his lesson. “I know that the only person that beat me was me,” he claims. “That’s what happened to me the last time.” It’s a mistake Lee doesn’t plan on making again. “I’m excited,” he says of his return. “I’m happy to be back in the ring.”
“My main focus is this Friday,” he says. “We’re focused on Friday.” At the moment, the Mayweather protégé is being trained by Jerry Rosenberg. It’s a union Lee is quite happy with. “We’ve been working really well,” he claims. “Great chemistry.” Lee also points out that: “I sparred a lot of middleweights for this fight.” With that in mind, Lee, who will be fighting above super lightweight on Friday night, doesn’t plan on staying out of the division. “After Friday,” he claims, “I will go back to 140.” With a renewed sense of focus and a career plan in place, Lee appears to be back on track after a spiritual detour. “My faith is back,” he adds.
So, it appears, is the man’s confidence. The fighter who was unafraid to knock on the Mayweather door is now eager to fulfill his career promise. “Obviously, I’ve had to work tremendously hard,” he says, “and believe in myself.” How great is that self-belief? If he could fight anyone throughout history, Lee says it would be Roberto Duran. “I would want to test my heart,” he says, knowing that Duran would happily provide such a test. Lee also has a new outlet through which he can practice his self belief. “My daughter was just born February 21st of this year,” he says. Parenting, like fighting, requires a sound outlook.
When asked what final words he would like to say in the interview, Lee suggests people “keep God first…anything is possible through Jesus Christ.” Like other fighters of faith (Manny Pacquiao and George Foreman come immediately to mind) Lee is able to find motivation through his beliefs. And he intends for that motivation to drive him to victory this Friday night in Vegas.
Lanell Bellows Confident He’ll Get to the Top
Lanell Bellows is confident his bumpy ride to the top will reach the final destination of his hand being raised in victory.
Lanell Bellows roller coaster boxing career continues this Friday as he’s still very hungry to rise in the rankings of the super middleweight division and inch closer towards title contention in the strong 168 pound ranks. His next step towards that journey is a matchup with Naim Terbunja (10-2, 1 KO) of Sweden at the Sam’s Town Hotel on May 11 in Las Vegas. Bellows(17-2-1, 10 KOs) is very aware that his next opponent has never been stopped and not only is he confident in handing Terbunja the third loss of his career, but he would also like to be the first to bless Terbunja with his first knockout loss this Friday.
“His record (Terbuja) is (10-2) something like that, but its (10-3) come Friday,” Bellows said. “He hasn’t been stopped and it’ll be nice to bless him with a nice stoppage, since his career has been flawless as far as being stopped.
“It’d be definitely a nice a little attribute to add under my belt and give me a nice notch, but a victory is good enough for me and it will happen on Friday,” he said.
Despite a couple of setbacks in his career, Bellows is as hungry as ever and though he’s not specifically gunning for anybody at the top to fight, he will do whatever is necessary to get him closer to title contention and eventually get a shot at one of the four recognized straps in his division.
“I have no names to call out in particular at this moment, but I definitely want positive progression to my career as far reaching and attaining a belt,” Bellows told me.
“I definitely want to take any necessary steps that are going to get me to achieving that belt. I need it, I want it, I thirst for it, I hunger for it, I train for it. That’s my only thing on my to do list, to do whatever it takes to get me closer to getting that belt,” he said.
Bellows didn’t always have this passion for the sport of boxing; there was a time in his life where he didn’t even think about becoming a professional prize fighter. But growing up in the rough streets of Cali, Bellows had to stay sharp with his hands as he had numerous street fights growing up that not only earned him his nickname “KO” Bellows, but made him realize he had a passion for fighting.
“I was raised in Cali from Compton all the way to Palmdale. I fought in the streets a lot but I never really got into boxing,” Bellows said. “Me and my homeboys we used to put on the gloves and box in the street just to stay sharp, for any possible endeavors with any trouble, just trying to survive the Cali streets.
“KO came from the streets, beating people up. I was knocking people out in the streets and it just got transferred over to boxing since that was already my name,” he said.
Bellows was earning a living as a barber until one day he stumbled across a gym in Las Vegas and that’s where he decided he would pursue this endeavor in boxing. He would have 33 bouts in the unpaid ranks before eventually going pro.
“I stumbled across a boxing gym when I was out here in Las Vegas. Professional wasn’t even in my plans, but I love to fight period,” Bellows told me. “As I got good, I almost qualified for the Olympic trials for the 2012 games and I was like ‘Well I done put all this time and energy and effort into it, maybe I can try and giving pro a shot and it worked out, thank god,” Bellows said.
Just two fights into his professional career, Bellows got a rare opportunity as a young prospect to spar the considered best fighter in the world P4P at the time in Floyd Mayweather. Bellows showed no hesitation in entering the doghouse at the Mayweather boxing club or “stop at home” as Bellows would like to call it. They would spar a number of rounds much longer than the usual three minutes in duration and Mayweather came away impressed with the ability of Bellows, which prompted Mayweather to sign him to a promotional agreement not long after their sparring session.
“From there it’s been going down in history, I was part of his Miguel Cotto camp and then I sign my contract a little bit later that year and I’m a TMT boxer and I’m here now,” Bellows said.
The 32-year-old is no defensive boxer counterpuncher like his current promoter was in his heyday. Bellows considers himself to be a puncher boxer and likes to land devastating shots to his opponents that have produced some crushing knockouts in his career. In the two losses he’s received in the ring, Bellows has avenged one of those defeats and though he would like to avenge his split-decision loss to Decarlo Perez, there has to be an incentive for Bellows to fight him again, since Perez has since been stopped by Bellows teammate Ronald Gavril.
“I definitely didn’t feel I lost that fight. I do want that fight back for my pride, but since he’s been knocked out by teammate Ronald Gavril.
“At this point, it becomes pointless; it would become egotistical if I took the fight. It wouldn’t be career changing or career helping. Career wise it would do nothing for me,” Bellows explained.
Bellows wants the fans that follow him that despite his road in reaching the top being a bumpy ride, he’s confident he will reach that final destination of his hand being raised in victory.
“Follow me on facebook @Lanell Bellows or on twitter, snapchat, and instagram @KOBellows. And just follow me on my ride to the top, it’s a bumpy ride, strap your seatbelts up and enjoy the ride because it’s definitely going to be eventful.
“It’s definitely going to be productive and it’s definitely going to get to the destination with our hands being raised,” Bellows said.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Himself: The Octagon Theory
By: James Risoli
What makes a person who they are? What propels and motivates us to do the things we do? More specifically, why do fighters have such a hard time in the twilight of their careers with hanging up their gloves, unable to walk off into the sunset, after such an arduous journey which often times consists of unforgiving years of blood, sweat, and tears?
If one was to look up the word fighter in the dictionary the definition is one that any person that ever lived would know does not encapsulate it’s real world meaning. A fighter by any sense of the word is someone who challenges themselves. Who goes beyond their normal limits to achieve success in whatever endeavor they are trying to complete. A fighter may not always seek out but will always stand up to challenges and tribulations put forth or laid out before them. All fighters, especially those in the fight game, need to be able to know that the person staring back at them is the same person they believe themselves to be in their heart of hearts.
For those of us that do not know Floyd Mayweather, the man has been a fighter in every sense of the word way before any serious consideration was given to it becoming his profession. Born on February 24th 1977 in Grand Rapids Michigan and then moving at a very early age to the Hiram Square neighborhood of New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mayweather learned about the sometime all too familiar hardships of life at an early age in dealing with poverty and drugs, including a drug addicted mother. Mayweather would later say, “When I was about eight or nine, I lived in New Jersey with my mother and we were seven deep in one bedroom and sometimes we didn’t have electricity. When people see what I have now, they have no idea of where I came from and how I didn’t have anything growing up.” Mayweather’s story however, is one of a more personal nature and perhaps one that would be better told by himself than this author. However, it is important to mention because it bears significance to the “term” fighter. His story could possibly bare some insight into some of his current state of affairs and those future decisions and or plans that may be taking shape or unfolding in his mind’s eye.
By most accounts and for all intents and purposes, Floyd Mayweather has achieved everything there is to achieve in boxing. In a career that spanned two decades Mayweather has done what only one other person could, that being Rocky Marciano. 50 times Floyd Mayweather entered the ring and 50 times Floyd Mayweather’s hand was raised in victory. During his career, he has held multiple world titles in five weight classes and the lineal championship in four of those. In 2016, Mayweather was ranked as the best pound for pound fighter in the past 25 years by ESPN. He is one of the most marketable pay per view fighters of all time, as well as, one of the highest paid athletes in the world. So, the real news and noteworthy question of the day is, why after all this is Mayweather talking about the UFC and walking in the octagon?
Many people have been asking this particular question. Most people think the idea is outrageous, if not borderline crazy, or an actual joke. A statement muttered in jest. However, I for one do not believe that to be the case. Although not the norm, it is not completely uncommon for fighters to attempt a chance at crossing over from discipline to discipline. All one would have to do is just look to Floyd’s most recent and last opponent, Conor McGregor, who tried to accomplish this exact same feat. So, once again, why then is Mayweather entertaining this idea? Why after all the victories and all the achievements is it possible that this is in all actuality a real plausible possibility? Simple, because for the fighters we love and adore, those that bleed and train for the fans to see, cheer, and adore the answer is quite simple. All one would have to look at is the meaning of the word fighter.
Mayweather Bodyguard Reportedly Shot In Atlanta
A man claiming he’s Floyd Mayweather’s bodyguard was reportedly shot early Monday morning in Atlanta. The victim, who at this point remains unidentified, took a bullet to the leg but did not sustain serious injury. According to reports, a party of three vehicles had left a club located on Buford Highway in Atlanta at about three in the morning. Another vehicle pulled up to the party outside of the Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta hotel and opened fire. All three cars drove off, with the shooter’s car in pursuit. Getting away safely, the bodyguard’s vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, pulled up to Grady Memorial Hospital, where the victim was treated.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution quotes police as saying “it appears that this was not a random shooting and the shooter was targeting the victim’s vehicle.” Atlanta police also claim they “believe that Mr. Mayweather may have been in one of the other vehicles in the caravan and was not injured.” Officers arrived on the scene at Peachtree Road in Atlanta after the crime was reported. As of this writing, Mayweather himself has not commented publicly on the incident. Boxing Insider will continue to report on this story as it progresses.
Read more: https://www.ajc.com/news/crime–law/breaking-injured-shooting-front-buckhead-hotel/hdGRHhf4phHTh3Nmt7lmhO/
Boxing vs. MMA, Why Crossover Fights Rarely Go Well
By: Jose Cuevas
We were treated to the first MMA versus Boxing superfight in Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather back in August of 2017. Many experts argued the fight was a blatant cash grab, a farce, and even a circus.
The fight illustrates the challenge that comes along with making a fight between a Mixed Martial Artist and a Boxer. They are cousins of one another, but they are two completely different disciplines.
One may think an elite Mixed Martial Artist should, key word should, be able to hang in the ring with an elite boxer. That proposition is absurd, mainly due to the fact that Boxers must account for only using their fists in combat. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that one form of combat is more than the other. Boxers must master controlling the distance between themselves and their opponent, use of their footwork to properly leverage all of their punches, learn to counter effectively while slipping or catching punches, etc… While mixed martial artists must try and master as many disciplines as possible.
How many times in the cage have we seen individuals proficient in wrestling or judo dominate strikers in the cage? Mixed Martial artists, to their credit, have the difficult task of being prepared for every scenario, they need to be good strikers, kickboxers, wrestlers, and submission specialists. This is why Conor McGregor lost against Floyd Mayweather. Floyd had decades of experience mastering footwork, mastering counterpunching, and mastering the sport of boxing…while Conor was proficient at best but not a master at the highest level.
Think about multitasking…MMA is the perfect form of multitasking when it comes to combat sports. While an MMA fighter is on his feet he’s thinking about what punches to land, possible takedown attempts, kicks, flying armbars, etc…the brainpower and strategy that is required to be aware of so many different variables is remarkable. Boxing exists in a controlled environment where fighters have to only worry about punches, but in only worrying about punches they use the rest of their body to maximize their punches which makes the sport unique and difficult to master at the highest level.
Imagine placing the Chess world champion in a match of Chinese checkers against the world champion, it may not make for a competitive match as the Chess expert has had years of experience mastering his/her craft in their controlled environment, while the Chinese checkers expert has done the same in their own respective controlled environment. Therein lies the key…the sports are executed in their own specific controlled environment. This isn’t the Matrix where you can plug into a program and just learn it, it takes time and lots of it.
I was recently covered Bellator 194 where Heather “The Heat” Hardy fought Ana Julaton. Hardy easily won the bout by working as hard as possible to keep the fight on her feet. Hardy is a former undefeated boxer and world champion, she undoubtedly made her mark in boxing and now hopes to make her mark in MMA. However, in her previous fight she was thoroughly annihilated by a debuting mixed martial artist.
Kristina Williams outclassed Hardy with head kicks and leg kicks and busted her wide open. Hardy was not prepared for the onslaught as Williams was an expert with her kicks and could hold Hardy’s boxing skills at bay. The fight was stopped in the second round as Hardy was bleeding profusely and she could no longer defend herself. This is a perfect example of what happens when you drop a boxer in the realm of MMA with a well-rounded mixed martial artist, it’s a whole different ball game.
Rumors have been circulating that Floyd Mayweather will enter the Octagon. That is a disastrous idea as Floyd is a master of boxing, but not a master of fighting in the uncontrolled controlled environment of MMA. However, don’t be fooled, Mayweather is a meticulous matchmaker and he may enter the cage against an opponent with little to no cage experience like CM Punk, which would level the playing field significantly. However, if he is matched with a Mickey Gall, a debuting professional MMA fighter with a lot of experience….expect him to suffer the same fate as Heather Hardy.
MMA and Boxing are too different, it will require meticulous matchmaking to make a newcomer look good in either realm. Don’t let your eyes fool you they may be combat sports…but the controlled environment of either changes the dynamic completely. The sooner we realize that the sooner we learn to respect both sports and appreciate them for what they offer to the overall realm of combat sports. In realizing that MMA and Boxing are different we can stop this madness of MMA and Boxing crossovers as rarely will you get your money’s worth…you may be getting all the spectacle you desire, but that’s a topic for another article…
What are the Odds for Mayweather in MMA? Money Wants to Know
by Bryanna Fissori
Did anyone really think Floyd Mayweather Jr was going to fade softly into the sunset and live a quiet, normal life? For a man who lives for the spotlight, retirement is probably a little disconcerting.
The MMA Trash Talk
Whether you call the champ attention-seeking, narcissistic or genius, Mayweather certainly knows how to put the masses on notice. The back and forth banter between Mayweather and MMA fighter Conor McGregor began in the spring of 2017 and has yet to stop. This is over five month after they met in the ring, Mayweather winning by TKO in the 10th round.
Since the beginning there has been talk of Mayweather trying his hand (and maybe feet) in the cage. The boxer has been purposefully vague on the topic, eluding that he could go to MMA, but that essentially he can do anything he wants to. That doesn’t mean he is going to do it.
Mayweather Twitter Video
Earlier this week, Mayweather took the media a step further when he posted a short clip on Twitter of him walking into the cage at Syndicate, an MMA gym in Las Vegas, Nevada. Syndicate is home to a number of high-level fighters in the area, including several in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).
Following his first Tweet, Mayweather posted a second video showing him inside the cage. He looks at the camera and says just a few words;
“2018, Floyd Money Mayweather. MMA. What are the odds, Paddy? What are the odds?”
The video starts at the feet of Mayweather with a clear impression of the label “PADDYPOWER,” in white on his black shorts. PaddyPower.com is an online betting site.
Who is Paddy Power?
Can you think of a much simpler marketing tactic? A 14 second video clip, filmed on a smart phone is going viral with boxing’s biggest star front and center. May weather not only mentions “Paddy” in the segment, he is also wearing the logo. The only thing that could have put icing on the cake is maybe a #paddypower hashtag.
The betting site is traditionally Irish, which made it even more interesting when Mayweather showed up to weight ins for his bout against McGregor. When the boxing champ striped down, he was wearing a pair of green boxer briefs with “PADDYPOWER” across the front and tiny lettering all throughout, which read “always bet on black.”
The deal to get Mayweather into those briefs reportedly took a lot of patience and determination. Paddy Power representative were stood up in favor of yoga, kept waiting for hours starting around 2am at a strip club, followed by a fiasco of sewing machines to get the attire perfect to Mayweather’s liking.
Mayweather is reportedly heading to Minnesota to meet with Stephen Espinoza, Showtime executive. Espinoza told TMZ that an MMA fight would be a topic of conversation. “There’s a chance . . . whatever he puts his mind to, he sort of wills it into happening. [Floyd] willed the McGregor fight into happening. So, if he sets his mind to it, it’ll happen.”
There is no word yet on what Paddy Power had to do to get the Twitter video or if Mayweather is actually considering an MMA fight. Sure it will be a topic of conversation. It was great PR.
Is Mayweather really serious about MMA? Well, anyone want to bet on it?
Why Did Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Avoid Paul “Pittsburgh Kid” Spadafora?
By: Ken Hissner
Floyd Mayweather, Sr. entered the gym and asked “when are you going to let my son spar with that Pisano?” Jess Reid replied quickly “how about setting it up but it has to be 6 rounds not 4 rounds.” Reid told Paul “The Pittsburgh Kid” that he trained the Uncle Roger to a championship and knew the Mayweather style well and that Spadafora could beat him and it would be a good thing for his career. So they went to the Mayweather gym and Spadafora got the best of Mayweather, Jr. over 4 rounds. Mayweather asked Reid if that could be enough and Reid shot back at his no it wasn’t especially since your father has been shooting his mouth off about you handling Spadafora. The next 2 rounds are on www.youtube.com and by the end of the sixth round Mayweather, Jr. went down on the canvas just lying there exhausted. Several times a match for the two fighters was on the table but the Mayweather’s never followed through.
Paul “The Pittsburgh Kid” seemed to have it all but he also hung out with the wrong crowd but that was his decision to make. Here was a good looking Italian kid from McKees Rocks, PA, and a southpaw to boot. He had an amateur record of 75-5 under the watchful eye of PK Pecora.
Just past Spadafora’s twentieth birthday in October of 1995 he turned professional at Sheraton Station Square in Pittsburgh scoring a decision over Steve Maddux over four rounds. He came in at 132 pounds and from that point through his first fourteen fights on May of 1997 he was brought along slow against only one opponent with a winning record. “I took over as head trainer for his fight with Bernard Harris, 11-2-1, in his first eight rounder in August of 1997,” said Yankello. That was without question the toughest opponent up to that point for Spadafora.
Spadafora won two more fights before 1997 was over. In March of 1998 Philadelphia’s Troy Fletcher, 13-5-2, of the fighting Fletcher family was brought in. His two brothers which included Frank “The Animal” and Anthony were the “two bad boys’ whit Anthony doing life as a member of the Junior Mafia and Frank having just got out of prison this past year. Troy was on a four fight losing streak at the time. This was at the Avalon Hotel in Monroeville that Spadafora captured an eight round decision.
In May Filipino Amado Cabato, 45-26-8, was brought in. Spadafora would stop him in the seventh of an eight putting Cabato into retirement. It was only the third time Cabato had been stopped in eighty-nine fights. Four weeks later Spadafora fought for his first minor title defeating Jose Aponte, 14-9-2, over twelve rounds for the vacant IBC Lightweight Title at the Mountaineer Casino Race Track & Resort in Chester, W.V. He found himself a “second home” fighting there.
In October of 1998 it was Sam Girard, 17-5-1 who in his two previous fights lost to Israel Cardona, 27-2, and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., then 13-0. Spadafora would shut him out winning every round of a ten at Chester, WV.
After going unbeaten in twenty-three fights Spadafora got his first national exposure on ESPN2 defeating Rocky Martinez, 29-2, snapping his nine fight winning streak in January of 1999. In August after scoring another win in March was his opportunity to fight Israel Cardona, 31-2, for the vacant IBF World Lightweight Title scoring a lopsided decision at Chester, WV. It looked like the future was finally very bright for the “The Pittsburgh Kid!”
In Spadafora’s first defense in December of 1999 came Australian Renato Cornett, 30-2-1, at the Law Convention Center in Pittsburgh winning the first ten rounds finally stopping Cornett on cuts in the eleventh round. What followed was a fight many people still talk about when Spadafora came off the canvas twice in the third round to battle back and defeat Victoriano Sosa, 24-1-1, of the Dominican Republic by scores of 114-112-115-112 and 116-111, at the Turning Stone Casino, in Verona, NY. Sosa would go 11-0-1 before getting another title fight but it was losing to WBC Lightweight champion Mayweather, then 29-0, over twelve rounds, in April of 2003.
During the rest of 2000 Spadafora would have successful title wins over former IBC Champion Cleveland’s Mike “The Hammer” Griffith, 23-6, and Canada’s Billy Irwin, 34-3, with a non-title win in between over Rodney Jones, 23-0. “I didn’t work the corners for Sosa and Griffith, it was Jesse Reid.
In 2001 Spadafora in a title defense defeated Texan Joel Perez, 31-4-2, in May. In August Philadelphia’s Chucky “T” Tschorniawaky, 20-3-1, in a non-title bout would be all but shut out. In 2002 he would only have two fights, both defenses defeating Angel “El Diablo” Manfedy, 39-5-1, with all scores 115-113 in March. Manfredy in his previous fight won an IBF eliminator defeating Julio Diaz, 23-0, to earn the title shot at the A.J. Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh. “I felt the Manfredy fight was relatively easy for Paul even with a weight problem and probably only about 60% of himself at best. The only real damage of any kind that he suffered in that fight was from a head butt,” said Yankello. Then Denmark’s Dennis Holbaek Pederson, 43-1, came into Chester, W.V. in November bringing his IBC Lightweight title. Spadafora won by scores of 118-110 and 117-111 twice.
In May of 2003 in a unification bout with two time Olympian who was 239-15 in the amateurs the Romanian Leonard Dorin, 21-0, out of Montreal, who held the WBA Super World title the two of them battled in a bloody bout with both receiving facial cuts with Spadafora getting a 115-114 nod and Dorin a 115-113 nod. The final judge had it 114-114 as did this writer. Please go to www.youtube.com to see this one and you will not be sorry. Spadafora countered Dorin who did nothing but head hunt with that right hand of his.
Both received cuts as early as the third round. Spadafora was examined by the ring physician after the eighth round. Dorin seemed to have an edge after the first twelve rounds by a couple of points.
Spadafora took the last two rounds to even the score. HBO Judge Harold Lederman had it 115-113 for the much shorter by five inches Dorin while ringside commentator Larry merchant like this writer called it a draw. Both fighters received forty-five day suspensions. The referee was Philadelphia’s Rudy Battle did an excellent job as the referee and is currently one of the PA Commissioner’s. It would be the last title fight for Spadafora. For Dorin he would stop Chucky “T” and be knocked out by the WBC World Super Lightweight Champion Arturo Gatti that ended Dorin’s career at 22-1-1.
For Spadafora he would also move up to Super Lightweight in 2004 shutting out Ruben Galvan, 20-4-2, in April and stopping Francisco Campos, 18-0-1, in the tenth and final round in July. Spadafora would receive a 30 day suspension due to a cut over his left eye.
In December Spadafora’s outside the ring problems would start big time. He would be arrested for a shooting and be released posting a $50,000 bond. He would not go the prison and boot camp until February of 2005 serving thirteen months on a twenty-one to sixty month sentencing. He would be parolled in May of 2006. He would be out of the boxing ring for thirty-two months returning in November of 2006 after his release from prison in April of 2006. The glory days seemed over for Spadafora.
In Spadafora’s first fight back in the then annual day before Thanksgiving show at the Avalon Hotel in Erie, PA, he stopped Frankie Zepeda, 16-3, in the fifth round. In March of 2007 he won a split decision over Ireland’s Oisin Fagan, 17-3, after being deducted a point in the eighth round for low blows. He was back in jail on a parole violation in May of2007 getting released in August of 2007 due to not enough evidence available to continue his parole violation.
It would be thirteen months before Spadafora would return to the ring in April of 2008 winning all eight rounds at the Avalon Hotel over Shad Howard, 13-10-3. It would be another fourteen months before his next fight stopping Ivan Orlando Bustos, 25-12-3, of Argentina in June of 2009. Three months later in September he would defeat Jermaine White, 17-3, over eight rounds at Heinz Field VIP Tent in Pittsburgh.
In March of 2010 Spadafora would spend his next six fights “on the road” starting with stopping Ivan Fiorietta, 24-5-2, of Italy in the eighth round of a scheduled ten at the War Memorial Auditorium in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. In March he would travel to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT, forcing the former interim IBF International champion Alain Hernandez, 18-8-2, who refused to continue after five rounds.
Spadafora and his promoter Mike Acri had a dispute with Spadafora bringing a lawsuit. He would re-enter the ring in August of 2012 defeating Ecuador’s Humberto Toledo, 39-7-2, over eight rounds in Chester, WV. He would end the year in December defeating Nigerian Solomon Egberime, 22-3-1, out of Australia who was the WBO Oriental Super Lightweight champion over ten rounds.
In April of 2013 Spadafora defeated Robert Frankel, 32-12-1, for the vacant NABF Super Lightweight title over ten rounds in Chester, WV. for the third straight fight at this location and the fifth on the road. Now it was Spadafora taking his 48-0-1 record fighting for the interim WBA World Super Lightweight Title against Johan Perez, 17-1-1, of VZ, for the fourth straight bout at the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort in Chester, WV. This bout went right down to the wire. The ring announcer announced “we have a majority decision. Judge Glen Feldman had it 114-114, Judge James Tia 115-113 and Judge Rex Agin 1117-111 for the winner Johan Perez!”
“He fought a good fight. I fought my heart out and am not ashamed of nothing. I may have dislocated my left elbow. I felt I hurt him to the body. I’m disappointed with my performance. I was reaching because I couldn’t get in close enough,” said Spadafora.
It would be July of 2014 when Spadafora “returned home” for his final fight at Rivers Casino, in Pittsburgh. He took on veteran Hector Velazquez, 56-21-3.
Spadafora had an easy night with scores of 79-73 twice and 80-72 over eight rounds.
There was always talk of a comeback and he sparred with current contenders. Since the WBC 105 pound champ Chayaphon Moonsri of Thailand improved his record to 49-0 it might mean Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will be fighting again to stay one win ahead of him. If it was going to be with either McGregor or Spadafora who do you think he would pick? It’s a no brainer. Why did Floyd Mayweather, Jr., avoid fighting Paul “The Pittsburgh Kid” Spadafora?
Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, Anderson, Garcia, Rios, Joshua, Khan, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 19th to December 26th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
USA Boxing Nationals Champion Jared Anderson America’s Next Great Heavyweight?
Christmas came early for Jared Anderson, who not only won the heavyweight title at the recent USA Boxing National Championships, the 18-year-old also captured the Most Outstanding Boxer Award in the Elite Division.
Seeded No. 7 in eight-boxer field at The Nationals, Anderson, in order, defeated No. 2 Jesus Flores in the opening round, 5-0, edged No. 3 Adrian Tillman in the semifinals, 3-2, and upset five-time national champion Cam F. Awesome, 5-0, in the championship final.
In USA Boxing’s most recently listed heavyweight ratings (Nov. 17, 2017), Tillman and Awesome are ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively, Flores is No. 5, and Anderson is unranked.
“I think that’s going to change,” Anderson noted. “Winning the heavyweight title and Most Outstanding Boxing Award meant the world to me. Maybe some people had never heard of me, but I’ve been boxing since I was eight, and I’ve faced a lot of different styles.
“I had a vendetta going with Tillman and, instead of boxing, I tried to take his head off. Simple work allowed me to beat Awesome. He is a good fighter. Cam does what he wants in the ring — throws jabs, sits there and builds up points – and intimidates some opponents. I took the fight to him. Not wild, though, because he’d have been there in the ring, calm and smiling, and I would have lost. I used my jab more than anything against him.”
One of 11 siblings in two households, Anderson is another USA Boxing success story. Growing up in Toledo, Ohio, Anderson was constantly getting into trouble in school and boxing eventually saved him. His mother convinced her son to meet a local boxing coach, who introduced Jared to boxing, drilling discipline into him, something Jared desperately needed at that point in his young life.
Boxing in Toledo has also aided his overall development in boxing. “We push each other,” Anderson explained. “We support each other and perfect our crafts. There’s a lot of support here at all the gyms in Toledo.”
Anderson represented Team USA at this past August’s 2017 Bradenburg Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, at which Anderson won the heavyweight title, as well as the Most Outstanding Boxer Award, which should have been a warning for other leading U.S. heavyweights.
As a young boxer, Anderson admired three legends who were all products of USA Boxing, U.S. Olympians and Olympic medal winners: 1. Sugar Ray Leonard – “Fast hands, speed, a phenomenal boxer.” 2. Evander Holyfield – “A warrior who could bang or box. Moved up successfully from cruiserweight to heavyweight.” 3. Muhammad Ali — “Not just because he was a great boxer, but more so because of his life.”
Right now, Anderson stand 6′ 2 and weighs 200 lbs., but he’s only 18 and should continue growing even larger. Ultimately, he wants to be heavyweight champion of the world, but Jared does have a plan.
“I want to stay as active as possible next year, competing in tournaments, and turn pro but not until after the (2020) Olympics,” Anderson concluded. “I’m not turning pro until after the (2020) Olympics. I want to win a gold medal, turn pro and win the world heavyweight title, so I can move my mother out of the ‘hood.”
Remember the name, boxing fans, Jared Anderson has the potential to be America’s next great heavyweight.
Eddie Hearn Releases Potential 2018 Fight Dates for Anthony Joshua
Boxing superstar Anthony Joshua has been the target for many of the world’s top heavyweights, including American rival Deontay Wilder.
Eddie Hearn recently indicated that they are close to confirming the next opponent for Anthony Joshua. They are looking for date on a Saturday night either near the end of March or the beginning of April.
“We’re getting there,” Hearn recently told Sky Sports. “As AJ says, he wants the belts, he wants to be the undisputed king of the division. That’s the aim, and to do that he has to win two belts.”
He continued, “We’re looking at March 24, March 31 and April 7 as potential dates for his next fight, with various different venues in London and Wales, even other venues and cities around Europe as well.”
Joseph Parker looks like the next likely opponent for Anthony Joshua.
Danny Garcia to Face Brandon Rios
Danny Garcia is scheduled to face Brandon Rios on Saturday, February 17th. This fight will be taking place on Showtime. The Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada is the announced venue.
Garcia hasn’t been seen inside a ring since his close split decision loss to Keith Thurman in March of 2017 and will have sat out for nearly a year in between fights. Rios only fought once since his loss to Timothy Bradley Jr. in November of 2015.
A loss for either fighter will likely remove them from future title shots.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. Challenges Kobe Bryant to a Game of 1 on 1
Kobe Bryant, one of Basketball’s all time greats, recently had the honor of having both of his jersey numbers retired by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant posted on instagram thanking his fans, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. responded to his post. He wrote, “@ kobebryant I’m ready to play you one on one for $1,000,000”.
It’s not yet clear if this post was made in jest or if it’s for charity, but Mayweather has thrown out the challenge to Kobe.
Amir Khan Receives Death Threats for Photo of Christmas Tree
British Boxer is a practicing Muslim who recently posted a photo of a Christmas tree on his instagram.
Khan posted the Christmas tree on Instagram with the following caption, “While everyone’s asleep, daddy put the Christmas tree up. Lamaisah’s going to be happy. #Christmas #MerryChristmas2017
However, some of Khan’s followers were not happy and posted threatening messages in response.
He was accused of betraying Islam and many told him to go to hell. One person wrote, “Allah is definitely judging him for that and will surely punish those who imitate the kuffar by celebrating and joining in their pagan festivals.”
Another wrote, “You must be dead and your family will be death I promise and Allah must promise I and Allah see you and check you your angel death came to see you.”
However, some people wrote positive messages such as, “He lives in England in a western culture where Christmas is celebrated. It’s about respect just like if you were in another country. It’s for his daughter.”
Dana White Says Talks of a UFC Deal with Floyd Mayweather are Real; Mayweather Says He “Could” Do It
By Bryanna Fissori
What happens when you put to marketing geniuses in the same mass media headline? The crowd goes wild. And both Dana White (UFC President) and Floyd Mayweather Jr sure know how to work a crowd.
With the statement “Talks about a UFC deal with Floyd are real,” fans and fighters are left to fill in the blanks with assumptions and theories. The guessing game can be entertaining. Both White and Mayweather are known to choose their words carefully to promote the most amount of controversy possible.
“We’re talking to Floyd about doing a UFC deal,” White said in an interview with ESPN. “It’s real. He was talking about [boxing] Conor McGregor. Was that real? Have you heard Floyd talk about many things that aren’t real? He usually tips his hand when he’s in the media, and then that sh*t ends up happening. We’re interested in doing something with Floyd. Everything is a realistic possibility. Mayweather vs. McGregor f*cking happened. Anything is possible.”
Mayweather has rebutted the statement from White, asserting that he will not be entering the Octagon, but if he wanted to he could. And he could make a billion dollars doing it. He is not interested in competing in boxing or MMA.
“Exactly what I said is this: If I could make over a billion dollars before, I could do it again,” Mayweather said in an interview with FightHype. “If I chose to get in the UFC and fight three fights or fight four fights and then fight Conor McGregor, I could make a billion dollars. Which I can. I could do it in three fights or even four fights — I could make a billion dollars. If I choose to get in the Octagon and fight.”
“We just don’t know what the future holds for Floyd Mayweather,” Mayweather said. “And I don’t look forward to getting back in a boxing ring, that’s what I don’t look forward to. I’m just saying I could — I’m not doing it — but I’m saying what I could do to make a billion dollars quick, if I wanted to do that. That’s what I was saying. I never said I was gonna fight in the UFC. I didn’t say that. I said if I wanted to and what I could. Could and would do is different things. I’m not gonna do it, though.”
Keeping in line with the rest of the speculations, could it be that Mayweather is just staying ready in case April 15th crushes his empire with taxes? Could this be his backup plan if the money from his bout with Conor McGregor doesn’t sufficiently fund his retirement account?
Another consideration is that Mayweather, like Dana White, is a professional promoter and a successful one at that. White has already confirmed that the UFC will be hosting boxing events under the name “Zuffa Boxing.” It may be a lot for White to handle both the Octagon and the ring. Could Floyd be joining the payroll as a promoter rather than a competitor?
White and Mayweather are two very powerful men in the combat sports industry. White stated in an interview last month, that he would be speaking to a number of influencers in the boxing community as Zuffa Boxing comes to fruition. For now fighters and fans will continue to speculate as we wait to see where the pieces fit together.
Mayweather-McGregor II? Fool me Once Shame on You, Fool Me Twice Shame on me!
By: Ken Hissner
It’s rumored Floyd “Money” Mayweather and MMA’s Conor McGregor may have a rematch though it’s questionable if McGregor will try boxing again. Since both had big paydays that could change.
Mayweather may know that Chayaphon Moonsri, of Thailand just improved his record to 49-0 this past weekend tying Rocky Marciano’s record and pulling within one win of him. This could bring him “out of retirement” again.
The fight itself between Mayweather and McGregor was Mayweather throwing about three punches around for the first six rounds “carrying” McGregor. In the seventh he started opening up on McGregor ending the bout in the tenth round.
There are more welterweights that could bring a more attractive opponent for Mayweather, 50-0, like a pair of Philadelphian’s in former two division champion Danny “Swift” Garcia, 33-1, and contender “The New” Ray Robinson, 24-2. Even a Garcia and Robinson winner would be attractive.
Shawn Porter, 28-2-1, and Jesse Vargas, 27-2, would also be good opponents. We know he won’t be fighting 2-division champion Terance “Hunter” Crawford, 32-0, at this time but what a match that would be.
Possibly Mayweather would come back at super welterweight and meet WBC champ Jermell Charlo, 30-0. One thing for sure will be Mayweather doing the picking of an opponent if he does fight again!
Mayweather Still In Fighting Shape- Talk of McGregor Rematch
by Bryanna Fissori
Three months into retirement Floyd Mayweather Jr. is reportedly still training “like a maniac” and in fighting shape. His recent training video, recorded in his Las Vegas gym has inspired rumors of a comeback and potential rematch with his most recent opponent, Conor McGregor.
Given the amount of money made by everyone involved with the fight in August, it is not surprising that there is talk of doing it again. The cash is still being counted, but general totals have fight purses at $100 million for Mayweather and $30 million for McGregor prior to accounting for PPV buys, gate sales, sponsorship, etc.
The Mayweather Perspective
Mayweather is 40 years old and boasts an unblemished professional record of 50-0. This is the largest unbeaten winning streak in boxing history, beating out the previous record of 49-0 held by heavyweight Rocky Marciano who passed away in 1969.
This is Mayweather’s third attempt at retirement. He has previously returned to the ring primarily due to financial necessity after running into a number of problems with the IRS and the legal system. Mayweather asserts, that this time he is really done.
“You won’t see me in the ring no more. Any guy that’s calling me out? Forget it. I’m OK. I had a great career. I had a tremendous career,” said Mayweather. “I did walk away from this sport before. Very comfortable. I didn’t have to come back. But we do foolish things sometimes. All of us do foolish things. But I’m not a damn fool. If I see an opportunity to make $300-, $350 million in 36 minutes, why not? I had to do it. But this is the last one. You guys have my word.”
The McGregor Perspective
Conor McGregor is a 29 year old professional MMA fighter competing for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). McGregor’s bout against Mayweather was his boxing debut. He has been very clear that he would gladly rematch Mayweather should the opportunity arise.
In a recent Q&A session McGregor stated, “I’m not calling him out. I’ll sit back. We’ll see how he gets along with this round of money. Maybe I’ll get another call. Originally he was saying an MMA bout next. . . That’s what he said before the fight.”
McGregor is the UFC Lightweight Champion and will most likely have his next competition in the cage, though he has also shown interest in boxing again or spending some time in professional wrestling. Both boxing and professional wrestling have been known to produce solid paychecks in comparison to MMA.
There has also been talk of McGregor talking on former training partner Paulie Malignaggi in a boxing match. It is a match Malignaggi has requested following statements released to the media that McGregor had gotten the best of him during training camp.
Mayweather and MMA
Well, technically if Mayweather was to agree to a bout with MMA rules that wouldn’t have any effect on his assertion of retirement from boxing or his perfect record. The money would be good and the hype would be exciting.
McGregor has stated that he believes Mayweather could compete in mixed martial arts. “He has some very strong tools he could bring into an MMA game for sure.”
One of the most notable crossovers from boxing to MMA was boxer James Toney, who took on UFC fighter Randy Couture in 2010. The match went as expected with Couture out grappling the boxer. Other crossovers that shared as similar fate include Art Jimmerson who faces Royce Gracie in UFC 1 and Ricardo Mayorga who had a series of losses before calling it quits. There are numerous others who have found similar issues with the kicking and grappling aspects of the sport. One of the most recent examples is Bellator fighter Heather Hardy who was unable to outbox Kristina Williams who blooded the boxer with kicks and knees.
The key for Mayweather in an MMA bout would be defending takedowns and watching for kicks and knees, especially given his typical style of playing with his back against the ropes.
McGregor has some proving to do back in the UFC cage and will probably defend his MMA title before any serious considerations of re-entering the ring. In the mean time, Mayweather will count his money and keep training to stay relevant to the masses, teasing fans with a comeback. Is it possible? McGregor may be on to something in his statement that Mayweather’s finances could be the decision maker. Will it be MMA or Boxing? That will likely depend on what the fans are willing to pay the most for.
Mayweather vs. Marciano: By the Numbers
By: Patrick Mascoe
It’s funny how we boxing fans get so consumed with numbers. The idea that Floyd Mayweather could break Rocky Marciano’s record by fighting a 0-0 fighter has many fight fans refusing to give Floyd the recognition he is due. The name Rocky Marciano is iconic in the world of boxing. He reigned as the World Heavyweight Champion from 1952 – 1956, at a time when that truly meant something. During the peak of his career, Marciano was a living legend. He was renowned for his punching power (43 of his 49 wins came by way of KO), stamina, and rock-solid chin. He remains the only heavyweight champion to ever retire undefeated.
The problem with comparing athletes from different generations is that there are just too many intangibles to keep track of. In the 1950’s, corruption in boxing was much more prevalent than it is today. Numerous boxers were directly connected to, or controlled by, organized crime. They were not protected to the degree that fighters are today. At that time, the world only recognized one champion per weight division. Unlike nowadays, when anyone who has ever put on a pair of boxing gloves seems to hold some kind of title.
Today’s athletes are bigger, stronger, and faster than the athletes of yesterday. On May 6th, 1954, Sir Roger Bannister was the first human being to ever run a mile in under four minutes. Now, hundreds of track athletes run the sub-four-minute mile every year, and the same trend can be seen across almost all sports.
Swimmers swim faster, jumpers jump higher, throwers throw farther. Year after year, people continue to break records. That doesn’t necessarily mean that today’s athletes are better. Training, coaching, advances in technique and equipment have also vastly improved. Also, today’s athletes are compensated as entertainers allowing them the financial freedom to train full-time. This in turn has created a larger pool of athletes to draw from than in the past.
When Sir Roger Bannister broke the four-minute-mile he was a part-time athlete. His main focus at the time was Medical School. He never considered running a full-time occupation. Now, track star is a legitimate profession. Just ask Usain Bolt, who is a millionaire many times over.
To be honest, taking an athlete in his prime and comparing him to an athlete from another generation seems highly implausible. Could the 195 lb Marciano of yesterday last twelve rounds against the giants of today, like Anthony Joshua or Vladimir Klitschko? Could Floyd Mayweather at his peak follow the chaotic pace of activity that his predecessors did? Would he hold up physically and mentally if his career spanned two hundred fights like that of Sugar Ray Robinson and Archie Moore? The problem with such hypothetical questions is that they generate hypothetical answers.
So, is it possible to compare fighters from different generations? Yes! All we have to do is examine the numbers and do the math. The first significant number is zero. Both fighters ended their careers undefeated. Marciano retired at the age of thirty-two, while still in his prime. Mayweather, who has always kept himself in great shape, retired for the third time at the age of forty. Call it a draw.
Let’s examine the numbers further. During his career Rocky Marciano defeated four Hall of Fame fighters: Joe Louis, Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles, and Archie Moore. During Floyd’s career, he defeated one Hall of Fame fighter and six others who will most likely be enshrined within the next ten years: Arturo Gatti (inducted Dec. 10, 2012) Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, and Manny Pacquiao. For those keeping score: Mayweather 7 – Marciano 4. Advantage Mayweather.
If we break down these numbers even further, a lot more is revealed. Of the four Hall of Fame fighters Marciano faced, he had either an age or size advantage over all of them. He was ten years younger than both Joe Louis and Jersey Joe Walcott when they met in the ring. He also faced them literally at the end of their careers. Marciano was the last opponent that either fighter would face before retiring. In his two fights against Ezzard Charles, it was not age but size that gave him an advantage. Charles began his career as a Middleweight, moved to Light Heavyweight after the war, and then moved up to Heavyweight after failing to win the World Light Heavyweight title. Against Archie Moore, Marciano had both an advantage in age and in size. Marciano was six years younger than the thirty-eight year old Moore, who like Charles was a natural Light Heavyweight.
With the exception of his bouts against an undersized Juan Manual Marquez and the worn down thirty-nine year old Shane Mosley, Floyd seemed more willing to fight his HOF worthy opponents on a more even playing field than Marciano. Against Arturo Gatti and Oscar De La Hoya, his only real advantage was his superior skill set. Unlike Marciano, Mayweather did step into the ring against younger competition. Manny Pacquio was two years younger than Floyd, Cotto three years younger and Canelo Alverez was thirteen years younger when they faced off. Once again – advantage Floyd Mayweather.
Another way to compare the two fighters is to use a timeline to examine their progress and level of competition, as they climbed the ladder to boxing supremacy.
#1 -both fighters started their careers facing opponents who like them, were fighting in their first ever professional bout. Both were victorious by knockout in the early rounds.
#18 – in Marciano’s 18th professional fight he faced Polish fighter Harry Haft. Haft entered the ring with a 13-7 record and was knocked out in the 3rd round. Floyd Mayweather’s 18th fight saw him challenge Genaro Hernandez for the WBC Super Featherweight title. Hernandez possessed a 38-1-1 record at the time, but was stopped by Mayweather in the 8th round.
#30 – victory number thirty for Marciano was a unanimous decision win over Ted Lowry; a boxer who had suffered 57 previous defeats. In comparison, Mayweather won a unanimous decision over the 35-2-2 Victoriano Sosa.
#35 – saw Floyd win by TKO in six over the 56-4 Sharmba Mitchell, while Marciano won a unanimous decision over the 11-16-2 Willis Applegate.
#39 – Floyd stops the undefeated Ricky Hatton (43-0) in ten rounds, while Marciano knocked out Lee Savold in six. Savold entered the ring with over 40 losses on his record as well as a draw against the previously mentioned Ted Lowry.
#41 – Rocky Marciano defeated Bernie Reynolds (51-9-1) in the 3rd round by knock out. In Floyd’s 41st fight he defeated Shane Mosley (46-5) by unanimous decision. Based on each fighter’s level of competition – Floyd Mayweather once again comes out on top.
Based on the math, my conclusion is this: Rocky Marciano’s legend has grown to mythical proportions over the last sixty years. However, the reality is that he built his perfect record against a number of fighters with losing records or with double-digit losses on their resume. When facing HOF level fighters, he always entered the ring with a distinct advantage. Rocky Marciano was involved in a number of mismatches throughout his career yet, every single one counted as a win on his record. Floyd was never going to lose to Connor McGregor, just as Rocky Marciano was never going to lose to a fighter with over fifty losses. Over the course of their careers, Floyd Mayweather faced a much higher level of opposition than Rocky Marciano. I’m willing to bet that those same boxing fans who refuse to acknowledge Floyd’s victory over McGregor surely would have counted the loss, had it happened. Floyd needs to be recognized and given the credit he is due. He is the new standard of excellence in boxing today. To say that he is the best of all time is debatable. To say that he is inferior to the great Marciano is not.
Yes, Floyd Mayweather Held Back Against Conor McGregor — And What Else Is New?
By Ivan G. Goldman
I disagree with Jim Lampley’s conclusion that Floyd Mayweather threw some rounds against Conor McGregor last August so he could set up a rematch and another easy payday. The scenario is plausible but almost certainly wrong.
It’s always a little delicious to wonder whether a complex, much bigger story lurks behind what seems so obvious.
That’s why plenty of otherwise sane folks agree with talented crackpot filmmaker Oliver Stone that Richard Nixon, LBJ, the FBI, the CIA, the Pentagon, and oh yeah, the Mafia, all worked together to assassinate JFK and blame it on a hapless Lee Oswald. But enough with science fiction.
One reason Lampley’s idea is actually worth considering is that Floyd calls himself “Money” for good reason. He wouldn’t be terribly opposed to scooping up another few hundred million dollars in exchange for another easy fight. There’s no doubt that in his last outing he wasted rounds just watching his opponent without launching much of an offense.
Yet there’s one big problem with Lampley’s view of events. Doing just enough to win is the way Floyd fights.
The only thing atypical about this one was that he actually went in for the kill and stopped his dog-tired opponent in the 10th. In fact, Mayweather poured on more pressure against McGregor than he usually does.
Cage-fighter McGregor had never fought a pro boxing match in his life and was used to the more abbreviated MMA form. So waiting for him to tire himself out before finishing him off arguably made pretty good sense.
Although most world-class fighters will go for an early knockout if they sense it’s to be had, Mayweather just doesn’t operate that way. If an opponent behaves himself, Floyd tends to make a silent deal that promises not too much violence in exchange for a civilized ending. There’s no reason to be shocked when that’s how the match turns out.
Eleven years ago the totally outclassed Carlos Baldomir was just too slow and heavy-footed to get anything accomplished, yet Mayweather, in complete control, was content to make every round look the same. None was thrilling. Fans not only booed but in many cases walked out early. When’s the last time you saw fans leaving a big pay-per-view championship fight before the final bell? It wasn’t the sport’s finest moment.
Six months later when Floyd defeated Oscar De La Hoya by split decision it was pretty much a repeat of his performance against Baldomir even though the diminished Oscar was approximately three times the fighter Baldomir was.
If you put up the cash to see him take on Andre Berto two years ago in what was advertised as Floyd’s farewell fight, you saw him follow the same plan there too. Sharp, stinging but not overwhelming shots and not much in the way of combinations. All combined with breathtakingly good defense. Robert Guerrero? Canelo Alvarez? Same story.
In all these instances Mayweather promised fireworks and ended up delivering snooze city. Against Manny Pacquiao he followed the formula against basically a one-armed fighter. It was another one of those fights of a century that wasn’t even the best fight that weekend.
Let me point out here that Floyd is in fact a tough, truly gifted boxer, one of the best ever. The man puts in his work in the gym and it shows. Come fight time, he handles whatever’s in front of him. And yes, he has on occasion been in some truly sensational contests. Diego Corrales, Miguel Cotto, and his first outings against Jose Luis Castillo and Marcos Maidana all come to mind. But because few opponents could test him, he generally switched to cruise control as he compiled his record of 50-0, 28 KOs.
So when Lampley or anyone else notes that Mayweather failed to do all he could, my question is this: What’s new?
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Will Dana White and the UFC be the Next Big Players in (Zuffa) Boxing?
By Bryanna Fissori
“I could see bringing boxing under our umbrella and trying to see what we could do with that. I could see doing that.”-UFC President Dana White.
As written about by BoxingInsider.com following Floyd Mayweather Jr fight versus UFC Champion Conor McGregor, there may be something to the “Zuffa Boxing” t-shirt adorned by White during pre-fight interviews.
Zuffa, LLC. sold the UFC to WME-ING last year, though the Zuffa brand is still heavily associated with the promotion.
White was interviewed on the Wall Street Journal’s “Unnamed Videopodcast,” where he was questioned about the possibility of a UFC crossover to boxing. Though vague in his response, White alluded to the fact that it could happen. His answer seemed to have been worded to imply that he had not given serious thought to the concept, but would Reebok already be selling “Zuffa Boxing” shirts if something were not something in the works?
Dana White and Boxing
Leaving the world of MMA for boxing does not seem to be on White’s agenda. “What people don’t understand is first of all, I’m still an owner,” White said. “I still have an ownership position in the UFC. And yeah, I signed a contract, but no contract can keep you anywhere. I could leave tomorrow if I wanted to. I obviously couldn’t go work for somebody else, but I could leave when I want to leave. I don’t want to leave.”
No stranger to the boxing world, White spent a lot of his early combat sports industry career in that sector. White trained in boxing, taught boxing and had his own boxing brand. The Mayweather / McGregor fight grossed in the neighborhood of $600 million. That is certainly enough to grab the attention of new UFC parent company WME-IMG, whose fairly recent acquisition of the company could mean a lot of changes to the structure and operations of the business. Who is to say one of these changes couldn’t include the addition of boxing under the UFC conglomerate.
It is common knowledge that there is a discrepancy between what MMA fighter and boxers are paid. The top purse reported in MMA has Ronda Rousey (UFC 207) and Conor McGregor (UFC 202) tied at $3million with Brock Lesnar (UFC 200) a fairly close second at $2.5 million. These payouts do not include Pay-per-view percentages or any other bonuses.
In contrast, the top for boxing is Floyd Mayweather Jr who took home $100 million just for his purse alone, against Conor McGregor. Mayweather does tend to be the exception, taking home far more than most other top-tier boxers. It is hard to take Mayweather out the equation when talking about top-paid boxers. Of the top seven grossing matches of all time, he was a participant in at least four.
When Manny Pacquiao fought Mayweather in 2015, the PacMan came home with $120 million. In September, the highly anticipated Miguel Canelo and Gennady Golovkin bout boasted a purse of $15 for each fighter, before the 60 percent PPV split. The PPV and other bonus can add millions on to each purse in the boxing industry.
That being said, the cream of the crop in boxing obviously grosses significantly more than its MMA counterparts. The bottom tier may be a different story. The UFC minimum purse for any card is $10k to show and $10k to win. Unlike most boxing promotions, purses are usually offered at a flat rate with a win bonus that equals the same amount. This provides added incentive for an athlete to preform to their highest potential. Some lower promotions like Victory Fighting Championship (broadcast on UFC Fight Pass) have been known to offer “finishing bonuses” to fighters who end the fight rather than letting it go to the judges.
In a stark contrast to the UFC minimum, the opening bout for the Mayweather/McGregor card did not even amount to $10k between the two fighters. This may also have to do with the fact that rounds were significantly shorter for Savannah Marshall ($5k) and Sydney LeBlanc ($3.5k). The first 12 round fight on the card was Andrew Tabiti ($100k) against Steve Cunningham ($100k).
The UFC minimum is not the industry standard. Bellator MMA may start an undercard fighter at $1,000 to show and $1,000 to win, while small regional promotions may be as low as $200 and $200. This is not unlike smaller boxing promotions.
Overall it can be said that top tier boxers currently have the opportunity to make significantly more than MMA fighters at the highest levels, while the pay is probably more even overall at the lower levels.
Competition With Other Promotions
In joining the boxing community, the UFC will have significantly more competition than the promotion is use to. This is unlikely to dissuade the UFC, given that they are very good at what they do and will undoubtedly be competitive in the current mix as far as the promotional aspect is concerned.
Some of the top competition in the boxing world include; Top Rank, Golden Boy, Premier Boxing Champions, K2 Promotions, Dibella, Mayweather Promotions (TMT), Roc Nation and the recent addition of the successful British promotion, Matchroom.
These promotions host their events across a number of high-profile broadcast networks such as HBO, Showtime, ESPN, CBS, NBC, Fox, FS1 and more. The UFC currently airs its “Fight Night” events, which are not PPV, on FS1. Premier Boxing Champions is the boxing promotion featured on FS1, which could mean someone would need to find a new network if the UFC started promoting boxing events frequently. This would be less likely in the immediate future as the UFC would probably start out with a few PPV events to test the waters.
Audience and Marketing Strategy
The UFC already has a huge audience in the MMA world. It is very likely that a good number of these fight fans would follow the promotion into the boxing arena. As evident in the Mayweather/McGregor fight, the UFC has the ability to reach a broad demographic.
With decades of steady promotions and marketing strategies, the UFC has already mastered the promotional aspects of creating a successful event. They do an incredible job of pre and post fight media, using an adequate but not overbearing amount of dramatization to draw fans in to the personalities of the competitors. Like any good TV show, movie or book, knowing the compelling backstory of an athlete inspires fans to feel more connect and more motivated to watch.
This type of professional and methodical approach to promotion may be what boxing needs to make a comeback in the U.S. where it is still less popular than in other regions.
Competition for Boxers
McGregor is not the only MMA competitor who has shown interest in boxing. There are a good number of athletes who already compete in both sports. UFC athletes Jose Aldo, Stipe Miocic, Jimi Manuwa and Cris Cyborg have already voiced interest in wanting to box. If allowed to compete in the ring, those names would undoubtedly draw a crowd.
The hang up on which promotions boxers compete for could potentially ride on the payout, which it should. No one is looking to get punched in the face for free. As extensively discussed earlier, the high-end payouts for the UFC are still significantly less than that for top boxers. The UFC may find that they have to cough up more to compete for athletes in the industry. Depending on the PPV and gate numbers, this may be worth it, as many large boxing cards have draw a much bigger crowd and PPV turn-out than UFC cards.
Top Rank Boxing Promoter Bob Arum has been very vocal in his opinion that the UFC is considering getting to boxing because of low PPV numbers. “My thoughts are that UFC is desperate. Their numbers are way off, they have no marquee star,” Arum said in an interview with NYFights.com. “Look at their PPV numbers. They barely break 100,000 homes on their shows. They’re having trouble getting renewal on their contract with FOX. They have to do something. One of things they may try and fall back on and try and acquire a boxing presence.”
Arum, who typically has a lot to say when it comes to the UFC and Dana White, has also made comments about the amount the UFC pays their fighters in comparison to boxing. In a 2011 interview he was quoted as saying, “I don’t know where Dana is coming from, I never said anything bad about him. But Dana has to realize, because of the monopoly the UFC has, they pay their fighters maybe 20-percent of the proceeds that come in on a UFC fight and we pay fighters over 80-percent. So that’s the difference, so talk about giving back to the sport, when you pay your talent 20-percent and boxing promoter’s like myself and others pay over 80-percent, who’s giving back to whom? It’s very easy (to make network deals) when his athletes get paid nothing. Our athletes get paid.”
The other question is whether or not the UFC would put their boxers on an official roster with the same ancillary rights agreement that their MMA fighters are subject to. This could also make a difference in the caliber of athlete they acquire.
UFC Easing in to the Boxing World
About this same time last year Arum told media outlets that he met with Ari Emanuel (owner of UFC parent company WME-IMG) who was interested in purchasing Top Rank’s fight library for $100 million, which includes iconic fights such as 1975’s “Thirlla in Manilla” between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Though the conversation did not go anywhere, the library would have been an addition to the extensive classic fights available on UFC Fight Pass and a soft introduction into boxing for UFC fans. A long-term deal with ESPN has since been inked for rights to the library.
In the recent interview with NYFights.com Arum stated that he was contacted last year by someone in the UFC wanting to purchase Top Rank. It was unclear if Arum was referring to the entire promotion or the previously mentioned attempt to purchase the library. The UFC is know for successful acquisition of other promotions, though up to this point they have all been MMA only promotions.
Allowing McGregor to compete in boxing earlier this year granted the UFC businessmen and fans to acquire a taste for boxing without shoving it down their throats. This has sparked obvious interest from fighters and there are a lot of MMA fighters out there with great hands who could be fun to watch.
The Future of UFC Boxing
Will we see a UFC boxing card in the near future? Overall it makes a good deal of since. The UFC already knows the formula for success in combat sports. The company has already gotten its feet wet. Fighters and fans are watching anxiously to see what the UFC’s next move will be.