Floyd Mayweather, Saul Alvarez and the double standards of the boxing industry
Fight night is approaching, the tension in both camps is building up and the masks are falling. It’s time for mind games and a little psychological warfare. It will probably be a close fight most of the time and the judges scoring the points will be the main factor. This time Floyd may not benefit from the politics if it comes to that. So far he has been greatly privileged as far as point scoring is concerned. The best example of that would be his first fight with Jose Luis Castillo when Mayweather won by UD but was out landed 176:66 in the power punch department and 203:157 in total punches. Boxing isn’t about counting punches (tell that to Castillo) but when one of the boxers out-lands his opponent almost 3 to 1, questions and doubt will linger the outcome forever. Floyd was the beneficiary of a “political” decision when he was a rising prospect loaded with expectations.
Today Mayweather is on his final stretch and he realizes it may be time for him to pay his dues to politics. A close fight will probably go to “El Canelo” because sound financial logic stretches ahead into the future. Floyd became a little sulky in the press tour when Alvarez had all crowds cheering for him. He became very sulky and disrespected De La Hoya when he stated Alvarez is the star of boxing. The charm and glamor is shifting away from FMJ and there is little he can do.
He started teasing Alvarez in the beginning of the hype about his experience and stamina, and then he made a U turn and started wording him up a little. Now he is back at lashing his opponent’s skills and he even got personal by calling Alvarez “Chucky” and “carrot top”. Mayweather’s father and uncle could not miss the chance to jive and they chimed in with their own version of praising their relative and belittling his opponent. Mayweather Sr. stated his son is “quicker and faster”, smarter, more knowledgeable and a harder puncher than the “green flat-footed” Alvarez.
Saul Alvarez has not answered Floyd’s verbal jabs and he is doing the right thing so far. If he can refrain from engaging in trash talking and treat his older opponent with respect he will gain a lot of respect for himself. He should lose all respect for Floyd when the fight starts without giving in to anger. Mayweather is trying to get Alvarez to start strong, fight angry and spend his reserves with several rounds to go.
We come to the double standard in covering their performances. When Alvarez paces himself, he is reported to fight in spurts and to have questionable stamina. He “fights for one minute of a round” to avoid getting gassed out. When Floyd fights for less than a minute, he is called a tactician with great endurance. When he throws single shots, refuses to engage and convulses around the ropes, this is called strategy, game planning, experience and great boxing. When Alvarez does not chase an opponent and takes a break, he is flat-footed. If he chases an opponent and throws combos, he is “green and fights in spurts”.
The media has its own standards about boxers. A fighter like Guillermo Rigondeaux who has more talent than FMJ and Saul Alvarez together is treated as an empty space. Promoters are not to blame this time, it’s the networks that have double and triple standards. A true talent like Guillermo is not a head-liner, he has to co-feature lame horses who are forced upon the fans by politics.