Mayweather Does a Hit & Run on Boxing, De La Hoya

floyd mayweather jr.09.05.07 - By Steve Skinner: On Cinco De Mayo, 2007, the world was awaiting a great fight between Oscar De La Hoya and “Pretty Boy” “Money” Floyd Mayweather Jr. Although I must admit that I enjoyed the fight in terms of the high skill level displayed by both fighters, we all must admit that it did not completely fill our appetite’s-and to no fault of Oscar.

“Pretty Boy” has made a career out of being a “hit & run” and “pot shot” specialist, and this fight was no different. Although many call the sport of boxing “The Sweet Science,” the fact is that we all watch boxing for the bloodlust factor. We want to see sweat & blood fly through the air, heads snap back, and the grunts and groans from the combatants absorbing brutal punches. Bottom line: people watch boxing in hope of seeing a brutal highlight reel type of kayo, or to see the heart of a champion displayed in the ring. Because we got neither, the fight was entirely anti-climactic..

We saw “Pretty Boy” hit and run for the first 10 rounds, and really only stood his ground once he knew for sure Oscar was winded. Up to the 10th we watched Floyd backpedaling, circling, getting pummeled on the ropes, and mauled in the clinches. I don’t want to downplay Floyd’s performance, but truth be told that he fought an extremely defensive fight. I can’t remember the last fight where a guy was so defensive, and still won the fight. I must give credit to Floyd for contorting, bending, and twisting his body in such fashions I’ve never seen before in attempt to avoid being hit. I cannot say that it was entirely successful though, because his head was snapped back many a time in the fight-he also absorbed many body blows, was mugged in the clinches, and received many floggings along the ropes.

Oscar, on the other hand, clearly came to make this a fight and to make “Pretty Boy” eat the many disrespectful words he hurled at De La Hoya in their 11 city promotional tour. Oscar jumped on every opportunity to hammer Floyd in any part of the ring that he could. Mainly, Oscar was successful at putting pressure on Floyd by backing him up to the ropes.

For me, the difference in the fight was the difference in the impact of the punches. I think Larry Merchant put it best when he said,”Floyd didn’t have the impact on his punches to hurt Oscar.” Although Floyd threw the more accurate shots, they really didn’t seem to effect or deter Oscar in any way from pressuring forward. Oscar’s shots, on the other hand, had Floyd running, circling, ducking, and dodging for cover-his shots seemed to snap Floyds head back for nearly the entire fight. Floyd’s punches only seemed to show any impact at all in the very last two rounds. I must credit Floyd, however, for absorbing Oscar’s onslaught and to come on at the end like he did. Make no mistake, Floyd is a well conditioned fighter, and my guess is that he’s got the best stamina in the game!

In replaying the fight this evening, I was still left with the feeling that this was a very even fight, but the difference for me was that there were several rounds where Oscar really put it to Mayweather-a flaw in the 10 point must system which I’ve complained about for years but has yet to be remedied. Whereas Floyd appears to have racked up several rounds on the judges cards that were only won by a razor thin margin. Unfortunately under the current scoring system these rounds are weighed the same. I felt there were a couple rounds that really could’ve gone either way. But if I had to pick a winner, I’d say a draw or Oscar by split because he forced the action in the fight and landed the most effective shots which were forcing Mayweather backwards for the majority of the fight.

In the end, Michael Buffer should’ve pulled out a rematch contract rather than reading the scorecards. Only problem, who would want to pay to watch “Pretty Boy” Floyd avoid a fight for 10 rounds before he even thinks about setting his feet to throw a punch? It really doesn’t matter though, because Floyd says this is his last fight, and he’s retiring. I guess he’s doing the right thing, he’s given so much to the sport of boxing. Reality is that boxing should increase its hit & run insurance limits in the event Floyd decides to fight a guy like Oscar again.

Article posted on 09.05.2007

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