Million Dollar Man, Million Dollar Question: Is Floyd Mayweather Jr. The G.O.A.T. Or The Hoax?
01.06.07 - By Vivek Wallace: For years fans and skeptics alike have debated the true worth of Floyd Mayweather Jr. His performance on May 5th in the heavily touted showdown with Oscar De La Hoya in hindsight was somewhat bitter sweet in the sense that he solidified his position as one of the all-time greats in the mind of some, yet based on the way he did it, lost some points in the minds of others.
Article posted on 01.06.2007
Looking at the names on his resume' answers this question to a degree, but it's the names that aren't on there that formulate other questions. This article should help narrow that debate as we take an in-depth look at both sides of the spectrum.
Looking at things from a 'Pro-G.O.A.T'. standpoint comes somewhat easy when you look at how Mayweather Jr. has handled his opposition. Diego Corrales (R.I.P.), was a very worthy challenger and nothing short of a warrior who Mayweather dispatched in a mighty fashion. Carlos Baldomir appeared to be a puzzle in the beginning to Mayweather Jr., but in the end he was yet another jigsaw that ended on the wrong side of a talent equivalent to a chainsaw. Then there were the somewhat post-prime talents like the Arturo Gatti's and the Genaro Hernandez' of the world who had their day but were simply outclassed by a younger stallion with too much juice. The only fights prior to De La Hoya that seemed to be threatening was Jose Luis Castillo (first fight), and Zab Judah. With Zab it took Floyd a few rounds to get used to a speed closest to his and with Castillo it was aggression and body shots with a very relentless approach. As tough as those challenges were, the end result was the same as Floyd found a way in the end to impress the judges more. Some will argue that Oscar was beyond his prime but this same 'beyond his prime' Oscar would still probably be too much to handle for an easier to hit Miguel Cotto or a wreckless Antonio Margarito.
Mentioning these two fighters is a perfect prelude to the 'Pro-Hoax' argument against Floyd Mayweather Jr. because they are two of the bigger names that Floyd chose not to test himself against. You add Paul Williams, Shane Mosley, and eventually the young Andre Berto to the mix and one really has to wonder why Floyd would walk away at a point of such deep talent where he could attempt to prove his worth.
In the end analysis, the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) or Hoax question is not really a question. Even if Floyd beat all of those guys there's no definitive way to say that he's the best ever because people gravitate to what they like, which is why some would pick a young Mike Tyson over a Muhammad Ali which is odd but still a topic of high debate. Bottom line on Floyd Mayweather Jr., in this era, probably only a young Roy Jones Jr. had the combination of blazing hand speed, cat-like defensive reflexes, beautiful footwork, and enough power to hurt you, although not always enough to knock you down. Some may argue with the 'hit-but-don't-get-hit' strategy Floyd employs but if Muhammad Ali used it he'd probably be talking today. Plain and simple, boxing is a brutal sport and if you can win a fight using this strategy and the rules allow it, don't hate the player, hate his game. That's like saying I don't accept a team winning a super bowl because they beat my team with field goals and no touchdowns. If it scores points and my defense holds you to less, game over! The criticism of the way Floyd won is a bit unfounded. When we paid $50 bucks for Mike Tyson to knock a guy out in 49 seconds that was considered a waste, now we get a full 12 rounds of two guys with pure talent and to most that was still a waste. Guess we're all a bit like PRINCE's mother, who (as we know from his hit 'When Doves Cry'), "She's never satisfied".
To answer the question, is Floyd the greatest of all time? Well, there's simply too many fighters with too many attributes from too many eras to pick a name that sticks so NO, but is he the best of our era, talent wise, I'd have to say YES. As far as him being a hoax goes, some questions in life aren't worthy of a response. Next!
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