The return of “Pretty Boy” Floyd?

By P.H. Burbridge (A voice in the crowd) Spotlight on CENTER stage! We’re all waiting. How much longer will we have to wait to hear “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr making those outlandish statements again? Acting insulted that his opponent would even dare challenge him! You have to admit, it’s a pretty good act and we’ve paid handsomely over the last couple of years to see it. When he’s part of a ticket versus another big name his “act” pushes the PPV buy rate through the roof and helps turn a fight into an “event!” Floyd Mayweather Jr offers us something that Muhammad Ali proved we need in this sport and that’s CONFLICT! We need a good guy and we need a bad guy..

Floyd enjoys playing the bad guy, the guy you love to hate, the braggart and we lay down our money in the hope that someone will “alter” his outlook on life. We’re all convinced that one day it will happen but so far Floyd has been able to charge a pretty good rate while back handing us back to reality. He’s not only good, he’s GREAT. Fight fans want him to come back for a variety of reasons. Some want to see Floyd prove his greatness (again!) and others want to see him fail in the most public way possible to validate their opinion that he is “vastly overrated”!

However, regardless of your reasoning the one thing that shouldn’t be questioned is that Floyd Mayweather Jr has truly proven to be one of the most talented fighters of the last 20 years. He’s a virtuoso who has dominated many a world class fighter and champion and he’s done it in 5 different weight divisions. With those types of credentials it’s pretty hard to ignore the “Pretty Boy”. He’s legit and NO amount of criticism will ever diminish what he’s already done in the ring.

So, when Floyd retired seemingly in his prime we didn’t take it seriously. (And some of us still don’t!) We assumed it was another in a long line of publicity stunts he’s forced us to endure. From the WWE to the Grand Rapids, Michigan “retirement” celebration he threw for himself that I’m sure that wasn’t cheap. We know he has tons of money because he keeps telling us about it and insists that he’ll be a “billionaire” by the end of the year. I’m not sure how to take any of that but we do know that the Hatton payday along with the gargantuan payday he took for the De La Hoya fight should remove any and all money concerns related to cash flow.

I guess we’re left to assume that he doesn’t need the money and that he’s simply burned out on it all. That’s understandable. After all boxing has consumed most of his life since childhood and you can’t blame him for wanting to move on. How many times do you need to hear somebody calling you out on national television and questioning your accomplishments every time you look up? I’m sure that get’s tiring. Everybody wants a piece. It’s the one thing that Mayweather and De La Hoya now have in common. Mayweather got there on De La Hoya’s back and now everybody wants the same ride from him.

My feeling is that Floyd will come back one day just to feel the spotlight one more time. The question is when and against whom? The current welterweight landscape is not a good fit for Floyd because you have absolute monsters like Paul Williams and Antonio Margarito sitting on the top and either one of those guys would give Floyd SERIOUS problems. Especially, Williams! Too good, too tall, too fast and too hungry! If ever there was a bad stylistic match up for Floyd, Paul Williams is it. Stay away from that guy. Antonio Margarito is a much more realistic fight because he is incredibly predictable and slower but the problem is the same problem we saw Miguel Cotto forced to confront and that is the CONSTANT pressure. Floyd might end up in another fight like the first Castillo fight but this time with a bigger stronger foe.

Margarito will be a killer for as long as his motor will allow him to be. Once he looses that stamina edge he looses everything. Aside from his pressure strength there is nothing special about his arsenal or boxing ability. Floyd may be able to out maneuver him because he does have the tools to do it the question is will he chance it? After the job Margarito did on Cotto my guess is NO. 39-0 sounds much better then 39-1. Oscar De La Hoya is truly Floyd’s best option if he does return BUT time is running out. It’s a big fight and it’s not uncharted territory.

He knows what to expect and he would most likely win it in the same fashion as the first one. I’m sure a year and half has done more negative then positive for Oscar’s stamina problem so, he should take that fight and rake in another huge payday. Then call it a career. If he continues to insist on being “retired” then he’ll regret not making that money regardless of how deep his pockets currently are. Because after Oscar there are no more superstars and Floyd needs to realize that he’ll be up against younger, stronger and hungrier competition for less money. His EGO will force him back into the spotlight so get it over with now and not later. You’re not getting any younger either and you’ve heard the story a million times about a returning “aging’ champion.

Come on, Floyd you’re too smart for that!

Article posted on 14.08.2008

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