My Disappointment with Floyd Mayweather Jr.: A Fan’s Perspective

Floyd Mayweather Jr.By Michael Herron - For those who have followed my writings it is well known that I am a huge Floyd Mayweather Jr. fan, (a.k.a. defender, supporter, “#@#” hugger if you prefer) but there is one aspect of his recent career that has left me disappointed. I feel he has abandoned the sport and has turned away from his calling. I have felt since 1998 when he defeated junior lightweight champion Genaro Hernandez that Mayweather would become the next legend of the sport; and I don't just mean legend in the generic sense, but the rightful inheritor of the pound for pound throne and premier fighter of this era. Though he’s more than half way there, Mayweather to the detriment of the boxing world, insists he’s already accomplished this goal.

As a boxing enthusiast I can agree that in terms of talent and skill Floyd is the man, but in terms of legacy Mayweather is seriously slipping. I know he thinks he has accomplished a lot and his merits speak for themselves but what made past legends Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Pernell Whitaker, and even Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins great was their willingness to risk it all in an impossible challenge; a contest that can truly test their claim to being the best..

Sugar Ray Robinson, the original pound for pound prodigy, faced an impossible challenge in light heavyweight champion Joey Maxim. Robinson lost the fight from dehydration but it was a huge risk, a true pound for pound affair. His record of many tough challenges verifies his legend.

My all time favorite fighter Muhammad Ali faced off with the very powerful champion Big George Foreman, an “Against All Odds” spectacle and came out victorious! His victory over Sonny Liston was likewise a huge challenge and then there was Joe Frazier, Wow! This is what makes a legend!

Sugar Ray Leonard came out of retirement to battle the very formidable middleweight kingpin Marvin Hagler and produced the performance of his life. That was a legendary night, a true "Against All Odds" victory.

Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker stepped in with the great Mexican Warrior Julio Cesar Chavez and proceeded to literally box circles around him in the biggest fight of his life. The controversial draw tarnishes his victory but nevertheless it was a legendary night and a spectacular performance for Pea!

Roy Jones established his legend when he beat champion James Toney at super middleweight and then did the impossible, moved up to heavyweight and defeated titlist John Ruiz, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished by a former middleweight in over 100 years. In those two contests he was expected to lose but showed why he's the best of his era.

Just this past year alone Bernard Hopkins has rewritten the rules of aging with a dominant victory over middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik; Manny Pacquiao triumphed over Oscar De La Hoya several weight classes north of his natural fighting weight, and this past weekend, Shane Mosley stunned the world with a knockout over what SHOULD have been a Mayweather opponent, former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito.

To Mayweather’s credit, he has indeed beaten many great fighters, but in none of those fights was he ever the underdog. I expected him to beat Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Zab Judah, Arturo Gatti, etc... The one fight where he seemed to be at a disadvantage was against Diego “Chico” Corales (R.I.P.); in dissecting Corales, Floyd was masterful and it was one of the best performances of his career, but Corales was only exposed that night. As it turns out he wasn't actually a world beater but a very determined yet fragile fighter.

So to be specific, I am disappointed with Mayweather because he allows less gifted fighters like Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, and now Shane Mosley to steal his thunder. They are the ones who have been willing to take "Against All Odds" challenges. De La Hoya unfortunately loses them quite often but he has at least accepted the burden. The question is why Mosley, why Pacquiao, why De La Hoya and not Pretty Boy Floyd or is it “Money” Mayweather now? You are the one blessed with pound for pound talent, you are the one capable of beating men bigger and stronger than you, you are the one with skills that seem to be inherited from the great legends that came before you, you are the one raised from birth to be the best boxer on the planet! You are the one still in your prime. So I don’t get it Money, you have barely been touched in the ring, why retire, why turn away from the sport, why not give the boxing world a thrill by taking an impossible challenge and coming out victorious. As the unquestionably great Muhammad Ali would say, why won’t you Shock the World?!

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Article posted on 27.01.2009

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