'Call Em Out Fridays': Why's Everyone Talkin' About Floyd?
Vivek Wallace - "The greatest ever"......"The best to ever do it"......"The cream of the crop"....All direct quotes from the mouth of Mr. Floyd Mayweather jr. Now, granted, it's very easy to talk about ones self in the highest measure, but how does Mayweather's vision of himself align with his contemporaries? For a glimpse of those perspectives, one need not look any further than the recent assessments rendered from two men who themselves carried the mythical P4P crown not too long ago:
Article posted on 11.09.2009
"Amazing...He's one of the few fighters I've ever seen, like Muhammad Ali, who literally captures every move his opponent makes, and capitalizes on each and every one of those mistakes, which is a gift that you can't teach" ---- (Sugar Ray Leonard)
"The best fighter of our era...my era....is Pretty Boy Floyd....No doubt!" ---- (Bernard Hopkins)
Pretty intriguing set of words touted there, but acknowledging the thoughts of the not-so-impressed, they were rendered from two men who may or may not have the total respect of the masses, (for whatever reason).. So, bearing that in mind, we take it another step further and get a snapshot of recent comments made about the same source from a few experts who most would confirm to stand amongst the best teachers left in the game today:
"You take what you got, and you utilize it. Smart, slick, and knows how to use the ring. He's going to have a tough fight on his hands, but he should be able to overcome. Mayweather is just that great of a fighter". ---- (Angelo Dundee)
"Historically, guys of his caliber, crafty, skillful fighters, they come back good. The Leonard's, the Ali's.....I put Floyd in that class". ---- (Emanuel Steward)
Now, each of those sound bytes rendered directly from the mouth of Mayweather and a very high-class assemblage of boxing's best were solid in theory, but it's the sentiments of another high profile trainer that was perhaps the most deadly accurate of them all:
"Sometimes a break can be good for a fighter. Time off can make you hungrier and give you a spark. YOU'LL JUST NEVER KNOW UNTIL FIGHT NIGHT"? ---- Freddie Roach
Those last 7 words cut deeper than a said-to-be unintentional Holyfield headbutt, and there's simply no denying them. Although we'll save the fight analysis for next week, that comment from Freddie Roach only goes to show that Mayweather is simply human, yet his antics have helped him develop a mystique which continues to grow larger than life. Some love him, many hate him, but as evidenced in this piece as well as on the streets, literally everyone has something to say about him. That one truth makes him the most intriguing figure in the sport today, following the mold of Ali, Tyson, and Oscar De La Hoya. And just like them, there are times where the negative press outweighs the positive. Negative press seems to follow Mayweather like a rabbit in heat, and just like the animal instinct, that desire is always met with a response.
Critics of Mayweather speak of the fact that he has yet to face any top welterweights of today. His supporters respond in saying that when he came to the division he defeated Zab Judah, along with then current 'RING' champion, Carlos Baldomir, and had simply moved on to the mega-fights when those behind him were simply trying to get to a place he had already encountered. Critics often speak of his perceived lack of power. His supporters shine light on the fact that Oscar Dela Hoya (66%), Manny Pacquiao (68%), Roy Jones Jr. (67%), and Muhammad Ali (60%), all come within a few percentage points (or less) of his career KO ratio (64%). Critics spoke loudly of his perceived lack of heart, while his supporters have reminded all willing to listen that when he was faced with questions of a gift decision (against Castillo) he turned around immediately and fought the same opponent to prove his worth to any potential doubters. Seems that for every question there's an answer and for every action there's a reaction. Similarly, the return of a man so openly debated can only produce the same thing, just as it did with Ali, Tyson, and all others before them. Be it searching for internet updates until it's over, or hustling the paper boy Sunday morning to deliver the goods, there will be an obvious reaction come the night of September 19th, simply for the fact that we can't help it! Some have it, others don't, but whatever it is, Floyd apparently does. I don't know everything and will never claim to, but calll me crazy when I say maybe that's why everyone's talkin' about Floyd! (Even though the two men who present him the most danger is only months away from squaring away themselves)! Go figure!
(Vivek Wallace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 954-292-7346, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEK747), Facebook and Myspace).
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