When will Mayweather get the respect he truly deserves?

By Vitali Shaposhnikov: Oscar De La Hoya was past his prime, Shane Mosley was too old, Juan Manuel Marquez was way too small, and Ricky Hatton was an over-hyped competitor. What about Zab Judah? Well Judah’s downfall was lack of stamina, otherwise he would have definitely beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their bout.

At what point, after beating what opponent, will Floyd Mayweather Jr. get full credit and respect he clearly deserves?

I have thought about his resume and his proposed, overblown possibility of facing Manny Pacquiao sometime god doesn’t even knows when. For the sake of this piece, let’s imagine that Mayweather Jr. beats Pacquiao (that is if Mosley doesn’t do it first), and does it in a decisive, possibly boring but dominant fashion. While I am not stating a fact, I am exposing my strong opinion and prediction: excuses fill fall in an avalanche-like fashion.

What could be some of the possible excuses for Floyd not getting the respect and credit he deserves if he faces and beats Pacquaio? Excuses for this one will be awfully hard to come up with for the Pacquiao fanatics and Mayweather Jr. cynics. Would Manny not be in his prime at that point in time? Would there be some unfair disadvantage to camp Pacquiao? Would the blood work be the cause for the loss like in the Morales fight ( (

Nothing that Mayweather Jr. has done in boxing has been fully credited to his skills and dedication. Something was always wrong in his favor.

If Pacquiao were to lose to Mosley and then fight and suffer a loss against Floyd, it is clear that his “loss of mental strength and focus” due to the Mosley loss, would be echoing everywhere. A re-match would be rolling off everyone’s tongue, persuading one and all including themselves that it was a fluke.

It is not my intention to display Pacquiao fans in a negative light, but instead to find a reasonable explanation, and a rational understanding of where the Mayweather Jr. lack of respect is spawning from.

De La Hoya was non-competitive and utterly dehydrated in his fight against Pacquiao, yet Pacquiao was labeled a hero. Why? When Marquez clearly deserved a win, Pacquiao fans roared in disapproval. Why?

Mayweather Jr. is not a very active fighter, so what? Him not fighting often, is not an indication of fear or avoidance; instead it may very well be something more clever than we hypothesize. Categorizing Mayweather Jr. as scared of a loss and questioning his own skills is unfair. Mayweather Jr. is not any less of a champion than Pacquiao. Pacquiao has definitely done more for the fans and the history of boxing than Mayweather Jr. How? By moving up in weight to fight bigger opposition, being a humble fan-pleasing character, fighting for his people, being a student of Freddie Roach, and of course being a politician. His extracurricular activities and lovable singing character somehow tend to add to his boxing fame. Nevertheless, Mayweather Jr. has a record that easily proves his world class boxing abilities.

As a fan I agree with most, that this fight has to happen soon. I want it as bad as all of you do, and think that it is Mayweather Jr. who is responsible for the lag and incompliance. I understand and am aware of the financial situation, where supposedly Mayweather Jr. is pricing himself out of the fight. Still, despite this fight being nothing but an idea that may never come to fruition, I have lost no respect for Mayweather’s boxing skills. I definitely like him less as a person, and see him as a troubled individual with very destructive tendencies. Mike Tyson never lost any fans due to his behavior, why should Mayweather Jr.?

I hope this fight finally happens, as there seems to be much more to gain and lose for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his fans, versus those of Pacquiao. The final word needs to be seen instead of told, and all excuses need to be curbed before the fight ever happens, otherwise, we will never be content.

PS: Special thanks to a certain member of the ESB General Forum, who inspired this idea.

Article posted on 28.04.2011

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