Floyd Mayweather Junior and “Ring Rust”

MayweatherBy Ted Sares:

I’m not in this sport to see how hard I can get hit or to see how many big punches I can take. I am in this game to fight as long as I can. I am trying to dish a lot of punishment.

-- Floyd Mayweather Junior

In 1997, the great Carlos Palomino decided to launch a boxing comeback at the age of 48. Amazingly, his last fight had been in 1979. His comeback was a solid one and included a one round KO over Mexican bomber and former world light welterweight champion Rene Arredondo. After losing to top contender Wilfredo Rivera on May 30 of 1998, he retired for good. The amazing thing about Palomino’s return after some 18 years is that he showed little ring rust and was an able fighter, a rare feat in boxing. Henry Maske did it as well. However, after a relatively long layoff or inactivity, most fighters need tune-ups and have an uphill battle to shake off ring rust.

Floyd Mayweather (41-0) does his fighting at lengthy time intervals—some might even call it cherry picking, but the flip side to that notion is that theoretically he should suffer from lack of tune-ups and resultant ring rust. But he doesn’t. He stays in top shape while inactive. Indeed, most active fighters would be thrown off their game with Junior’s array of out-of-the ring troubles.

Mayweather was active in 2005, but fought just once in 2004. He fought twice in 2006 against two former champions, Carlos Baldomir and Zab Judah. In his two fights in 2007, he decisioned Oscar De La Hoya and then KO’d Rickey Hatton in a masterful and dominating performance. Then, after an almost two-year layoff, he took the measure of the great Juan Manuel Marquez winning every round in Floyd’s one fight in 2009. In his lone fight in 2010, he beat Sugar Shane Mosley. Again and except for being rocked in the 2nd stanza, he dominated Mosley almost at will. Floyd is now scheduled to fight Vicious Victor Ortiz in September 2011 in what undoubtedly will be his sole bout this year and perhaps his only in the next 18 months. Look for him to get into cruise control early, start peppering Victor with leads and counters, and win another in dominant fashion.

The Arsenal

Mayweather’s arsenal of skills may well be the best in boxing. It includes one of the highest ring IQ’s, laser-like intense focus, an uncanny ability to adjust, great defense (featuring many Old School moves), superb ring movement, stamina (he is always fit and ready), crisp and sharp counter punching, superb straight leads, solid body work, and the rare ability to take calculated risks. Floyd is a thinking man’s fighter. Said another way, Junior’s use of shoulder rolls, feints, parrying, upward jabbing, giving angles, crossover defense, strategic lateral movement, slipping and deflecting punches is all part of the mix. Look, if a purist is one who appreciates boxing as a Sweet Science, then Floyd Mayweather Junior is a purist’s delight. His fight with Phillip N'dou (in 2003) showcased these attributes to a tee. And his fights with Hatton, Corrales, Augustus, and Gatti suggest he also may have a violent and malefic dimension as well.

Another Positive

A “new” attribute can be added to the list, one that is so obvious it almost escapes our attention or appreciation, or maybe we knew it all along and just take it for granted. But the fact is, an inactive PBF always shows up with all cylinders working and with absolutely no sign of ring rust.

Article posted on 12.06.2011

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