Sav's View- How to Beat Mayweather

By Jamie Savin: How to beat Floyd "Money" Mayweather, that is a question that was being asked during the UK PPV airing of Mayweather vs Ortiz, in fact an article or two has appeared on this very website on the matter. It has been peculating in my mind for a few days, but the game plan for Mayweather has changed or so it would seem following the Ortiz and Mosley fights.

Watching the PPV show on September 17th and the question was asked who could beat Mayweather throughout the weight divisions that he has fought in throughout time, my response was actually read out on the show as I stated that Roberto Duran at Lightweight, Tommy Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard at Welterweight would have beaten Money Mayweather, the rest of the responses set in from Twitter, and Eastside Boxing were similar but there was a common theme throughout the selections, and that theme was ring IQ.

During the fight itself one of the commentators kept on referring to the blueprint laid out by Jose Luis Castillo in there first meeting but how relevant is this blueprint, people seem to forget Mayweather was fighting with an injured rotator cuff for the majority of the fight, I challenge any top level fighter to fight another top level fighter with that injury and win. It is a limiting injury, and Mayweather should be given credit for being a true fighter and finding a way to win. So how do you beat Mayweather, well I will give my humble opinion on this, the approach I as a fighter would take or if I was training the method I would like my fighter to follow. I know this could attract a few Floyd and Manny marks and could lead to some heated debate, my opinion is not that of a guy with no fighting experience I used to box myself not saying I was the greatest but I could box and I have tried to be as sensible as possible in suggesting a game plan.

My first thing would be to analyze the Castillo fight, what did he do well that made him win rounds from Mayweather as both fights were close, the main thing I see from those fights is body punching in volume, Castillo wasn't giving Mayweather time to settle kept on forcing him to readjust and no matter how good you are nobody likes doing that over and over again. Since that fight people have said follow the Castillo blueprint, but if you look back at boxing history there are some fighters that give the greats fits, Norton and Ali being a prime example, Ali schooled so many fighters but he always had trouble with Ken Norton. Ricky Hatton tried to follow the Castillo blueprint and had some success early on but had trouble with the excellent referee that is Joe Cortez and lost the plot altogether. Oscar had some success early on in his fight with Mayweather by using his jab and cutting off the ring, but how much of his success was real? The vast majority of Oscar's swarming punches were hitting Mayweather on the arms or being slipped and countered, yet they were winning rounds. Even Zab Judah has some success in the early rounds as his speed proved a slight problem and he caught Mayweather with a good shot that in many peoples eyes should have been counted as a knock down.

So different fighters have had different levels of success against Mayweather primarily in the early rounds, is this when Mayweather is traditionally getting his timing going and formulating a way to fight for the remainder of the fight? Danny Garcia said he doesn't think Mayweather does adjust, who am I to argue with a respected coach but can we just blame the change being the Judah and De La Hoya got tired? Can we just blame Hatton losing on Cortez? There is one thing these 3 have in common and I think it is the key attribute in winning against Mayweather and that is excellent footwork, ok I know so many of you are going Hatton didn't have excellent footwork. I ask you to watch most of Hatton's fights before he lost the Mayweather fight, yes he swarmed in but his footwork allowed him to be in control of the majority of situations, in the Mayweather fight his footwork allowed him to catch Mayweather a couple of times and force him back. Cortez did ruin this fight no doubt about it, I am not saying Hatton would have won the fight but it would have been a lot better if he'd allowed Hatton to do what he normally did. How did Judah and Mosley land there big shot on Mayweather again it was through footwork they had worked the opening using there feet which is how so many top fighters land good shots, Oscar gave so many examples of this in the opening rounds of his fight with Mayweather.

As mentioned above the key feature in so many of the fighters named during the UK PPV showing of Mayweather vs Ortiz was ring IQ, they were fighters who could adapt to different styles and have different game plans throughout. The ability to adapt to Mayweather is crucial 12 weeks in a training camp all tends to go out the window when people step in the ring with Mayweather because his style is hard to adapt to. His patience and angle punching are two key features he waits for you to fire one off rolls the shoulders and then hits you with a counter, a single shot more often than not even though he did throw a couple of combinations against Ortiz. Amir Khan made a great point on Saturday night he stated that you needed to be as patient as Mayweather to have a chance to beat him, now this in an approach no one I can really think of has tried to take, but in order to do it you need such discipline and blistering speed. You need to make Mayweather throw the first punch time and time again, and make him miss then return that single punch with 3 or 4 all at different angles and different parts of the body. I know sounds so simple why hasn't anyone tried that I hear you ask, well who has the skill set to do such a thing. Khan and Manny have the speed but do they have the patience to wait for Mayweather to throw, the answer is a resounding no (waits for the inevitable flaming comments from Manny fans), Khan is too green and too aggressive I was impressed with him against Judah but he didn't want to be in the ring.

Recently Mayweather has been slightly more aggressive in his fights, fighting off the front foot but it has been against aggressive fighters which allows him more chances to counter, the above still applies as you need to make Mayweather think over and over again, the fighter needs to accept that all his punches won't connect and there will be times when you are made to look like an idiot. Mayweather feeds off discouragement of his opponent, as the more frustrated they get the more counter chances they give him, you need to stay focused for 12 rounds and box to your plan, slight tweaking should always be made, if Mayweather is blocking the body punches wall feint them more and go for the shoulders, if the head punches are not working again feint them and attack the body.

I would love to as always hear your thoughts on how to beat Mayweather, please keep it clean and civilized and if anyone wants to contact me to discuss further the email address is

Until next time

Article posted on 19.09.2011

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