Future…On Being Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather

27.06.05 - By Coach Tim - I sometimes wonder how it must feel to be famous or infamous. Money, notoriety, women throwing themselves in your path and not just for the autographs. Must be great? But then there is the pressure to succeed, the constant badgering and ridicule, and of course the added problem of everyone gunning for the man on top of the mountain. It was the life of Ali, of Tyson, of Jones Jr. and now it may be the life of Floyd Mayweather.

On June 25 “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather and Arturo “Thunder” Gatti stepped into the ring to battle it out for Gatti’s WBC Light Welterweight Title. But this fight was about more than a title. Gatti, who is adored by fans for the ring wars he’s given us in the past, wanted to see where he stood against the best in the field. Mayweather wanted a national stage to present his craft and hopefully step across the invisible barrier that has kept him from national acceptance. The match up was the best for both worlds. Though Gatti ended up on the short end of the stick the loss shouldn’t lose him any fans.

For years Floyd’s name has been mentioned in the pound for pound rankings. Usually, until the fall off of Roy Jones and the more recent loss of Kostya Tszyu to Ricky Hatton, Mayweather’s name fluctuated between positions two and five. Nowadays his position is systematically planted at number one or two with the great Bernard Hopkins who at the age of 40 steps in the ring July 16 against probably the most talented up and coming middleweight in the division, Jermaine Taylor.

So today, right now, where does Mayweather stand against the rest of the Light Welterweight division and possibly more appropriately where against the rest of the boxing world?

First, the top of the Light Welterweight division is thick. Hatton, Tszyu, Freitas, Witter, M’baye, Dorin, Cotto, Harris and now the emergence of Carlos Maussa who on the same fight card dethroned Vicious Vivian Harris of his WBA title. Maussa isn’t very skilled but he can take a punch.

Mayweather’s skills seem to trump the field with probably Hatton and Tszyu having the best chance at beating him because of their inside boxing style. Both fighters are willing to take a couple of shots to land a couple of shots and unless you are willing to do that then you won’t beat Floyd. Why? He has lightning fast hands, footwork and body movement. The adage “You can’t hit what you can’t see” applies exhaustively to his style of boxing.

Floyd is a master at imposing his style and changing it on the fly. He sometimes switches styles 3 or 4 times in a single round and is always in a position to punch. He can press forward or sidestep and punch. He will bait you into thinking he is stepping back when he intends to dip back then quickly spring forward with precision punches. He will show his head to bait you into missing. All of this is great but the most imposing style he uses is when he drops his left across his stomach, guards his chin with his left shoulder and barriers his right arm in a guard position against his face. From that position he will stand in front of his opposition, make them miss and pepper them with precision.

Though Mayweather may be more universally appreciated he will find universal acceptance evasive unless he defeats the likes of Cotto and either Hatton or Tyszu. Cotto should avoid Floyd but something tells me he will succumb to the pressure of being great himself. It is yet known whether Tyszu will fight again and some think that he shouldn’t. To make a fight happen with Hatton, Floyd may have to travel to Hatton’s hometown but will he? Mayweather has a strong desire to fight Hatton but it is yet known whether Hatton feels the same. I expect Hatton, who just recently won the IBF title, to bask in the glow of the belt for a while as will Mayweather.

Therefore it seems that though clearly one of the best to ever lace them up it is yet determined how great Mayweather truly is. In my opinion, though he may dominate the 140-pound division the true trial waits for him at 147 where he shares the same disdain for Cory Spinks’ boxing style as his friend Zab Judah. Speaking of 147, how huge would a Judah verses Mayweather fight be? Probably off the Richter scale. Need more names at 147 to consider? Okay, Diaz, Rubio, Hopkins, Bojado, Damgaard, Cintron and of course Spinks, Mitchell and Judah.

The rest of the ride with Mayweather should be really fun to watch.

Article posted on 27.06.2005

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