Boxing

Early Stoppage: Typical Mayweather

19.11.05 - By Izyaslav “slava” Koza: Tonight the best fighter p4p in the sport of boxing, Floyd Mayweather, fought exactly the way most great fighters are expected to fight against a less than great opponent in Sharmba Mitchell. In that sense, of course, good job, Floyd, and congratulations on stopping the “Little big man,” but I hope you don’t mind the criticism because as the best p4p boxer in the world, you deserve it..

First of all, lets get something straight and that is, this fight was, according to the scoring, one sided, which is often typical for a Myweather fight. Yes, Mitchell did come in it to win it, and he deserves his respect, but the man is done as a competitor on the elite level, from what I see of him. He has decent boxing skills and might surprise a young prospect on his way up, ala Leija vs Bojado, but his inability to shoot and land the big shots, with his unstable knee, and somewhat diminishing reflexes, have forked him.

The problem is, this isn’t something fans can say now after the fight but rather have been saying before the fight, and as soon as it was signed. He had no answer for Floyd’s speed and the few times he did catch PBF, it was wholly insignificant and did not faze Mayweather in the slightest.

I take issue with the stoppage because it's not Mitchell’s job to smile and pretend he isn’t hurt. Basically, Mayweather caught him with a good body shot, Mitchell went down to a knee, took the count and got up, but in getting up, he grimaced in pain, and the referee waived it off to Mitchell’s protesting. The stoppage was based on Mitchell’s facial expression for a split second, as he got up, and this is not a contest of who can smile better while hurt. Were that the case, Gatti-Ward1 would have been waved off after the knockdown, where Gatti looked even worse, based on what I saw. Its also not an issue of who was winning because Mitchell was being competitive enough, he just couldn’t bank any of the rounds. Were it similar to the Gatti vs Mayweather beating, then the stoppage would be fine, but like Corrales and many other fighters before him have said, “let me go out on my shield.” It’s not even that important because I doubted Mitchell would win before the fight, and certainly during the fight it became even clearer, but still a sense of fairness is necessary.

The more important issue is the question of when Floyd is going to fight an opponent who is perceived as a threat by the boxing community. Look, as many have said before me, it’s not an issue of “he has never fought great opponents,” because he has in Corrales, Castillo and so on, but that was years ago. Those of us who follow the sport are a fickle bunch and we demand that the fighters who we think are the best act as such, and fight opponents we perceive as important. Yes, like mentioned before, it's not easy to do this, and there are many issues to consider, and yes, fighters can fight whoever they want, but at the same time, they have to understand where the criticism is coming from, especially if they are considered elite. It sounds preposterous that Floyd Mayweather is the one who has trouble landing fights.

Take Floyd’s interview tonight. Larry Merchant asked him exactly what was needed to be asked and Floyd gave the same type of answer politicians give in regards to questions about Iraq, or in other words, diplomatic, useless, and basically bull$%#. Floyd, like every other fighter out there, SAYS he wants to fight the best but Merchant was completely correct in pointing out to him that he also wants other things, or mainly money. Mayweather’s response to this allegation was “I am not here to talk about money,” which basically says to me “I will fight the best if I get the lion’s share and they get sweatshop wages.”

I may be wrong on this but I have a hunch I know why Mayweather is looking to fight Zab Judah. Zab took only 100,000 dollars in a rematch against Cory Spinks, in Spinks’s hometown. Floyd might be thinking Zab is exactly the type of guy he can lowball, to get some embarrassing sum of that nature, for what is essentially a super-fight. Yes, maybe Floyd does deserve good money for that fight, but just because Zab took chump change to knock out Spinks, doesn’t mean he should take that or close to that to fight Floyd Mayweather. Then again, perhaps it's Zab that is the one who is trying to get the lion’s share, and Floyd wants to take the fight for pennies, but to me, that seems unlikely. The proof is right there, since again, Zab Judah took on Cory Spinks for an embarrassing sum, just so he can get him in the ring, while Mayweather took on five unworthy opponents in a row, when he could not get a super fight against anybody out there, and yes, Gatti was not worthy and a mere punching bag, as mentioned many times before.

Fans may not like my negative approach in criticizing the “Pretty Boy,” but my response has always been that I hold him to a higher standard than maybe 97% of the fighters out there. He is the best fighter pound for pound in the world, and it is his job to remind us of this in every fight against the best opponents. If he thinks he has nothing to prove to us, then he is entitled to that belief, but he should understand where the criticism is coming from. Its not that fans like us hate him, but rather, we have him on a high pedestal and want him to exceed or at least meet our expectations. Ideally, the purpose of this writing is to do nothing more then incite fans, boxers, and promoters, into enough of a frenzy where they want to shut the critics up.

I would love nothing more then for Floyd’s fans to say to me, “See, Slava, you don’t know #$@!” after Floyd potentially gets done beating a top flight opponent, but in order to do that, Floyd has to get off his high horse and fight that opponent. He has to say to himself “I have made enough and my financial future is set and this next fight is for my legacy.” Until then, no matter how insignificant my opinion is to the boxing community, I will remain unimpressed by these types of fights. I knew Floyd had skill when I first saw him, but showcasing his goods fight after fight, against non-elite opponent after non-elite opponent, is similar to watching the Globetrotters against the Generals night after night. Mitchell is not quite as bad as the Generals, but the act still gets old after awhile.

Article posted on 20.11.2005



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