What Will It Mean If Floyd Mayweather Really Does Retire Next Year?

10.11.06 - By James Slater: Well, first of all, if Floyd Mayweather does live up to his promise of retiring after just one more fight, boxing will lose its current number one genius. Because, and make no mistake about it, despite the quite baffling attacks of criticism some “experts” have been levelling at “Pretty Boy’s” abilities just recently, he is without a shadow of a doubt THE best fighter on the planet right now. He also deserves to be ranked as one of the best of all-time. For Floyd to have started collecting world titles at super featherweight, to eventually move up to where he is now is quite an achievement in itself. To have thoroughly dominated the linear champion of the world at 147 pounds is even more so.

Despite the fact that Carlos Baldomir entered the ring weighing 162 pounds - in other words as a fighter boxing above the middleweight limit - and for Mayweather to have done so at only 149 pounds and still won with supreme ease, is really very impressive.

Many fans and experts alike are now saying that Baldomir wasn’t all that, therefore Floyd didn’t really prove too much.

To me, however, such talk is just silly. Floyd wanted to become the welterweight champion of the world and he challenged the king and did so. No-one predicted that he would win every single round against the tough Argentine, either. The fact that he did, however, adds significantly to his legacy. Remember, you can only beat the champion who is in front of you. And Floyd utterly beat the man with that distinction when he faced him.

When Oscar De La Hoya, for example, made his move up to welterweight he didn’t look anywhere near as impressive as Mayweather just did. Okay, he had to fight the extremely gifted Pernel Whitaker, but Oscar also struggled with a past it Julio Cesar Chavez at the weight. Can you imagine Floyd getting hit with the number of shots the old “J.C Superstar” hit Oscar with? No way. Let’s face it, Mayweather is just as quick now, some twenty plus pounds above the weight he was when he first became a world ruler. If that’s not impressive then nothing is.

The sport is about hitting and not being hit, after all. And at this art Mayweather is one of the best ever. Who cares if some fools were booing him on Nov 4th? They were simply ignorant of what they were bearing witness to - a boxer in possession of uncommon boxing skill. Such rare talent should never be subjected to boos. Not by anyone with any comprehension of what they are watching boxing for in the first
place, anyway.

So now to ponder the question raised by this article’s title some more. If Floyd does go out a winner, and one still well within his peak years as pound-for-pound the absolute best, he will make history. For never before has a fighter reigning as world champion exited the sport while still having so much to offer. Yes, Rocky Marciano went out with a clean sheet. Yet even he was starting to feel his age somewhat - being knocked down in his final ring appearance also.

Floyd, on the other hand, has barely been hit solidly on the whiskers. And for those huge De La Hoya fans who feel “Pretty Boy” will have his chin tested should he fight “The Golden Boy”, sorry, but Oscar too will hit only fresh air. Don’t get me wrong, in his prime De La Hoya would more than likely have given Floyd a great fight. But even then I feel he would have lost on points.

Now, at age thirty-three/thirty-four and with all that time spent idle, he will be no match for Mayweather’s speed and reflexes. The fight probably will happen though. And Floyd will win. Will he then quit the game though? He says so, yet fighters right throughout history have been guilty of saying the same thing many times.

Boxers, by and large, have an extremely hard time saying goodbye to the sport they love. Mayweather is unlikely to be any different. If he is, however, he will set a new precedent for pugilism. One that will add greatly to his overall standing in his chosen profession’s list of immortals. To leave boxing while still very much at the top, with untold millions still to be made, will send shockwaves throughout the media. As such, the name of Floyd Mayweather junior will stand alone in the pages of boxing history books.

In the meantime, I think we should all enjoy him while he’s still around and doing his thing.

Article posted on 11.11.2006

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