In Defense of Floyd Mayweather's Style

17.11.06 - By Scoop Malinowski: There's been an awful lot of griping in the boxing community about the defensive-oriented style utilized by Floyd Mayweather Jr, especially in the WBC title-winning performance against Carlos Baldomir.

Fans and insiders have been complaining quite profusely about Floyd's fleet-footed pitter, patter, peck way of boxing but this viewpoint might be a little unfair.

Top fighters like Lennox Lewis, Roy Jones, Chris Byrd, even Wladimir Klitschko have been criticized for being too defensive in some of their fights.

But it must be considered that certain fights are so dangerous that the boxer must employ a more defensive-themed fight plan in order to give him the best chance to win the match. Why should Mayweather go in and fight a dumb fight and get his head pounded in by a brute if he has the skills and techniques to avoid such danger?

I have always defended Lennox Lewis against the critics in some of his more defensive outings such as the wins over David Tua, Oliver McCall, and Evander Holyfield. And as much as I disagree with how Mayweather disrespected and denigrated Antonio Margarito this year, I still believe Mayweather actually fought a brilliant and near-perfect match against Baldomir. Floyd was absolutely wizard-like against the much slower and older Argentine.

As much as we all love Bernard Hopkins today, you have to admit even the great Philadelphian's style was quite cautious over the last several years. You rarely saw Hopkins engage in toe-to-toe brawl exchanges or throw multiple punch combinations. Why should Hopkins fight a dumb fight when he has the intelligence and ring savvy to out-skill and outmaneuver the opposition?

Don't get me wrong, if Mayweather can prance his way to a points win over Oscar next May, he should be commended however he can get the job done. Because defeating a living legend like Oscar De La Hoya will be no easy task.

But for the sake of boxing and the honor of keeping his word and respecting the honor and natural progression or the sport, Mayweather should give Margarito (provided he beats Joshua Clottey on Dec. 2) the golden marquee opportunity the relentless Mexican has so far been denied. The same opportunity that he himself has been so fortunate to receive several times now.

But all in all, Mayweather deserves credit for the clinical method he just dismantled and dominated Carlos Baldomir.

Perhaps in the long run such fine boxing demonstrations will prevent Mayweather from ever succumbing to the tragic condition we all saw the great Muhammad Ali in at the Klitschko-Brock fight.

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Article posted on 18.11.2006

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