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Is Floyd Mayweather Jr. Too Good for His Own Good?

floyd mayweather jr.29.01.07 - By Ted Sares: When boxers demonstrates uncommon courage, vicious determination, and focused tenacity inside the ring….guys like Castillo, Pacquiao, Gatti and Ward….they are often labeled a "throwback" to the golden days of boxing, but those who do the labeling seldom bother to define what they mean by old school. There have been countless arguments about whether old school fighters could handle modern ones, and I am not about to take up that argument here. After all, as Einstein says, everything is relative, but it is tempting.

Ironically, and while he is rightly criticized for frequently coming in overweight and/or out of shape, James Toney is a boxing history buff and an astute student of “old school techniques,” likely resulting in his uncanny ability to use his shoulders to shrug off blows, deflect punches with his arms, and counter with deadly and crisp accuracy. That's pure old school. The quintessential Toney showed this when he fought Jirov and Holyfield.

Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather Jr. is another who uses old school stuff, but he does it so subtly, he is seldom given proper credit for it. He just might be too good for his own good. His use of shoulder rolls, feints, parrying, upward jabbing, giving angles, counter punching, crossover defense, strategic lateral movement, and deflecting punches is all part of the old school mix. So is his mastery of the basics…the three levels of defense, slipping punches, and fighting off the jab. If a purist is one who appreciates the technical aspects of the Sweet Science, Floyd Mayweather Junior is a purist’s delight. His fight with Phillip N'dou showcased these attributes to a tee.

However, if one definition of “Old School” is that it combines the full book on basics and technical aspects with a violent and malefic dimension (one that reflects a boxer’s propensity to engage in a pier six street brawl), then Floyd still has a way to go. Aside from his give and take with Emanuel Augustus, we have not yet seen Floyd be required to demonstrate this pier six dimension. However, his blow-outs of Diego Corrales and Arturo Gatti suggest he may be capable of the same kind of mayhem Miguel Cotto showed against DeMarcus Corley in their ebb and flow 2005 thriller.

Perhaps we will find out in May. I hope so.

Article posted on 29.01.2007



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