DeMarkus Jones- Just who is Money Mayweather? Is he TBE? Is he boxing’s G.O.A.T? A boring fighter who hugs and runs? A dirty boxer who uses his elbows? A cowardly cherrypicker? Or is he the best boxer of this era? Let’s attempt to break down the boxer to see if we can answer this question.
If you could use one word to describe Floyd Mayweather Jr. it would be: Successful. No boxer in the history of the sport has had more success than the leader of the Money Team. From his promotional company to his undefeated record, the Welterweight has sustained millions upon millions of dollars and cross over appeal.
Floyd is the definition of success. Even people who do not watch boxing know who Floyd Mayweather is. So many boxers have tried to emulate his style both in and out of the ring. He has truly built an empire for himself by being a savvy businessman and a polarizing figure. Whether you loved or hated Floyd, you paid to see him. Which he is what he banked on.
I will also say that Floyd is a masterful boxer; taking technique and craft to an entirely new level. While not everyone’s cup of tea, Floyd has managed to fight professionally for 21 years without sustaining a loss. He adapted his style over time. Adjusting for moving up in weight and getting older. Many people forget Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather was knocking fighters out left and right in the lower weight classes, garnering K.O.’s on 13 of his first 14 opponents, 21 out of his first 31 fights.
After settling in at Welterweight he began putting more emphasis on his defense. Though always part of his fighting strategy, it became paramount to his boxing style due to the increased size of his opponents and numerous broken hands. Floyd began breaking guys down and making them look foolish. His ability to take away a fighters best weapon is nearly unmatched throughout the sport. Not to mention his ability to stand in the pocket and roll with shots. Many people have tried to utilize the Philly shell and the shoulder roll like Floyd does. However no one else can nor will ever be able to do it the way he does. Whether or not he is the best ever is debatable. However Floyd Mayweather is one of the greatest boxers I have seen in my 20 plus years of covering the sport.
Brilliant. From his fighting style to his masterful self-promotion, it would be a huge disservice to ignore the genius that Mayweather has toward formulating a successful and long career. Floyd is incredibly intelligent; from a boxing standpoint he is a true ring general. Controlling space and distance, Floyd makes guys fight on his terms. He engages when he wants to, he rests when he wants to. He is always in control. He has the ability to adapt to any style. Outside of the ring he is just as intelligent. Floyd has made the most amount of money while taking the least amount of risk. While many people will label him as a ducker or a cherry picker, I think it’s genius. Floyd is only doing what so many of us in the world want to do: Make as much money as possible while doing something we love without taking too many risks. That’s not to say Floyd never took risks. Every fighter who gets in the ring is taking a risk. Floyd always took calculated risks. He always knew when to fight guys.
Some fighters, like Canelo Alvarez, he fought while they were still green. Others, like Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley, he got when they were past their primes. However, he still had to win those fights and people still paid money to watch them. On top of that, his money persona has become iconic. The arrogant, money flaunting, braggadocious boxer made made you want to watch him. He was very smart in making himself the top attraction in boxing.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, Floyd is dedicated. For starters, he is a cardio machine. I don’t believe I have ever seen Floyd look tired in a fight. He trains multiple times a day for multiple hours a day. To be able to do what he has done for as long as he’s done it you have to have strict dedication to your craft. “Hard work and dedication isn’t just something cool,” is something that Mayweather has frequently said of his work ethic. It is a creed that he lives by. He truly believes that no one works harder than him and no one is more dedicated than him. I tend to agree. Floyd is always working. Whether it’s in the gym, running his promotional team, or opening a strip club, Floyd is always working. Even after a two-year layoff to be able to enter the ring once again and beat a young, hungry, yet limited Challenger. That just shows Floyd’s dedication to his body and the sport.
So to answer the question “Who is Floyd Mayweather”? We have to look at all the pieces of the puzzle. Floyd is a charismatic yet frustrating human being. A technically brilliant yet uninspiring boxer. An illiterate yet savvy businessman. Floyd wears many hats, however the one that fits him best is boxer. While Floyd might not be the best ever, when you mention the best boxers of all time you have to mention his name. When you mention the best boxers of this era, Floyd just might be number one. To all the people who believe Floyd is a product of his era, you are not giving this man enough respect. With his intelligence, drive, and dedication Floyd would have been successful during any decade in boxing. If last night t truly was his last fight, we just witnessed one of the greats ride off into the sunset.