This past Saturday night, I watched the Floyd Mayweather-Phillip N'dou lightweight title fight on HBO. After watching the Juan Manuel Marquez-Derrick Gainer fight, all Mayweather and N'dou had to do was engage in one exchange, and it would seem like "The Thrilla in Manila." And you know what, it almost turned out to be just that. What a terrific fight!
N'dou showed tremendous heart, will, punching power, and good skill. There is nothing he could have done or tried that would have carried him past Floyd Mayweather. The problem N'dou had in this bout was that he was the one who was sharing the ring with Mayweather. Mayweather was absolutely brilliant. He showed incredible boxing skill, speed, power, chin, desire, conditioning, strength, and heart.
No matter what N'dou did, Mayweather had an answer and them some. In this fight, Mayweather out boxed, out thought, and out punched a very good and determined fighter in Phillip N'dou. If there were any Mayweather doubters, this performance must silence them for the time being. What possible questions could there still be lingering about Mayweather?
Mayweather changed his style and tactics three or four different times during the fight. He boxed when N'dou wanted to fight, he fought when N'dou wanted to jab and pace himself. He went to the head, he went to the body. He led off with a lead right uppercut to start one exchange and ended the fight in the seventh round with a flurry of three straight right hand leads. Please make sure you contact me first, the next time you see a fight ended with that sequence of punches. Not only was it beautiful and unique, it was devastating!
For anyone who has recently read me, you must know that I'm last on the bandwagon when it comes to leading the charge calling a fighter great before he's really been tested. In my opinion, many fans are to hasty in calling a fighter/athlete great, or declaring him the best ever before his career has started to wind down. However, in the case of Floyd Mayweather Jr, I think it's safe saying that he is already a great fighter and will most likely retire as an all-time great.
Mayweather answered the questions I had about him. Going into his fight with N'dou, I somewhat questioned his physical strength and punching power. I thought maybe he was a little too light in the rear end to go up and fight at 140 or 147. I no longer have those questions or doubts. In N'dou, he took apart a very big strong lightweight who came in the ring weighing 147 pounds. All questions answered about strength and punch.
I also questioned his chin. Well, N'dou landed some right hand bonds against Mayweather's chin. He didn't move or flinch. In fact, he didn't even seemed bothered by them. This kid has some chin, and he is much stronger than he looks. I have no doubt that he can fight at 140, and probably 147 down the road. Not a doubt. He has the speed and the skill, now I'm convinced he has the strength and chin.
Another thing Mayweather demonstrated was good stamina. Make no doubt, N'dou was not only throwing many power shots, but also a high volume of shots reaching 100 in the fifth round. This is something that apparently Mayweather had no problem with. Not once did it seem Mayweather needed a breather. Once N'dou was slowed and started picking his spots, Mayweather raised the rent and started picking up his punch output.
At this time I'm willing to say that Mayweather will adapt to 140 and probably clean out the division. I know he didn't clean out the lightweight division, but I'm convinced he is the best fighter in it. Mayweather is a fighter that everyone knows has boxing skill, but when you couple that with everything else he can do, you've got some fighter. I look forward to his next fight with great anticipation.
The bottom line with Floyd Mayweather is this. N'dou made him fight in every style possible. He made box, punch, move, and defend himself. And Mayweather passed with flying colors in every category. Mayweather met every challenge and scenario and had the answer. Mayweather has arrived!
Here is something that I've yet to totally grasp. What's a better testament to greatness? Winning because you're supposedly so good and haven't really been tested like Roy Jones, or winning a tough fight in which you've shown all your skills and demonstrated character and toughness like Floyd Mayweather?
I thought Derrick Gainer's showing against Juan Manuel Marquez was reprehensible. How can a fighter who was a title holder, and is fighting for another put forth such a terrible effort. When I think of the fighters throughout the years who have spilled their guts out in the ring trying to get a title shot, and never did. It seems there just isn't any justice in the world. What is it exactly that Mr. Gainer was trying to do? Was that boxing? Was he trying to set something up, or waiting for Marquez to make a mistake? I haven't a clue what Gainer was thinking during the fight, but I know one thing, you have to be Roy Jones to fight like Roy Jones. Derrick Gainer is failing miserably in his effort to emulate his idol and friend. I suggest that Derrick Gainer find his own identity.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV