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Boxer In-depth Analysis System (BIAS)

BY Michael Olajide ON April 06, 2006
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MAYWEATHER VS. JUDAH

SKULL & CROSSGLOVES (MAYWEATHER)
Defining traits: Skull & Crossgloves is the most lethal and dominant of the 13 BIAS archetypes. He is an exceptional athlete that would probably excel in many other professional sports. Thank the boxing gods that he chose this profession. ‘Morphing’ (altering tactics mid-bout) is no feat for this consummate professional. Skull & Crossgloves can go from a wily boxer to an aggressive, havoc reeking whirlwind of destruction in a blink of an eye. In short, there is no physical flaw in this warrior’s armor.

VS.

DRAGON (JUDAH)
Defining traits: The two-headed Dragon symbolizes two personalities – which one will show its face? Boxing’s answer to Sybil? Hmmm, maybe. On the surface, the gifted sign of the Dragon appears to have the qualities of the more complete Hawk and Skull & Crossgloves. And if you ask him, he feels he has MORE weaponry than their opponent. In general, his defense is very efficient; many cannot hit him despite an economy of movement. And his offense is pretty potent. The difference between him and the top of the food chain is how they function through difficulties. How he responds under duress will always be… maybe not tenuous, but at least an Achilles Heel of his.

Here’s one of the lousy things about how the sports media perceives and covers the most noble of sports… boxing… You get a fight like this with two extremely talented athletes, that also exhibit a lot of emotion and excitement (drama) in their fights… this is the opportunity for the public to really see an exciting part of boxing: and nothing. There will be one piece in the NY Times, Daily News or Post, MAYBE after the fight.

This is lightening vs. lightening and any way you look at it, it figures to be a heckuva fight. Whether or not Zab lost the Baldomir fight makes absolutely “no never-mind” now. Mayweather and Judah is an exciting fight even if they both lost their last 10 fights in a row. Attribute for attribute this fight just matches up well… and if there ever was a fight where you want to hear the babble and psychological warfare, this is the one. Both can talk more trash than a NYC landfill and both can back it up. “Pretty Boy” Floyd is unblemished and sits atop the pound-for-pound ratings as the best fighter in boxing… deservedly so. Zab has the skills to be there but for two things… It isn’t only the fact that (1) he can be hurt; it’s WHY he gets hurt. And (2) mentally something snaps when under duress... Let’s go In-depth and ascertain whether or not Mayweather can put the hex on Judah’s fair-weather resiliency, or if Zab can use his double jab to upset the king.
        
RING GENERALSHIP
MAYWEATHER 10  
JUDAH 8
(Ability to dictate how the fight will be fought)
MAYWEATHER has both the amazing ability to fight every fight on his terms. More than just stick-and-move, his talent allows him to stand in front of a dangerous opponent and lash out with any punch at any time. If the fight were a vessel, Floyd owns the rudder. JUDAH has the gift, yet different. Maybe at times he becomes oblivious to the fact that the opponent can lash back and suddenly he finds himself in trouble and losing control of the fight.

FOCUS   
MAYWEATHER 10  
JUDAH 7*
(Ability to funnel all one’s attentions on the matter at hand)
MAYWEATHER has been as focused as a laser in most if not all of his performances and that is a tribute to his desire to win, respect of his opponent, fear of losing. Given the fact that the Hollywood life beckons, he has shown a tremendous amount of poise for one with so much on his plate and opportunities to get distracted. He carries this same attribute into the ring. JUDAH, on the other hand, as recent as his last fight versus Baldomir, cast a lot of blame in different directions, sometimes the wind gets behind ya, sometimes it blows it back in your face. The responsibility always rests with oneself… he has realized that, hence the lack of conversation with media sorts heading into this fight. The BIAS has a feeling he will have a new sense of focus come fight night… These are the types of challenges in life a man lives for… everyone saying “You can’t do it.” As an aside, lack of focus wasn’t the cause for his loss to Tszyu.

ENDURANCE  
MAYWEATHER TBD*  
JUDAH 8
(Regardless of the pace, can carry the last round like the first)
Both are in impeccable condition and the BIAS feels that this is a battle of skills, not will, which it often becomes when a fighter isn’t in as good a shape as he should be and endurance becomes a factor. That takes care of the physical endurance… Then there is the mental side of endurance… a fighter can quit a fight from getting hit too much or hit in a way they haven’t before. We know the deal on Judah… he won’t consciously give up… Mayweather is an unknown story in this area, so an accurate assessment of his endurance can’t be appraised... Just the way your trainer would want it.

DEXTERITY  
MAYWEATHER 10  
JUDAH 10
(The ability to throw any type of punch with precision)
There isn’t a punch either one can throw that the other can’t. Both have full command of the punch vocabulary with either hand.

AGILITY   
MAYWEATHER 10  
JUDAH 10
(Moving your body to an advantageous position through movement of the feet or body)
Both fighters have buckets full of agility. JUDAH can move in reverse and especially forward quite efficiently, MAYWEATHER can also position himself well defensively.

DEFENSE  
MAYWEATHER 10  
JUDAH 8
(The ability to avoid being hit through either slipping or blocking punches… bonus points if you can counter off the defensive move)
Judah has to find a way through that awkward but SO EFFECTIVE defense of Mayweather’s. The one were he crosses his left arm across his midsection, raises his right so it defends against left hooks and then leans back with the left shoulder high to protect against power rights. If you are orthodox and own an overhand right, like the one Rocky Lockridge used when he took out Uncle Roger, aka The Black Mamba (man, Roger could fight though…), then we got an issue. JUDAH, like Mayweather, is a reflex fighter and the fear of being countered keeps the opponent from getting too aggressive and throwing too many punches. Generally he doesn’t dedicate his energy to not being hit unless he has been hit.

RESILIENCY 
MAYWEATHER TBD*  
JUDAH 7*
(The resistance to cuts and a thick beard as well as taking a good whack to the guts)
Mayweather’s mettle we don’t know, so one way or another he cannot be judged. One could get suspicious and say, “If he has a chin, what does he have to hide? Why does he employ the defense that he does? He mustn’t like being hit.” Judah’s story we know… and there is no amount of neck exercises you can do to take a better punch... Heart he has in multiples and that may just help him, but when you have a red flag on something as imperative as resiliency, and you are fighting someone so fast, with impossible instinct and can also crack… it doesn’t look good. Neither has shown the tendency to cut or swell.

JAB    
MAYWEATHER 10  
JUDAH 10
(The most important punch in boxing)
Both of these fighters have the ability to win a fight on just the use of the jab alone, which says much about their ability.
 
POWER   
MAYWEATHER 8  
JUDAH 9
(The ability to knock your opponent out with one punch)
Power can be a misleading attribute. As we have seen time and time again power is the great equalizer and the great deceiver. Neither one of these fighters limit their ability in search of the big punch – even though that’s why Zab has been dropped as frequently as he has… always in search of the KO. For Mayweather the power seems to come from speed and the element of surprise… For Judah, speed and intent… He commits his whole body to the punch.

BODY PUNCHING  
MAYWEATHER 8  
JUDAH 9
(The ability to dominate your opponent fighting at close range with shots to the torso)
The work that they do to the body isn’t obvious to the general viewer, but they are extremely effective on the inside. The nod goes to Zab because he can stay inside and really commits to getting off the shots.

TOTAL
MAYWEATHER 9.5    
JUDAH 8.6


INTANGIBLES
Where do we start? We know styles make fights and neither has fought one like the other before… Who will adapt better? In this fight it’s not who can punch harder, but who can hit whom first, most and last. Is Floyd playing Judah light and does he really discount his ability from a sparring session? Is Floyd a one trick pony about to be exposed? How will Floyd respond should he get caught on the chin? Has Judah made the mistake of not answering Floyd’s taunts? What will he do when faced with the same taunts in the actual fight, lose his head? Has Zab done the homework and learned how to get around Floyd’s defense? Will he over-hype now that it’s real? These are just a few of the obvious intangibles that can sway the outcome of this fight.

FINAL ANALYSIS
There is a reason why Floyd is pound for pound the best fighter in the world… his reflexes. Reflex fighters, when they are fresh, are the most amazing of boxers… their radar can sense a fly in an arena as they see everything and counter with swift vengeance… but when they lose that fear of being hit… it’s ugly. JUDAH is no slouch in the reflexology department either. Equally as gifted it has only been a blind spot in the FOCUS department that causes his ails. That may be all Floyd needs, it doesn’t figure to happen early… but should Zab make a mistake, that’ll KOSTYA… big time!

Call it a hunch, but the BIAS doesn’t think either one can take the others best punch, not even for a moment, so RESILIENCY really comes into play here... (Zab’s resiliency has been red flagged and Mayweather’s is immeasurable due to never being tested. Perfect missing ingredients that add to the suspense.) Mayweather’s brashness and past successes will tell you he may be the one to get off first, but don’t be surprised if he hesitates under the strong opening attack of Zab, causing him to go defensive. That’s what Zab wants. Floyd was reportedly knocked down by Carlos Hernandez in 2001. (His glove touched the canvas… I didn’t see the fight) Is it possible that Mayweather can take a punch as well as he can dole them out? NO WAY, but in the major leagues no one asks a pitcher to play catcher either. But if Floyd doesn’t respect Zab in the ring… were it counts, (forget about the vociferous hyperbole outside of the ring) he will be in for an abrupt night. Zab has answered the resiliency question (Throughout his career he has been dropped numerous times) and it only brings suspense to the fight… Like sitting on a keg of proverbial dynamite, will Mayweather dismantle the bomb before it detonates? If this fight goes a bit, it will tell us more of Floyd that we ever knew before… that’s a guarantee. This is a harder fight for Floyd that a potential fight with De La Hoya would be.

The BIAS feels for Zab to win, he has to jump on Mayweather from the first bell and get him out of there. Put all his chips on the table and go for the KO. He has the guns to do it. He has to take Mayweather into uncharted waters and capsize this ship early… at least make Floyd sustain enough damage early on so Floyd is playing catch-up or agrees to lose quietly. Judah has to get Mayweather into exchanges. The longer he remains in the ring allows Mayweather the time to figure him out. We’ve seen what happens once Floyd gets his range, no need for redundancy… we’ll see what we saw with Mayweather and Corralles… Mayweather picking his opponent apart until the ref halts the fight or the fighter can’t go on.

What to look for

MAYWEATHER
That laser like right hand to the point of Zab’s chin.
A lot of feinting then firing of punches.
One punch at a time… Combos will leave him vulnerable to counters

ZAB
Look for Zab to go for the early KO
Throwing the left as a decoy for the right hook
Loading up on every punch with a jab as “cover fire”
Jabbing over Mayweather’s left
Using the straight left to the chest/body area
Stepping in to close the distance should he miss a punch

POTENTIAL
This fight has the potential to be AMAZING. Just from an emotional angle this fight has the makings of a classic. I like the fact that this fight was made regardless of Zab’s loss to Baldomir. The public is learning that it isn’t the titles that makes great fights, it’s the fighters. It is a rare happening when you get two fighters with these types of SKILLS in the same ring. The last time that happened at welterweight, I would have to say, Leonard vs. Hearns 1. This is a fight that is slightly under the general public’s radar but should be an amazing fight to behold. No matter the outcome, both fighters would do good to praise the other… it will only make their victory or loss, all the more respectable.

BIAS rating: (A rarity) 10 out of 10 knuckles.

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