Well he did it, that's right Floyd "I Won't Fight In My Division" Mayweather Jr. provided his own version of "Shock and Awe" before the Pacquiao-Hatton fight. In a press-conference the afternoon of the fight, Mayweather Jr. 39-0 (25 KOs) announced that he's coming out of retirement and will be fighting Juan Manuel Marquez 50-4-1 (37 KOs) who fought as a featherweight until March of 2008, this coming July.
If there is one boxing fan alive who ever believed that Mayweather was really retired for good, they better go back to watching reruns on the ScFi channel. The truth is Floyd Mayweather was never retired, nor did he ever let himself get out of shape. Incidentally, the second part of that is commendable. The first part is a joke. All Floyd has been doing is waiting around for the guys in his "real" division to either get old (Shane Mosley) lose (Miguel Cotto), get beat up (Antonio Margarito) outgrow the division (Paul Williams) and fall off the radar (Kermit Cintron).
How long are boxing fans going to be made a fool of by this manager/fighter? I have no problem with a fighter trying to make as much money with the least risk possible, to a degree. Joe Frazier has the best saying I've ever heard regarding the boxing business. It goes, "Boxing is the only sport where you get your brains shook, your money took, and your name in the undertaker’s book." Having said that, great fighters, I mean all-time great fighters, something I'm not convinced Floyd Mayweather Jr. is, seek out fights with other great fighters their size.
You'd think Mayweather would see that to a degree Roy Jones, who was a greater and more skilled fighter than him, suffers today from the perception of not always seeking fights that offered the biggest challenge. To this day Roy continues to fight to keep fans from forgetting who he was. Yeah, in a way we "Musta Forgot." This is what happens when you fight too many Clinton Woods.’
I'm not saying Mayweather can't beat Mosley, Cotto or Margarito. However, I can't say that he can either. I also know how the game works and what he's doing. This is fighting just to make the most money with the least risk so he can retire undefeated. He can't say that, but I can. Instead he tells us how great he is and sadly more than a few fans buy his BS.
Great? Maybe. I think outstanding is more the case. It's a joke and insult saying that he's in the same class as Sugar Ray Robinson, and he has to pay his way into the gym just to watch Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Thomas Hearns wrap their hands. Look at the list of who's who that they fought compared to Mayweather.
Floyd actually has had more name fighters to fight than Roy Jones did during his prime. Does it take much imagination to wonder what Mayweather's record would be if he fought Shane Mosley's resume? Comparing quality of opposition between Mosley and Mayweather is like comparing hand speed between Butterbean and Larry Holmes.
In reality, Floyd Mayweather Jr. isn't even undefeated, at least not in the ring. He lost the first meeting with Jose Luis Castillo 115-113. Even HBO house judge Harold Lederman scored the fight 7-5 in rounds for Castillo. Yep, Mayweather's network and their own judge had the fight 5-5 in rounds after 10. Lederman then correctly scored the 11th and 12th for Castillo, sealing the fight for his opponent. Mayweather clearly won the rematch, but the point is boxing fans have seen Mayweather bettered in the ring at least once.
I don't want to hear this baloney about Mayweather not being a true welterweight. That's just another excuse to keep Floyd from tangling with the guys in his division. Yeah, he's not a welterweight, but Marquez has to come up to 144 so Floyd has another opponent with a big name to pad his record. Didn't Mosley turn pro at 135, just five pounds heavier than Mayweather was when he turned pro? As far as Mayweather being seen as some kind of a warrior by agreeing to fight Marquez, if it comes off, and then Pacquiao, I just don't see it.
I have no doubt that boxing fans will flock to Mayweather and want to attack those that expose him for who he really is. Be my guest, let him rip you off and then give you a lousy one-sided fight versus a 36 year old opponent. Does it mean anything that when he beats Marquez he's beating a guy much smaller than him, who Pacquiao had down three times in the first round back in 2004. Does it say anything that he didn't even make Oscar De La Hoya look bad and actually lost rounds to him, and then Pacquiao dominated Oscar and retired him? Oh, and Shane Mosley beat Oscar more convincingly in 2000 than Mayweather did in 2007. Yet somehow everybody goes crazy over Mayweather. Can boxing fans be that starved to see a great fighter?
I'm not saying Floyd Mayweather Jr. doesn't posses a phenomenal skill set, because he does. In the ring he's a much smarter fighter than he gets credit for. He's terrific fundamentally and never beats himself. More than that, he's mentally tougher in the ring than he is credited for being and is great at making his opponent fight to their weakness. That said, he's not creative offensively nor does he exhibit a varied attack. His defense is outstanding, but that's more a case of him knowing when to punch and break off the exchanges. The problem is, I want to see him in there with another outstanding/great fighter his size who isn't old or on a steep decline.
At the press conference announcing his return Mayweather said, "I am not wasting any time with a tune-up fight. I'm going straight to the top. Marquez called me out immediately after his victory over Juan Diaz in February and now he gets his wish. What he is going to find out is that you should be careful what you wish for." Yeah Floyd, you're going to the top alright. The top of the lightweight division versus a fighter who is 2-0 as a lightweight. The only problem with that is you're a welterweight.
I guess he never heard Mosley, Cotto, Margarito or Williams call him out. I know I sure have. Floyd Mayweather Jr. in my opinion is very transparent in the con he's pulling off. Quite successfully I might add. Oh, and if anyone out there believes that the 37-year-old Mosley declined to fight Mayweather previously or fears him in any way, next you'll try and convince me New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a choker too. Although, I do expect Mayweather to fight Mosley eventually, Shane’s just not old enough yet.
One more time, I'd have no problem giving Floyd Mayweather Jr. his props if he earned them the way past great fighters have, but he hasn't. He's definitely a great manager and no one can dispute that. Mayweather Jr. may be great, he just won't let us find out! And if he thinks beating Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao will change that, I say only in his mind. As great as they are, they are nowhere near as tough and dangerous to Mayweather as Mosley, Cotto and Margarito.
Pacquiao-Hatton & Mayweather:
The second round knockout scored by Manny Pacquiao over Ricky Hatton this past weekend was nothing short of breath-taking. There's no question about it, whether or not he beats Mayweather makes no difference, Manny Pacquiao is an all-time great pound for pound fighter. End of story.
On the other hand, Mayweather needs to beat more than just Pacquiao to have the same said of him in my opinion. Early prediction, I think Floyd has the style advantage over Manny and believe when they fight, yes, I said when, Mayweather will score a decision victory. As he should, he's clearly the bigger fighter and equally skilled.