To Mayweather, A Win Over Mosley Cements Legacy

BY Ron Borges ON April 22, 2010
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Floyd Mayweather, Jr. believes firmly that he knows what he is and, just as importantly, what Shane Mosley is not. In Mayweather’s mind he is fistic calculus. Mosley? Well, he’s no mathematician.

I’m like a difficult math problem that cant no one solve,’’ the undefeated six-time world champion in five different weight classes said Thursday during a national teleconference call to hype next week’s showdown with Mosley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. “No one can solve it.

“The ultimate goal is try to solve the problem. How to beat Floyd Mayweather? Like I have always said before – there is no remedy on how to beat Floyd Mayweather. Everyone is trying to solve the problem.’’

The implication of Mayweather’s words was clear – Mosley may be able to add and subtract but to solve the geometric problems Mayweather creates inside a boxing ring he’d need Euclid, Archimedes and Isaac Newton advising him in his corner, not just trainer Naazim Richardson.

“Shane done some things in this sport,’’ Mayweather (40-0, 25 KO) said, “but this fight is about enhancing my legacy, about proving I’m the best.’’

To do that he must disprove the theory Mosley (46-5, 39 KO) holds, which is that he is too strong, too aggressive and too experienced in big moments like this one for Mayweather to handle. While Mosley concedes Mayweather is a master defensive fighter he subscribes to the theory that he will pressure him until he cracks, round after round solving the riddle that is Mayweather.

To that Mayweather simply skipped right passed further mention of Mosley and compared himself (favorably of course) to Sugar Ray Robinson, who he seemed to hint was great but no Euclid in short pants.

Whatever Mayweather proves to be on May 1, he made clear in both word and deed that he remains convinced all he needs to be is himself after recently declaring on HBO’s 24/7 that he is better than either Robinson or Muhammad Ali and declared “No one can beat me.’’ Some might call that hyperbole. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. would call it reality.

“I don’t even rate myself,’’ Mayweather said of (who else?) Floyd Mayweather. “I don’t even watch boxing. I just go out and do my job.

“I’m a harsh critic of myself. I always say I could have done better. When I fought (read that dominated) Diego Corrales I could have done better. When I fought (dominated) Arturo Gatti I could have done better. Even when I fought Oscar De La Hoya. If we’d used eight ounce gloves (as Mayweather preferred) I would have chopped him up.’’

What he will do with –and to –Mosley is the more relevant issue of course and he made clear again, as he has throughout the days and weeks leading up to the May 1 fight, that this will be not a title fight but the latest in what has been a 40-fight coronation.

Perhaps to emphasize that point, Mayweather has refused to pay the World Boxing Association sanction fee, which means Mosley’s welterweight title belt will not be on the line. Mosley’s representatives, Golden Boy Promotions, is trying to convince the WBA to look upon it as a title defense if Mosley wins but whatever the WBA ends up calling it, Floyd Mayweather could not care less.

“At this level it’s not about belts,explained Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s chief advisor. “It’s about improving legacy and it’s about money. A title fight never entered the picture.

What did enter the picture was Mosley, who appeared immediately after Mayweather’s negotiations with Manny Pacquiao broke down with more than $50 million on the table for the two of them. Mosley was the next best alternative and a fight of far more interest and significance than the one Pacquiao ended up with against reluctant Joshua Clottey.

Although 38, Mosley is still considered by many to be among the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. The way he manhandled Antonio Margarito 14 months ago, stopping him in nine one-sided rounds, put Mosley back in the debate over who is the pound-for-pound champion and a win over Mayweather would cement that position.

To many, Mayweather and Mosley are seen as mirror images of each other because of their hand and foot speed. Don’t tell that to Mayweather however, because to him such suggestions are mathematical impossibilities and, frankly, absurd ravings of know-nothings who do not yet recognize what he is.

We are totally different, Mayweather insisted. “Hes a fighter that always worries about landing one big shot. He worries about who is extremely strong and I worry about being smart and winning. We approach fights in two totally different ways.

“When I shoot my shots, I am looking at my opponent. When Shane punches, a lot of times he closes his eyes.

That will be one of Floyd Mayweather’s goals come May 1. He will want to close Shane Mosley’s eyes and shut his mouth. Either that or make them both open wide in amazement at a problem he, like his 40 predecessors, has no solution for.

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