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Thread: LIKE MIKE? Is Floyd Mayweather the Michael Jordan of Boxing?

  1. #1

    LIKE MIKE? Is Floyd Mayweather the Michael Jordan of Boxing?



    Is Floyd Mayweather the Michael Jordan of boxing?
    According to Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza, indeed he is.
    “I think we’re going to appreciate Floyd more several years after he retires than maybe we do now,” Espinoza told The Sweet Science. “We all know, at his level of skill, it’s a challenge to find fighters that we think are going to be competitive. To me, he’s Michael Jordan.”Jordan led the NBA’s Chicago Bulls to six world championships. He was the best basketball player of a generation, earning five Most Valuable Player awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, ten scoring titles, six NBA Finals MVP Awards, and a multitude of other honors during his playing career, which lasted from 1984 to 2003.
    “There was a point when no one was going to stop Mike,” said Espinoza. “John Starks wasn’t stopping Michael Jordan. Bryon Russell wasn’t stopping him. Byron Scott wasn’t. Nobody could stop him. But nobody said, ‘We aren’t going to watch him because he’s too good...it’s too easy. We know the Bulls are going to repeat this year.’ No one said that.”
    Espinoza said watching a Mayweather fight was akin to appreciating Jordan during his prime years: “This is an opportunity we have to see Jordan before he retires.”
    Mayweather’s next bout is against upstart contender Marcos Maidana May 3 at the MGM in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout will air live on Showtime PPV. Maidana upset Adrien Broner in 2013 to earn the Mayweather gig, and will be a huge underdog come fight night. Still, he was certainly the best choice of Mayweather’s likely options for the fight in that he absolutely pummeled the previously undefeated Broner in a fight very few thought he could win.
    Unlike Mayweather, of course, Jordan was forced to face and defeat the best and most deserving contenders of his generation. Among the notable all-time greats Jordan defeated for NBA titles are Magic Johnson, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley, Gary Payton and Karl Malone.
    Unlike the NBA, boxing is not set up under one controlling entity. Where the NBA has a play-off system, boxing has a constant churn of competing promotions. Among other things, this has kept Mayweather from being able to face all the best fighters of his generation. Most notably, of course, is Manny Pacquiao.
    “I don’t really doubt the fact that both Mayweather and Pacquiao want the fight right now. And to be clear, I know for a fact because of my prior work [legal advisor to Golden Boy Promotions] and my current work [Showtime VP], that Floyd Mayweather very much wanted the fight and has very much wanted the fight to happen since 2009.”
    The reasons why the superfight has never been made depends on which side you ask. For his part, Espinoza says he knows for certain Mayweather has always wanted the fight. “Now, he’s also been very clear about certain issues of fairness and propriety and his personal feelings about Top Rank over the years, and these all play a role in this, but fundamentally if you ask me, does Floyd want the fight? He always has.”
    Espinoza didn’t lay blame on Mayweather, but he didn’t pass the buck to Pacquiao either. “I can only assume that Manny, for his part, probably feels the same because he is an accomplished fighter. So, I don’t fault the fighters.”
    I couldn’t help but ask if Espinoza was as sick of the Mayweather-Pacquiao topic as everyone else in the boxing world seems to be. Honestly, I only asked him about it since I’d never talked to him before and felt it was my duty, in a way, to ask what readers might want to know. His answer was not what I expected. “No one ever asks me about it anymore, so I’m happy to address it,” said Espinoza, surprisingly. “It’s funny, I don’t get too many opportunities to address it head on. Everyone just reprints what Bob Arum says...”
    Regardless of the Mayweather-Pacquiao debacle, Mayweather has faced and defeated an impressive list of fighters during his undefeated career, including the late Diego Corrales, Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto. Moreover, since he made the leap over from HBO to Showtime, he’s gone 2-0 against two good fighters. The more impressive of those two wins was against previously undefeated junior middleweight titlist Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, one of the brightest young stars in the sport. Mayweather beat Alvarez rather handily over 12 rounds, but the 23-year-old Mexican rebounded nicely by pulverizing tough slugger Alfredo Angulo earlier this year in 10.
    Next up for Alvarez is another huge test: southpaw stylist Erislandy Lara, a fighter many have proposed might actually be one of Mayweather’s most dangerous possible future bouts. His Cuban style is not easily solved and he has good enough power to make fighters who choose to walk him down pay dearly.
    “One thing that I don’t think Canelo gets enough credit for is his willingness to fight anybody," Espinoza said. "This is the second time in a relatively short period of time that he chose voluntarily [to fight] a guy who no one else is lining up to fight and one that maybe isn’t in his best financial interest. I think maybe because of his popularity, people underestimate his pride and his heart and the fact that he wants to fight the toughest guys out there even if it is not in his financial interest necessarily to do so.”
    Thinking of the possibility of Mayweather-Lara, should the latter get by Alvarez, I asked Espinoza if Lara was a hard sell. “I don’t think Lara is a hard sell. When I said ‘not in his financial interest’, I was referring more to the [Austin] Trout fight. Canelo had Mayweather sort of looming in the background [then], and why take that risk for an awkward, left-handed fighter that wasn’t a big money payday?”
    So, I reasoned, might Lara work his way into being a viable opponent for Mayweather should he have a good showing versus Alvarez? And could Showtime see Mayweather-Lara as a worthwhile promotion? Espinoza seemed to think so.
    “Yeah, I know ‘Cuban’ has sort of, in some circles, become a bad word when it comes to boxers, but I don’t think that’s a fair characterization. Lara was very aggressive and very entertaining in the Angulo fight. That was a fight no one was bored by and it wasn’t just because Angulo was pressing the action. We knew when we made Lara-Trout that it might not be the best style matchup, but it was two top guys and a fight that needed to be made. The styles didn’t mesh particularly well, but that to me doesn’t take away from his long-term attractiveness as an opponent.”
    So who knows? Maybe like Jordan’s last great years with the Bulls, two seasons which culminated in two world championships against the Utah Jazz’s John Stockton, Karl Malone and Bryon Russell, Lara will someday soon present Mayweather with a real and difficult challenge, too -- a final test of his greatness.
    Jordan prevailed in the end.
    Might Mayweather, too?
    WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

  2. #2
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    Re: LIKE MIKE? Is Floyd Mayweather the Michael Jordan of Boxing?

    Floyd has to win fighter of the decade first. * From The Ring magazine
    1910s: Sam Langford -- Small man beat the best big men of his day. Runner up: Jimmy Wilde.
    1920s: Benny Leonard -- Some still say he’s the greatest lightweight ever. Runner up: Harry Greb.
    1930s: Henry Armstrong -- Held titles in three weight classes simultaneously. Runner up: Tony Canzoneri.
    1940s: Ray Robinson – Untouchable as a welterweight. Runner up: Willie Pep
    1950s: Ray Robinson – Also one of the greatest middleweights ever. Runner up: Archie Moore.
    1960s: Muhammad Ali – The Greatest really was the greatest at this time. Runner up: Carlos Ortiz.
    1970s: Roberto Duran – Virtually untouchable as a lightweight. Runner up: Carlos Monzon.
    1980s: Ray Leonard: His victories over Duran, Hearns and Hagler were epic. Runner up: Julio Cesar Chavez.
    1990s: Roy Jones Jr. – At his best, he inspired awe. Runner up: Pernell Whitaker.
    2000s: Manny Pacquiao – Sorry Floyd but you need to fight the best to be the best. Runner up: Floyd Mayweather.
    Last edited by deepwater2; 04-21-2014 at 06:53 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: LIKE MIKE? Is Floyd Mayweather the Michael Jordan of Boxing?

    I love to take a list like this and pick it apart, but I'll be darned, I can't fault any of Deepwater2's picks. Let me think about it awhile longer.

    The Jordan-Mayweather comparison falls apart if we take it beyond the stages where they performed -- beyond the ring and the basketball court. When Jordan was the highest paid player in the game, it was said that he earned even more in endorsements. He still rakes in millions from endorsements today.

    Thirty years from now, Mayweather may look back on the persona that he cultivated and conclude that he was penny-wise and pound-foolish.

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    Re: LIKE MIKE? Is Floyd Mayweather the Michael Jordan of Boxing?

    Simply, No.
    Jordan played against:
    Bird & the Celtics
    Magic & the Lakers
    Stockton/Malone & the Jazz
    etc etc

  5. #5
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    Re: LIKE MIKE? Is Floyd Mayweather the Michael Jordan of Boxing?

    The problem with that analogy to me is that Mayweather never faced what would have been the toughest challenge of his career, Manny Pacquiao. We can debate the reasons why this never happened all we want but the fact of the matter is it did not happen. Jordan, on the otherhand, faced and defeated the best of his era (pains me to say that being a diehard Cavs fan).

  6. #6
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    Re: LIKE MIKE? Is Floyd Mayweather the Michael Jordan of Boxing?

    I was just thinking boxing but if you go with endorsements , Jordan has the sneakers and apparel, the steakhouses, the underwear,the movies etc. etc., it goes on and on vs TMT hats and T shirts. I did not watch that all access but heard about it from you guys. Could you ever picture MJ talking about the broads he bagged and such? No class. Jordan is always on the golf course with a fat Cuban cigar enjoying life. That guy earned it.
    Interesting article I dug up from a cigar mag I read. Very interesting.

    MRS: What was your original deal in Chicago?
    JORDAN: Financially? People are going to love this. It was a seven-year deal. I averaged about $850,000 a year. The first year's compensation was $650,000. There was no signing bonus. We tried to get an attendance clause. They were averaging 6,000 people a game. So we thought, OK, we're going to ask for an attendance clause. At the time, Jonathan Kovler was the owner. My agent, David Falk, went in and asked for that. Kovler said, We're not going to give him an attendance clause because if we draft him at the three spot, he'd better put people in the seats. So they never gave us an attendance clause.


    MRS: So for the first seven years, you didn't get a raise?
    JORDAN: Nope, that was my deal.
    MRS: Were you unhappy about that?
    JORDAN: No, I wasn't unhappy. Money didn't drive me at that time, so I wasn't worried about it. Once I signed my contract, I felt like, Let's go out and earn the money. And, I was the highest-paid rookie at the time

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    Re: LIKE MIKE? Is Floyd Mayweather the Michael Jordan of Boxing?

    No chance. The best win of his career remains Diego Corrales. Many of his other signature wins were against guys with a lot of mileage. He's made scores of millions, and that's phenomenal. As a modern day athlete, he's made his mark on the Forbes list. But you can't buy legacy. That's the one that requires risk, or profiles in courage. He lacks in that department. A lot of people fault Wladimir Klitschko, and spew lots of venom his way. But the fact is he's ducked no one, and fought the murderous punching, prime Sam Peter when he was in the midst of his chinny period, and Peter was undefeated. You think Floyd would take that kind of risk? No way. And there's no problem with that. But you can't have it both ways. I think Floyd should have went after Pavlik at the tail end of his middleweight title run. KP was fragile at the time psychologically, and beatable. I think Floyd would have won that fight, and would've had the middleweight title. It would have been a historic, legacy defining fight. The guy's great, there's no question. Been watching him since 1998 against the great Genaro Hernandez. But I'd rank him behind Pacquiao historically. Bottom line, he was just too risk averse opponent-wise to be given a Jordan-esque stature.

  8. #8
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    Re: LIKE MIKE? Is Floyd Mayweather the Michael Jordan of Boxing?

    No, Muhammad Ali is.

    You know, that lofty position where everyone, knowledgable or not, considers you the greatest with no dispute? And anyone who dares to challenge that perception will ultimately get dismissed, that space?

    He's more like a rich man version of Isaiah Thomas (with Michael Jordan talent); an iconic, legendary champion who played the villain role, ruffled a lot of feathers, set some amazing marks and ultimately didn't get the credit he deserved.
    Last edited by The Shadow; 04-21-2014 at 08:51 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: LIKE MIKE? Is Floyd Mayweather the Michael Jordan of Boxing?

    The Bulls never asked the Lakers for a larger purse, blood testing, and to walk in second... oh yeah, and Michael Jordan was also POPULAR among everyone young and old.

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    Re: LIKE MIKE? Is Floyd Mayweather the Michael Jordan of Boxing?

    Wow what an insult to Michael Jordan. I mean a serious insult..

    who said this? wow

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