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Again Mayweather Leaves An Opening For His Critics

BY Frank Lotierzo ON September 05, 2013
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005 Floyd MayweatherIn nine days WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather 44-0 (26), the pound-for-pound best and most relevant fighter in boxing, will fight for the second time this year. That hasn't happened since 2007. Mayweather's opponent is the up and coming prodigy Saul "Canelo" Alvarez 42-0-1 (30). They are fighting as junior middleweights, which has a maximum weight limit of 154 pounds. Alvarez usually comes in right at the junior middleweight limit and has shown that he's very strong and powerful fighting right at the top of the division's maximum weight. In in his last six fights, five opponents have tasted the canvas versus Alvarez. The only exception was the very tough and durable (but well past his prime) Shane Mosley, who has never been stopped and only knocked off his feet by Vernon Forrest (2002) and Manny Pacquiao (2011).

For his fight with Mayweather, Alvarez must come in at 152 or less as stipulated by the agreement he consented to with Mayweather. And to those reading this, the two extra pounds that Alvarez has to drop for Mayweather doesn't sound like much. However, if you ever boxed or wrestled competitively, you know that cutting two pounds is not just a physical drain, it's also a mental/emotional one as well. Even if an athlete isn't really weakened or compromised physically by having to drop a couple extra pounds, he often feels as if he is. And if he feels that he is, it doesn't take as much as it would normally to get him off his game. And for Alvarez, that could come into play being that fighting Mayweather will test him more so in and out of the ring than he's ever been tested before.

And there, folks, is what's so frustrating about Mayweather, and what tends to cause older observers, those over 40, to look at his career and accomplishments with a slight bit of skepticism. Why can't Floyd just fight Alvarez at 154 and finally agree to a big fight where there isn't something about it that tilts the field in his favor? Alvarez didn't have to come in under the 154 pound limit to fight the unbeaten Austin Trout in his last fight. He didn't have to cut weight to fight Mosley, who has fought mostly as a welterweight since 2000. Why does there always have to be an angle in Floyd's favor every time he agrees to a big fight?

Obviously, we know the answer, and that's because Mayweather is a great manager. It's sad, but I knew the second it was announced that Mayweather was going to meet Alvarez, there was no way it was going to be a straight up fight like the previous 43 of Alvarez's career. Yet I knew when "Canelo" agreed to face Mosley, there was no chance in the world that there would be some sort of gimmick or catch attached to it. I would've bet my life that Mosley was going up to meet Alvarez at his best weight, and that's exactly how it unfolded.

Just once could Mayweather meet a real live fighter and threat without something in the contract or the opponent (being too old or small or weakened by a weight stipulation) that compromises them? The answer is no, if it hasn't happened by now, why would he start at age 36? Let's face it, Alvarez is the only fighter in boxing weighing between 140 and 154 who has at least a punchers' chance to beat him and again Floyd goes in with a meaningful edge because Alvarez kills himself to make 154, once the gas tank reads empty, it can't go any lower. Those two extra pounds could be a factor, only we'll never really know. What we do know for certain is if Mayweather wins, he will have defeated a version of Alvarez that may not have been what he was for his last two fights versus Mosley and Trout.

Mayweather has picked his spots in one way or another throughout his career and especially since fighting as a welterweight. Floyd got over big time on Juan Manuel Marquez in 2009, who is barely a full fledged junior welterweight as of this writing, with his weigh-in trickery at the last moment right before their fight. He fought Oscar De La Hoya, and barely won, when Oscar was a corpse. Shane Mosley was an empty package when he finally fought him seven years after the fight truly meant anything. When he fought Miguel Cotto, Miguel was clearly on the decline and it was Mayweather who was more natural fighting as a junior middleweight than Cotto, despite Cotto being the title holder. In his last fight against Robert Guerrero, at 147, everyone knew going in that Robert is as much a welterweight as Bernard Hopkins is a cruiserweight. As a lightweight, Mayweather had to fight Jose Luis Castillo twice, just to claim one victory over him in the ring.

To some hardcore fight guys, as terrific as Mayweather is, he's not the Bible of boxing the way he projects himself as being. He came along when there were some other outstanding fighters at or near his weight. Yet, aside from the late Diego Corrales, he's never met any of them when the fight would've confirmed his greatness beyond any shadow of a doubt. And if you're 40 years of age or older, I'm sorry, but that counts against him because he saw to it that it unfolded that way. Every star fighter since Sugar Ray Robinson made a few fights during their career when the risk-reward was heavily in their favor. It's just that none of them made a career out of it like Mayweather has. Which is why he's so sensitive and defensive about it when it's mentioned or written about him.

Looking back, would Mayweather have been at least a slight favorite over Paul Williams, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, Oscar De La Hoya and Miguel Cotto when he and they were at their peak and the bouts could've been made. I'd say yes, with the exception of Williams, who for some reason Mayweather was quiet about and actually retired when Paul was a contender/title holder and challenging Mayweather at 147 every time he had a microphone in front of his mouth.

It would be great to write about Mayweather and laud all that he's exhibited and accomplished as a fighter without bringing up these inconvenient facts, but it can't be done if you're being intellectually honest. See, Floyd has continued to provide his critics and skeptics with legitimate fodder.

Sure, of all the fighters out there between 140-154, Canelo is the most dangerous for Mayweather. So credit Mayweather for fighting him while he's getting better. But once again, making him come in at 152 tilts the field in his favor. If you don't think Alvarez having to weigh-in at 152 or less will affect him, you've never been around world class fighters trying to drain down to make weight. Two pounds is a lot to a young and growing fighter like Alvarez. In addition to that, it's psychological pressure on Canelo that he's never had to deal with before, but oh, that's right, he's fighting Mayweather. So of course it can't be just like every other fight not involving Mayweather, because it does involve him. Once again Mayweather leaves an opening for his critics.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

Comment on this article

dino da vinci says:

Oh those last two pounds. It's like climbing Mt Everest. And as you point out, on a still growing young man. What if he doesn't make weight? What if Canelo does to him what Floyd did to JMM? Does Floyd climb into the ring with a very heavy Canelo? Did you think that just maybe that is why the undercard was topped with a fight that should have been billed as the co-main event from the beginning? I'll say this for Team Money, they do keep it interesting.

Radam G says:

YES! Double YUP, ddv! Money May will climb into dat squared jungle with a weight-cheating "heavy" Canelo and still KAYO his hyped-up arse. Canelo is a replay of another red-headed fighter. Can we say Redcoat Ricky.

Don't worry about Canelo coming in heavy. He is on those weight-reducing roids that Eric Morales was on when Morales fought "Pretty" Danny "Boy" Garcia. Beside the scales will be fixed for a pound or two light so Canelo want have to struggle that much. Nuffin' [sic] will help Canelo anyway. Money May is having a bar-b-cue. Imma [sic] bring me some Holy Bar-b-cue Sauce. Holla!

brownbomber says:

@radam

Canelo is on the PED's ??

jzzy says:

Frank, you've elucidated the problems I have with Floyd. As much as he would like us to believe, his record pales in comparison to the
all time greats. Floyd is a charismatic, defensive wizard that's it. Canelo has to make 154, forget about 152. He needs to treat Floyd
for what he is, a 36 yr old man with no punch who really doesn't like to be hit. Once he feels Canelo's strength, he'll be in full retreat.
Floyd's inactivity the last few years will tell. Canelo, with his power and quick hands is the most dangerous fighter he's faced in a long
time.

Radam G says:

Everybody in boxing is on PEDs and roids. It is just not going over the legal allowed amount. And using the unaccepted ones. Holla!

Radam G says:

@Jizzy, Canelo is the easiest superhype that Money May has faced since Redcoat Ricky Hatton. Money May is going to expose the red-headed superhype. Holla! Thirty-six ain't what it use to be. And Money May has a heckuva a punch. He just doesn't always use it because of his safety-first issue.

Canelo can jump on Money May if he wants to. Canelo will be put to sleep in less than three rounds if that happens. Canelo is going to fight to survive IMHO. Holla!

The Shadow says:

Frank, you've elucidated the problems I have with Floyd. As much as he would like us to believe, his record pales in comparison to the
all time greats. Floyd is a charismatic, defensive wizard that's it. Canelo has to make 154, forget about 152. He needs to treat Floyd
for what he is, a 36 yr old man with no punch who really doesn't like to be hit. Once he feels Canelo's strength, he'll be in full retreat.
Floyd's inactivity the last few years will tell. Canelo, with his power and quick hands is the most dangerous fighter he's faced in a long
time.


You can take this to the bank: If Floyd gets tagged hard, he will not retreat. He will turn into a focking animal, walk Canelo down and probably hospitalize the Mexican. Bet the house on it.

No, he doesn't like to get hit -- who the hell does?? -- but when he does, watch what happens. He transforms into a vicious, vicious fighter. If Canelo doesn't touch him, Floyd cruises to an easy UD. If Canelo is even somewhat of a threat, expect his a** beat down brutally. He will probably be stopped by a body shot or a punch to the throat.

kidcanvas says:

@jizzy, frank did and his record does. u dont have to be a rocket scientist to see that ,look at the record,when ,who, when, how ,... he pales in comparison to the greats . didnt have to but he chose the path so live with it..

amayseng says:

great article


floyd makes his bed then complains about it...

it is almost like floyd, who says he is the best fighter in the world, doesnt honestly think he is

brownbomber says:

@amy

Big dogg but sorry every boxer should say they are the best! Boxing had turned in to WWE its to sell tickets and ppv's!!

brownbomber says:

I look at boxing like I look at baseball, it's hard to make comparisons between eras, things evolve. People try to hype, sell ppvs, fighters fight less now. Could the greats compete against today's fighters, yes, but it's hard to make comparisons in eras. Radam what do you think about that analogy?

SouthPawFlo says:

In the boxing business there are negotiations, this did not start with Mayweather.

Fighters have negotiated gloves, which corner, who comes to the ring first etc etc.


If coming down 2lbs is a disadvantage that Canelo couldnt overcome, he shouldnt have agreed to it. Floyd is coming up in weight to the division where he has had the most trouble, so that should be acknowledged too.

The Shadow says:

In the boxing business there are negotiations, this did not start with Mayweather.

Fighters have negotiated gloves, which corner, who comes to the ring first etc etc.


If coming down 2lbs is a disadvantage that Canelo couldnt overcome, he shouldnt have agreed to it. Floyd is coming up in weight to the division where he has had the most trouble, so that should be acknowledged too.


Amen.

louisvillelip2 says:

Good article. Mayweather would have had his hands full with Mosley when he reigned as IBF lightweight champion. Shane was knocking out almost everyone he fought. A Mayweather fight with Paul Williams would have turned out like Hearns/Duran, Mayweather most likely getting knocked out.
That being said, Mayweather should have an easy night against Canelo. Money is too good a boxer to stand and trade, he'll potshot all night and school the younger man. Canelo barely has a puncher's chance, and then only in the first few rounds. Mayweather by unanimous decision. I'll be surprised if he even gets bruised...

jzzy says:

You guys forget the trouble Floyd had with Cotto and Ortiz. He was roughed up in spots.
Canelo is younger, stronger and technically better than these guys. Floyd is going to have
his hands full with this kid. I believe this to be a very competitive fight. Canelo will be at
154 not 152.

amayseng says:

its ashame the ortiz fight unfolded the way it did. i saw ortiz having some good moments against floyd, and ortiz had the stamina to push floyd to an exciting fight for 12 rounds. floyd looked a bit fatigued against cotto and cotto did fight well. i gave floyd 7-5 rounds in that fight....
canelo has stamina issues that is the problem and everybody in the game knows this. that is why floyd wanted him lower, to make the issues worse. i think canelo gives a good account of himself for 6 rounds winning the first 2. by round 9 canelo will be sluggish and floyd will be cruising to a pot shot UD. watch the ghost fight, floyd was skipping, back pedaling, galloping and dipping way away from the ghost to an easy ud.

same thing to happen.

watch the canelo vs shane fight, shane won 4 rounds just based on activity and effort. even NAz said during

the fight that canelo fights in spurts because hes making weight to take it to him.

naz in a recent interview stating the same..

Carmine Cas says:

Canelo should be okay making 152, there is def something going on behind the scenes to help him. But in general the extra weight cut would be a b*tch. However he doesn't have the footwork to compete with May, unless he gets in good work to the body to slow him down. Mayweather does cause his own problems, and he's a hypocrite for criticizing pacquio for catch weights.

Radam G says:

Everybody is that CC's hard version of hypocrites in boxing including him. Two pounds supportedly hurt Miguel Cotto. But won't or shouldn't hurt Canelo. A spade is a spade. And a Jack is a Jack. Nobody in boksing is hypocriting. Everybody is changing and riding with the flow or the way the wind blows.

Change is allowed in seediness and in science. And in even poetry and in art. BOKSING is ALL FOUR. Holla!

The Shadow says:

Those two pounds did nothing to hurt Cotto. He was 146 vs. Clottey so he only had to drop another pound.

Just like Canelo, who was 153 and change vs. Trout. What messed with Cotto was the rehydration limit and the Uzi-hands of Pacquiao, overwhelming him like a hurricane.

Plus, a little A-Side Meth don't hurt either.

Radam G says:

The Shadow, if you can find that "A-side meth," Pinoys declare you the P-Islands Prez for life. We wanna walk through bullets and have 'em bouncing off @sses. Uncle Roger May says that is the power of A-side meth. I gotta get me some of that. Hehe! Holla!

The Shadow says:

Hey, wait a minute!! You told me you would have some A-Side for me next week in Sin City!!

The Shadow says:

I, too, would like to be shot with a forty-fi' and not even be dyin'...HAHAHA

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