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Mayweather's Reading Ability Belies How Smart He Is

BY Frank Lotierzo ON September 01, 2014
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Fighting, whether it's boxing, wrestling or mixed martial arts, is the toughest sport known to man. Yes, all the other major sports require some form of skill, strength, toughness, stamina, speed, mental concentration and athleticism, but not to the degree that fighting or one-on- one combat does. You show me a great fighter in any combat sport and I'll show you someone who is very smart and who is also quick to analyze and process things pertaining to situations that change in milliseconds.

No two fighters in the world fight or move alike. They are all built differently and every part of their body is different. There are other one-on-one sports, but no one is physically trying to prevent you from accomplishing what you're trying to do with the intent to hurt or disarm. In addition to that, in most fighting confrontations, each combatant knows what the other is trying to do and vice-versa. And that makes fighting that much tougher.

Recently, rapper 50 Cent challenged Floyd Mayweather to read a page of Harry Potter, which was later downgraded to reading The Cat in the Hat on Jimmy Kimmel Live. This escalated when an audio recording of Mayweather surfaced with him reading a transcript....."I'm Floyd Mayweather, and I've joined IHeartRadio for the Show Your Stripes movement to support the hiring of vets. Go to ShowYourStripes.org, a website that connects veterans with employees and helps businesses find candidates with the best training." Mayweather's reading didn’t flow smoothly and he certainly didn't sound like a national news anchor reading copy.

Once the audio went viral over the internet, the venom really spewed in Floyd's direction. He was called dumb, stupid and illiterate. Mayweather responded by posting photos of two pay checks totaling over 71 million dollars on the internet and mocked those who delighted in calling him dumb.

Only, Floyd isn't dumb. You can't be a great fighter and be dumb; in fact you have to be very smart and quick on your feet to be a great fighter/boxer. It requires much more than just athleticism and skill.

Muhammad Ali, the most widely known athlete, not just fighter in history, graduated at the bottom of his high school class. Yet in 1968 and only 26 years old, he went on Firing Line and held his own with conservative icon William F. Buckley, and boxing wasn't discussed once during the 90 minute program. Buckley mentioned during one of his last interviews that Ali was one of the smartest and quickest on his feet thinkers that he ever interviewed or debated. For not being highly educated, Ali sure knew how to control the emerging new media and transform himself from a fighter who wasn't taken all that seriously when he turned pro after winning a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics, into one of the most recognizable faces on the planet.

Ali was a great communicator and understood people. He also understood psychology and worked his big name opponents to death before their in-ring confrontations. He also grasped that the quickest way to reduce great fighters to their lowest common denominator was to get them mad. This is evidenced by how many boxers have looked anything like professional fighters when getting into it at a press conference. Or how MMA fighters Jon Jones and future opponent Daniel Cormier looked flailing away at each other during their recent confrontation at a press conference. Isn't it amazing how much better a fighter's technique and skill come out when they aren't mad? In all of Ali's 61 fights, it's safe to say that his antics had the least effect on Ken Norton and Jimmy Young as far as name opponents go. He tried everything in his book but never unraveled them once. Maybe he realized they were a tough style match-up for him, but they added to his degree of difficulty by not getting mad and keeping their cool during their bouts with him.

Everyone knows that Ali wasn't book smart or very educated, but he was a very smart man and more than held his own in and out of the ring with all those he crossed paths with. He barely got out of high school yet was asked to give lectures not pertaining to boxing at Oxford and some of the highest learning institutions in the world.

How about Bernard Hopkins. He spent almost five years in prison and didn't graduate high school. Has there ever been a better self-managed athlete in any sport? If so, I don't know of them. Hopkins wasn't a gold medalist, doesn't necessarily have a fan friendly style, he's not the kid next door, and he didn't have any corporate or establishment money working behind the scenes trying to advance his career. In fact, once he captured the middleweight title, the establishment was trying to knock him off, and he was smart enough to see it. That's why he never got out of shape and kept his eye on every fighter who he knew he'd one day most likely have to defend the title against. Hopkins was also smart enough to learn the business of boxing, insuring that he wouldn't get ripped off and taken advantage of like many other past great fighters were.

And when it comes to ring combat, Hopkins is as smart as they come. He's great at understanding his opponents’ strengths and weaknesses and usually takes away their strengths and forces them to fight from their weakness. On top of that he's earning some of his biggest pay days and enhancing his legacy at the end of his career. How many athletes can that be said about? No, Bernard will not be getting calls to read radio spots once he finally retires, but he's every bit as smart and intellectual as the guy writing them.

What about Floyd Mayweather? In Floyd you have a fighter who isn't a former gold medalist, he doesn't have natural charisma, he's not the best boxer you've ever seen, nor is he the fastest or the hardest puncher. If that weren't enough, he has a reputation of not fighting the toughest and most worthy opposition when they are at their most dangerous. His managerial skills as far as picking opponents are every bit as good as his ring skill. Actually, they are better because he's one of the top three fighter-managers ever.

Floyd realized around the time that he fought Oscar De La Hoya, in mid 2007, that he couldn't be promoted as the kid next door like Oscar. He also didn't possess flashy and blow you away skill like Sugar Ray Leonard or Roy Jones, and he wasn't a destroyer like Thomas Hearns. So what did he do? He transformed himself into the ultimate cocky bad guy who, in the style of a WWE wrestler, relishes playing the villain. And all that has done has made him the highest paid athlete in the world the last two years, and that’s without making one cent from endorsements like Peyton Manning, LeBron James and Tiger Woods.

Mayweather has never taken a beating in any fight, so he'll retire with his health and wealth. This leads me to conclude that for a guy who some say isn't too smart because he may be moderately illiterate, he’s done really well for himself. Remember, he can be taught to read like everyone reading this was... However, we could never be taught or learn to fight like he can. And there's no such thing as a great fighter who isn't a very smart and shrewd person.

Fighting is the hardest thing to do athletically. To be a great one you must be a very quick thinker and not only process information quickly, but you also must have the capacity to apply what's needed and throw away what doesn't apply, all in a moment’s notice. Floyd Mayweather may not be the guy you want to read advertising copy, but he sure is one smart man.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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Comment on this article

Froggy says:

Great article as usual ! I have talked to people who are not boxing fans who think that being a boxer automatically makes them stupid and I can't explain to them that it would be impossible to be successful in the sport without being very smart ! Or maybe they just refuse to listen ! Anyone who thinks poor reading ability must have something to do with intelligence isn't thinking very well themselves !

Skibbz says:

Great article as usual ! I have talked to people who are not boxing fans who think that being a boxer automatically makes them stupid and I can't explain to them that it would be impossible to be successful in the sport without being very smart ! Or maybe they just refuse to listen ! Anyone who thinks poor reading ability must have something to do with intelligence isn't thinking very well themselves !


Perfectly right, as that's why we have verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests as well as abstract reasoning tests. Contrary to the beliefs of those who have mocked Floyd, someone has to be taught to read. You are not born a reader. Floyd as a child was winning Senior Golden Gloves before the age of 16. That implies he spent more time in the gym rather than the classroom and so was taught more about how to fight than how to read.

Good article.

Radam G says:

Perfectly right, as that's why we have verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests as well as abstract reasoning tests. Contrary to the beliefs of those who have mocked Floyd, someone has to be taught to read. You are not born a reader. Floyd as a child was winning Senior Golden Gloves before the age of 16. That implies he spent more time in the gym rather than the classroom and so was taught more about how to fight than how to read.

Good article.


He stop going to traditional school as a 12-year-old seventh grader. But it means nothing. He can read, write, count and punch. Holla!

brownsugar says:

Good comments .....while were are on the subject most people graduate without knowing how to stay out of debt...keep a job, buy a house, stay married, raise kids or negotiate a car deal.... I say the educational system is overrated.

The Shadow says:

Good comments .....while were are on the subject most people graduate without knowing how to stay out of debt...keep a job, buy a house, stay married, raise kids or negotiate a car deal.... I say the educational system is overrated.


It's extremely overrated. Education is a trap, actually. It teaches you to be a good little slave.

Ugh.

If they really wanted to fix the situation with unemployment and poverty -- IMO -- what they need to do is tear the curricula to shreds and build all academic material around a simple foundation consisting of accountability, positive thinking, entrepreneurship, goal setting and social skills.

(Certain demographics are taught most of these principles from home, which carry over to every aspect of their lives and become the cornerstone of their success.)

Those five pillars right there is all you need. You would create jobs, opportunities, you would practically wipe out the residual remnants of slavery and create a truly free market.

But they don't really want that.

Instead, they brainwash kids from young to focus on academics, which is important, but graduating and graduating and graduating so you can get in to a good college and eventually put all your eggs in the one basket that says "Get a good job."

They want classism, often mistaken for racism.

They want the insane unemployment rate that Deepwater brought up. They want people to think that $100,000 a year is a the marker of success.

The United States has the highest ratio of executive salary-to-employer compensation by a gross amount. Most countries worldwide had a ratio that surely favored the bosses. (I have to locate this chart, I forgot where I saved it.)

But compared to the second-highest, the US was just off the charts. When I was reading it, I started calculating, percentage wise, how much this $100,000 salary was in comparison to what the top dogs were racking in.

It turned out that the numbers were very similar to what it would cost to feed and breed a slave relative to the purchase price and annual labor value.

THAT IS SICK!

In other words, someone who goes through college, racks up student loans (sharecropping anyone?), then gets "rewarded" by landing a corporate job that pays six figures (HOORAY!) feels like he has made it.

Little does he know, he's essentially a house slave like Stephen in Django Unchained.

Education, as it exists now, is little more than a tool to maintain the status quo of 10% bosses controlling the 90% workers. If entrepreneurship and goal setting were taught, this balance would be upset.

Pimps and hos, y'all.

Before anyone gets cynical about my relationship with formal education (since this is something dropouts often say), I am essentially a lifetime student with degrees out the azz -- it's practically what I do best.

Moreover, I have seen the slave mentality up close and personal growing up with my black grandmother. And I saw the RADICALLY different mentality living with white father, a very successful businessman.

After I moved in with him he spent years trying to de-condition me from that whole slavery mentality.

Because he never went to school, we thought me going would be a good idea, mainly because I wanted to become a journalist. Later, I so desperately wanted to have an MBA because one teacher told me it's the ticket to good salaries so I looked up those with that. But in retrospect, anything I do, I could've --and have-- just as easily learned from my father.

Whether it be finance, work ethic, thinking, what have you. And on the writing end, I got published a few times as 15-year-old 9th grader anyway!

So today, instead of feeling empowered from getting degrees, all I see is how many are out there, how many MBAs for sale you can find all over, how many are unemployed and how little it really matters.

So Suge, not only is it overrated, it's a fucking scam.

P.S. I've tweeted about this before but the reality is, the network of millionaires who drop out of college compared to millionaires who didn't is not even a comparison.

It's like comparing the drawing power of school-dropout Floyd Mayweather to Mr. Masters Degree Chris Algieri. Oh, wait...

P.P.S Last year, the fast-growing education industry was at $4.4 TRILLION. Nowadays, with unemployment high and education sold as the ticket out, in just a year it has skyrocketed to over $7 trillion.

Like I said, pimps and hos.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/02/09/global-education-market-reaches-4-4-trillion-and-is-growing/

Froggy says:

WOW ! All I can say shadow is WOW , I am not American, I am Canadian but I don't disagree with you at all, same thing north of your border ! Very well written !

deepwater2 says:

The Khan Academy is free and programs like: University of the People ,can teach you more than most traditional universities ever could.

Most of the successful neurosurgeons and doctors I work with , homeschool their children and only use the public schools for activities like sports and drama. When the time comes that they decide they want to work in a specific profession then they will go to college for the specific degree and usually at 16 years old. The most respected museums in NYC have programs and classes for young children for pennies on the dollar. Unless you have a specific profession mapped out, college can be an expensive mistake.


From wikipedia:

Khan Academy is a non-profit[4] educational organization created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan to provide "a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere."[5] Its website features thousands of educational resources, including a personalized learning dashboard, over 100,000 practice problems, and over 6,000 micro lectures[6][7] via video tutorials stored on YouTube teaching mathematics, history, healthcare, medicine, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, cosmology, American civics, art history, economics, and computer science.[8][9] All resources are available for free to anyone around the world. By 2013, they were used by about 10 million students per month. Khan Academy's micro lectures have been watched over 468 million times.

Radam G says:

[QUOTE=deepwater2;62779]The Khan Academy is free and programs like: University of the People ,can teach you more than most traditional universities ever could.

Most of the successful neurosurgeons and doctors I work with , homeschool their children and only use the public schools for activities like sports and drama. When the time comes that they decide they want to work in a specific profession then they will go to college for the specific degree and usually at 16 years old. The most respected museums in NYC have programs and classes for young children for pennies on the dollar. Unless you have a specific profession mapped out, college can be an expensive mistake.


From wikipedia:

Khan Academy is a non-profit[4] educational organization created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan to provide "a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere."[5] Its website features thousands of educational resources, including a personalized learning dashboard, over 100,000 practice problems, and over 6,000 micro lectures[6][7] via video tutorials stored on YouTube teaching mathematics, history, healthcare, medicine, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, cosmology, American civics, art history, economics, and computer science.[8][9] All resources are available for free to anyone around the world. By 2013, they were used by about 10 million students per month. Khan Academy's micro lectures have been watched over 468 million times.[/QUOTE]

Wow! Thanks for the publicity. Without telling my business, I'm a volunteer educator of Khan Academy. OMG! There are some resourceful, educated dudes and dudettes up in this Universe. You know so much of the reality of the actuality. It's a joy when you are with guys who don't have to and don't fake it. Holla!

The Commish says:

Shadow, all I can say to your post (#6 on this thread) is "Wow!" I am breathless after reading that. Luckily, we have become friends who get to spend some time with each other. We've got to talk more about the system of education.

Over to Floyd, I'm sure he doesn't read as horrifically as the videos depict. If he does, so what. I have a doctor friend who reads the same way.

"I just can't read printed copy like you guys in radio and TV," he tells me. All he does is intricate plastic surgery. I can read copy. I can't do plastic surgery.

Floyd Mayweather is not a great copy reader. Guess what? I don't want him to be a great copy reader. I want the news and sports anchors I watch at night to be great copy readers. I want to see Floyd Mayweather fight. I'm not interested in hearing him read.

I want to hear my favorite actors deliver their lines flawlessly. I don't want to see them fight.

No, Floyd Mayweather didn't go to college. He received a minimum of education.

Yet, in the School of Hard Knocks, he is a Professor Emeritus, worth more than the national debt of many small countries.

Read? Floyd has back-to-school giveaways every year to hundreds of needy school kids. I don't see scores of other millionaire athletes, or educated businessmen, doing the same thing.

Like I said earlier: "I want to see Floyd Mayweather fight. I'm not interested in hearinghim read."

-Randy G.

The Shadow says:

[QUOTE=The Commish;62788]Shadow, all I can say to your post (#6 on this thread) is "Wow!" I am breathless after reading that. Luckily, we have become friends who get to spend some time with each other. We've got to talk more about the system of education.

Over to Floyd, I'm sure he doesn't read as horrifically as the videos depict. If he does, so what. I have a doctor friend who reads the same way.

"I just can't read printed copy like you guys in radio and TV," he tells me. All he does is intricate plastic surgery. I can read copy. I can't do plastic surgery.

Floyd Mayweather is not a great copy reader. Guess what? I don't want him to be a great copy reader. I want the news and sports anchors I watch at night to be great copy readers. I want to see Floyd Mayweather fight. I'm not interested in hearing him read.

I want to hear my favorite actors deliver their lines flawlessly. I don't want to see them fight.

No, Floyd Mayweather didn't go to college. He received a minimum of education.

Yet, in the School of Hard Knocks, he is a Professor Emeritus, worth more than the national debt of many small countries.

Read? Floyd has back-to-school giveaways every year to hundreds of needy school kids. I don't see scores of other millionaire athletes, or educated businessmen, doing the same thing.

Like I said earlier: "I want to see Floyd Mayweather fight. I'm not interested in hearinghim read."

-Randy G.[/QUOTE]

Yes, we sure do have to discuss this, Randy! @Froggy, thanks for your comment. It's really sad isn't it?

Deepwater, good looking out for sharing that Khan Academy thing and the thing about museums. Can you drop a few names? I'd love to go check them out.

But that Khan stuff is nice. I'd never heard about it. It's amazing! I may volunteer, too, like Radam. I almost got into teaching college part-time a few years ago anyway.

I like what your co-workers are doing with the homeschooling, Deep. School is good for the social life, sports and so forth so I can totally understand that.

And Commish, you nailed it. Who the heck wants to hear Mayweather read copy?! I want to see him strike not stutter.

And come Sept. 13, strike he will.

brownsugar says:

I'm loving this thread you guy are ablaze with enlightenment.

RJJr says:

My two-penneth; Mayweather is sufficiently intelligent to realise that, no matter what he does (or doesn't do) he has a legion of acolytes who will continue to line his pockets come what may. In fact, that's precisely the reason that he gets away with it (it being ducking his natural rivals). He's [I]very[/I]far from smart, yet his fans are even farther. That's all it is!

NB Frank I enjoy your work; please keep it coming!

The Commish says:

Nice first post to an obvious Roy Jones fan.

Way to kick off your "career" here on TSS!

-Randy G.

Radam G says:

[QUOTE=The Shadow;62840]Yes, we sure do have to discuss this, Randy! @Froggy, thanks for your comment. It's really sad isn't it?

Deepwater, good looking out for sharing that Khan Academy thing and the thing about museums. Can you drop a few names? I'd love to go check them out.

But that Khan stuff is nice. I'd never heard about it. It's amazing! I may volunteer, too, like Radam. I almost got into teaching college part-time a few years ago anyway.

I like what your co-workers are doing with the homeschooling, Deep. School is good for the social life, sports and so forth so I can totally understand that.

And Commish, you nailed it. Who the heck wants to hear Mayweather read copy?! I want to see him strike not stutter.

And come Sept. 13, strike he will.[/QUOTE]

Just google Khan Academy and the whole nine and what you need to do will come up. I'm shocked that you have heard of it. Even The Shadow can hot happening. Holla!

The Shadow says:

[QUOTE=Radam G;62867]Just google Khan Academy and the whole nine and what you need to do will come up. I'm shocked that you have not heard of it. Even The Shadow can't know all hot happenings I now see. Hehe! Holla![/QUOTE]

Haha! No, I had never heard about it. But I am definitely going to learn more!

By the way, here's another video of him reading:

[video=youtube;rZKdcc0UdrU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZKdcc0UdrU[/video]

brownsugar says:

[QUOTE=Radam G;62867]Just google Khan Academy and the whole nine and what you need to do will come up. I'm shocked that you have not heard of it. Even The Shadow can't know all hot happenings I now see. Hehe! Holla![/QUOTE]

I haven't heard of it... And I'm always looking better opportunities for my grandson.
This is why the TSS is irreplaceable.

brownsugar says:

Thanks for posting

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