Boxing


There's Only One Floyd--may Wea--ther!

floyd mayweather jr.By Scoop Malinowski: It was just a purely fantastic performance by the one & only WBC Welterweight champ from Grand Rapids Floyd Mayweather. He did show the world another level of his greatness. Ricky Hatton gave it every ounce of everything he had and made a contest of it. But Mayweather is clearly superior.

I was sitting next to LeRoy Neiman watching the action and he commented just before the first round that it was a "mismatch." No way, I thought to myself. And after the riveting competitive action of rounds one and two, I countered back twice, good-naturedly of course, Oh yeah, you sure this is a mismatch?! The fight had all the makings that it could turn into a barnburner.

Could Mayweather handle this kind of heat for 12 rounds without tiring? Is Hatton so fired up to beyond the breaking point that he simply won't be denied tonight, even against the world's top boxer? Will desire and intensity best extraordinary talent and skill on this night?

Hatton absolutely challenged Mayweather both physically and psychologically all week, with some awe-inspiring support from his ardent backers from England. But Mayweather rose to the challenge and by round four or five it became clear he was the master of the situation. Hatton applied tremendous relentless pressure but Mayweather's defensive wizardry was up to the task. Hatton landed very few clean punches but Floyd began to find the range more and more frequently.

Floyd landed many beautiful blows but Hatton just kept coming, as if he didn't feel any pain. In the homestretch rounds, Hatton seemed to actually gain energy and increased the pressure. But it was almost desperate in the way he was rushing at Floyd. Soon enough, Floyd's reflexes identified a major mistake made by the Hitman, he capitalized swiftly with that perfect left hook and suddenly it was over.

In a way it did turn out to be a mismatch like Neiman foresaw. But it was still an awesome battle. This was absolutely a real fight all the way, with full out efforts from both adversaries. No one can call "Undefeated" a "business fight."

Even after the knockout, the Brits were still singing for their man, "There's only one Ricky Hatton." Which was absolutely beautiful to see, considering that probably a good lot of them lost their wagers because of that left hook. The British fighters may not be the best on the planet, but their fans surely are.

Mayweather showed class after the fight and I have to admit, he would probably be the favorite to defeat Miguel Cotto, Paul Williams and Kermit Cintron in a welterweight unification tournament. But it does seem strange how no one at HBO, the media or even the fans, nobody ever talks about welterweight unification. We have four formidable champs at 147 including Antonio Margarito and Joshua Clottey in the mix, and a welterweight unification tournament would be a glorious spectacle.

When Larry Merchant asked Mayweather about fighting Cotto next, you could plainly see Floyd does not at all want to mess with Cotto, for whatever reasons. Who is the best at 147? It could be Floyd. Or it might be Cotto or Williams. Maybe even Margarito. We may never know the answer to that question.

But Mayweather has earned the right to do whatever he wants. If he feels like retiring and let the others sort it all out to see who is the best, so be it.

Helluva fight, beautiful performance by Mayweather, the one and only. There's only one Floyd Mayweather.

But I think the time is right to start buzzing about a welterweight unification tournament.

Article posted on 09.12.2007



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