Boxing


What must Floyd Mayweather do to get his respect?

floyd mayweather jr.By Aaron Screen - It is now well known that Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. will be making his much anticipated return to the ring against fellow pound for pound great, Juan Manual Marquez, regardless of the true reasons, for the original delay of his much publicized comeback, whether it may be the official line of a rib injury or due to the speculated lack of ticket sales, one thing we do know for sure is that it is not going to help Mayweathers cause in regards to getting his many critics off his back. The fact he is coming back against a man considered too small for him was bad enough, now that this supposed “mismatch” won’t be taking place earlier than expected, will just add more fuel to the fire. One of the reasons being is, it will almost certainly ensure the controversial Mayweather is not pitted against the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley or even a Miguel Cotto, fighters who Floyd’s critics believe will probably beat him or at the very least proves to be his toughest test to date. While it is disappointing that PBF will not be back in the ring earlier than expected, meaning it will be much longer before he faces up against the “big boys” in the division. I find it difficult to believe this should be used against Mayweather, a man that is arguably the most naturally gifted boxer of his generation, yet one that still faces continued criticism in every decision he makes, it may be going too far to feel sorry for the self-proclaimed “pretty boy” but he sure is up against it. Whether it’s the opponent, the weight, even the referee, any kind of ammunition that can be used against Mayweather Jr. has already been used. The supposed lack of tickets sales is an indication he is not getting the respect someone of his ability is usually accustomed to, only in the sport of boxing can an individual with so much ability be so little appreciated..

In stark contrast to this writer’s opinion most fans believe that PBF is taking the easy option in fighting the lightweight champion in Marquez. This is cannot be further from the truth. There is nothing easy about facing arguably the number three pound for pound champion, who is coming off two spectacular knockout wins (when stepping up in weight) and who gave the current pound for pound champion two of his toughest fights to date. The fact most people believe Marquez beat Pacquiao only serves to show the double standards when Mayweather is concerned. The same people moaning about the Mayweather-Marquez fight are the same people clamouring for a Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight. Although this is another argument for another time, it is important here not to get sidetracked in trying to defend the Marquez fight as I find myself doing, there has already been too much debate on the matter than is necessary.

The real question that this article poses (yeah finally) is what must Floyd Mayweather do to get his respect or more fittingly who must he fight? When I mean respect, I don’t mean acknowledgement of his great skills, or natural ability, as that is obvious for everyone to see, when I mean respect I’m talking about, pure, unequivocal admiration for a fighter that is not only considered great but who also faced the best. The first argument that springs to mind is “ok he is great but he has never faced the best”. Ok then, well I’ll ask again who must PBF face to get this respect? Obviously Castillo, Corrales, De la Hoya (116-8-1 combined at the time) was not good enough to warrant this respect, what about Hernandez, Judah, Hatton (115-4-1) still not enough? It seems that whoever Floyd defeats he will still have his detractors. Another accusation levelled at Mayweather is the fact that he has not had to endure any real adversity during his career i.e. revenging a loss or coming back from the brink of defeat, again this criticism is flawed as it is simply unjust to hold the pretty boy’s dominance against him, losing and then winning against an opponent, while admirable does not define a great fighter. Whilst I am acutely aware that this article will ruffle a few feathers in the anti-Mayweather fraternity, it is not an attempt to provoke more controversy which already shrouds the not so modest “Money Mayweather” whenever his name his mentioned. It is merely an attempt to find out what is needed and what is expected for the “pretty boy” to gain the type of respect bestowed upon great fighters such as Ali, Robinson and Co.

So what is needed, will a win over Shane Mosley get this respect or a devastating performance against Pacquiao, how about a shutout over Cotto? I think what is needed in the eyes of his detractors for “Money May” to gain the respect he so craves, is a win over all these pound for pound greats, a win against fighters that have the capabilities of catching him flush and putting in doubt his claim to be boxings pretty boy, possibly even throw a Paul Williams in the mix (that’s if he’s not fighting for the heavyweight title by the time) only then will he get his respect. So come on fight fans will this be enough, is this what Floyd needs to accomplish? Surely by beating at least three of the four mentioned fighters, Mayweather must get his “respect” from fans and critics alike, even the harshest of fans will find it hard to criticise after wins of that magnitude. Still, with this in mind I am not sure anything will do for boxings very own pantomime villain in regards to some of his critics, which is not only a shame but also downright single mindedness. I can just imagine the detractors now “Oh Pacquiao was too small, Mosley too old and Cotto just a shell of his former self”. It is not a stretch of the imagination to envisage Floyd beating all of these opponents even Williams (think Corrales) but whether it will really have any bearing on the way he is portrayed remains to be seen.

It is said that a great fighter is never truly appreciated until he’s gone, well let’s just hope that Mayweather breaks this tradition and forces his critics to realise his greatness now.

Article posted on 06.07.2009



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