Floyd Mayweather: The Aftermath Effect and What's Next
by Vivek Wallace: After months and months of waiting, the evening of May 5th, 2012 is over and fight fans around the globe finally have an answer to one of the sports biggest questions: Can Floyd Mayweather defeat Miguel Cotto? After 12 hard fought rounds there was one result to follow, many questions answered, and very few left to be raised. Now that the fight is in our rearview mirror and the results are in, we take a look back at many of the questions as previously raised about American Floyd Mayweather:
Article posted on 08.05.2012
Has Floyd Mayweather Lost A Step?
The last time we saw Floyd Mayweather in the midst of a tough challenge, it was against Mexican Jose Luis Castillo in his first fight at lightweight back in 2002. Never before had anyone seen him pushed to the limit, and after years of near flawless efforts, the fact that someone saw him was able to touch him up a little gave fight fans reason to believe he had actually taken a loss. Eager to remove all doubt, Mayweather would take an immediate rematch and silence his critics once and for all in a very systematic performance. Beyond that point, Mayweather had a few not-so-easy nights against the likes of Oscar De la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and a few others, but nothing like he would encounter in perennial contender Miguel Cotto..
Cotto entered the ring as not only a bigger opponent, but a very dangerous one whose confidence had been recently restored after defeating the man who stripped him of it only a few years ago. Cotto represented not only the most thunderous puncher, but also the most well-rounded and skilled fighter Mayweather has faced in years. Despite the power and size advantages, Cotto failed to fare any better than those who came before him. Answer to the question: NO. Mayweather is obviously not as youthful as he once was, but similar to how we witnessed Michael Jordan do away with the highlight reel dunks and replace them with fundamental skills that were equally as deadly, Mayweather has learned how to adopt a style that is equally complete, and equally as successful.
Is There Anyone Out There Left To Face?
This question is a very intriguing one, yet also one that yields few logical answers. When we look at the names being actively surveyed, there's little interest and even less true room for opportunity. Some point to Sergio Martinez. While Martinez is a very solid talent in the sport, he's also one who has no business fighting below 160lbs; a weight class in which we know Mayweather will never consider, particularly when we see how rugged things got for him against Cotto. In simple terms, the relative risk isn't worth the minimal reward when we assess that Mayweather has won a title at 154lbs twice, and Martinez would have to come down in weight to face him, giving critics room to state that he "wasn't at his best". Remove Martinez from the equation. Next....Manny Pacquiao: Certainly the fight many would love to see, but clearly the one we will never see.
Many will point to Mayweather as the reason why.....others will point to Pacquiao....but at the end of the day, Top Rank and Mayweather, Haymon, and company haven't not seen eye to eye since Mayweather's departure and the world wanting this fight isn't enough to change that. The fight will not happen, so we can all move on. The only other options left seem to be youngin's like Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and Amir Khan, providing he can defeat Lamont Peterson. While both up-and-comers have the pull of an entire nation at their back and can influence very sound PPV numbers with the support of those countries, there simply isn't enough credibility at this stage to truly put together these fights, as neither are prepared for the man they'd be standing across from. Safe answer to this question is NO. Technically there isn't any true opponent that the world would like to see Mayweather face who has a shot at making the fight happen.
Has Floyd Mayweather Sealed His Legacy?
This is a question that both supporters and critics will argue until the end of time. While there are bullet points to substantiate both perspectives, the best answer can be found in the fact that many of the past have done far less, yet sealed the deal themselves, so clearly the answer is yes. A perfect example is Oscar De La Hoya. In Oscar, we have one of the more special fighters in the history of the sport, yet at his very best, one would have to concede that he lost to every future Hall-of-Famer he faced while in their prime. Six to be exact (Mosley twice, Trinidad, Hopkins, Pacquiao, and Mayweather). Despite this odd distinction and the devastating losses in which he suffered before ultimately leaving the game behind, Oscar remains a very coveted name in the sport.
In the case of Mayweather, statistically he has sealed his legacy on every front, and if he were to retire today, one could argue he faced every major challenger worth facing in his era, a list which includes Cotto, Judah, Mosley, and beyond. Without question his legacy is sealed. For those who feel it isn't sealed unless he faces Pacquiao has to honor this assessment in reverse, as Pacquaio's legacy is also cleared without facing him. The debates can continue regarding who is the better of the two, but regarding Mayweather's legacy, there's no question. It's a closed and shut case!
Rumor has it that Mayweather stated practically on a daily basis that once he defeats Cotto he will likely retire from the sport. Comments he made at the podium after the fight solidifed this when he made it clear that he will walk away when he feels there's nothing left to accomplish. It's clear to see that the despite all the detractors, the sport can use a colorful character of this nature to help carry it on his back. Presently, we don't know if the journey will continue, or simply end in a blaze of glory and pure perfection. Whatever the case may be, it's now clear after last Saturday night that Mayweather is definitely the best at what he does, and love him or hate him, his level of talent is unparalleled in a sport that has served as his haven away from a world that doesn't always quite seem to understand him.
(Vivek "Vito" Wallace can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, Youtube (Vivek Wallace Boxing Talk), Twitter (VivekWallace747), Skype (Vito-Boxing), and FaceBook)
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