22.10.06 - By Kirk Allen: Let me just start off by saying that, like many people, I used to be disgusted by the fact that Floyd Mayweather Jr., 29, wasn't fighting better opponents, ones like Kostya Tszyu, Manny Paccquiao, Ricky Hatton or Antonio Margarito. After 10 years, I figured Mayweather should have fought a career-defining fight by now, shouldn't he? Well, I'm no longer bothered by any of that anymore, not since he selected Carlos Baldomir (43-9-6, 13 KO's) as his next opponent. Finally, Mayweather has stepped up to fight someone truly worthy, a fighter in my estimation that can beat Mayweather, quite eaily in fact.
Article posted on 23.10.2006
For most people, however, they see Baldomir and assume that just because he's somewhat slow and old (35), that he's going to get easily beaten by Mayweather. What they don't see, however, is that Baldomir is much tougher than anyone Mayweather has fought previously.
Quite frankly, Baldomir is the best fighter that Mayweather has ever faced before in his career. Though, he may not be as fast or as slick as some of the smaller opponents Mayweather has faced, like Zab Judah, Baldomir simply knows how to use his size and toughness to win fights.
If one were to measure Baldomir and compare his overall toughness with Mayweather's previous bests opponents, such as Genaro Hernandez, Diego Corrales, Angel Manfredy, Jose Luis Castillo, Arturo Gatti or DeMarcus Corley, it's clear to me that Baldomir is in a level above them. Heís already proven it, easily beating both Arturo Gatti and Zab Judah in 2006. In fact, Baldomir made it look easy, much easier than Mayweather did. Baldomir has the size and the pressure to make Mayweahter miserable, just like Jose Luis Castillo did in their two fights together.
Bear in mind, many people, me included, think that Castillo beat Mayweather in their first fight, but came out on the losing end of a very controversial decision. However, even in losing, Castillo set the blue print on how to beat Mayweather. That is, by applying steady pressure and forcing Mayweather to fight off the ropes. If it werenít for those two fights, I probably wouldnít give Baldomir even the slightest chance at beating Mayweather, but the fact of the matter is, heís going to be in for a big surprise against Baldomir.
Having said all that, some of the fault lies with Mayweather, by which he as avoided fighting the absolute best opponents. Instead taking on the best in each weight class, Mayweather often decided to move up in weight rather than testing himself. Thus, by not fighting the absolute best, heís stunted his own ability to learn and progress as a boxer. For a fighter like him, one that relies on speed and craftiness, heís got to constantly keep learning, otherwise the more powerful fighters start to catch up to him. In this case, Baldomir would fit that category. However, itís more than that, Iím afraid. You see, even if Mayweather had been fighting the best opposition all these years, heíd still have major problems against Baldomir, largely because of the Argentineanís size advantage and overall toughness.
Just looking at the two of them side by side, you can immediately see that Baldomir has much longer arms and torso, something that is very important in helping him dominate his opponents. For Mayweather to be able to beat Baldomir, he will have to get within boxing range and each time he does, the longer armed Baldomir will make him pay. You see, it will be hard, if not impossible, for Mayweather to do the cleaver boxing moves that heís done in the past against smaller, thinner fighters like Corrales.
No, I expect Baldimir will win convincingly, most likely by knockout. All Baldimir has to do is what he always has done, that is, apply a lot of pressure and make Mayweather crumble like a rag doll.