Boxing


Mayweather-Baldomir: Baldo’s Best Bet Against “Pretty Boy”!

04.11.06 - By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza: Before I delve into my thoughts regarding the headline of the article, let me just say that I fully expect Floyd Mayweather to win this fight. I don’t know if it will be easy or hard but I do believe that in this instance, and knowing the type of consistent professional Mayweather is, victory can be almost guaranteed. Now I know that Mayweather, while confident in his ability cannot think this way because it might hinder him, but provided that he is in his usual psychological and physical groove, we can think this way for him..

The reason, or at least part of the reason Mayweather is so highly regarded as a boxer, is his consummate focus and work ethic. While his natural ability is to some degree, generic, among the elite fighters in boxing, his mental ability to exert pressure in developing this ability to its highest degree is what sets him apart.

Compared to guys like De La Hoya, Mosley, Jones, and many others who have this generic ability necessary for elite success, Mayweather doesn’t let music labels, daddy issues, or basketball games get in the way of what he has to do to stay undefeated. I have said it many times and I am not tired of doing it so here it goes once again, “Mayweather does not take his natural god given talent for granted.”

Consequently that is one of the reasons I wouldn’t mind seeing him win this fight as well. Regardless of whatever dumb, or ignorant statement he will inevitably make in the future because his ego is, much like the blob that uncontrollable, it has nothing to do with the fighter he is in the ring and the level of reliability and dependability he has as a fighter to fans. You take the good with the bad and so to some degree unlike fighters who can turn fans off to liking them by being pricks outside the ring Mayweather is one of the few who can get away with it because of how talented he is, and why we as fans should hope and pray that we get to see him reach that uber elite echelon because if he continues doing it the way he has the opportunity for royal self actualization will undoubtedly be there.

Now don’t get me wrong I as a fan would love to see Baldomir win the bout too, because hey who doesn’t like a Cinderella story? I mean if you know the guy’s bio it’s really hard to be upset if he does end up winning, unless of course you are part of the Mayweather family. Nor would the accomplishment unlikely be less significant because of Mayweather’s under-preparation or lack of focus. It would be about as monumental a victory as Rocky beating Apollo in the second bout, and would very likely inspire many fighters to attempt and do the same.

However, saying that I just don’t think its possible (which by the way is in part what I mean in regards to the monumental nature of his upset), which brings us back to the title of this piece.

Many analysts and fans have compared Baldomir to a larger similar version of Jose Castillo who gave Mayweather the most he could handle in any of his professional fights. While I see the comparison in a basic form, there are also a few dissimilarities which fans tend to overlook. First of all, Baldomir is not as talented, or as proven as Castillo. Yes while his wins over Judah and Gatti do mean something, they can’t overshadow the better overall consistency of JLC. Castillo also hits harder relative to his size and was too small for 135 so he is a bigger harder puncher then was initially perceived.

While I don’t think Baldomir’s lack of power is a bad thing because I think this fight will go the full route most likely, and his stamina experience will help, it doesn’t make a good case for a similar fight to the first Castillo bout. Also while I don’t think Baldo is as slow as some fans think, and in fact can deceive in regards to his actual handspeed, the thing is since he is a bigger man then he is naturally slower then was Castillo. Against a fighter like Mayweather, handspeed is extremely important, as Judah showed early and again even though I think Baldomir is not slow, he doesn’t seem fast enough to get Mayweather’s attention.

Lastly and most importantly is that in the first Castillo fight Mayweather succumbed to what I think is his greatest natural weakness, in his brittle wrists. This factor did not allow Mayweather to control the bout as well as he usually does and allowed an able Castillo to be more aggressive then usual. While Mayweather is known for suffering hand injuries often enough it is not a given that it will happen here, which is why the first Castillo fight might not be a good enough complete comparison.

Thus, I believe that in order for Baldomir to win against what I expect is a tip top Mayweather, he has to try and exploit the hand injury factor. What I believe he should do is turn into Mayweather’s punches with his forehead or body in order to stunt them and thereby create the better opportunity for victory. I think he will be hit but if he uses that to his advantage he can incapacitate Mayweather’s handspeed and try to whip him in the tail end of the bout. One of Baldo’s strengths is his ability to take punches so rather then trying to avoid shots I don’t think he will be able to avoid he should try to go with it and exploit Mayweather’s greatest weakness.

Finally, what I want to mention is even though I am unsure how the bout will end, I do think that a stoppage win for Mayweather is possible. Yes Baldomir is hard to get out of there with a KO, but he can be bloodied, like in the Judah fight, and if there is enough blood a TKO is possible. Baldomir can also take a lot of punches and not go down, but like Wayne Mcculough if there is too many of them the doctor or the ref will make the choice for the Argentinian.

Verdict: Just can’t pick against Mayweather in this fight, but if Baldomir does win I will be severely impressed. In fact either man deserves tremendous kudos for victory and both for making the fight. If only it wasn’t 50 bucks and showtime didn’t have a free competing show, I would be watching this in a heartbeat.

Article posted on 05.11.2006



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