Boxing


Ghost of Margarito Frightening Floyd Mayeather Jr. Into Retirement?

06.11.06 - By Scoop Malinowski: Most of us knew Floyd Mayweather was going to beat the 35-year-old Argentine veteran Carlos Baldomir. And no doubt about it, technically he did look very good in doing so. Strangely, for all his wizard-like talents, it seems Floyd just does not make the grade as a superstar performer who can effortlessly electrify an arena with energy and excitement. Many fans left the show early, they did not care to get the full value of what their tickets entitled them to..

We saw some evidence on Saturday night and the jury is still undecided if Floyd is truly worthy of being called a superstar performer with extraordinary charismatic fan appeal. Mayweather and his backers in the media can tell us over and over and over he's the best in the sport today, but the ultimate verdict comes from the people, the fans. And the yawns and boos of the ticket buying consumers spoke volumes on Saturday night. It very much appears that Floyd Mayweather and his unyielding insistence of handpicking hopelessly outclassed opposition is actually becoming a negative element of the sport.

Even the Mayweather loyalists have to admit the fight was about as interesting as watching a soccer game in slow motion.

Surprisingly, even the victor Floyd seemed in a foul mood afterwards as he launched into a combative verbal assault on HBO "family" member Larry Merchant during the post-fight interview. It was an ugly punctuation mark on an altogether disappointing evening. To see the new WBC Welterweight champ reveal such a distinct lack of class was something you will rarely, if ever, see from a masterclass champion.

Later on in the night at the post fight press conference Floyd pulled a surprise out of his hat as he told the world's media he will retire after one more fight. Just when things were starting to get interesting in the welterweight division - with the still-unsettled fued with Antonio Margarito, the emergence of Paul Williams, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Carlos Quintana, Luis Collazo - Floyd suddenly wants to bail out?

Call me a cynic but the fact that there won't be any more HBO easy freebies against the likes of Bruseles, Gatti, Mitchell or Gatti permitted from now on could also be a factor on Floyd plotting his sudden exit route.

Floyd's crying at the press conference was also quite strange. And difficult to explain. It seems though, that it could have possibly been rooted from all the criticism of Floyd being called a reluctant and hesitant chicken to face Antonio Margarito. Possibly all the criticism has had some effect? Or was it a desperate call or cry to Please stop? Or did the boos of the crowd embarrass the sensitive champion more than anyone realizes? How could Floyd's emotions go from the height of arrogance as he entered the ring - to the disgusted anger at Merchant - to such an opposite emotional outburst - in a mere matter of hours?

We may never know if Floyd was having some kind of a nervous breakdown or whatever it was, but as a complicated complex man that he is, it would be a shame if he were to retire in 2007.

We all thought Floyd was just beginning his self-appointed tenure as the face of boxing. It was to be the commencement of the magnificent reign of Floyd as the greatest fighter in history, dominating everything in his path, to be televised by his "family" HBO. Wasn't it? Something or someone appears to have caused Floyd to alter his plans. I can't help but suspect the fearsome ghost of Antonio Margarito has something to do with this.

Here's why I believe Margarito could be a factor in influencing Floyd's sudden and abrupt intent to exit the sport he loves so much.

As documented in the last article last week ("Now Floyd Mayweather Is Blaming Arum To Duck Margarito!"), Floyd has already used 16 different excuses and reasons to avoid Margarito. Now think about that. And think about this. If you didn't like my articles and challenged me to a fight at Gleason's Gym and I used the excuse, I can't because my shoulder hurts. You have to accept it. Now you don't have to believe it but you must accept my word. If you challenge me again for the next six months and I say, Oh my shoulder still hurts, it seems it's a fair and logical possibility to be true, an acceptable excuse. But if I used 16 different excuses to duck a fight with you - like my girlfriend wants to go skating, I have to go fishing, I have to work, etc. etc. - then you have to wonder, why is Scoop using so many different excuses? He must be afraid. That's where Floyd erred, in my view, he used too many different excuses to duck a fight with Margarito. There's very little doubt in my mind, he must be afraid of Margarito on some level.

And an athlete with Floyd's monstrous ego just can not take the chance to be knocked out in front of the world, like Roy Jones was by Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson. Floyd saw how Roy went from omnipotent superhero to a pitiful figure in a matter of one second. Roy's whole world - his image, his legacy, his reputation - all changed forever in one second. That's boxing. That's the drama of the ring. Floyd has witnessed what happened to Roy. You have to remember that Floyd has built himself up so big I don't think he can afford now to take the chance to be slaughtered by someone like Antonio Margarito. It would devastate him. It would devastate his life.

In a way you really can't fault him for avoiding Margarito. It's his life, his choice. But you just wish he didn't say the disparaging and denigrating things he did say about the talents of Margarito as a fighter, as he has plenty of times this year.

Floyd Mayweather is a very good fighter. He dared to be great in this the toughest sport on earth and he succeeded, to this point. He's rich and famous and unbeaten. You have to respect the man. But on the other side of the coin, he seems to be a talent unfulfilled, untested against the very best. There is the suspicion that just about his whole career has been artfully choreographed against handpicked opposition designed to make him look like a star. And as spectacularly talented as Mayweather has appeared in so many fights, as a boxing fan, you would like to see that kind of beautiful talent against the most formidable oppostion, like Joel Casamayor, Kostya Tszyu, Margarito, Paul Williams.

During the reign of King Floyd, not once has he had to fight a man that he did not really want to. Margarito is the first guy to step up, confront and challenge Mayweather, to his face.

And now Mayweather suddenly wants to retire from the sport before accepting the challenge?

Call me a pessemist but I still beleive - and more so than ever - that Floyd Mayweather is afraid of and afraid of getting knocked out by Antonio Margarito.

Article posted on 06.11.2006



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