Mayweather Against The Elite
10.12.06 - By Ted Sares: Let’s speculate as to how Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather Jr., 37-0 with 24 ko's, would do against some great fighters of other eras. Clearly, I could do the same with Manny Pacquiao who seems to be closing the gap on Floyd as the top P4P fighter in the world. Nevertheless, PBF is one of the most talented young fighters to come along in some time. Blessed with speed, stamina, power, sharp punching, a solid chin and great defense, he is undefeated and at the top of his game. Some of his victims have included Emanuel Augustus, Carlos Baldomir, Arturo Gatti, Phillip N'dou, DeMarcus Corley, Genaro Hernandez, Zab Judah, Jose Luis Castillo (twice), Jesus Chavez, and, of course, Diego Corrales. As a "purist," I find the level of his all around skills not only uncommonly high, but exciting to watch as well.
Article posted on 10.12.2006
Fighters like "Pretty Boy" don't come around that often. To date, he has won four world boxing championships in four different weight classes, from Super Featherweight to Welterweight. Mayweather is scheduled to fight Oscar De La Hoya on May 5th for the WBC Junior Middleweight When he faces Oscar, he will have a "golden" chance to pour some cement onto his legacy, but if he wins and retires, that will be a major mistake and will haunt him forever. He needs to do more than beat De La Hoya to retire as an all time great. Tough opponents like Williams, Cotto and Hatton loom. Off of Margarito's last outing, I no longer see him as the dire threat he once seemed to be, but admittedly I could be selling Antonio short.
Now let's look at how he would do against the elite of another generation.
And remember, styles make fights and that’s absolutely key here.
How does PBF do against Sugar Ray Leonard? An interesting one, but I see a prime Sugar Ray taking it from a prime Floyd. Equal speed, a slight nod to Mayweather in defense, a nod to Ray in power.....and then the decider...........ability to close. Clear edge to Sugar Ray Leonard here. He was willing to get into the mix and slug it out if he had to, something PBF simply does not do oiften enough. Sugar Ray is meaner than Floyd and that meanness will serve him well as he hurts PBF early and chases him the rest of the way for a decision win.
How does PBF do against Thomas Hearns? Same outcome as Leonard but in a different manner. This time, PBF is in with a new kind of menace, one that is very strong and one that is very powerful. All it will take is one straight right hand down the pipe to turn the fight, after which Pretty Boy will go on his bike and lose a UD. Sure, Floyd beat a tall Correlas, but Hearns will not be distracted from out-of-the ring issues as was Diego. Hearns will be focused, fit and ready. However, he will need to avoid in-fighting with Pretty Boy, for if he engages close in, PBF could do some serious damage that would slow down the taller Hit Man and turn the fight in Floyd's favor.
PBF vs. Roberto Duran: This time PBF wins with speed and guile, staying safely away from Duran's brutal body attack and no-holds-barred tactics. Roberto will soon find out that PBF is no Barkley or Moore and is as fast as Sugar Ray and far better then Benitez.
Floyd's stick and move attack punctuated with crisp and accurate counter punching will frustrate Duran and send him down to a UD loss. Styles make fights and Duran's is perfect for PBF as long as he stays away from in fighting and brawling. A snarling Duran goes after PBF after the bell rings signaling the end of the fight.
The exact same thing would occur if Floyd met Alexis Arguello who, like Hearns, possessed one punch knock out power in his straight right, but would be far too slow for the elusive Pretty Boy. His style would be perfect for pretty Boy to exploit, as he would pepper Alexis with sharp jabs and punishing stick and move shots and crisp hooks on his way to a decisive UD win.
If Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor fought Mayweather, it would be an extremely difficult fight to call. For the first time, Floyd will come up against a skilled opponent with an unskilled style...that is to say Aaron would use an all-out wind mill attack, but would know what he is doing at all times. On the other hand, Pryor will be fighting an opponent with an uncommon skill set. The Hawk will suffer a flash knock down in the third but will do enough in the remainder of the canter to lose it by a 10-9 count rather than 10-8. Both will be confused until one figures out the other......and the thinking here is that it will be draw.
So in summary, I see he following:
PBF vs. SRL: SRL by UD
PBF vs. Thomas Hearns: Hearns by UD or SD
PBF vs. Duran: PBF by UD
PBF vs. Arguello: PBF by UD
PBF vs. Pryor: Draw
Now let's go back a little later in time...........
I see the fury of Salvador “Chava” Sanchez overwhelming Mayweather in a close but exciting fight. Floyd has never been in with anyone like this before. His speed and footwork combined with heavy hands will tire Floyd and he will need to hold on until the bell mercifully rings for the 15th round ending the fight. He offers no protest as the decision is announced. It is Floyd’s first loss and he takes it well, knowing that he has been in the ring with a legend.....one with incredible energy and stamina that sustains his attack for the full 15 rounds.
I also see Luis Manuel "El Feo" Rodriguez giving PBF fits with his different styles and bolo punch, but sooner or later Floyd will figure him out, but just barely. With a stick and move strategy, Pretty Boy wins a close split decision that is a tactical treat for boxing purists to watch but one lacking in furious exchanges or an abundance of excitement.
Jose "Mantequilla" Napoles
gives Mayweather a brutal beating in the early part of the fight, but Floyd, bruised, cut and spitting blood, rallies and shows heart as he surprisingly engages in a give and take brawl with the rough Napoles. Floyd shows "Mantequilla" that he is no Curtis Cokes or Ernie "Indian Red" Lopez. He takes control of the fight finally cornering Napoles in the 13th round. With an incredible number of hard and unanswered shots, the referee has no alternative but to halt the action.. PBF is declared a TKO winner in perhaps his career defining fight.
When he fights Sugar Ray Robinson, the PPV is the largest in boxing history. The pre-fight anticipation is nothing short of astounding as most of the world's population is in front of a television screen. PBF comes in at 40-1 while Sugar is at 128-1-2. Prime vs prime. Disappointingly, however, the fight turns out to be boring, as once again styles make fights and theirs are too similar to make this one interesting. Nevertheless, Sugar Ray Robinson does enough to win a close and tactically sound UD. Neither fighter was in any trouble during the fight and both seemed pleased with the result even though it is Pretty Boy’s second loss.
For now, I'll stay away from the likes of Basilio, Saxton, Graziano, Zale, Moyer, Miceli, Turner, Gavilan, DeMarco, Williams, Graham and others....but only for now.
Ted Sares is a member of the BWAA and IBRO. He can be reached at [email protected]
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