Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mayweather: “I’m the face of boxing”

By Eric Thomas: At the final news conference today, Floyd Mayweather Jr. seemed confident and ready for his fight this Saturday against Shane Mosley. Mayweather stands to make $40 million for this fight, which is thought to be the kind of money that he would be making for a fight against Manny Pacquiao. Mosley, in contrast, will make around $7 million.

Mayweather had this to say about his big paychecks he gets: “Other young up and coming fighters ask, ‘why does Floyd make so much more money? But they fail to realize that Floyd Mayweather’s keeping the sport going. I’m the face of boxing.” That may or may not be true. Mayweather certainly wasn’t the sport of boxing when he suddenly retired from the sport in 2007 rather than fight a rematch with Oscar De La Hoya.

The rematch wasn’t all that important, as it’s pretty clear that Mayweather would have probably won the fight and got another pick payday. However, Mayweather didn’t help boxing by not being able to put together a fight against Manny Pacquiao and he also likely didn’t help it much by selecting Juan Manuel Marquez, a pumped up super featherweight, to fight last September.

As for Mayweather being the face of boxing, that’s debatable. If that question was put to boxing fans in the United States, there’s a good chance that Manny Pacquiao would be neck and neck with Mayweather and could end up coming out on top with fans by virtue of his high visibility fights against De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey in the past two years.

Mayweather says “I’ve always had great results.” There’s no question that Mayweather has done well in the ring against what he’s been matched up with. But critics often point out that Mayweather’s opposition hasn’t always been the best. Even Mosley’s noticed that, and asks why Mayweather chose to fight Marquez when there were better options out there at the time in the welterweight division for Mayweather to fight. Instead of taking on a legitimate welterweight, Mayweather had Marquez, a undersized lightweight, move up in weight to the welterweight division to fight him.

Naturally, with a ton of weight to put in a short time frame, a good portion of the weight that Marquez slapped on was in the form of fat, and it ended up slowing him down and making him even easier for Mayweather to beat. Mayweather says “It’s not cool to take punches.” That seems to be Mayweather’s motto when fighting, as he tries to avoid getting hit as much as possible. Most of the time, he’s good at avoiding punches from his opponents.

In the last handful of years, Mayweather has been bigger than almost all of his opponents, which has made it easier for him to avoid getting hit and hurt. Mosley will be the bigger fighter this Saturday night, and might have a small advantage in strength as well. Mosley is expected to lose to Mayweather, but anything can happen. Mosley has a way of surprising people who don’t believe in him.

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