By Tommy Segundo
First off, great article (Opinion piece based on Mayweather Is TBE & Here’s Why)! I agree with just about everything you say here. But I have a different view of some of the things you sayt. But let me preface this post by saying this, I’m a huge boxing fan. I’m also a huge Pac fan. BUT, I was a boxing fan first. I’m not one of those so-called “Pactards” who just started watching boxing because of him. I’ve been watching since the days of Roy Jones, De La Hoya, Gatti, etc. So everything I say is NOT because I’m a fan of Pac Man. It’s also very well documented that I do not care for Floyd. Again, this has nothing to do with him and Pac. My displeasure with Floyd dates back to before him and Manny were even considering fighting. I wanted to put that out there so that people don’t shut me down by thinking I’m biased. I try to look at everything objectively before I formulate an opinion.
With all that being said, with me being a HUGE boxing fan and a HUGE Pacman fan, I was not excited about this fight at all. From the day it was signed, to the day of their first press conference, to the Friday night weigh in, I just wasn’t that excited. Everyone I knew was asking if I was having a party or they were planning their own. I didn’t know what I was doing for this fight until the day before, which is very unusual for me. I couldn’t understand why? Was I too busy? I’m I not a fan of the fight game anymore? Then the fight ended, my $100 down the drain, and I felt like I got robbed. For the first time in my life, I said to myself, “Damn, Floyd got me!” There’s a reason I wasn’t excited for this fight, because this is exactly what I expected. It was like I went to a movie in which I already knew the outcome to.
Before the fight, I told everyone who asked what I thought these exact words, “If Manny can catch and hurt Floyd within the first 2-3 rounds, then he has a real shot at winning. If he doesn’t hurt him in the first rounds, Floyd will coast to an easy victory.” Needless to say, I was pretty spot on. Although I can’t stand Floyd’s style of fighting, he won fair and square. I agree 100% with Rudy’s analysis of the fight, so no need to repeat those things. I take nothing away from Floyd IN THE RING that night. However, i will say this….he waited for the PERFECT time to fight Manny.
If anyone says that Manny is the same fighter as he was 5 years ago when this fight was first trying to be made, you’re kidding and lying to yourself. And I’m not talking about his shoulder, even though that was a factor. I’m talking about the mentality of Pac Man. First, he became a congressman for his country. He’s an actor, a singer, plays the acoustic guitar while singing “Kumbayah My Lord”, and everything else he does. Basically, he’s not a full-time boxer anymore and hasn’t been for years. Boxing is NOT a part-time gig. You can’t just pick up the gloves 3 months before a fight and expect to be at the top of your game. It works against 2nd or 3rd tier boxers, but not against guys like Juan Manual Marquez or even Floyd, who both eat, drink, and sleep boxing. This lead to JMM knocking Manny the FUCK OUT! lol Why Manny fought him a 4th time is beyond the point here. When you get KO’d like that, it takes time to recover. Not physically, but mentally. It showed in the Floyd fight. The Manny we are used to seeing, with no regard to his body, was not there in the ring May 2nd. Like Rudy said, he was conservative.
Last point about Manny, he lost his edge. Maybe it’s his busy lifestyle, maybe it’s his new religious becoming, or maybe it’s a combination of both. Many will say “It wasn’t Manny, it was Floyd making Manny look bad.” I disagree. Dan Rafael posted Manny’s total punch output over his last 3 fights:
vs Floyd…….429 total punches thrown
But if you look back at 2009-10 when the Floyd fight was trying to be made, here are Manny’s punch counts:
Cotto………..780(Cotto down twice in fight and it was stopped with 2mins left in 12)
In retrospect….just as Sugar Ray Leonard waited to fight Hagler, Floyd waited for the PERFECT time to fight Manny. As a pretty casual fan, if I can see all these factors, don’t you think the guy who’s fighting see’s all these things as well?? Let me reiterate, Floyd won fair and square. I can’t say Manny would’ve won, but I can say….had this been 5 years ago, this would’ve been a much different fight. Which brings me to the next subject….
While I totally agree with you on Floyd and how he broke away from his grimy promoter and does things on his own terms, I don’t praise him for it. That doesn’t mean I agree with the corrupt promoters out there who are stealing from these hard working boxers with no education(I hate Arum). In my humble opinion, Floyd just further exploited everything that is wrong with boxing because he does everything on HIS TERMS which again, IMO, allowed him to duck and dodge top contenders at their best. Ducking a guy is nothing new in boxing. It happens all the time. Boxers call out boxers, but they don’t always fight. However, promoters for the most part want those fights because they know they will rake in a big pay day. Everyone likes to see a good fight. What happens behind the scenes as far as $$ is concerned is a whole different subject. So why did Floyd really break away from Top Rank? Was it because he wanted to make more $? Or was it because he wanted to be able to pick and choose who he wanted to fight so that he could remain undefeated?
Floyd has made his career off fighting guys who were “damaged goods.” But first, let’s just take a little trip down memory lane and how the birth of “Money Mayweather” has allowed him to make his way to the top, with the least amount of risk involved.
Before he fought and defeated De La Hoya, Floyd was pretty regular. No flash, no swag, he was just “Pretty Boy Floyd” doing what he’s been doing since the days of olympic boxing. Because of his style, he struggled selling fights on PPV. His lack of engagement in anything that resembled a fight was not crowd pleasing. But in all the ruckus leading up to the fight, he became the bad guy. He seen that. Seen the $ he made in doing that, then boom, “Money Mayweather” is born! So what does he do? Becomes the villain which people pay, not to see him win, but to see him lose. He basically created this character JUST to sell fights and it’s worked.
However, with him now being promoter-less, he doesn’t have anyone forcing him to fight anyone he doesn’t want to. Floyd fought De La Hoya on Cinco De Mayo, 2007. Based on their business partnership since then, I’m led to believe that them fighting was more of a publicity stunt rather than an actual bout. But that’s just my personal opinion and beyond the point here. The fight was for the Super WW belt, which he vacated after to keep the WW belt. So in 2007, Floyd was the unified Welter Weight champion ready to take on anyone who wishes to challenge him right? Not so fast.
From 2006 to about 2010, the welter weight division was stacked! You had Floyd, Cotto, Mosley, Margarito(pre-plaster), Paul Williams, Carlos Quintana, Luis Collazo, just to name a few. After the De La Hoya fight, he had Mosley drooling over getting Floyd in the ring as he had just defeated Collazo for the WBC WW belt. Floyd had a chance to unify the belts and make just as much $$ fighting Mosley next. But who does HE CHOOSE to fight? Ricky Hatton. A guy who had only 1 fight at Welter Weight his entire career leading up to this. Hmmm, that’s odd to go from fighting a guy who is past his prime at 154 to fighting a guy who normally fights at 140. But Hatton had an undefeated record, so I’ll play that angle, be the bad guy, rake in the money with out a real threat at losing and goes on to win. Now what comes next is the best part and even comical to me.
So “Money Mayweather” is on top of his game and on top of the world. He’s the GOAT, the TBE, whatever you want to say. So who’s his next opponent? Mosley? Cotto? Paul Williams? 2008 is going to be great for boxing, that is until Floyd announces his retirement! His reasoning? “I’ve accomplished everything in boxing that I’ve wanted. Time to move on to other business ventures.” Yes, at a time boxing needed him the most, when the welter weight division might’ve been the strongest it’s ever been, he leaves the game. Cotto was on record begging for the fight. Floyd’s response…”You don’t have a big enough following to fight me.” This coming from a guy who 2 fights ago was fighting Baldomir on HBO stuggling to sell PPV’s, telling a Puerto Rican Super star from NY that he needs a bigger following? Okay, whatever you say Floyd. Sounds like excuses to me, but what can you do? Floyd’s retiring, so be it.
Turns out that 2008 was a great year for boxing. Cotto defeated Mosley, but then suffered a devastating and brutal loss to Margarito, which later was found out that Marg’s was using plaster in his wraps. Mosley bounced back by KO’ing Mayorga, a man with a granite chin, then went on to beat Margarito in the fight Marg’s was caught with plaster wraps. Paul Williams defeated Margarito, lost to Quintana, but avenged that loss by coming back and KO. Margarito lost to P Will, but bounced back by beating Cintron and Cotto, then losing to Mosley. Are you seeing the picture I’m trying to paint here? All of these guys were at the top of their game when Floyd “Retired” and began to fight each other. Once all the smoke clears and half these guys were brain dead, guess who’s ready to come back out of retirement?? That’s right, Money Mayweather! But wait Floyd, I thought you accomplished everything in boxing you wanted? So I guess you want to come back out of retirement to prove you’re the best P4P boxer that ever lived by fighting the #1 contender at welter weight? WRONG again!
2 years later when Floyd returns from his retirement, aka vacation. We all are anxiously waiting to hear who his next opponent will be. I already laid out what happened while Floyd was “retired” so I will say that Mosley and Paul Williams were both still standing strong waiting for a shot at the Welter Weight champion. Both American born, African-American boxers. It was perfect, would sell no problem. They were the logical choice, IMO. But, again I’m wrong and Floyd decides to fight Juan Manuel Marquez. For those of you who don’t know, JMM fought majority of his career at featherweight, had 2 fights at lightweight, and ZERO fights at welterweight…a weight that Floyd is making him fight at. They agreed to fight at a catch weight of 144lbs, but Floyd being the “honorable” man that he is, couldn’t make that weight and decided to pay a $600,000 fine instead of losing the 2 lbs. That seemed to be the difference in the fight. Floyd fans will tell you that he looked impressive. I’ll tell you that he looked MUCH bigger, longer and stronger than JMM and that yes he looked good, but I also look good fighting someone smaller than me as well.
I could go on even more but I think I’ve made my arguments. This is why I will never say that Floyd is GOAT or TBE. The greatest fighters of all time are not only measured by wins or losses, but what they do between the ropes when that bell rings. Every boxer suffers losses. It’s not the loss that defines who they are, it’s how they bounce back from that loss. It’s not how many times you’ve been knocked down, it’s how many times you’ve gotten back up. All of the greats LAY IT ON THE LINE and dare opponents to come and take it from them. They don’t hide behind retirements, weight limits, or drug testing. When they don’t get their way, they don’t pick up their ball and go home. Yet that’s exactly what Floyd has done since becoming “Money Mayweather.” And brings me back to my point, Floyd has exposed everything wrong with boxing.
Let me turn this into a football analogy. Imagine if the NFL was like the sport of boxing. Could you imagine Super Bowl XLVII where my Seahawks were facing the Denver Broncos. We wait the entire season, go through 16 regular season games and 3 playoff games to see the 2 best teams face off against eachother. You have the greatest offense of all time against the greatest defense of all time. But once the game gets closer, the Broncos coach says “Nah, those Seahawks are on something. If they don’t take this drug test of mine, I’m not playing them.” Then just sits out with no penalty until next season. Then next season comes around, the Seahawks lose their top LB and CB on defense and a few players get hurt, NOW the Broncos coach says “okay, I’ll play you guys now” and goes on to beat them. How would you feel about that? Would you praise the Denver Broncos for beating a team that you know was not at their best? Or how about in the same scenario, the Seahawks pull out before the last game and say “You know, I think we’ve accomplished so much this season, I don’t want to play in the Super Bowl, so we’ll just stop here thanks!” I know for a fact that wouldn’t be okay with anyone here because that’s not how sports are played. The main goal of any sport is to win the big game, the championship, super bowl, world cup, gold medals, etc. Boxing doesn’t have that. You fight who you want, when you want, choose the gloves, ring size, drug testing, money split, cup size for crying out loud! As much as I love the sport of boxing, I HATE the fact that these guys don’t have to fight the very best at their respective weight classes. It eliminates the very heart of each and every sports which is….BEAT THE BEST TO PROVE YOU ARE THE BEST.
Although Floyd did end up fighting and defeating Cotto, Mosley, and now Manny, he waited for the perfect time in which he had the CLEAR advantage. He robbed us of potentially great fights, fights that you tell your kids and grand kids you witnessed live. And yet we have people who fail to recognize that. Again, I can’t say that any of these fights would’ve had different outcomes, but there are too many questions behind these signature wins for me to give Floyd credit. I think we can all see patterns here of, in the words of Mike Tyson, “A very small and scared man.”
Anyways, I’ll stop here. Just thought I’d ad my 2 cents to the BMB crew!