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Mayweather Taking Risk-Averse Path to Perfection

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mayweather,boxingYou are not alone if you feel as a boxing fan that pound for pound potentate and undefeated Champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. (48-0-0-26 KOs) takes you for a mug

when it comes to the quality of fighters he fights in the ring. The Ring Magazine did a poll asking readers who they would like to see Mayweather fight.  

A staggering 64 percent of the respondents chose the sensational boxer-puncher Middleweight Champ Gennady Golvkin, or Triple G. Reading the results of the Ring Magazine poll, a sneering Mayweather probably would have responded by saying: “That is like stepping in front of a freight locomotive, man.  Y’all must be tripping if you think for a second that I’m going to get in the ring with that mad bomber from – what’s his country again? – Kazakhstan?

 Former lightweight great Ray “Boom-Boom” Mancini doesn’t think fans stand a snowball chance in hell of witnessing the potential slaughter of Mayweather in the ring by Golvkin because the champ knows deep down how a throw-down with the Kazakh assassin will turn out. Mayweather isn’t just avoiding Triple G like the bubonic plague; he also pretends that quality opponents such as Amir Khan, Keith Thurman, and Timothy Bradley Jr. don’t exist.

 This Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mayweather will try to tie the late Heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano’s unbeaten 49-0 record when he defends his undisputed welterweight title against Andre Berto (30-3,23Kos), a former two-time champion. Most boxing experts think there will be an asterisk next to Mayweather’s record if he ties Marciano’s record on Saturday because he will have won against a fighter who had lost three of his last six fights.  For your record to be taken seriously, you have to step into the ring and mix it up with a fighter who has a chance to beat you, the experts say.

Those criticisms are background noise to Mayweather, an astute boxer-cum businessman, who marches to the beat of a different drummer. Someone said Mayweather is a functional illiterate. Mayweather, according to this feller, once tripped all over his words and was not able to read a simple radio promotion. Mr. Mayweather, a functional illiterate?  What functional illiterate?  The fellow whose earnings now approach the $1 billion milestone and still counting?  Jesus Christ, the way Mayweather conducts his business in and out of the ring; makes him seem like someone with advanced degrees from the prestigious London School of Economics.

If Mayweather were a stock broker, he would always buy low and sell high. “Money” Mayweather doesn’t take too many risks as a boxer. Invest very carefully and cash in pronto when the time is right.  That has been Mayweather’s modus operandi throughout his career.  Years from now, you are not going to remember any memorable rumbles Mayweather participated in ala  “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler Versus Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns mayhem two and a half decades ago;  the Sugar Ray Leonard- Tommy Hearns classic of 1981, or the two-fight savagery and insanity  staged  by Aaron Pryor and the late Alexis Arguello in the mid-80s.

 Seven years ago when Manny Pacquiao went on a rampage, kicking everybody’s ass that dared step in front of him, Mr. Mayweather stayed the hell away from him; he wouldn’t touch the Filipino legend with a ten-foot pole. He came under serious criticism from boxing greats such as Iron Mike Tyson and George Forman for ducking the red-hot PacMan then.  An Irate Khan said Mayweather is not helping the cause of boxing by not fighting the best.  

But this is par for the course for Mayweather who regularly bails out on credible opponents that might present him with a major challenge in the ring. He waited until the PacMan’s skills had eroded after many wars in the ring before taking him on in the richest fight in history a few months ago.  That snoozer with Pacquiao earned Mayweather almost a quarter of a billion dollars.

So, are boxing fans a bunch of chumps for shelling out big bucks to watch Mayweather fight journeymen and opponents they know he is going to beat?  Ring Magazine has a theory why people are still paying to see Mayweather fight.  According to the magazine, Mayweather has his partisans who will always stick with him no matter what.

However, the Magazine also notes that there are tens of thousands of fans out there going to his fights hoping that someone would shut Mayweather up for a number of reasons, one of which is his reputation for beating up chicks.

Is Berto the fighter to hand the savviest champion of his generation his first defeat? The bookies don’t think so.

Bayo Akinnagbe


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