Floyd Mayweather Jr. took on a great fighter and put on a master class last Saturday. Juan Manuel Marquez was by far the best fighter on Mayweather’s résumé, and the way he completely took everything away from him in the ring was simply scary. Nothing the Mexican Marquez did could ever make the fight even close to competitive.
Being the slower fighter with a pronounced reach disadvantage, Marquez decided to be the aggressor in a battle of natural counterpunchers.. Against another fighting style or a lesser defensive fighter, this strategy would have yielded more favorable results. But executed against someone who is a supreme tactician himself and gifted with almost supernatural athletic ability, such an aggression from a natural counterpuncher did not have much in the way of success from the start.
As if these were not enough, Marquez was coming up two weight classes to take on a welterweight who just happened to be a former pound-for-pound king. Considering all the cards stacked against him, it is a wonder why anybody hasn’t given the Mexican warrior yet the Congressional Medal of honor just for showing up on fight night.
Make no mistake though, Floyd’s performance was anything but pedestrian. It was a perfect showcase of his considerable strengths as a fighter touted by some as one of the sport’s all-time greats. His Fort Knox-defense and jaw-dropping speed as well as uncanny accuracy all meshed together to defuse any threat from his courageous opponent. Marquez was certainly not lacking in trying to get the victory. Although clearly inferior in speed, reach and weight, he willed himself to launch offensive attacks time and again in spite of their futility.
There is just one tiny detail that doesn’t really go well. Yahoo! Sports and a few other boxing writers promptly reinstated Floyd to the pound-for-pound throne after such a performance. The performance was certainly pound-for-pound, even the opponent was too.
Only, Juan Manuel Marquez has been ranked pound-for-pound because he is a natural featherweight who stretched his physical limits by going to lightweight and scalping two top-five lightweights via knockouts. Last Saturday he went up against a guy fighting as a welterweight at least in his last five fights. When he said it felt like there was a 20lb difference between him and Floyd he was not being figurative. That is just about the weight differential between a welterweight and a featherweight.
And when the supposedly knowledgeable guys about boxing choose to gloss over this little detail, when the very people who should have called on Floyd for even trying to pull this are the ones citing this fight as the reason to put Floyd back as the number one fighter on the planet, then maybe there is no need to wonder why boxing is not what it used to be.
When the people who should know choose to praise a boxer for not meeting real challenges it somehow encourages one to pick safe opponents, to not make the weight limit intentionally, to not even discuss it in post fight interviews, and to demand eight-figure paydays while doing so.
What Mosley did crashing the post fight interview may have been lacking in class, but at least he did something. Unlike some of the sportswriters, who not only didn’t call it for what it really was, they have practically condoned Floyd’s cherrypicking ways for the foreseeable future.
As they say, the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. And as long as these so-called sportswriters continue to unjustifiably toot Floyd’s horns, he’ll continue to do what he has been doing. That is, riskin’ nuthin’.