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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Floyd Mayweather's fragile world

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By PATRICK ROXAS Some people like to live in a dream world where everything is perfect, where they are at the top and where they have control of everything.

People like them dream of their own utopia, create glass castles or make believe worlds where they are the center and they are all that matters.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. gives that impression of such kind of a man based on his constant bragging in the media that he’s the best and greatest boxer in the world, that an involvement with him takes a fighter to a higher level in boxing and that the sport of boxing revolves around him.

These and other swollen with pride and self-satisfying remarks betray Floyd’s steadfastness in his own notion or delusion of how things are, flawed as they may be.

On the surface, there appears nothing wrong for Floyd to see things the way he does except that most people in the boxing world view and recognize these things differently.

His belief that he is on top of the boxing world and that all the rest of the fighters past or present were less than him in terms of talent, skill and accomplishment, has provided great amusement and entertainment and certainly plenty of quotes to write about for the media eagerly on the look out for an new angle or spin to put on their stories.

And the basis where all of these claims supposedly stand on was his 40-0 (25 KOs) professional career record.

Staying undefeated after 40 fights is indeed quite a feat but when you factor in the quality of his opposition and his failure to match up with the tough fighters available make his achievement less outstanding.

But Floyd’s delusion of greatness is such that he claims with audacity even those great boxers of the past like Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali were not comparable to his own greatness and that the current crop of elite boxers of his generation are still two or three notches below him.

His well known disdain for fighters who have losses in their career record even if their overall accomplishments speak of legendary fights against their toughest contemporaries says quite a lot of a man who himself started as an ordinary fighter considering he compiled six losses in his amateur record and could only managed a measly bronze in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Floyd also continues to ignore the fact that there is a boxer who has been taking up and overcoming bigger and tougher challenges, which resulted in that boxer garnering all the awards and accolades during the last few years, including the current pound for pound title and an unprecedented seven world titles in seven weight divisions.

This boxer is not named Floyd Mayweather Jr.

But despite all the obvious and contrary to the fact, Floyd continues to bask in his empty glory and tries his very best to convince the whole boxing world to believe in everything he says.

Somehow a number of boxing fans and even some boxing scribes have taken his words as gospel truth, apparently failing to discern fiction from fact.

Floyd, thus, remain trapped in a make believe world, thinking he lives in a glass castle or lulled he is in a bubble-wrapped little world that is all his own, well-protected and isolated from the real world.

The only problem is that such a world is so fragile, a glass castle can easily crack and shatter to pieces when hit by a strong force, a fantasy world protected around by an ego-inflated bubble can simply burst with a single prick.

And frightening it must be for Floyd to see his imaginary world, nurtured by fear and insecurity, suddenly ruptured and exposed.

But this may happen soon and has become such a big possibility, maybe even as early as May 1, 2010, when Floyd meets Shane Mosley, the man who has willingly agreed to all his demands just to make the long delayed fight happen between them.

Described recently by Floyd as a “C-lister” opponent and an easy fight for him, Mosley is a three time world titlist in three weight divisions and is a former undefeated world lightweight champion.

He amassed a (34-0, 32 KOs) professional record from 1993 to 2000 and his five career losses were against equally respected and top caliber fighters in Vernon Forrest (twice), Wrinky Wright (twice) and Miguel Cotto.

Floyd and Mosley both emerged victorious against a common foe in Oscar Dela Hoya at junior middleweight but while Floyd won his by split decision and retired despite the clamor for a rematch, Mosley obliged Dela Hoya twice and won both.

Mosley, in reality, is a very tough challenge for Floyd and with all the motivation he is giving to his opponent by berating his ability and thrash talk plus the hunger and determination of Mosley to be the recognized pound for pound king and top welterweight of the world, the 38-year old WBA welterweight champ may just be the first boxer to tarnish Floyd’s unblemished professional fight record.

Now that the threat is directly staring at him, the question to ask is, “Is Floyd’s fragile world psychologically prepared to handle a devastating or decisive loss?”

Looking at how high he has placed himself on a pedestal, a loss for Floyd would be like seeing the world crumbling right before him.

Sad and it would be really bad if the sanity that seems to have left him a long time ago will not be there to save him.

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