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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mayweather-Mosley Can Produce Fireworks. And Split Personality

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Mayweather vs Mosley
It's April and like most that enjoy Boxing at the highest level I too am excited by the fact that Mayweather vs. Mosley is approaching. If you're a fight fan of a certain age you've been wanting this showdown for years, you even tucked it away in your "it will happen too late file," next to Hopkins and Jones.

Thanks to the timeless wonder that is Mosley, the fight is not only viable but some could say the winner enters a possible battle with Manny Pacquiao as the recognized "man" at 147. We will argue and debate the merits of both champions for the next month and some of us in the media will become notorious "flip floppers." I stand guilty as charged; I've flipped more than John Kerry in the last month and on all social media platforms! Since you, the fan, deserve more, deserve men of conviction and knowledge who can provide perspective, I've come up with a solution to this dilemma of faulty "Intel" and conviction. And trust me, I'm doing this because I love ya'll -and also because the only person I can think of who can match me for hot air is me.

I've decided to debate myself!

That's right, I'll debate myself. Don't act like you've never been so torn that you had to talk yourself in and out of certain decisions. That's all we've ever wanted from Floyd Mayweather, a fight that we'd have to think about and now that he gives us one, ole "Marty Mar" develops a full blown personality disorder. Ok, truthfully, it's always been there. We've been so used to saying "Mayweather UD" that frankly I've never pondered the responsibility of having to write about an actual pick 'em that involves Floyd. I just mailed in predictions and focused my energies on “fantasy matches" and articles about the ID that is Floyd Mayweather, you know deep stuff. I've become like that eerily calm dude who gets to host those celebrity rehab shows when it comes to Floyd, because there's no real fights to speak of. So, without further delay allow me to introduce the debate combatants.

The "pro-Mayweather" Martin is a part of my personality that is kind of, well, as Floyd would say FLASHY. I've always been in awe of the reflexes, the brashness and his ability to reduce world class fighters to a 21% connect rate. I like money, and as a kid growing up I wasn't exactly shy about telling cats what I could do to them. In other words, I get it! The whole self-aggrandizing, attention seeking, self-absorbed package and I can't see anybody at welterweight touching this guy. The only reason he hasn't torn through the welterweight division is because you have to show the champ his money; nothing personal. Mosley? He's a tough little fighter but he'll get shut down like the rest of them, he's merely a superstar tune up en route to exposing another "good little fighter" named Pacquiao. The pro-Mayweather Martin is all "eyeball test" and from what his eyes see, Floyd is clearly an All Time great fighter... To hell with the fighters of old, because if they could get 10-40 million a pop they wouldn't fight as much either.

The "pro-Mosley" Martin is also a part of my personality, the adult in me who "knows better." I look at Mosley and I see a real pro, the one guy cut from the cloth of a Carmen Basilio who is too hardened by facing real guys to be thrown off the trail of this petulant child. I understand Mosley's trials and tribulations, that his defeats have actually made him stronger mentally than a guy who never put himself at risk against much larger men. Redemption is different from payback; redemption of a good man who has made mistakes is practically overwhelming, even in the face of “perfection." Class personified in and out of the ring, his nickname "Sugar" is well earned because he has never stopped trying to challenge the toughest cats out there.

When he's gone there will be few "holes" in his resume because he knows (like I know) they don't engrave your purses on your plaque in Canastota. Later in life I know his way, his approach, is best because modesty keeps fences firm when Floyd's approach will wither a bridge, when he is no longer useful. When I see him standing over Floyd smiling like a Cheshire cat I think to myself, too big, too tough and even at 39 fast enough. Remember, Floyd may be talking a good game now, but when Shane stepped to him after the JMM "sparring session" Floyd was visibly rattled. He had no intention on tangling with a big strong welterweight like Mosley, ever.

Ok "Martins" how do you see this fight unfolding?

As the “expert" representing Floyd Mayweather I have two words that none of you want to hear but you'll realize by May 2nd. EASY WORK. This whole notion that Mosley is a complete boxer is a myth, actually boxers handle him easy and “Money May" is the best in the business. The man never saw a real jab that didn't throw off his rhythm and his jab isn't affective enough to give Floyd pause. That little flicking thing he's throwing is a range finder, but it won't land, nor freeze Floyd long enough for combinations. Shane “was" special because he was a speed guy with a taste for going after his man and taking it to him. He's still talking about catching Floyd with a good shot and finishing him. Really? What kind of plan is that against a defensive wizard with a great chin? Yeah, he's got a reach advantage but do any of you believe he knows how to use it? At 39 age won't manifest against brawlers and punchers like Mayorga and Margarito, but Floyd can turn Shane into a senior citizen in about 6 rounds!

Remember a slugger like Cotto was able to outbox Shane and make him look ineffective in cutting off the ring. Cotto! How in the world is Shane going to play high speed chess with the Bobby Fischer of Boxing?!? How Martin? Floyd is the deluxe version of everything Shane tried to be; not only is Shane's suit “off the rack," but his ideas on how to attack Mayweather may be just as unimaginative. The only thing Shane will provide Floyd with is a platform to show the boxing world that he can get nasty and put a tough guy out of his misery. If Cotto is accurate enough to bust him up with combinations, Floyd is sure to paint a masterpiece on Mosley with relative ease.

Whoa!!! Slow down little fella, here's how the Sugar Man will use May 1st to give your boy Floyd his 1st “L" that is. Are you so sure Miguel Cotto “out boxed" Shane in the last two rounds of their 2007 classic? Or did he run? My observations says once Cotto realized he was in there with a real champ that he couldn't run over, he kept the small edge he had and got out of there Oscar de la Hoya (vs. Trinidad) style. I would also propose that this is the same posture he took the next time he was seriously hurt vs. Margarito and that guy may have had loaded gloves! You're also dismissing the emotional factor that surrounds this bout, the force of intensity of a good man wronged. All Mosley ever did was fight the toughest fighters while Floyd “navigated" his way to the top of Fist Everest avoiding potential pitfalls. How do “squirts" like Sharmba Mitchell and Zab Judah prepare Floyd to deal with a legitimate welterweight like Mosley? Are we even sure this guy is a full 5' 8" when it clearly looked as if Shane (5' 9") had more than an inch on him?

Floyd likes to take an opponent's losses and chime that this figure is the number of "ways" to beat him. Shane's loses may add up to 5, but only 3 men beat him and none of them utilized a passive-aggressive style. Winky Wright and Vernon Forrest, 5' 11" and 6' 0" may have boxed but they came forward behind stiff jabs and gave Shane something to think about when he got aggressive. They showed him they were the bigger men, so how does a guy who took 10 rounds to dispatch a smaller foe (Hatton) running at him with his chin stuck out have the "stones" to come forward on Shane? Even Oscar, (5' 11") in 2003 in my opinion beat him -but I'd take that version of Oscar to beat Floyd! Miguel Cotto came forward, engaging Mosley and putting his punches together but by the end of the evening was doing his own Boricua version of the shoulder roll. Factor in Floyd's "scheduling" and you have a great talent who is mentally unprepared to deal with resistance and that ain't good against a genuine tough guy like Mosley.

Genius is so captivating that it engraves a unique "signature" style into our psyche and when the geniuses evolve -we find it hard to see them as they are. When Jordan was winning with post-up fade always, we still assumed he dunked on everybody. When Ali started standing flat-footed and hitting harder, we still believed he stung like a bee. It's natural and it takes a while to wash off. Floyd Mayweather is not as mobile as he was at 135 and 140 and the idea that he can avoid Shane Mosley and just "outbox" him is based on a 2001 fight we all recorded in VHS. He is a better boxer, but Shane is the better "fighter" and there will be moments on May 1st when Floyd will have to fight his way out of a jam, and that's exactly what Mosley is counting on. Remember, one man "had" to take this fight and the other man "wanted" this fight, and inspiration beats obligation every time.

So who am I picking? Hell, I don't know but I'll string you out for at least two more weeks!

The Adam Corolla Debacle

Hopefully one day soon, my big mouth and I may generate as much attention as someone like Adam Corolla. Like the luxury version of the comic/wannabe boxer Howard Stern made a media empire out of classless, irreverent comedy. Unfortunately, in America, Black voices could never profit so greatly by verbally hurting so many, unless it's a "gangsta" rapper and he's specifically talking about shooting another black man, but I digress. Anybody can sink to that level and generate blog hits, tweets or just plain old negative attention. Apparently Mr. Corolla recently ignited a firestorm of unfriendly attention with sickening remarks aimed at the Philippines, home of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. Because 'hate speak" is weak speak I refuse to use what little exposure I have to repeat the comments made by the D-lister. He deserves no more attention. But, I will say this for Mr. Corolla, he "manned up."

Once he realized that his attempt at cheap laughs with gutter humor was poorly calibrated, he went on Twitter and apologized to Pacquiao Nation for his transgression. It is never too late to set the record straight when you have crossed the line. People, appreciate this fading quality in the age of malignant narcissism. My question to certain members of Pacquiao Nation is this: for those of you who sat down without conscience and created the most racist and vile images of Floyd Mayweather and his family members, can you too step up to the plate and apologize? Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is a professional athlete who you presume you would not like personally, who happens to be a future rival of your hero. Nothing more. To debase his image with racist stereotypes and suggest he is less than human in the name of your "hero" benefits no one. Do not ask for respect when you are in the act of disrespecting yourself. Manny Pacquiao is lionized by African-American writers like me because of his conduct, which you should keep in mind before you defend him as you have. If you believe it is fair to attack Floyd in this manner, then please, by all means leave Mr. Corolla alone and play by the same disgusting rules you set forth.

Hopkins and Jones, Leave Us Alone

The consumer fraud was one thing, but the actual fight took us to a low that I can only categorize as a call to arms. How long? How long will we present ourselves as a splintered disorganized mess in the face of blatant disregard for boxing fans and its future? "Reluctant" Roy could only blink at openings, wait for Bernard to billy goat his way in and tap him on the brain stem. Hopkins, as if by some strange irony spent a great deal of time rolling around on the canvas as a result of this foul play. I noticed that Bernard entered the ring with some cheesy Sinatra wannabe singing "My Way," which in Richard Schaefer's tongue probably translates to: "He bugged the hell out of us to get him the money to take out revenge on a fistic corpse." Each man took their trips to the "nether" region and each man had an excuse for why they "couldn't get off." Newsflash! Many men can't get off as they age but at least they don't charge you 50 bucks to share in their embarrassment. I say Bernard is still obsessed with Roy's byline, obsessed enough to push for a beating courtesy of David Haye. He's even taking offense to "The Swiss Banker" stating the obvious, that the next thing he should execute is retirement papers. Most of the great ones go out this way; maybe it's natural to come in kicking ass and exit via same door- just in a different direction. If GBP ever wants to play a role in the future of boxing they have to be pro-active in burying the past; if it's good enough for the boss it's good enough for Bernard. Let him go Oscar, what does he have out there more viable than David Haye? Holyfield?

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