Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Mayweather vs Mosley
Part of the appeal of Floyd Mayweather Jr. is that he speaks his mind even if what he says usually is self-serving. He isn't shy about proclaiming himself the best to ever put on a pair of boxing gloves: better than Sugar Ray Robinson, better than Muhammad Ali, better than Sugar Ray Leonard or anyone else you can think of.
"I'm a man just like they're men," Mayweather once said. "I put on my pants just like they put on their pants. What makes them any better than I am? Because they fought a thousand fights?
"I'm the best," he says.
Nonetheless, the quality of opposition Mayweather has faced in compiling a 40-0 record with 25 knockouts is a recurring source of criticism. Ali fought Frazier and Foreman; Leonard fought Hearns, Duran and Hagler; Ray Robinson fought everybody. Critics suggest Mayweather's resume is void of that caliber of competition though he owns wins over Oscar De La Hoya, Arturo Gatti, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Ricky Hatton and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Mayweather gets a chance to silence those critics on Saturday night when he faces "Sugar" Shane Mosley in a much-anticipated showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The pay-per-view bout is being called the biggest welterweight matchup since Leonard fought Hearns in 1981.
Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs) said he agrees with those who say Mayweather has never faced this type of challenge before.
"As a welterweight, he hasn't fought another top welterweight, and I'm the first one that he fought that's a world champion," said Mosley, who last fought in January 2009 when he captured the WBA welterweight title by beating Antonio Margarito. "All the other guys have not really been the best, if you will. There are a lot of great welterweights out there that he could have chosen to fight instead of fighting the ones that he fought."
Mayweather took heat in some circles when his proposed bout against Manny Pacquiao fell through because of a squabble over drug testing procedures. Still, he insists his critics are simply haters who will always find some reason to minimize his victories -- De La Hoya and Gatti were washed up, Hatton had no chin and Marquez was too small.
"There's always an excuse," Mayweather said. "He was too old, he was too slow, he was too small. They try and try to bring me down, but all they're going to do is continue to make me strive harder."
Mayweather's consistent dominance is part of the reason his victories are under-appreciated. He is a master technician, a fighter with impeccable defensive skills and the fastest fists in the sport. He does not engage in brawls, but prefers to systematically break down his frustrated opponents.
"There's nothing cool about taking punishment, getting beat up, getting bloody lips and taking a check," Mayweather said. "The coolest thing I can do is dominate you, shut you out and make crazy money and go home and live with my family in a very comfortable way. That's how I like to do it."
It has worked for 40 straight fights, and if it does against Mosley it will be a much-needed highlight of his career. Mayweather has made a career of flashing money and boasting that he is the best ever. If he beats Mosley, more people may start agreeing with him.