Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Mayweather vs Mosley
Posted By Avi "Shoefly" Korine 5:00 PM
One of the things that distinguished a great fighter from a special fighter is the ability to truly dominate good competition. As I've been thinking back over Roy Jones' career this has again struck me as both a blessing and a curse.
Roy has received enormous amounts of criticism for not facing a particularly high caliber of opposition over the course of his career. Much of this was his fault as he often chose soft fights, but some of it was simply fate; there weren't any truly great light heavyweights over the latter portion of his career.
But there were some very good fighters, men like Montell Griffin and Virgil Hill, and Roy disposed of this type of opponent with ease. In fact, he did it so easily that it served to discredit his own opponent; the thought was that if he could win so easily the opposition wasn't worth much to begin with.
Floyd Mayweather has had similar difficulties over the last few years as well. While he might not have taken every fight the fans wanted, his level of performance against name opponents has been excellent.
And most recently Manny Pacquiao has been victimized by the perils of excellence. He has performed so well that the only logical explanation for many is that he has been facing unimpressive foes.
David Diaz was a paper champ, but no one has ever managed to do what Manny did to him.
Oscar was certainly past his peak, but wasn't it more likely in hindsight that Manny was simply better than we initially thought? Does anyone actually now believe that the Oscar who defeated Steve Forbes only a few months earlier could have contended with Pacquiao?
Did Ricky really have a bad gameplan? Was he actually finally suffering from a lifetime of poor dieting? Or is it more likely that he was just as good as he had been when he dominated Paulie Malignaggi?
Was Miguel Cotto really permanently damaged from his loss to Margarito? Many fighters have never been the same after such a loss, but many have recovered quite well. Cotto looked sharp until Manny landed some big shots, perhaps it was Manny who made the difference.
Joshua Clottey had fought the best of the welterweight division but no one had ever dominated him like Pacquiao did. Perhaps Clottey was overwhelmed by the occasion and had a stomach problem, but isn't it likely that Pacquiao was able to, because of his talent, expose the flaws we knew Clottey had?
This isn't meant so much as a defense of Pacquiao, but as a defense for special fighters, and equally important, a defense of very good fighters.
It is only the very rare champion who can make an elite fighter look average. Special fighters like Roy Jones, Floyd Mayweather, and Manny Pacquiao come along very rarely. That doesn't mean we shouldn't ask them for more. We all wish Roy Jones had taken a few more risks with his career and we all hope that Manny and Floyd eventually face each other.
But it's important to enjoy them while they are around.