The Mayweather Effect
By Paul Walsh: I remember watching an interview with Floyd Mayweather some time ago and he said something which has stuck with me ever since, “Once I beat a fighter they are never the same, mentally and physically”. At the time I didn’t know what but after watching Cotto and Hatton fights recently it suddenly reemerged to the surface.
Let’s look at the facts and check the current status of Mayweather’s last 6 opponents;
1. Oscar De La Hoya – the Golden Boy was in his prime when the two did battle which is still to date the highest grossing fight of all time. Mayweather won by split decision in a very tight and controversial outcome and this was the fight which effectively ended Oscar’s career. He fought twice again but was never the same, winning one and losing the other.
This signaled the beginning of his career as a promoter.
2. Ricky Hatton- Probably the fighter who was affected the most by the loss to Floyd. The fight was labelled “undefeated” but it was Mayweather who left the MGM Grand with his “0” still intact. Once again this defeat was the beginning of the end for another Mayweather victim who went on to lose his next two fights the most recent after coming out of retirement. He has now officially retired from the sport and is a promoter.
3. Juan Manuel Marquez- After a two year hiatus, Mayweather came back and produced one of the finest technical displays of boxing to dismantle the Mexican Warrior. Juan Manuel Marquez was thoroughly outclassed for 12 rounds but to his credit has fought since and has been successful. Probably the only one on the list who has managed to keep his career on course, just ask Manny Pacquiao!!
4. Shane Mosley – Another 12 round win for Mayweather and Moseley fought three times after, failing to win any of those bouts and has now gone into retirement after being made to look old by Saul Alvarez. Interestingly, Moseley was the closest to ending Mayweather’s unbeaten run but unfortunately for him he ended up the same way as those who tried before him!
5. after another “mini retirement” Mayweather came back to take on young defending welterweight King Victor Ortiz. This one didn’t last long as Mayweather controversially stopped the American inside 4 rounds. Ortiz has only fought once since that fight and was brutally stopped by Josesito Lopez, having his jaw broken in the process. He has yet to be in action since.
6. Miguel Cotto- The great Puerto Rican was beaten by unanimous decision, although putting up a great fight, like the 42 prior to him he came up short. Cotto has fought once more since the Mayweather fight and was beaten by Austin Trout.
So as you can see, the common factor is defeat after fighting Mayweather but my question is why? Why is it that fighting Floyd effectively ends your career? Is it because you get so obsessed and involved it the hype and the mind games, believing you will be the first guy to put a blemish on his record? Or is it the manner in which he wins and systematically breaks down his opponent in and out of the ring? I believe it is the latter.
The reason why we love boxing so much is because it can change in a split second, all it takes is one punch and the fight is over. This is why it is so exciting because anything can happen. However, when Mayweather is in a fight, he takes away the element of chance. The master of defence rarely makes a mistake and any mistake made by his opponent is cruelly exposed and punished. Meaning that as a fighter you know that anything less than 110% for every second of every round is not enough. If not the fight will slip away from you and before you know it you are 4 rounds down on the scorecard and running out of options fast. Not only that, knowing that you have trained and prepared better than ever before only to be outclassed and in some cases not even land a clean punch, this must be devastating and almost impossible to come back from and for me the reason why fighters are never the same after facing Floyd Mayweather.