Another Cart Horse against a thoroughbred is a race that will do nothing to enhance the reputation of boxing
(Photo credit: Esther Lin/Showtime) By Rob Blakeman: This morning I dipped into my archive of Boxing on Blu-ray and watched the 2001 match between Diego Corrales and Floyd Mayweather. The fight took place at 130lbs and Floyd’s record was already impressive-24 wins, no defeats and 16 knockouts. Corrales though held an even better one being 33 and 0 with 27 K.O.’s.
This was a much anticipated fight that was being compared by many top analysts to potentially be as exciting as the battles between Leonard and Hearns! However, such was the ring generalship of the young Mayweather, in a display that belied his youth he clinically out boxed, dismantled and ultimately destroyed the previously unbeaten and bigger Corrales, (He outweighed Mayweather by 16lbs on fight night!) knocking him down 3 times in one round.
There is corruption in every sport to some degree or other and by corruption I mean politics with fighters avoiding each other for softer options and longer title possession. I also know that when talented fighters move through weight divisions in a quest for more titles and prestige not every of those divisions can contain the best fighters-just look at the heavyweights right now as an example of how poor a division can become within a single generation. Nevertheless, exceptional fighters need exceptional challenges to extend them and to entertain us. Moreover, we need more competitive fights to draw the mass public back to boxing.
As I have said before, all of us in the know about boxing (not to be confused with all those who read the articles on this website!) should have no doubt that in all probability Floyd Mayweather will only ever be beaten if and when his huge confidence finds him moving forwards in a fight with his defences down and onto a bomb from another lightning quick, world class fighter-as was exemplified in Manny and Marquez IV. This in mind, it’s quickly apparent that only someone with the silky skills of say, a Sergio Martinez or the speed of a Pacquiao would be any kind of competition for Mayweather.
So what hope is there for the good but limited Robert Guerrero this coming Saturday? I like Robert, he is a strong and durable fighter but unless Floyd actually nods off during one of the middle rounds, Robert’s chances of causing an upset are somewhere between slim and none. We should all just face it; no one has the skills to truly whip Mayweather, he can only beat him self through carelessness and be caught with a hay maker with is defence down-something that The Minister of defence has so far avoided.
Mayweather has been in with huge puncher’s such Cotto, Mosley, De LaHoya, Corley, Castillo, Gatti, (made to look like a carthorse) Hatton (Ditto!) and he took their best efforts without considerable trouble. Manny Pacquiao has also stood up to his share of big hitters too, some common foes of Floyd’s, namely Cotto, Mosley, De LaHoya, Hatton, (made to look even worse) but also Margarito, Morales, Barrera, and even Marquez himself and he was able to do this because he was prepared and physically ‘braced’ each time he was punched by them. With lightening reflexes he saw the punch coming and, in the way the greatest boxers in the world can, he would either avoid it or he would negate the punch’s power by a half-step back or a flexing of the trapezius muscles in the neck along with a tilt of the head, similar to the way a good pad man negates the power of punches by ‘banging’ the pad down on the approaching glove.
Guerrero appears to have done nothing very different with his preparations for Mayweather than usual and this would be pointless anyway as there IS no way anyone can truly prepare for Mayweather, unless one considers just upping their usual workload which in any case just leads to over-training which in itself makes a fighter more vulnerable to fatigue and to have less punch resistance because they have left all of their best efforts and energy in the gym (Think Hatton in his fight with Pacquiao).
Speed is Mayweather’s dominant tool and who can match him for that? After yet another embarrassing performance from Amir “King?” Khan last Saturday only a fool would consider tossing his hat into the ring. True, Amir has speed of foot and hand but his poor timing and judgement of distances along with probably the most vulnerable chin in boxing rules him out of any chance with Floyd. Only a truly scientific fighter with a masterful training regime, solid jaw and the silky skills to out work, out punch and counter-counter punch Mayweather and thus set traps for him, will be able to possibly beat him. Sadly, I think this is not what we will see this coming Saturday. Unless there is a discernable decline in the abilities of Mayweather since we saw him last I fear we will witness yet another cart horse against the thoroughbred, a one sided drubbing that at elite level pugilism at least, should not be seen.