By Eric Hernandez: Not that Floyd Mayweather Jr. needs me to stick up for him or validate who he is, after all Mayweather does a pretty good job of doing it himself, but after reading nothing but negative press on Mayweather for the last few years I have decided that maybe an unbiased view on Mayweather was warranted.
A few months back in this very blog a fellow writer wrote on why he didn’t exactly like Mayweather and I be the first to admit that I not only enjoyed the article but agree on some of his points. Beauty whether it’s art, music or another human being is subjective which brings me to Mr. Mayweather.
Mayweather is currently undefeated (40-0, 25 KO’s) and has had only a couple of tough fights, the first Jose Luis Castillo and the first half of the zab Judah fight come to mind. The main gripe people have about Mayweather is that he hand picks his opponents. Let’s be realistic about this for a second, fighters fight for one reason and one reason only and that’s to make money, sure some fight for the love but when you get to this level money is the only motivator, don’t think Mayweather came back from retirement because he missed getting punched in the face.
Genaro Hernandez, Ricky Hatton, Diego Corrales, Auturo Gatti, Zab Judah, Jose Luis Castillo and the Golden Boy himself, what do they all have in common? They are all hand pick opponents by Mayweather, are any of them truly great?
Maybe not but all were good fighters and all were either beaten or easily destroyed, in the case of Gatti who I loved as a fighter we give him credit for having a heart of a lion but Mayweather easily dispatched him in Arturo worst defeat as a pro. Instead of seeing Mayweather greatness we choose to see Arturo heart.
The second gripe people have about Mayweather is the fact that he has a big mouth and has no class. It’s easier to defend “Money” Mayweather as a fighter than as a guy who has class but bear with me for a second. Who are Mayweathers role models? His dad and uncle Roger, not exactly Harvard graduates, if you have spend 2 minutes with these two then it’s hard to fault Mayweather Jr. for being flamboyant.
Would I like to see him be more humble, more like Pac Man? Of course but I enjoy the brashness of Mayweather, it takes a lot for a boxer to put it all on the line the way he does, if you talk the talk and you can back it up then you need to at least embrace it a bit.
We love Joe Namath and his guarantee, we love Muhammad Ali for what he stood for and he was in many cases worst than Mayweather, you don’t believe me, just ask Joe Frazier who still hasn’t forgiven Ali for the way he treated him 30 years ago. The bottom line is we need the personalities in boxing, too many Paquiao’s can be bad for the sport, every good guy needs a villain and that’s exactly what Mayweather gives us.
I saw the fight Saturday night and there must have been 200 people there and everyone came for the same reason, to see Marquez finally shut Mayweather up. It didn’t happen; Mayweather was too quick, his defenses too good and in the end he made Marquez look like an amateur which is something the great Paquio fail to do in 2 meetings with Marquez.
Ironically enough after the fight Mayweather showed some class before Mosley who people perceive to be nothing but class decided he’s been watching too much Kanye West and decided to steal the spot light from Mayweather.
Lets face it no one really knows athletes, O.J. turned out to be a big phony and I can sit here until tomorrow listing the names of athletes that spent a whole career pretending to be good guys but weren’t. This is my gut feeling and I base this only on the way he treats his kids and what I hear of the record but maybe just maybe we are watching a guy who likes to be a bad guy in front of the camera but a good guy away from it. You can love him or you can hate him but until someone beats him you not only have to give him his due but crown him the P4P king.