Mayweather Has Lost a Lot of Speed
By William Mackay: After seeing the HBO Mayweather-Marquez 24/7, episode 1., I can see a significant drop off in Floyd Mayweather’s hand speed from his prime two years ago. If I was to put it in percentages, I’d say that Mayweather appears to have lost at 10%, possibly 15% of the speed that he had two years ago when he was beating fighters like Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya.
It’s really expected, thought, because Mayweather is now getting up there in age at 32, which is old for a fighter in the lighter weight classes, and he’s not been fighting and training like he used. However, I think Mayweather would still likely be just as slowed down as he is now had he continued fighting.
Reflexes are basically nerve fibers and a person is losing them year by year – it never stops – until they die. The effects of nerve cell death become noticeable for most athletes in their 30s and early 40s. At that time, they lose their ability to punch as fast as they previously did or in sports like baseball, they can no longer get their bat around quick enough to hit a fastball.
It’s just how it goes. Mayweather, obviously, isn’t immune the age related death of his fast twitch nerve fibers, and he may have to start considering a different fighting style if he wants to continue to stay on top of the sport. Besides his loss of speed, Mayweather looks a lot older as well.
He is starting to look like, well, a person in their 30s. And that’s okay, but it is what it is. Mayweather is looking older now and we may start to see the aging take effect on September 19th against Juan Manuel Marquez by seeing Mayweather get hit a lot more than he ever did before.
Some of the credit will naturally go to Marquez for being able to hit Mayweather, but what might be obscured in this all is the deterioration of Mayweather’s once lighting quick reflexes. Who knows? Mayweather could possibly have enough speed to beat Marquez, that’s certainly a possibility.
But given that Mayweather’s entire career and fighting style is designed around his hand speed and ability to pick off or lean away from punches, I think Mayweather will be much less effective than he was two years ago. I think it could very well be shocking at how much slower and hittable Mayweather will be when he faces Marquez. I watched the Mayweather-Marquez 24/7 episode I several times, and the speed loss for Mayweather is pretty significant, and I think he’s going to shock some people by how bad he looks against Marquez.
Mayweather might have enough left in the tank to win the fight, because he is the much bigger fighter of the two, he made sure of that by hand picking a small fighter like Marquez. I guess you could call that insurance for Mayweather.
By picking someone a lot smaller than him, he’ll stand a better chance at winning even if his skills have badly eroded. And, believe me, they have from what I can see of him. Whether Mayweather wins or not, he’s going to probably have a lot of excuses afterwards about why he didn’t look so good, something along the lines of “I was rusty from inactivity.”
I could agree partially with that. It certainly won’t help him that he’d been out of boxing for two years, but that’s his own fault. But the thing of it is, Mayweather will continue to look slower in his future fights and will continue to get hit more and more, regardless of how much he trains. It’s age showing the effects on Mayweather.