Mayweather, Marquez, Pacquiao and the Haters
By Glen Anglin: There are a few reasons why many otherwise even-minded people view boxing as a sport of criminals and boxers and boxing fans as borderline thugs. Ignorance, the desire to feel superior, disgust at the violence of a true blood sport all play into it.
Those reasons cannot be fixed by anyone but the owner. However, there is another explanation that can be addressed by us boxing fans. I am talking about the pointless, infantile hatred boxing fans have of the closest rival to their favorite boxer. You can see it all over the comment sections of this site: this one or that one is a bum, his competition is weak, the judges gave him the decision, he takes PEDs, racial epithets, etc, etc, etc. These behaviors make us boxing fans as a group look like crude, ignorant jackasses.
I have been around sports most of my life and no other sport brings out the stupidest, most primitive instincts in its fans like boxing does. Right now, there is a geyser of hatred being spewed out by the various crowds of nitwits who want to denigrate Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather or Juan Manuel Marquez.
I will not spend the time to address the behavior or personality of each of these three OUTSIDE the ring; I am only here to address the mob of dunces who think that any of these three boxers are anything less than all-time greats. Yes that’s right, all time greats…..great enough to be stacked up against anybody their size in any era.
Juan Manuel Marquez is a beat down technician and has made a long career of defeating good boxers. He missed some big paydays when he was forced to sit on the sidelines for several years while Barrera and Morales waged holy war against each other. He is one of the most well-rounded fighters of any era at any weight. He has it all: grit, skill, courage, defense, offense, supreme focus and concentration. He stands and punches and never holds and is never in a dull fight. His defeat of Katsidis is an excellent case in point: he methodically, inch-by-inch, round-by-round, patiently, pounded the stuffing out of a very tough customer. He has fought often and suffered a few close losses, but for my money, he is one of the most interesting fighters to watch at any weight class. The only blemishes on his record beside the Mayweather fight are the two very closely fought matches with Pacquiao and a close decision loss to the undefeated Chris John. The only time JMM was ever made to look less than great in the ring was in the Mayweather fight, when he was in against a taller, faster guy.
Floyd Mayweather is not only a master boxer, but a defensive wizard in the ring. His combination of reflexes and style is so exquisite, that when he wants to calmly win round after round and take home an easy decision he becomes almost un-hittable. Many fans (including me) say he is too defense focused and his fights are too slow. Well, that is opinion.
One thing that is not an opinion is that he has never lost a fight and has been in against top competition for much of his career. Yes, he has had some close decisions against the very best guys….De La Hoya and the first Castillo fight come to mind. Also, for whatever reason, he fights rarely, which makes his undefeated record more a point for discussion.
In addition, he has not always fought the very top guys in his weight class. True, but neither has Marquez or Pacquiao or for that matter almost any champion in history. Every long term champion has taken a fight against the odd tomato can now and then, just for an easy payday. No shame in it. In one of his most masterful performances, he took a decision from the smaller and slower Marquez and made JMM look pedestrian in the process, which is no small feat. The simple, irreducible fact is that he has never lost and has had only a couple of close fights.
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