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Can anyone beat Floyd Mayweather?

Floyd Mayweather Jr Latest Robert GuerreroBy Thomas Cowan: After Floyd Mayweather completely dominated Robert Guerrero to retain his WBC welterweight championship and his unbeaten record on Saturday, the eternal question was asked yet again. Can anyone beat the Money man? The two fighters most fans see as the biggest threats to Mayweather are Manny Pacquiao and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

I’ll start this article by saying I’m not a fan of Mayweather, Pacquiao or Canelo but I enjoy watching all three of them because they are clearly extremely talented. Mayweather showed on Saturday night that 12 months out of the ring have not hindered his ability to deliver a masterclass in controlling a fight, Pacquiao has been the most explosive fighter of the 21st century and Canelo announced his arrival on the world stage with a win over Austin Trout last month.

The man everyone has wanted to see Mayweather face for about 4 years is Pacquiao. Many Mayweather fans point to the fact that Pacquiao has performed poorly four times against Juan Manuel Marquez, who Mayweather beat easily, as evidence that Mayweather is clearly better. This is a load of rubbish.

Boxing doesn’t work like that. George Foreman destroyed Joe Frazier twice and knocked out Ken Norton while Muhammad Ali lost to Frazier in 1971, beat him by decision in 1974 and was nearly stopped by him in 1975 and had three close fights with Norton, again winning the trilogy 2-1. However, Ali knocked Foreman out, who admitted he took Ali lightly after seeing him struggle against Norton and Frazier.

If you want a more recent example, Bernard Hopkins made Jean Pascal look silly but he couldn’t beat Chad Dawson, who dominated Pascal. Boxing fights can’t be calculated like an equation, that’s why it’s a great sport. If you used that theory you could say Pacquaio would beat Mayweather because he performed far better against Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto than Mayweather.

I also want to put Pacquiao’s alleged demise into perspective. Yes, he has lost his last two fights and looked like he had lost some speed and power. However, he was the victim in one of the worst judging decisions in history against Timothy Bradley. Bradley performed well but Pacquiao controlled the fight, which I scored 118-110. Anyone who says Pacquiao didn’t win at least 9 rounds knows nothing about boxing or badly wanted Pacquiao to lose that fight.

In his December fight with Marquez, Pacquiao was struggling but he was ahead on all 3 scorecards at the time of the stoppage and had cut Marquez. Pacquiao was then walked into a huge right hand that knocked him out cold. He has done this before in his early career against Rustico Torrecampo where again, a lapse in concentration saw him tasting canvas. Now, I can’t get my head round how struggling against an opponent he has struggled against 3 times before and being caught by a shot he’s been caught by before a sign of demise? Pacquiao has lost a bit of speed and a bit of power but I see him as 90% of the fighter he was in his prime and definitely not shot.

Having said that I would back Mayweather to beat Pacquiao by a very close decision and I do believe the fight would live up to all the hype. I hope that the fight will happen in 2014 when Pacquiao’s Top Rank contract runs out if both fighters can agree on the purse split and drug testing.

The other man a lot of people want to see Mayweather face is Saul Alvarez. For some reason a lot of people seem to hate Canelo, I don’t know if it’s because he has red hair or if the people who hate Canelo are just anti-Mexican but he’s a great fighter and strikes me as a nice guy.

His win over Austin Trout showed he can compete with world class fighters and although some people think it was, I didn’t see that as a controversial victory. Canelo controlled the fight, knocked Trout down and landed the harder shots. Trout even admitted the better man won although he now seems to have changed his mind. To be fair, the judge who scored the fight 118-109 is a joke and shouldn’t be allowed to judge another fight for a long time because that was a huge injustice to Trout.

The conspiracy theories after the fight did make me chuckle. The canvas was too spongy, the ring was too small, Canelo rehydrated too much (he weighed one pound heavier than Trout) and the open scoring was unfair blah, blah, blah. Admittedly, I think open scoring is stupid but I don’t think it was a factor.

So should Mayweather fight Canelo? The weight advantage Canelo would have (around 25lbs) is a legitimate excuse for Mayweather not to take the fight, although certain writers take it too fair by suggesting Canelo should fight Marco Huck who I estimate weighs 210lbs on fight night. That is a 40lbs advantage not a 25lbs advantage, so the suggestion is ridiculous.

Some fans call Mayweather a coward for not taking the fight but it’s worth pointng out that Pacquiao wanted a 150lbs catchweight to face Antonio Margarito at light middleweight and Juan Manuel Marquez snubbed an all-Mexican fight with Canelo saying he was too big.

I think Mayweather should fight Canelo but not in 2013. Mayweather took a lot of punishment when he fought Miguel Cotto and facing Canelo would be even worse. Punches age fighters and Mayweater still has 5 more fights on his Showtime contract so facing Canelo may not be a great idea right now. By the end of that contract Mayweather will have run out of decent welterweights to face and assuming Canelo is still winning, the potential money both fighters could make with Mayweather’s huge Amercian fanbase and Canelo’s Mexican fanbase is huge. It could be as big as the potential Pacquaio fight.

As long as Mayweather is till fighting at the same level I would predict he would beat Canelo fairly comfortably but if Canelo managed to hit Mayweather with some big shots he could struggle.

That’s my take on the two biggest potential fights in boxing, do you think the PacMan or Canelo could take Money’s “0”?


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