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Is Floyd Mayweather Jr. a true champion?

Floyd Mayweather Jr

By Yannis Mihanos: “He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money” Benjamin Franklin.


Most recently, I heard Floyd Mayweather Jr. (50-0, 27 KOs) talking again about his record of reaching over a billion dollars in revenue. That’s super impressive for any athlete in any sport to catch, and it’s a great deal of money.

It’s a great business achievement, but what has to do with a true champion? Shouldn’t we fans be speaking about his boxing marvels rather than his great material possessions?

I’m sure that boxing fans would have looked at Mayweather differently if he had one or two losses on his boxing record, even if he could still boast that he is the richest and best fighter in the world.

Floyd Mayweather Jr

What remains, in reality, is this lack of evidence: “We never saw how he handles defeat.” Handling defeat and bouncing back is an element you find in all true champions because as natural is to win is also natural to lose.


Former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was on 42-0 with an astonishing knockout ratio until he accepted to face someone equal to his stature: a 50-50 fight. He knew the risks, but he agreed on the terms, and now that he’s been beaten for the first time, it is the right type of test to see what he is made of.

This kind of situation never happened with Mayweather, whether he was too good or his opponents were too bad. There can never be a definite answer only more questions like this one: Did Floyd Mayweather Jr face his opponents when he needed to or when he wanted to?

A sham champion will do his best to face his opponents when he wants to, not when he needs to. He will find any possible excuse to delay any potential danger until its no longer one.

It isn’t as easy as it looks, and I will explain more about it later, but that’s more or less his true intention: To avoid full contact and have maximum benefit.

Our new modern society encourages this a lot: avoid all pain and get into the easy shortcuts.

That’s one way to become a sham champion in our days. To his defense, a sham champion does not like working so hard, and I have to say that Mayweather was always extremely hardworking and dedicated to perfect his way, totally obsessed with details. Because his opponents weren’t exactly opponents of the neighborhood: some of them were real hard hitters, real badasses in the ring and life that even at their worst they could inflict some severe damage, they could easily knock somebody out, they were also champions: Marcos Maidana, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao were just some of them.

Adrien Broner and Amir Khan have also tried to cherry-pick but with much less intelligence and willingness for hard work, and their results have been downright poor.

Canelo who is more focused and dedicated has followed the same plan with much success, he waits and fights people when they are easier to beat, his promoter Oscar De La Hoya has a big part in this. It is an irony because he was an ex-fighter, an ex warrior.

The 50-50 ratio defines a true champion.

Under the 50-50 ratio, the true champion will welcome any challenge and fight those he needs to fight, those who will bring value to the fans and his legacy.

A true champion chooses to fight even if the odds are set against him even if his back is against the wall, even if he may lose the crown. Because at least it’s for real. Victory, if gained, will be enormous, and defeat will be humbly accepted.

Nowadays, we don’t see this happening often because promoters protect their fighters. They see them as investments.

An old classic in literature is the book “Art of war” by Lao Tzu. The work inside makes a great deal of how to defeat an enemy, and many ways aren’t pretty. War isn’t pretty, and many times it isn’t fair either.

Boxing hasn’t been the fairest of sports. Also, we have all witnessed from time to time great twists of results.

Fighting not to lose is not the same as fighting to win. Yet it still adds a victory in the history books.

Floyd Mayweather Jr

I’m going to wrap it up by saying that we all owe Floyd Mayweather Jr. a big thank you for giving us the contrast of emotions: someone to hate so much.

Whatever is the public opinion about him, he is still part of boxing history?

 


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