“I see something…”
—A retired Sugar Ray Leonard at ringside, witnessing an aging Marvelous Marvin Hagler chop down John “The Beast” Mugabi via 11th round TKO in March 1986
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It can be said that if we make our vision so clear our fears become irrelevant. For a 50-0 icon with still unfulfilled illusions of grandeur, losing the ability to matter just might be seen as worse than the thought of losing itself.
Like Leonard 30 years ago, Floyd “Money” Mayweather was a keen observer of a Goliath on the cusp of David.
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin appeared to defeat Canelo Alvarez on September 16 in Las Vegas, and was as disgusted as Hagler was with boxing– and Leonard…so much so that he never fought again after being bested by Sugar Ray via split decision in their famous April 1987 superfight.
In reality, Golovkin will have more to complain about historically in receiving a draw with Canelo, than Hagler had in losing to Leonard. Sugar Ray was clearly the superior boxer in as much as Triple G was the more effective aggressor. But the two greats share parallels of impending decline realized.
In Hagler's case, his gargantuan war with Mugabi exacerbated a subtle erosion after the explosive triumph over Thomas Hearns in April 1985. Two years later, Marvelous Marvin was cannon fodder for the short burst blasts of Sugar Ray, while befuddled by movement. Gone was the Hagler of stylish slickness with sharp reflexes and quickness. This Hagler was now a plodder of heavy hands and feet, one not only much easier to hit and evade– but likely to miss and fade.
To a certain extent, this is what Golovkin has now shown through 24 rounds of combat with Alvarez and a valiant Daniel Jacobs in March. In September 2016, Golovkin ravaged and broke then unbeaten and powerful IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook. But during those five savage rounds, some of GGG's prime stayed in London, as reservoirs were used in New York and Las Vegas in earnest to turn back the challenge of fighters he'd undoubtedly KO in 2015.
This brings us to the curious case of Floyd, who was recently seen furiously striking the heavy bag in a video he clearly intended to go viral. He was flanked by training prep personel in a very official capacity at his Mayweather Boxing Gym in Vegas, looking for the all the world like he knows something we don't.
What we do know is that contributor Paul Gift for Forbes.com dropped insight into a lawsuit filed by the State of Nevada against Mayweather Promotions for alleged delinquency in State Unemployment contributions. After raking in a reported $400 million for a systematic and flawed 10th round submission due to exhaustion of Conor McGregor, Mayweather would seem bound for the cover of AARP. Then again, who knows what kind of backdoor goings on affect “Money” in ways figurative or literally?
Mayweather is as methodical and shrewd as Leonard was in terms of assessing fighters with great timing– as in, when to get them. He knew when to get Canelo and how (at 23 and 152lbs), just like Golden Boy knew when and how to get Golovkin at 35. Think Floyd doesn't see Triple G as ripe for megabucks in 2018? Please.
In speaking to Golovkin trainer, Abel Sanchez, before guiding Murat “Iron” Gassiev to the ring against Krzysztof Wlodarcyzk, the proposed rematch with Canelo is not yet official or automatic, which makes the possibility of TBE V GGG all the more possible, however improbable some may deem it. Both Golovkin and Sanchez would sign on for a fight with Mayweather tomorrow.
At 40, Mayweather would not be looking to take on any welterweight young guns; but there's no way he didn't see himself as being able to outdo what Canelo didn't do. Golovkin and Mayweather are still unbeaten, and if Floyd were to come back, it would almost have to be against someone of Hagler's ilk he could go Sugar Ray on.
Just a thought…