“Peace has cost you your strength. Victory has defeated you.”
–Bane, from one masked man to another
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I had a dream today. Not exactly of Dr. King proportions, just one where a nightmare promotion involving a certain MMA badass didn't exist. If you're a fight fan and OK with Floyd Mayweather V Conor McGregor— sleep on it, and I hope your pillow feels like a boulder.
On April 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, I watched Shawn Porter bludgeon an overmatched Andre Berto. When we'd last really spied Berto, he was a competitive sparring partner against a retiring Floyd “Money” Mayweather in September 2015. In imagining Mayweather against the rugged Porter that night (as I had Manny Pacquiao in a NY Fights article weeks back) instead of Berto, I could only see a loss of ‘Money' for MMA and UFC.
Only “Pretty Boy Floyd” could've dealt with a Cleveland Brown in Porter on my 2017 scouting report of Mayweather. Of course, Floyd agrees with this assessment about as much as a fat man appreciates the disappearance of a coveted donut.
In reality, Money Mayweather doesn't really care what I think (or you) and stopped doing that a long time ago. We're ‘just fans'. This occurred the moment he drowned Pretty Boy Floyd for riches, in exchange for lesser challenges at the expense of the ‘Have Nots'.
It's easy to say that Sugar Ray Robinson, universally regarded as the pound-for-pound greatest fighter to have ever lived, would have faced Conor McGregor for the size of a 3rd world countries' military budget. The great Robinson was broke at age 40.
But evidence suggests Robinson fought for the same competitive pride modern contemporary Bernard Hopkins fought with beyond 40. The greats never want false triumph with no chance of glory.
Michael Jordan once had a “Love Of The Game” clause in his contract with the Chicago Bulls. I remembered this today, as I listened to Dana White declare Mayweather V McGregor is just about done. I couldn't help but think of Floyd's own contract with “TBE” that he's attempting to make void.
When you work “in love” with what you do, it is the only work where there can never be too many workers. It grows by cooperation, knowing it has nothing to fear from competition. Mayweather has obviously loved boxing. But if we reap what we sow, then why has he received so much hate?
Beyond Money', is motive that reveals true motivation. Something that compels us to greatness when our purpose is challenged. There's no way Conor McGregor can do this for Floyd; not in a way that Pacquiao, Canelo or GGG can. Short of facing ‘Notorious' in an octagon as he is– in spandex and MMA gloves under boxing rules, Floyd only risks being rewarded with hate in 50 shades of grey.
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Mayweather: 2017 Scouting Report
The former 4-time Lineal and 5 division world champion is famously unbeaten at 49-0 and a bona fide all-time great HOF fighter. He is the very best “pure boxer” I've ever seen in my life; easily (in my opinion) the best defensive of all-time. Better than a technically flawed Roy Jones. Better than Pernell Whitaker. Far superior to Willie Pep or the slippery Nicolino Locche.
A calculated and cold-blooded ring narcissist, I've never really seen Mayweather caught with a combination. At his best, Mayweather was an athletic James Toney on acid. No one has ever been more prepared for an opponent than Mayweather. But when measured against Berto in September 2015, it appears that certain elite welterweights would be very prepared for a 2017 version of Floyd.
In April 2006, we witnessed a 29 year-old ‘Pretty Boy Floyd' struggle with a very good Zab Judah of roughly the same age. Floyd never had an obvious weakness, but I've perceived him to have two glaring ones that would've hurt him during the 1970's and 80's– and right now:
1. An apprehensive offense.
2. An aversion to elite black (or a certain Filipino fighter from 2009-2011) fighters with great speed and conditioning.
Demarcus “Chop-Chop” Corley, like Judah, was a solid B fighting southpaw who troubled Mayweather well over a decade ago. So imagine what kind of hell “Showtime” Shawn Porter, Timothy Bradley, Terence Crawford (up next @MSG 5/20 vs Felix Diaz), WBC/WBA welterweight champion Keith “One-Time” Thurman, IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook or WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao would give Floyd today.
Against Berto, Floyd averaged just under 40 punches per round. His work rate amounted to about 1:30 per round. Shawn Porter would force 3:00 brutality on ‘Money' who in theory would be no more ready for Porter than Batman was Bane. The 2017 Mayweather would face extreme difficulty defeating any of the above fighters, and a fight with Errol Spence would look a lot like Sugar Ray Leonard V Terry Norris.
The crude McGregor would mask any slippage at all, but if Floyd ever dares to pull a B-Hop, he'd get on the phone and challenge Canelo Alvarez to a rematch. Or he'd challenge Gennady Golovkin, a man many suspect he fears.
Of the two, GGG would offer a chance for greater glory and redemption, as the Kazakhstani destroyer is scarier than the Antonio Margarito who shook Pretty Boy Floyd.
It's what “The Best Ever,” or Robinson, would do.