Pacquiao Watch: Mayweather hates competitionBy Edwin Espejo Sep 15, 2013 7:35PM UTC
I purposely avoided writing a piece on the Mayweather-Alvarez fight knowing that the flamboyant American will make the Mexican look pedestrian despite the latter’s impeccable ring record.
In boxing, records can be deceiving.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez proved not only mismatched. He pretty much looked like the kid he was. He was schooled. He was humbled. He was fooled.
And Floyd Mayweather Jr? He made himself look great again at the expense someone not in his league. But, he was again a bore.
As great as a ring technician he is, Floyd has become a circus over the last four years. A victim of crash commercialism fixated with his place in boxing history, he is obsessed with his own immortality, his invincibility.
He dictates the threshold of greatness and sets his own achievement as standard in a sport that has lost some of the mystique of the long gone puritan era of boxing.
Once in a while, throwbacks to that golden era come to the scene. The likes of Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler who inherited the mantle from Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman. Each of these fighters fought each other. Some repeatedly. The incomparable Ricardo Lopez, Salvador Sanchez, Alexis Arguello and Thai twin brothers Khaosai and Khaokar Galaxy. The more recent ones like Tito Trinidad, Oscar de la Hoya, Roy Jones, Shane Mosley and the still active Bernard Hopkins. Of course, who could ever not mention Mike Tyson. These are some of the post flower generation of boxers who electrified and captivated the boxing world.
Except for Ricardo Lopez who retired undefeated, all of them suffered defeats in their Hall of Fame boxing careers.
But the reds and bumps in their ring records were never taken against their greatness. In fact, their rise over adversity made them even larger than life.
Floyd wants to stand tall over them. He wants to be the first among equals. But he wants it his way.
At the peak of his career, he refused to step up to the competition and fight the likes of Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley. Yes, he later fought Mosley but the latter was clearly on the slide when they squared off. He almost lost, some say he was gifted with a win, to an ‘aging’ De la Hoya just like the way he escaped with a controversial decision win over Jose Luis Castillo.
Over the last four years, he has been carefully picking his opponents.
But the one fight that he has been avoiding is against the one he may join on stage when they get inducted together to boxing’s Hall of Fame.
He could have easily answered the popular clamor to fight the only one in his generation that has a shot at handing him his first loss – Manny Pacquiao. But he chooses not to.
That is what will separate Mayweather from the rest of the great fighters that came before him, when his history is written. Boxing is about competition. More importantly, beating the competition.
He has done that over his last 45 fights, without fail.
But has he fought the best in his class during their prime?
I said records can be deceiving.
Mayweather built his immaculate record against opponents that are not in his league. Or better still, he towered above the competition that has not been loaded with great fighters like in the eras of Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard who pitted themselves against the top of their class (underscoring supplied).
No mistake about it, he could beat Manny Pacquiao. But he could also be beaten. One thing sure, Mayweather will not make ‘awkward’ Pacquiao look any more awkward.
Pacquiao is competition.
And Mayweather hates competition.