Mayweather: An all time great or overrated?

Will Mayweather's ultimate legacy suffer from a lack of elite opposition?

Will Mayweather’s ultimate legacy suffer from a lack of elite opposition?

The vast majority of boxing fans sit in one of two camps when forming a judgement on Floyd Mayweather Jr. There’s the more sincere fans, who firmly see Mayweather as one of the defining icons of the sport and up there with the very greatest. Opposing that view, are those who believe Mayweather has had things arranged in auspicious circumstances and has never beaten a ‘peak’ top fighter himself. Wherever you see yourself, credit where credit is due; the man is unbeaten regardless and continues to fight at a high standard even at the age of 37.

His next defence of  his WBC Welterweight belt (and for the WBA equivalent, belonging to the challenger) is against the aggressive Argentine Marcos Maidana. Despite losing in the fan poll on who Mayweather should fight next, Maidana was eventually chosen as the next contender against the unbeaten Mayweather. The fight is scheduled for the 3rd of May and is being hosted at the illustrious MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas – where Mayweather’s previous 8 fights have all been held.

 

Floyd Mayweather Jr v Marcos Maidana Betting Odds:

Floyd Mayweather Jr -1429

Marcos Maidana +700

(All odds provided by AllYouBet.ag are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

Mayweather is expected to dominate the fight against Maidana, who many see as a lacklustre appointment at this level of boxing with three losses to his name (one of which was against Amir Khan, who was hotly tipped to have a tough style for Mayweather to battle against) and only a few victories of note to his name. This adds to the argument of Mayweather’s critics, who have often accused him of ‘cherry picking’ his fights, choosing the easier of two options.

Many felt that the sleek and sharp Khan would prove a different test for Mayweather, and – despite the aforementioned poll – Maidana was chosen. Maidana has some real power behind his gloves and is always a threat to knock a fighter out, but he isn’t the fastest or neatest boxer in the world and this is certainly the style of fighter that suits Mayweather perfectly. On the flip side, Maidana has recently embarrassed the somewhat opulent Adrien Broner who fights in a similar manner to Mayweather. He won on a unanimous points decision over 12 rounds after battering Broner without looking to be in trouble a any point. The problem there being that Broner isn’t anywhere near as good as ‘Money’.

 

So, let’s look at Mayweather’s CV. There’s a cornucopia of household names, some of which would be considered ‘greats’ by a lot of venerable boxing pundits. The likes of De La Hoya, Moseley, Hatton, Marquez, Ortiz, Cotto and even the young Alvarez have all been dispatched by Mayweather. Out of those names – and ALL of the names of the fighters he has beaten – only one of those came down to a split decision, which was the fight against De La Hoya.

Typically, Mayweather fights come down to a unanimous decision; he isn’t a KO artist and will generally prefer to wear opponents down throughout the the 12 rounds. In fact, only 26 of his 45 victories have come by way of knockout. In fairness, there are a plethora of fighters who would be very happy with that percentage but you would expect a little higher from the number 1 pound for pound fighter. He perfected the somewhat infamous shoulder roll technique and operates a defensive fight. An expert at fighting on the back foot, Mayweather works best when the ring is spacious and offers him plenty of room to manoeuvre around and avoid attacks.

 

Now, you’d generally consider De La Hoya and Moseley as the highest ranked in terms of overall quality against those other names there. It cannot honestly be said that Mayweather defeated a prime De La Hoya or a prime Moseley, and there is a case for claiming he has never beaten an in-form fighter who will be considered ‘one of the best’ – the arguable exception is Marquez, though many would not put him in the De La Hoya/Moseley bracket.

This isn’t Mayweather’s fault of course; he can only fight who is put in front of him. It would have been great to see him go toe to toe with a certain Filipino, but for reasons owing no doubt to both sides, that has yet to materialise. This is the main criticism against Mayweather and it’s a difficult one to argue. Look back to the days of Marvin Hagler. He had the likes of Duran, Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard  in contention. Four absolutely world class boxers who all operated on a platform most fighters could and can only dream of. The fight with Pacquiao that was first discussed a few years ago might turn out to be the biggest loss Mayweather will ever suffer.

 

However you look at it, Mayweather is an objectively polished fighter and certainly knows how to sell his fights. His talent is undeniable and I can’t think of a fight he’d currently go into without being the absolute favourite. That being said, to quote Carl Froch “If you retire undefeated it means you didn’t fight everyone you were supposed to”.

 

Betting Instinct tip – Floyd Mayweather Jr to win by decision or technical decision is -161 with Intertops.eu

 

 JAKE COLLINS (jcollins91) is passionate about literature, music and sports. He currently works in  London and lives in Essex. Read more of his work in Jake’s blog, or follow Jake on Twitter and Google+.

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