Floyd Mayweather, Jr., 5 time division world champion, winner of 10 world titles including the lineal championship in three different weight classes, two (2) time “Fighter of the Year” per The Ring and the Boxing Writers Association of America, is currently 42 – 0 in the boxing ring. Floyd Mayweather is currently the WBC World Welterweight Champion. Floyd was also ranked as the “number one” pound-for-pound best boxer in the world by boxing and sporting news websites including The Ring, BoxRec, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, BBC Sports and Yahoo! Sports. He has since been removed from the rankings due to retirement and recent inactivity. Enough of the accolades, although they are more valid than the casual boxing fan gives Floyd Mayweather, Jr. credit for.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr was born into a family of boxers including his father, Floyd Mayweather, Sr. and his uncles Roger Mayweather and Jeff Mayweather. Floyd Sr fought boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard and Roger Mayweather, Floyd’s trainer, won two world championships. Floyd Jr. also grew up in poverty. He spent parts of his life living with 7 people in one bedroom and no electricity. Floyd Jr’s father had a second job outside of boxing. He was a drug dealer who used Floyd as a human shield to keep his brother-in-law from shooting him. Floyd’s mother was a drug addict and his Aunt died of AIDS due to her drug use. Floyd was frequently punished, sometimes harshly and brutally, as a child, although his older stepsister was not. Floyd Sr. claims that Mayweather isn’t telling the truth about their early relationship stating “Even though I did sell drugs, I didn’t deprive my son,” Floyd Sr. says. “The drugs I sold he was a part of it. He had plenty of food. He had the best clothes and I gave him money. He didn’t want for anything. Anybody in Grand Rapids can tell you that I took care of my kids.” “Taking care of my kids” is a very subjective term. Floyd Sr. was eventually incarcerated and Floyd was sent to live with his grandmother. It was at this time that Floyd turned his attention to boxing fully, dropping out of high school to hone the skills that would take him to the top of the sport. All of this history has and will continue to play a part in who Floyd is and will continue to be.
A quick rundown about Floyd Mayweather, Jr. before we get to the controversial fight against Victor Ortiz.
• Had an amateur record of 84 – 6
• Won national Golden Gloves titles at 106 lb, 114 lb and 125 lb.
• Given the nickname “Pretty Boy” due to his unique defensive technique taught to him by his father, Floyd Sr. which resulted in minimal scarring and bruising in fights.
• Utilizes the “shoulder roll” in his orthodox defensive stance.
• Won a bronze medal in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
• Has competed (and won) at 5 different weight classes including Super Featherweight (130 lbs), Lightweight (130-135 lbs.), Super Lightweight (135-140 lbs), Welterweight (140-147 lbs) and Super Welterweight (147-154 lbs).
Now let’s get to the point. You don’t like Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Just admit it and then we can move forward. You don’t like Floyd. Just say it…..it’s like therapy. Don’t you feel better now? Some people will balk and say things like , “that’s not true, he’s running from Manny”, “any man that disrespects his father is a punk”, “he hasn’t fought anyone”, “he only fights people that he knows he can beat”, “he’s a thug”. This list can go on and on but let’s address the few that I just listed because I hear them the most.
Sigh……where do I start? I’m a fan of boxing. I actually consider myself a true fan of boxing as a sport. Not the MMA style boxing that the rookie fans seem to look for but the technical, skilled ring technician style of boxing that is so underappreciated. I personally want to see the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight take place and I think that it will, however, I DO NOT solely fault Mayweather for this fight not taking place. I can literally hear some of you saying, “OOHHH, she’s a Mayweather fan”. Whether I am or not is completely irrelevant although I’ll get to that part. I’m a fan of the sport of boxing. I’m a fan of cleaning up a sport that has suffered black eyes over the past few years. Love Floyd or hate him, he’s a steroid free, gym rat that trains better than anyone else and wins based on skill alone. Shane Moseley agreed to the rigorous Olympic style drug testing in order to fight (and lose) to Floyd. Victor Ortiz agreed to the Olympic style drug testing in order to fight (and lose) to Floyd. Pacquiao has been accused of steroid use. RELAX. None of it has ever been substantiated but the accusations exist. Pacquiao’s team has continued to push back on the drug testing that Mayweather’s camp is requiring with excuses such as giving blood too close to the fight day will weaken Pacquiao, and also stating that he has a fear of needles. Pacquiao has tattoos. I repeat, Manny Pacquiao has tattoos. You pay for tattoos. You GET paid to fight Floyd Mayweather, Jr. You get paid to the tune of at least $20,000,000 to fight Floyd Mayweather, Jr. 1 + 1 is not equaling 2 in this equation. There was some noise around the negotiations and that Floyd’s camp didn’t meet the deadline to agree to the fight.
I’ll let this quote speak for itself, “Almost a year later, on July 8, 2011, Manny Pacquiao’s top adviser Michael Koncz confirmed that Pacquiao had in fact never agreed to testing up until fight day, which contradicted what Bob Arum and the Pacquiao camp had been saying for well over a year.” Do you understand what that means? Floyd didn’t miss a deadline because the agreement was never made. With that said, if anyone would like to assign blame to the Mayweather/Pacquiao fights not happening then assign it to BOTH parties. As far as my opinion, for $20,000,000, especially being a fighter who (according to trainer Freddie Roach) HAS to fight because he’s broke, I’d be taking a drug test. Pretend that you’re getting a tattoo which takes a lot longer and hurts a lot more….but that’s just me.
Floyd and his father
Floyd is frequently a part of the 24/7 boxing reality series. We all watch it because Floyd makes for great television. He’s brash, bragadoshious, in your face, look at me, reckless, unapologetic, rich, has mastered being the villain and could not possibly care less what you think. Unfortuntaely, all of the above tends to detract from his training regime, his ring skills and his “hard work and dedication”. Floyd’s life is a circus and it’s the circus that people see and focus on. The behind the scenes work goes largely unnoticed. This year’s 24/7 featured a verbal altercation between Floyd Jr. and Floyd Sr. in the gym. It started as a relatively innocent disagreement that escalated to a full blown argument.
I’ve heard the following statements and I quote, “I’d never talk to my father like that”, “Any man that speaks to his father that was is a punk and a loser”, “THAT’S why I hate Floyd Mayweather. He’s so disrespectful”. End quotes. Oh. Ok. Here’s real life and I’m in the minority. I don’t know of any father that would speak to his son that way. I am also aware that not every parent/child relationship is hugs, good night phone calls and Sunday dinners. By all accounts, Floyd’s father was an abusive, drug dealing tyrant that played a minimal part in his son’s life because of jail time. His father trained another fighter against his son. But that’s just business, right? Life isn’t all rainbows and puppy dogs. Floyd Sr. and Floyd Jr. are examples of that. I also believe that respect is earned, not given, regardless of your title. Father is a title given based on biology. Dad is title earned based on relationship. Daddy is a title earned based on love. If that doesn’t make sense to you, then I can’t help. If you want to know what Floyd Jr. got out of his relationship with his father, look at his relationship with his children. Additonally, I wouldn’t doubt for a moment that, at minimum, the start of the argument between Floyd Jr and Floyd Sr was for show. It’s reality television at the end of the day.
Floyd hasn’t fought anyone
I want to simply say, “NEXT” on this but I’ll play along with one statement. Before the fight, there were quite a few people that picked Victor Ortiz to win. Those SAME people said post fight, “So what, Floyd still hasn’t fought anyone”. Ok. I’m done with this portion of the evening. Thank you very much.
Floyd only fights people that he knows that he can beat
I, personally, believe that Floyd can beat anyone that you put in front of him so, technically, I agree. However, Floyd Jr. shouldn’t be responsible for the quality of his contender. Furthermore, 3 of Manny’s last 6 fights have been against people that Floyd Jr. has already beaten, namely Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Shane Mosely. The remaining 3 fights were against were Miguel Coto, Antonio Margarito and Joshua Clottey. 2 of those 3 fighters had come off telling losses prior to their bouts with Pacquiao so what does that mean?
Don’t misinterpret my words. I think that Pacquiao is a great fighter and if anyone can beat Floyd, it’s Manny. BUT saying that Pacquiao is great doesn’t mean that Floyd isn’t as he’s proven time and time again.
Floyd is a thug
Yes. Yes he is. And? How does that relate to his abilities in the ring? A tweet read, and I quote, “THIS is the guy you idolize? I watched this fight with my son. What a bad example of how a man should act.” This was, of course, after Floyd Jr’s knockout of Ortiz. If your child’s example of manhood is reliant on ANY boxing match, you’ve already lost. Beyond that, Floyd is as focused and disciplined a boxer as you’ll ever see in the ring. You disagree? Ok. Please check my next segment.
Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz
Ortiz portrayed himself as a 24 year old boxer with strong hands and a sad backstory. “I love his story! Oh his story is so sad! I want him to win!” Those were quotes as well. If this were The Bachelor, I would likely agree. But it’s not. Ortiz was as confident an opponent as I’ve seen step in the ring with Floyd and many people bought the hype. I recall a time that I was worried every single time Floyd stepped into the ring. His shoulder roll stresses me out. It never looks like it should work but it always does. I felt that same way about James Toney. The fans that picked Ortiz think the same way that I used to. They can’t truly understand who Floyd Jr is as a fighter, not as a son or a reality star……as a fighter. Ortiz understood what most fighters do once they stand (or attempt to) toe to toe with Floyd Jr. He IS that good. He IS that fast. He IS that technical. His defense IS that good. Every fighter responds differently. Does Zab Judah ring a bell for anyone? Zab handled Floyd Jr well for about 5 rounds and then Floyd started to outclass and outskill him. Zab reacted. Remember the blatant crotch shot that Zab took at Floyd? Remember the ruckus in the ring? Remember Floyd’s corner jumping in? Remember Zab’s father swinging at Floyd? Remember pitiful Zab Judah attempting a cheap shot when someone wasn’t looking? Where was Floyd throughout this altercation? Think hard. He wasn’t a part of it. He backed away, let the ruckus settle in, touched gloves and went right back to work on Zab. But that’s not the Floyd Jr that makes headlines. That’s not the Floyd Jr that’s so easy to hate. I digress. So, Ortiz realized quickly that Floyd Jr was the faster, better boxer. How did he react? With 2 blatant, dangerous headbutts aimed at Floyd Jr’s face. The headbutts were so reckless that Joe Cortez, referee, immediately took a point from Ortiz without any warning. When is the last time that you’ve seen that happen? I’ll wait.
What happened after those Ortiz headbutts is where the rub lies, apparently. Somehow. Amazingly. The headbutts happened, a point was taken, gloves were tapped, Ortiz kissed Floyd, Ortiz hugged Floyd, gloves were tapped, the ref said “Time In”. I repeat…..THE REF SAID “TIME IN”. It then seemed as if Cortez was checking in with the timekeeper. I really have no idea what Cortez was doing but the point is that it doesn’t matter. “Time in” means the fight is on. If you’re a boxer, then fight. Floyd Jr then landed a left hook on the money. Ortiz didn’t react. Floyd then landed a straight right on the money and dropped Ortiz. Knockout.
Take your emotion out of it. What Ortiz did was not legal by any standard. What Floyd did was legal by the rules of the game. You can question the right and wrong of it all, possibly, if you want to be technical about it. It was a clean hit by Floyd Jr. Joe Cortez, the Nevada Boxing Commission and now Victor Ortiz’ camp agree with me in saying that it was legal, clean and Floyd Jr won. By the way, Ortiz’ camp has decided not to file an appeal over loss. Why? Because there’s nothing to appeal. So Floyd Jr “broke the rules of sportsmanship”. More or less than Victor Ortiz? Two wrongs don’t make a right? Well, 3 rights make a left. In this case they make a left, right, KO.
Personally, I wish that more dirty boxers were dealt with as Ortiz was. Blatant head butts that stop fights or change the outcome of fights mar the sport of boxing. There’s no skill in that. Ear biting, low blows…..cut it out. If eating a left, right and losing your belt stops you from hurting someone in an illegal fashion in the ring, then I’m all for it. I’m talking to you, Bernard Hopkins.
The Larry Merchant SNAFU
I fault Floyd for this. It was unnecessary and after rewatching the fight, I’m not quite sure what triggered Floyd to blow up. I’m as confused as anyone else.
So, you dislike Floyd. You don’t respect him. Guess what? He doesn’t care. He never has and he never will and I wouldn’t either if I were him. Floyd’s life is chaotic and he likes it that way. Ray J on the piano singing. 50 Cent carrying Floyd’s belts. A video conference with our military troops that are Floyd fans. A drop dead gorgeous fiancé by the name of Ms. Jackson. Happy, healthy children. His closet is bigger than most people’s apartments. Floyd loading up the trunks of his car and doing his best to feed the enormous homeless population in Las Vegas. Floyd Jr is literally living a dream. A dream that statistics state should never have been afforded him. Most importantly, he earned it. Floyd fought his way into every dollar that he has. Well, maybe gambled his way into some of it but it was legal. Everything in his past indicates that Floyd Jr should never have made it. He should be a drug dealer like his father was. He should be an absent father like his father was. He should be in jail like his father was. He should be dead. Floyd Jr is none of the above. What he is one of the best boxers to ever fight no matter how much people try to discredit his character. Floyd has his faults like everyone else such as being sued by a fan for assault and being sued by Manny Pacquiao for slander. He’s not perfect……unless we’re talking about his professional boxing career. That’s where you can’t take away his success.