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Home Boxing I Still Don’t Get It…
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I Still Don’t Get It…

mayweather_money1-400x458Discuss it all you want. Argue it all you want. Floyd Mayweather Jr. proved nothing in beating THE RING magazine World Lightweight Champion Juan Manuel Marquez; save for perhaps proving he still had the skills to grease his way back into various pound-for-pound lists.

Beating Marquez almost ensures it. Many lists (primarily THE RING’s) had the lightweight champ installed at number two prior to the fight and it’s certainly a good argument for Mayweather. Maybe nobody else but it’s good enough for “Money.”

But the outpouring of praise just eludes me, Howlers. Mayweather’s win over Marquez is tantamount to me facing a 40-year old guy that weighs 20 pounds less than me. Right before the fight, the 40-year old guy downs an entire deep-dish pizza. Paints a picture, doesn’t it?

Mayweather, 40-0 (25), is a supremely talented boxer. He possesses fluidity and pure boxing skills few fighters have historically matched. This cannot and shouldn’t be denied. At the same time, that slickness and skills have metamorphosed into an ideological attribute that’s guided Mayweather’s career for nearly seven years.

Since his rematch win over Jose Luis Castillo (Mayweather’s second fight at 135. It was also the first of three successful defenses of THE RING World Lightweight Championship Mayweather secured in his first victory over Castillo) in December of 2002, Mayweather has coasted through the remainder of his career; draping his subsequent opponents with a blanket of over-importance, simultaneously bolstering his claims to greatness.

While cutting a swath through the less-than-capable opposition thrust in front of him with each divisional jump, Mayweather deftly danced around and dodged the ever abundant throng of legitimate contenders and champions available. Saturday evening was no different.

Yes, Juan Manuel Marquez is a pound-for-pound resident. Yes, Marquez, 50-5-1 (37), is a World Champion. He’s hardly less-than-capable…to a lightweight. Former THE RING World Junior Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton mirrored Marquez’ same distinctions and he was just as deficient as a welterweight? Does the win over Marquez qualify Mayweather as a legitimate pound-for-pounder? On Monday, THE RING said yes; installing Mayweather at number two. If I had my druthers, I would say no. However, others who comprise their own lists might see things another way. To them, beating Marquez serves as a means to a return to their lists as well as a comeback.

But Mayweather, just as well, could’ve faced a true welterweight.

By the same token, neither Mayweather nor HBO could stomach such a move. To coin, paraphrase and pervert an oft-used notion, if it makes sense, it won’t make dollars for either party. Fights against Isaac Hlatshwayo and Carlos Quintana aren’t pay-per-view material. No one was asking Mayweather to square off against WBA welterweight titlist Shane Mosley, THE RING World Junior Welterweight Champion Manny Pacquiao or former IBF titlist Joshua Clottey in his comeback. But after 21 months out of the game, even trying to enter the welterweight ratings bears…beating a welterweight.

There’s still a blind acceptance of what Mayweather does and it’s based solely on that profound, artistic talent. But it builds an illusion of magnificence that obscures the real truth.

And it’s frustrating to not only the seemingly blind, but other welterweights as well. Immediately after the Marquez drubbing, during HBO commentator Max Kellerman’s post-fight interview, the dialogue shifted from Mayweather’s win to Mosley, who was in attendance, at least, in an administrative capacity.

It was a masterful set-up. Mosley entering the ring, cutting through bureaucracy and openly challenging Mayweather, amid the unnecessary, over-the-shoulder hype job Bernard Hopkins was drumming up. Mayweather so drunk in his own moment that he took genuine offense at the WBA titleholder’s interference. A few media-types have likened the Mosley incidence to Kanye West’s recent whine-fest at country/pop songstress Taylor Swift’s expense at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. I say thee nay. Save for Hopkins muddying the waters, Mosley did what he should have and got in Mayweather’s face. No ambiguity. No break in the communication. Straight-up pow-wow.

On a side note, let’s not be so hasty with lambasting Kellerman for trying to do his job when no one would listen to his attempt to restore order. The absent Larry Merchant would’ve handled things differently but Kellerman’s “F**k you” to the whole thing served as an exclamation point to his frustration. When someone hasn’t the capacity to shut up when you’re trying to hold court, you shut him up. In this case, you pull the plug on three of ‘em at once.

Floyd Mayweather won’t take on Shane Mosley any time soon. Of course, Mosley is slated to face Clottey in December or possibly WBC titlist Andre Berto in January. Should Mosley turn back Clottey or Berto, he’ll retain his WBA strap and number one position. Berto, of course, has been my pick for a while as a potential Mayweather opponent due to his possession of a WBC belt (that Mayweather seems to be a huge fan of) and, despite his undefeated record, little chance of outslicking Mayweather. But Mayweather’s beating of Marquez returned the former welterweight champion to number two (second only to Mosley) in THE RING’s welterweight ratings, providing “Money” with an opportunity to regain the championship he relinquished after his ten-round taming of Hatton. This mirrors the installation of Pacquiao (in his only welter outing) in the welter ratings after beating Oscar De La Hoya (who, at the time, hadn’t fought at 147 in seven years). Long story short, Mayweather doesn’t need Berto’s title. He needs Berto’s zero and his scalp.

It’s possible that Mayweather will entertain the notion of facing the loser of November’s WBO title bout between titlist Miguel Cotto and Pacquiao. This way he can still pick clean a name opponent and not one that’s remotely close to a fresh threat.

Otherwise, don’t count on true welterweight thrills when Floyd Mayweather finally gets “comfortable” again. Unless Mosley’s bold challenge gets “Sugar” what he wants, expect Mayweather to earn his “money” the old-fashioned way: By dancing away from the stars.

Associate Editor Coyote Duran is really thinking about challenging that 40-year old, deep-dish enthusiast to a fight…right after he’s done watching Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” If you’re not too busy digging up online episodes of “Ham on the Street”, please e-mail him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can also track Coyote at www.myspace.com/coyote_duran and www.facebook.com/CoyoteDuran or Photoshop a picture of Floyd Mayweather’s head on one of Coyote’s gallery pieces when visiting www.convictedartist.com/coyote_duran.html.

But he doesn’t “Tweet.” Sorry.

 

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