Mr. Floyd Mayweather will be the latest talented star in the gifted junior welterweight division to put a cap on this outstanding month of boxing. From this fight, we will see if Mayweather will earn his debate contention on why he should be number one on the pound-for-pound list, who should fight whom in the junior welterweight division or who should move up to fight someone of sufficient talent in the welterweight division. There is a quote in the Art of War that goes like this: "O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible." I think Mayweather is clearly disregarding this rule. It is his style; call him a loudmouth, over confident, a chatterbox, and too much in general. He is still a talented boxer and he has the undefeated record. When you are Mayweather, you can walk any which way you please. Some will say, he was never tested, but he has defeated Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo and Carlos Hernandez, all who would become world champions after losing to Mayweather. That speaks loud against any argument that the man is ducking people.
I think Mayweather’s talent is huge and with that comes a price. This price consists of boxers not wanting to fight him, leaving him in the middle of fighting less than average talent. Mayweather’s business plan is, “eventually you will have to fight me.” It is amazing to see a fighter with lightning hand-speed, a fort-like defense, wit and a sense of humor, all at the same time as well as the courage to fight his fight. So, why is Mayweather’s drawing power so low? Even in comparison to fellow pound-for-pound member Bernard Hopkins, Mayweather is still a half-arena attraction. Boxing fans and writers are very educated on the structure of Mayweather’s abilities, but outside of the boxing world, he has no name recognition as an Oscar de la Hoya, Tito Trinidad or even his opponent come this Saturday, Arturo Gatti.
With the self-title of being the "bad guy," Mayweather accepts and flashes this tag with high esteem. You have to respect the man for not biting his tongue and being a voice for boxers in general, a standard not seen very much. Mayweather enters a fight with a boxer he considers a club fighter and from this statement, he has little regard for the quiet Gatti. The situation has evolved into solo press conferences by both Mayweather and Gatti. The tension is so high, the eruptions of tempers and outside of the ring fighting is all an option if these two warriors meet before the official bell. Yet, the key question that baffles me is why has Mayweather not crossed over into a mainstream success?
Do fellow junior welterweights and welterweights fear the undefeated slick boxer? Can Mayweather’s mouth and belittlement of his opponents cause so much disarray that they don't even want to help the boxer continue his legacy and in a way are boycotting him? Who knows, but one thing is for sure, this is a huge opportunity for Mayweather. If Mayweather can supply an outstanding performance and hush up after the win, the voices of promoters representing Ricky Hatton, Diego Corrales, Miguel Cotto and Vivian Harris could all be heard and all he would have to do is play the quiet role, sign the contract and start his raving speeches back up.
It is clear that Mayweather and Hopkins are not friends, yet you would think Mayweather would apply some thought and learn from Hopkins. Mayweather could kindly avoid the boycotting Hopkins went through and gain a lot of credit for making some meaningful fights. We do not want any more Henry Bruseles sort of matchmaking. This fight is directly the huge encore to worldwide recognition, if Mayweather comes out the winner. Come on Mayweather; just apply some silence, after earning a spectacular win. Relax some and smile to yourself, because you are truly gifted. I will end this with another sentence in the Art of War that Mayweather follows religiously: "You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked."
Shaun Rico LaWhorn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org