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Old 07-11-2009, 06:49 PM   #47
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Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Floyd Mayweather is one of the more controversial fighters in the game today. Mayweather is a slick boxer, along the lines of a Pernell Whitaker but with more power. Some have compared Mayweather to Ray Leonard, but their fighting styles are very much different. Mayweather's style, like Whitaker, wouldn't fall under the boxer puncher category. Not at Welterweight, anyway. He was more so at the lighter weights. His safety first approach, however, has become more evident as he’s risen in weight. More often than not, boxers like Floyd score knockouts as the result of accumulated punishment. This isn't to say they can't score one-punch knockouts. Even Pernell scored a one-punch goodnighter against slugger Louis Lomeli way back when.

At Jr. Lightweight, Floyd’s absorb punishment rating is a “1”. This, I feel, is a bit too high. Salvador Sanchez, a defensive, counter-punching expert, is ranked with a 2 in the Absorb Punishment category.

A 1 is the very best possible rating a fighter can have. I feel the “1” should be reserved for fighters like Jake LaMotta, Tex Cobb, Jim Jeffries, etc.

These were men who actually took unbelievable amounts of punishment, more than just once, during the course of their careers. I don’t feel that Floyd Mayweather has ever come close to those types of performances for good reason. He's not the type of fighter who can withstand that sort of punishment. No shame in that.

Fighters who can walk through punches, do so at one time or another! Fighters who cannot, use superior ring generalship, speed and defense to avoid taking punishment.

A fighter along the lines of a Whitaker or Mayweather have superior defensive skills and ring generalship which enable them to avoided getting knocked out or hurt with big punches. A fighter like Ray Leonard, Ray Robinson, even Oscar DeLaHoya were known to go to war on occasion against big punchers.

In Mayweather’s case, we’ve never seen his chin really tested. He was knocked down against Carlos Hernandez at Jr. Lightweight back in 2001. Other than that once instance, his chin has never had to absorb punches from a big puncher. Hernandez himself was not a knockout puncher, but he did have respectable power.

In Whitaker’s case, he hit the canvas in later years after his speed and reflexes began to wane. In each case, however, he was able to get up and clinch successfully until his head cleared. He didn't have the type of chin that enabled him to "walk through thunder," but it wasn't so bad that a single shot would do him in, either.

Mayweather never had the opportunity to showcase his ability against a class of fighter who occupied the Jr. Lightweight through Welterweight divisions in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s. Mayweather didn’t have a Duran, Leonard, Pryor or Arguello against whom his overall skills could be more accurately assessed.

Without exception, the great fighters of the past invariably found themselves in life or death struggles against one or more opponents throughout their careers. A lack of such in Mayweather’s career points to the overall quality of his competition as much as it does to his overall ability. The closest he came was against Jose Luis Castillo in a fight that some thought should have been his first loss. To his credit, however, he left Castillo in the dust in their rematch.

There are cases where a pure boxer actually has the ability to soak up punishment and climb off the canvas to engage in a shootout. Willie Pep is a good example. His TKO/Absorb punishment rating is a “1” and was undoubtedly earned against one of the greatest blasters of all-time in the Featherweight division – Sandy Saddler.

Ali survived Foreman’s power shots to the body and head as well as Frazier’s. He didn’t just take punches on the arms, he took them to the head and body as well. His rating stands at a 1 which is also justifiable.

Using the same logic, we have yet to see anything from Floyd Mayweather that would warrant his ability to soak up that type of punishment thus far. Again, however, you can't fault anyone for not having an "all-time great chin." It is what it is.

As I’ve already said, I’ve tweaked his “1” Absorb Punishment rating to a “2” at Jr. Lightweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, etc.

In the area of punching power, I scaled back the 9 to an 8. Floyd’s CF’s, number of three point punches and a hitting power of 8 will produce plenty of KO’s. In comparison, Salvador Sanchez, a fighter similar to Floyd in many ways is ranked overall as a 12. Currently, Floyd stands at 14. Sanchez’s hitting power is currently ranked at 8 and he scored 32 knockouts in 44 fights against arguably better competition – which included the great Azumah Nelson (whose hitting power, by the way, stands at 7).

Did an Azumah Nelson have more power than Floyd Mayweather? You can be the judge of that!

That’ll do it for his Jr. Lightweight numbers

Again, at Lightweight, Jr. Welterweight and Welterweight, I’ve tweaked his Absorb Punishment rating from 1 to 2.

At the Jr. Lightweight level I’ve kept his defense at -6. At Lightweight, Jr. Welterweight and Welterweight, I’ve lessened it just a bit to -5. Pernell Whitaker was a little harder to hit, in my opinion, than Mayweather, especially with the jab. Oscar DeLaHoya landed just about every jab he threw against Mayweather during their fight and everyone at ringside was asking him afterward why he stopped throwing it when it was so effective.

His response was, “I don’t know!”

A -5 is still outstanding. I’m just trying to give credit where credit is due with Sweet Pea’s defensive ability. I guess you could make an argument for keeping Mayweather at -6 at Lightweight through Jr. Welterweight, but Welterweight is another matter. Wilfred Benitez is another good example of a -6 rating. Floyd’s up there, but just a hair below.

This puts “Money” Mayweather right up there with an overall ranking of 13 with the exception of his Lightweight ranking where he was probably at his overall peak with a rating of 14.

Personally, when I step back, it’s hard to see him as an all-time great Lightweight… but in keeping the ratings consistent with his contemporaries, he’s actually a “low” 14. One number lower in any major area will drop his overall rating to 13.

As of this writing, Floyd’s undefeated record is the one thing that gains more attention than his overall achievements. Everyone wants to see if the next opponent will be the first to hand “Money” his first defeat. A valid knock against Mayweather would be the "persona" he's decided to use with the media. Personalities sell. Mayweather consciously choose his "bad ass," street image to sell tickets. In the world of business, there's really nothing wrong with that... but in boxing, fans will expect you to live up to that in the ring. Especially in a megafight as he had against Oscar DeLaHoya.

Should he defeat someone on the level of Manny Pacquiao and retire undefeated, history will surely be a lot kinder to him. The criticism he faces today will fade into the background. If he loses (especially by knockout), there will be a lot of people who will respond as they did with Tyson and insist he was overrated the whole time.
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Last edited by Jersey-Jim; 07-12-2009 at 06:28 PM.
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