Monday, April 10, 2006

Floyd Mayweather: The king of all he surveys

By JE Grant

In the aftermath of Floyd Mayweather’s dominant 12-round decision victory over Zab Judah, the only question remaining about “Pretty Boy” is how long can he remain the pound-for-pound king.

Surely some will suggest that he showed vulnerability in the early rounds against Judah. So accustomed are fight fans nowadays to one-sided mismatches, that when two high quality contestants wage battle at an elite level, that we see the struggle for the win as weakness.

One should remember that even the legendary figures such as Sugar Ray Robinson engaged in pitched battles along the way. Robinson, for example, defeated Jake LaMotta in five of their six encounters, but each contest was brutal and close.

The true testimony of a great fighter’s ability is that he can find ways to win against wily and talented opponents.

Saturday’s encounter pitted two men who are likely near the top of their respective careers with respect to speed, stamina, strength and resolve.

Judah seemingly rose from the ashes after slogging through a loss to journeyman Carlos Baldomir. In that fight, Judah appeared soft and confused. The light-punching Baldomir nearly stopped the then-defending undisputed champion.

That version of “Super” Zab did not show up this time. For Mayweather he was fit and hard. His focus was on the task at hand.

Early in the bout Judah, with his awkward left-handedness, troubled the classically trained Mayweather. Judah landed flush left hand leads and sharp right hooks as counters to snap-up three of the first four rounds.

In the middle rounds, the true greatness of Mayweather began to shine through. He made the adjustments necessary to not only move ahead of Judah, but he found the way to his heart.

Body punches and powerful right hands slowed Judah and turned him from aggressor to survivor.

In the 10th round Mayweather also brought out the worst in his foe. Judah was well on his way to being stopped as Mayweather figured out the puzzle and began landing hard and often when he wound up and threw a bomb on the groin of Floyd. Judah quickly followed with a right hand rabbit punch on the injured Mayweather.

Of course the fight will best be remembered for what happened next. Roger Mayweather, Floyd’s chief second – and a former two-division world titlist – entered the ring to exact a bit of revenge for the transgression. The ring quickly filled with wannabes and hangers-on from both camps.

Cooler heads prevailed as the Las Vegas law enforcement community separated the camps and restored order.

The fight resumed but clearly Judah benefited from the extended period of not being pelted by the quick fists of Mayweather.

As he indicated in post-fight comments, Mayweather was content to finish the fight well in the lead and accept the decision victory.

Scoring was 116-112; 117-111; and 119-109. JEBoxing scored the bout 116-112.

A clear win over a top opponent and undeniable credentials as a pound-for-pound superstar opens several intriguing outlets for his talents.

Oscar De la Hoya, once thought of as way too big and powerful for little Floyd, is now someone he can honestly contemplate as a big (as in giant) money opponent.

Likewise, assuming Ricky Hatton thrills the world with his upcoming 147 fight with Luis Collazo, a showdown is a guaranteed blockbuster.

Other potential paydays could include Carlos Baldomir (for the actual welterweight title), Shane Mosely, Miguel Cotto, or Kostya Tszyu.

At 29, Floyd Mayweather may have finally arrived at the box-office and fistic pinnacle he has claimed to want for years. He’s rugged, yet singularly skilled in every key facet of the game from defense to counter-punching to digging down to out punch an opponent with nearly equal physical talent.

Revel in the brilliance and be thankful you get to witness it. It doesn’t come around often.

8 Comments:

Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

JE...*Chuckle*...This was a truly excellent article.Why am I chuckling? Because I thought from the begining the fight and everything around it stunk,and the fight itself was both mediocre and downright ugly (i.e. the near-riot)But yet you managed to turn it into an eloquent,honest,and compelling read.

Kudos...:-)

3:46 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

JE-

Perhaps this is just a momentary 'computer glitch' (I'll check back tomorrow or in a few days) but where is the top-25? Yes,I know it is the April top-25,but still...This should be visible and featured at ALL times on your site IMO.

Peace...

12:10 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

BTW-Now THAT...Is a DECENT 'ad'...*Chuckle*

(Take it from me.A 'semi-professional' in that department.)

(LOL)

:-)

12:12 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Also--you had the fight scored EXACTLY as I did.(8-4) Quite frankly,this fight went about EXACTLY the way I thought it would (an 8-4 or 9-3 type decision) except for of course the near-riot!And dare-I-say (given the 'personalities' involved) even THAT didn't really surprise me!

(LOL)

3:37 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I think Mayweather may have also turned the corner on his popularity as well. They did quite well on PPV. If he keeps fighting top names, he'll reap tens of millions $$$.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

I didn't really think about that,but now that you mentioned it,I agree.And if he (& 'they') are smart,they will SEIZE the moment,and capitalise on it NOW.With the possible exception of the comebacking ODLH,there are no 'mega-stars' in boxing right now,and he is the general consensus #1 P4P fighter in the world.But like I said,the time is NOW.He's 28 (or 29) and in his absolute prime right now.He could make a ton of big money at 147 now and in the near future,and possibly (???) even 'mega-money' at 147 or 154 against Oscar.Yes--be smart,but don't 'play too cute' and let the moment/opportunities pass.Go for it now.

P.S-Incidentally,I would give Mayweather a slight edge at 147 against Oscar,but Oscar a slight edge at 154.I think Floyd also beats Hatton and Margarito (at 147) but not easily.Especially the not-quite-great but 'sneaky good' Margarito.AM is a big welter,and one of the top fighters in the world at 147 OR 154 IMO.

4:21 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

BTW-I know I should wait and see how Oscar looks coming off a 1 1/2 layoff against Mayorga before anything,but barring the slight possibilty of getting blasted by one of those wild haymakers of RM's,I fully except and even 33-yr old out-of-the-ring-for-over-a-year ODLH to beat him by decision or late round KO/TKO.

(I have a gut feeling it may even be a mid-round stoppage.)

4:35 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Toney said...

Why should Oscar get to fight Floyd? He been out of boxing for so long.

7:59 AM  

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