Inside Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s Mind
By Eric Marks (July 29, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
It appears that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will not fight Manny Pacquiao in November as Pacquaio will take on Antonio Margarito instead. Barring a last minute miracle, this will be the second time boxing’s biggest fight has fizzled in negotiations, expect this time we’ve heard nothing from Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The boxing world is up in arms and understandable so given the magnitude of this event. One could understand the failed negotiations last time around when the fight was to occur in March of this year given too little time was
available for promoting the fight. But since then both fighters have gone on to give dominant performances in their most recent fight and the time is right to make this event happen. One could understand the viewpoint of both fighters last time around, but this time Pacquiao has conceded to all Mayweather’s previous terms included unlimited random blood tests leading up to the fight, the only sticking point in previous negotiations. And since Floyd has said virtually little, it’s hard to know exactly what he is thinking and more importantly why he won’t take this fight. As someone who has been fair to Floyd and sometimes defended him when others attacked him for taking the easy road, this writer is considering the possibility that Floyd Mayweather Jr. may not be completely confident that he can defeat Manny Pacquiao despite his size advantage and favorite status in this potential encounter.

As much as Mayweather loves money, publicity, and big events, the thing he loves the most (as others have correctly suggested) is his undefeated record, and despite the magnitude of this fight the risk may be too great for him. Unfortunately, Floyd is misguided by thinking that having an undefeated record is the single most important element that defines a fighter’s legacy. We know the all-time greats have lost many times along the way and one would think the biggest non-heavyweight fight in thirty years would necessitate such a risk.

There have also been rumblings that Mayweather’s prime was say three years ago and he is in slight decline as his footwork has slipped a bit and he may not be as elusive as he was only a short time ago. There may or may not be merit to these statements, but it certainly doesn’t help one’s confidence when such things are being written and discussed. Yet Floyd is very self-assured so he should brush such sentiment aside when it’s brought up, and at the very least it should motivate him to prove the naysayers wrong.

On the flip side, perhaps Mayweather is trying to build this fight up even more for a Spring 2011 mega-event. If Pacquiao beats Margarito and wins yet another title at junior-middleweight, and Mayweather fights again this year and wins then the stage is set for an even bigger event in 2011. Hopefully, this is Mayweather’s strategy because fans would rather see the fight later than not at all and Floyd needs this mega-fight even if he says otherwise.

The truth is that Mayweather has few other options outside of a fight with Pacquiao. There just aren’t the type of high reward low to moderate risk fights out there that he enjoys (outside of perhaps Miguel Cotto). Yes, there are stars at junior welterweight and some at welterweight but they are young, undefeated in some cases, hunger, and relatively unknown outside the boxing word. Yes there is Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez at middleweight (or possibly junior-middleweight) but their size plus the risk/reward ratio makes such a fight unlikely.

While it may be premature to suggest that Mayweather has declined in any way, it is fair to say that taking another long layoff would be unwise particularly given how stiff the competition is out there. He needs to fight this fall preferably against Pacquiao, but certainly against some respectable and talented fighter. He says he’s taking time off not thinking about boxing, but he needs to act with a greater sense of urgency and make the legacy fights the world wants to see as he approaches the final stages of his career.

Eric at:

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