Color Blind: The Unwanted Lines of Division – Mayweather Jr. vs. Alvarez
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Color Blind: The Unwanted Lines of Division – Mayweather Jr. vs. Alvarez
By Jason Petock, Doghouse Boxing (Sept 16, 2013)

Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul Alvarez
(Photo © German Villasenor, Doghouse Boxing Inc.)
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Saturday night fared well among loyal boxing purists and fair weather fans as an exciting and exhilarating evening of professional boxing at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. (45-0 / 26 KOs) defended his reigning throne against rising Mexican mainstay and boxing sensation Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (42-1-1 / 30 KOs) over the course of 12 action packed and ebb and flow type rounds of pugilistic perfection. Tensions were elevated as the boxing media and pundits speculated for months on end as to what the eventual outcome would be. Some predicted a late TKO victory by the crafty veteran Mayweather, Jr. Others pontificated that Alvarez would overpower the aging legend and send him into boxing retirement oblivion with a spectacular KO destruction that would send all doubters and naysayers reeling in disbelief. Needless to say, the finale of Mayweather, Jr. vs. Alvarez on Mexican Independence Day weekend, or Fiesta weekend as it is commonly known as, was anything but typical or expected. With all of the drama and sensationalism that is to be expected surrounding a professional caliber prizefight of this magnitude, the clash between the aging tactician and the rising young star played out not according to script but the complete opposite in fact.

Mayweather Jr.’s latest endeavor was to further secure the WBC Light Middleweight and WBA Super World Light Middleweight titles respectively. Over the course of 12 awe inspiring and at times breathtaking rounds, fans were subjected to looks that they are normally not accustomed to seeing when witnessing “Money” in action. Of course there was the signature shoulder roll, the counterpunching and the at times “running” or footwork. But this time was different. The crowds who normally yelled in unison for Floyd’s unanimous domination of an opponent were silenced all at once. There was a definitive question mark this time in the equation and that question mark came in the form of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The young Mexican superstar came to fight and to not only not give up rounds but look good in doing so and even pose a significant challenge to the Mayweather camp and boxing attitudes and opinions in general. If you have already seen the bout then you know that Floyd Mayweather, Jr. defeated Saul Alvarez by MD in 12 rounds with the scores of 112 – 116, 114 – 114, and 111- 116 respectively. Honestly, a case could be made against the 111 – 116 and 112 – 116 scores.

“Pretty” Boy was in typical form but his domination and clear cut victory was not to be found against the younger Alvarez. Credit where credit is due of course, he won the fight according to the judges. Even the most casual of fans could see that Mayweather, Jr. stuck to his game plan and stayed on the stick (jab) all night. His jab was precise and on the mark and found Alvarez when it needed to. Also present were Mayweather, Jr.’s legs, which he used to his advantage as he got onto his bicycle with adeptness and the typical form that we are used to seeing from the cagey ring veteran. Always moving and avoiding the work of his opponent, Floyd once again avoided Alvarez like the plague and in doing so squeaked by with a victory that might leave some more hardened and educated boxing fans with a few more questions after the smoke has cleared. Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. won that is clear. But it was not a landslide performance in any way, shape, or form and for anyone to say otherwise or say that such an observation is a case of “hating” or not wanting Mayweather, Jr. to come out on top not only do themselves a disservice but also the sport of boxing as a whole.

To “Canelo” Alvarez’s credit his body work against Floyd was impressive, as was his counterpunching and jabs. The media would have you believe that “Money” destroyed and dominated Saul from ring post to ring post, but the more knowledgeable of us know the difference and know what we saw in the squared circle on Saturday night. As stated before we all know Floyd won. That’s a given and Alvarez would have had to get a knockout to defeat Jr. in Vegas, that’s to be assured. Yet what fans became privy to on Mexican Independence Day weekend was a Floyd Mayweather, Jr. that none of us have experienced before. A fighter who can be countered, can be touched to the body, and can be vulnerable. The “Superman” that endless crowds or devoted TMT cronies have grown to love or worship is still there but there seems to be a chink in the armor. The man is an accomplished boxer but in his latest outing there have been a few things that have come to light. The blueprint that Mayweather, Jr. says isn’t there or isn’t effective does in fact exist and a trained eye can see it from a mile away as clear as day.

As my wife, son and I watched the Mayweather, Jr. vs. Alvarez debacle unfold before our very eyes at a Mexican restaurant with the beer flowing and delicious Mexican food filling the patron’s bellies to the brim, I thought to myself that there is no better place I wanted to be but there at that very moment engaged in the total experience of two fighters going toe-to-toe against one another in a war of attrition for our very entertainment. Taking part in what was believed to be the “Super fight” of our time, but what proved to be far different in retrospect, I felt comfortable and still do in knowing what I saw and leaving with the feelings that I have about what transpired. I hold no bias or ill-will or judgment against either side or the outcome for that matter, although I know what I saw as I said and have to be honest in my observations and opinions. If not I would be no better than the “yes” men that saturate the networks and newspapers and online media daily, the same people who pollute your very views and tell you what to think, feel and be all the time.

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is and always will be a great fighter. But he is a smart fighter second, and an even wiser businessman first. He has taken a craft that he has mastered and figured out a way to dominate it by any means necessary while stockpiling a massive fortune and convincing the rest of the world that the only thing important in life is money and the expenditure of money. Not love, passion, drive or focus, but money. Plain and simple, monetary gain and nothing else. Now to some there is nothing wrong with that. It’s the “American Dream” as Floyd and countless others would say. Sure. I get it. Protect your undefeated record. Rake in the paper. Live the life. Spend, spend, and spend because you’ve earned it. Not a problem. But if that is all that there is to you as an individual and all you perpetuate is that “cheddar” and “bling” where is the essence of you as a person? Should we care? Is it important? Does any of it really matter at all? Probably not. I digress.

Anyway, back to the story. So I’m sitting there in this great Mexican restaurant, feeling at home and enjoying my meal, and my beautiful wife and son, and I’m watching every round, dissecting it like the avid boxing fan that I am. Getting that boxing lifeblood back into my veins flowing like a motherfucker and giving me that kick that I know only boxing can bring. Every feint, every punch, every parry and blow recharge me and remind me of the sport that I have always loved for several years. I may not write as much as I used to but the passion still burns even today amid all the politricks and garbage that saturates the art form. That’s right people, it’s an art form. It’s a violent dance of brutality and a war of wills. It’s the fight that we all want to be in but most are too chickened shit to undertake. Its mano e mano, no holds barred, your soul and heart on display for the entire fucking world to see for their own safe viewing entertainment from behind their screens where all of the blood and sweat and tears are just real enough, but not too real to touch any of them on any real level that is.

This brings to mind the feints. Was it just me or did anyone else see that magnificent feinting that “Canelo” was doing against Floyd. Ding! Ding! Ding! Message. That blueprint may be non-existent to Floyd and the rest of his obedient fan base but there is certainly something to be said about feinting against one Floyd “Pretty Boy” Mayweather, Jr. Yes sir, I just went there. Needless to say the fight was what it was and there will surely be those who say that Mayweather destroyed, dominated, crushed, annihilated and pulverized Alvarez into dust and sand. To those people I can only say, enjoy the ride and keep on keeping on. People in the know, well know. It’s that simple I’m afraid. Once again, I digress. Back to the tale I was spinning. ..So my family is sitting in this restaurant amid a bunch of drunken and voracious boxing “fans,” dare I call them that? Okay, maybe admirers, or onlookers. I don’t know….watchers?

So we’re sitting there and nature calls me. Speed dial. Without going into specifics I make a B-Line to the head, or latrine, or pisser, or john, or banos, or whatever else you want to call that place. I don’t care. So I wait for a break in-between rounds so I can hit it (I’ve been holding it since Mayweather, Jr. and Alvarez have been dancing for 7 rounds and I can’t anymore) and make my exit stage left. While I’m in the can I hear a guy behind me saying over and over again, “They’ve been hating out there. They just don’t want to see a rich black man get money. They’re hating. Don’t want to see a black man get money.” And my heart just drops midstream. And the reason this happens is because not only is this not anyone’s intent there that evening, at least in my view it isn’t, but how sad is it that you cannot root for a fighter in this day and age without someone pulling the race card as if it’s an issue. Newsflash, in a Mexican restaurant the attendees are going to route for Canelo out of fun and nationalism. It’s not a racist move or “hating”. I can respect and admire Mayweather, Jr. for what he has done in the ring as a boxer but I refuse to bow down to any man who worships money. No disrespect intended here it’s my opinion, like it or not. My god isn’t printed by the Federal Reserve.

Point being that while race sadly does play a large part in boxing it is 2013. People can root for or against whoever they want to and it shouldn’t matter what skin tone they were born with. If someone likes Canelo over Money it’s not because of Mayweather’s color but maybe because they like Alvarez as a fighter, or for whatever reason. In this day and age there are still people who are perpetuating our differences and dwelling on them to cause further division. What these people don’t realize is that is all part of the plan. Division breeds contempt and further division and so on and so on. It helps no one. And in boxing sometimes all you need to break down the walls is one nicely placed punch and everyone who ever held a bias or hatred against someone for something as ridiculous as how they were born forgets it at that very moment when they recall the feeling that got when their breath was taken away as someone hit the deck from getting starched. Boxing is one people. Boxing is you and me. We all bleed the same. We all die the same. We all love the same. And we all fight the same. Keep punching…

Jason Petock responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to Jason at: boxingwarrior@hotmail.com

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