“STREET” AS A METAPHOR
If you feel strongly enough about your readers calling Mayweather-Ortiz a “street fight” (and I seriously doubt anyone meant it literally, ala Crenshaw) to mock them, why didn’t you say anything to Michael Rosenthal on your weekly show when he said it while sitting right next to you? In fact, I would not be surprised if a lot of your readers picked up the metaphor directly from Rosenthal’s article following the bout. — Keith
Keith, when Michael and I sat down for the RingTV [link] show the Monday morning after the fight, the word “street” was still a metaphor for an occurrence during a fight and had yet to become a sorry ass excuse for an individual’s poor behavior. I didn’t know at the time that the word was spiraling out of control in the boxing world. I probably should have expected it, but I didn’t think I’d be reading about the “streets” from upper-middle class boxing writers who don’t live in “the hood,” weren’t born there, didn’t grow up there and don’t know a damn thing about “street life” outside of the bulls__t they watch on TV, see in movies and hear from trifling’-ass rappers.
I had no idea that Bernard Hopkins was going to start sounding like Iceberg Slim in describing what happened between Floyd and Victor. But when a boxing expert, even an active fighter who is actually from the “streets,” uses “dealing with hos” to explain the concept of “protect yourself at all time” I think the “street metaphors” have officially gone too far.
By Tuesday evening (when I sat down to compile the mid-week mailbag) I thought it had all become silly enough to ridicule. From my view, a lot of normally knowledgeable and respectable boxing people had begun to embarrass themselves. I mean, what was going to happen next? Were Lance Pugmire and Dan Rafael going to take sides on the issue and start dissing each other on mix tapes?
EVERYONE AT FAULT, MOSTLY ORTIZ
Hey there Dougie,
There’s no other fight I want to see Floyd in than the obvious one. He does the same to Ortiz for at least a few more years and Amir Khan, only slightly better, gives him a better challenge. Canelo gets his lunch taken (I only bring him up cause I'm starting to hear grumbling from the casual fan).
Sergio Martinez kicks both Manny and Floyd's ass for less money than anybody mentioned so far, but I give them a pass being that he is a physically bigger man…. I haven't really asked any questions. So I guess I'm just asking for thoughts. — Jesse in Fort Worth
Why do you give Mayweather and Pacquiao a pass for not fighting Martinez? Don’t we want to see these guys in fights they might lose, fights where they aren’t a 5-to-1 favorite? If they aren’t going to fight each other I think they need to fight Martinez.
If they continue to fight 7-to-1 and 8-to-1 underdogs, I don’t think they can be called “great” fighters. There’s no doubt that they are first-ballot hall of famers, but if they don’t have the balls to fight Martinez at this stage of their careers, I don’t think they can be mentioned in the same sentence as all-time badasses such as Greb, Walker, Armstrong, Conn, Pep, Robinson, Charles and Moore.
In fact, I don’t think they can be mentioned in the same sentence as modern greats, such as Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard.
Martinez, the middleweight champ, is willing to come down to junior middleweight, where both Mayweather and Pacquiao have fought before (even all the way down to 150 pounds), but neither fighter seems interested in taking the challenge.
That’s ridiculous. (It’s almost getting to be re-goddamn-diculous.) Did Duran, who was at his best at lightweight (during an era when fighters weighed in the same day they fought), demand that Marvelous Marvin Hagler to make a catchweight when they fought? Hagler, the reigning middleweight champ at the time, was a career middleweight. It’s what he weighed as an amateur. You think Duran gave a rat’s ass?
Nice mailbag. I've been a long time reader from back in the days of your hilarious MaxBoxing bags (circa 2002) and I know our disdain for that lil arrogant s__t Mayweather is equal (if not mine is higher for sure)! Fact is much as I hate that s__t nobody in his classes can beat him! If he had to fight any other way than boxing… he'd get his ass kicked!! But in boxing he's a savant! So I believe only someone with the size advantages of a Sergio Martinez could do it.. but we know floyd ain't stupid so that ain't happening! I'm going to be a HUGE PACMAN fan when they finally get it on, tho! Thanks D. — Gilbert, San Antonio
I don’t like Mayweather and I don’t really enjoy watching his fights anymore, but I respect his ability. I have no problem with him being a “boxing savant,” as you put it. I just wish he’d seek out the kind of ring challenges that force everyone to recognize a fighter as “great” (or even the best in his particular weight class). He doesn’t do that. Never has.
You can say that “nobody in his classes can beat him ” but he hasn’t proven that notion by beating all the top dogs in his weight class, has he? If wants to be recognized as the best, pound for pound and at welterweight, he has to beat Pacquiao.
As awesome as he was at 130 pounds, he didn’t prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was the best junior lightweight. He could have taken a page from Ray Leonard’s book and proven his HOF mettle early in his career by unifying 130-pound titles against all three undefeated beltholders (Corrales, Casamayor and Freitas) but he was satisfied with beating Chico.
Don’t get me wrong, I thought Mayweather was the s__t at 130 pounds. I thought he could have competed with the best junior lightweights of all time. But he didn’t prove that he was the man of that division during his era the way Hopkins did at middleweight. (To do that you gotta dethrone all the beltholders in your division who are willing to fight you — and both Casamyor and Freitas were begging for a fight with Mayweather. Floyd didn‘t try to unify titles at 135, 140 or 147 pounds.)
And he hasn’t sought out the kind of challenges that force odds makers to make him an underdog the way Hopkins did by fighting Felix Trinidad, Antonio Tarver, Kelly Pavlik and Jean Pascal when he did. That’s why, love him or hate him, most of us so-called experts consider B-Hop to be great.
Mayweather has more talent and ability than Hopkins, but he’s missing something that the “oldman” possesses. If he had it, he would have fought Pacquiao two years ago and he’d be calling out Martinez now.