The July 2014 issue of THE RING Magazine, which is on newsstands now, includes a comprehensive preview package of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana fight.
Boxing, at its best, is the dark art of illusion. No one knows that better than Floyd Mayweather Jr., who is the fistic equivalent of David Copperfield. He is the game's master illusionist.
Mayweather exhibits that every time he steps into the ring, mesmerizing into near-immobility almost all the opponents he has faced with rapid movement of body and mind. Those skills have left him undefeated at age 37 and almost always unchallenged. Yet his critics argue the latter is in part because he is as much an illusionist outside the ring as inside it.
Because of his power in the marketplace as boxing's highest-paid prize fighter, Mayweather dictates not only terms but also opponents. Everyone in his weight classes and bigger ones, such as middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, have pursued him by willingly accepting catchweights, giving up world titles or conceding financial and fistic advantages for the opportunity to cash in on the revenue his fights produce. This allows him almost carte blanche to pick his opponents, as he proved again recently when he launched an internet poll for fans to select his May 3 opponent from a field of two, Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana.
The fans chose Khan. Mayweather soon chose Maidana, proving once again that just when you think he's here, he's over there. And when you think he's over there, he's standing here and hitting you with a counterpunch. After the choice was made, Mayweather declared, "Look at [Maidana’s] last four fights (four wins, three knockouts and twice dropping Mayweather protégé Adrien Broner on the way to a clear decision) and look at Khan's (2-2 including a KO loss to Danny Garcia). I had to go with the best choice."
Mayweather's critics immediately wondered: "For whom?"
If there is a primary knock on Mayweather, it is the sense his critics have that he handpicks his opponents, which frankly he does. Then again, what great fighter who rose to his station didn't?
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