ARE WE GETTING CARRIED AWAY?
How's it hanging? Reading through the Monday Mailbag there is (rightly) a lot of support for the performance Marcos Maidana put in against Floyd Mayweather Jr. I can't help wondering though – is everyone getting bit carried away?
Like everyone else, I was expecting a shutout before the fight. Mayweather would be too slick and too quick as he always is and would make Maidana look clumsy. Kudos to El Chino for putting Floyd under pressure and showing stamina that I didn't think he had.
However, I think the fact that PBF tried to stand and trade more than I have seen him do in the last few fights made Maidana look better than he was. For all his guts, determination and pressure, he never really had Floyd in trouble or had him hurt (the cut was debatably a clash of heads IMO).
Now I feel I should go on record at this point and say that I am not a Floyd-hugger. Do I think he is one of the most talented boxers of his generation? Yes, for sure. Is he an All Time Great? Not for me. Even so, I scored it 118-113 to PBF, though I had rounds 3, 8 and 12 as a tie so could see 115-113. I just think that all the cleaner work was coming from Floyd. He wasn't throwing hard, hurtful punches, but he was sharper and more accurate.
If the rematch happens then, like most others, I see it as a legitimate shutout. But hey, I thought that would happen with this one too.
Quick word on Khan – I thought he schooled Collazo. He showed a great deal of maturity by using his assets of hand speed and movement rather than trying to stand and trade. I know it is only one fight, but the partnership with Virgil Hunter already appears to be bearing fruit. I just wish he would forget about Mayweather for a bit. There are so many good fights for him out there at 147 – Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Tim Bradley, Kell Brook, Adrien Broner or a rematch with Maidana once he is done with Floyd. I would pay to see all and any of them. – Matt, London, UK
Unless Mayweather forgoes an immediate rematch with Maidana and decides to fight in November, rather than September, I think Khan has no choice but to forget about Floyd – at least for 2014.
While Khan waits for his shot at glory he could be matched with one of his Golden Boy stable mates, such as Porter, Thurman or Broner. I’d love to see those fights. I’d pick him to beat Broner.
Regarding a Mayweather-Maidana rematch, my first thought is that Floyd will be more of a ring general the second time around since he’ll be better prepared – mentally and physically – for the Argentine’s swarming style. However, can’t the same thing be said about Maidana? Won’t he be more acclimated to Mayweather’s style? (And if not Maidana, what about Robert Garcia? Is it far-fetched to think that the talented young trainer can learn from the first bout and come up with an improved training camp and strategy for his fighter?)
As for your scorecard, I think you’re giving Mayweather a little too much credit. There’s no doubt in my mind that he won the fight, but by five points (or more)? Nah.
You may not be a “Floyd-hugger” but I think your view of the fight is somewhat biased. You say “the fact that PBF tried to stand and trade more than” he has in recent bouts “made Maidana look better than he was.”
Well, I don’t think that it’s a “fact” that Mayweather “tried” to stand and trade with Maidana. I think Maidana forced him to fight a more aggressive fight. I think Maidana made himself look better than usual, not Mayweather’s efforts.
You also said that “for all his guts, determination and pressure” Maidana never really had Mayweather “in trouble” or “hurt.” OK. And when was Maidana ever in trouble or hurt during the fight?
It was a great fight, much better than I expected. I thought Maidana's jab was a major key for his success in the first 5-6 rounds, just like Oscar & Cotto gave Floyd trouble with their jab.
I also think Tony Weeks did a descent job by not penalizing either fighter for low blows or Floyd for using his forearms. I had it 5-5 by the end of the 10th with Floyd adjusting and winning the last two rounds. Maidana did great with his jab forcing Mayweather to the ropes but I just wonder what could've happened if he would have used the gloves he wanted? Keep up the good work and hope to see at Jimmy's Corner for Cotto vs Martinez. – Walter, Hempstead, NY.
I don’t think I’m going to be making the trip to NYC for the June 7 middleweight championship, but I do plan on traveling to my home city before the end of the year (especially if GGG fights there).
I don’t know what would’ve happened if Maidana used the brand he wanted. I’m sure it threw Maidana off a bit to use a different brand but I also feel that if he (and his corner) believe that they need a certain kind of glove to have a chance to beat Mayweather then they know in their hearts that he isn’t in the future hall of famer’s class.
I think his jab was definitely one of his keys to success. A Mayweather opponent must have a solid jab, plus aggression and a high punch output, in order to have any hope of competing with the defensive wizard.
That’s something that a lot fans forget about the first Jose Luis Castillo fight. The defending WBC lightweight titleholder methodically walked Mayweather down behind the jab. The Mexican veteran didn’t let his hands go until he had Mayweather’s back to the ropes (sound familiar?)
THE BIGGER GUY?
Great main event this weekend. I won't even dare hope the "Money Haters" will accept that the right fighter clearly won. I had it 116-112 Money May, based on clean effective punching, but could see 115-113 in his favour, based on a different appreciation of Maidana's pressing of the action and punch output. The draw was definitely too generous to Maidana as his punches mostly landed on shoulders, arms and neck rather than chin.
Here's my point, though. I wondered what your thoughts are on Mayweather's policy of fighting somewhere seemingly close to his "walkaround weight". Mayweather takes s__t every time he lines up an opponent who has moved up from a lower weight class but he was handily outweighed on fight night by both Broner and Molina, who were fighting in the weight class below and was respectively 13lbs, 15lbs and 17lbs lighter than Khan, Molina and Maidana (interestingly, he was lighter than both Mathysse and Garcia last September on the Canelo PPV, even though they were contesting a championship bout two weight classes below!).
It seems to me that Mayweather hasn't been the naturally bigger guy in a bout in a long while but the "he's fighting a blown up [insert weight class here!]" criticism seems to follow him around. Do you think he deserves props for getting in the ring with the likes of Cotto and Canelo when he's conceding maybe 20lbs on the night or do you think it's irrelevant and he should consider tangling with even bigger guys in the middleweight division? – Roy, London, England
I think Mayweather definitely deserves props for fighting bigger guys, such as Cotto and Canelo. He received some criticism prior to the Alvarez bout because he made a big deal about catchweights prior to fighting Cotto (as a dig to Manny Pacquiao having Cotto come down to 145 pounds for their welterweight title bout) and then had the Mexican star do the same thing (come down two pounds under the division limit in a junior middleweight title bout).
Mayweather, and many of his fans, are rather sensitive to criticism, but they need to get thicker skin. You’re going to be held to a higher standard than other fighters when you declare yourself to be TBE. That’s just the way it is.
And you’re going to get criticized when you criticize others. Mayweather used to criticize Oscar De La Hoya and Cotto, among others, for fighting “little guys” coming up in weight. Now that he’s “the man” he’s getting the same stones tossed at him. Like he’s fond of saying, it comes with the territory.
(Also, I don’t know if you’re aware of this but Mayweather told the boxing press on a media conference call prior to Saturday’s fight that he viewed himself as the bigger man going into the Maidana fight. That’s because he’s been at 147 pounds since late 2005. Maidana moved up from junior welterweight early last year. Now, he probably won’t say that going into the rematch – if it happens – and neither will most fans and media. Maidana was a big 140 pounder who should now be viewed as a solid welterweight.)
Anyway, my thoughts on Mayweather’s choice to fight around his “walk-around” weight is that it’s a good thing for him. Entering the ring to fight Maidana just two pounds more than the weight he weighed in at told me that Mayweather was at or near fighting weight at least a month in advance of the Maidana fight. I think that’s healthy. That’s the way it should be and that’s one of the reasons he’s had such a long career. I didn’t view the weight disparity as a disadvantage for Mayweather.
Personally, I think Maidana put on too much weight. I think the 165 pounds he weighed helped him early in the fight but was probably a detriment during the late rounds. Maidana was unable to turn up the heat in the final two rounds and I think it was because he was bogged down with all that water weight.
I don’t think the weight that Victor Ortiz put on after the weigh-in for his shot at Floyd helped him at all. I don’t think the ridiculous amount of weight that Tim Bradley put on after his welterweight weigh-in for Ruslan Provodnikov and the Pacquiao rematch helped him at all. And I don’t think the excess weight that Broner put on after his weigh-ins for Maidana or Molina helped his performances at all in those fights.
I think “rehydration” after weigh-ins has gotten out of hand and I think it would be good for the sport and for the fighters (those who abuse day-before weigh-ins and those who are at a weight disadvantage) if weigh-ins were moved closer to fight times, or if there were uniform mandatory limits to how much fighters are allowed to put on after weighing in for their bouts.
QUICK OBSERVATIONS ON “THE MOMENT”
1) Much as I can see Argentine fans supporting their hero and Pactards who want to beat on Mayweather being suckered into believing 'El Chino' was robbed, I actually agreed wholeheartedly with Lem's rather decisive scorecard on The Ring website. Maidana's work ethic may have looked impressive but he seemed to hit Floyd's defenses, the back of his head and thin air with the vast majority of his punches and that shouldn't be troubling the judges’ scorecards, whereas Mayweather was landing clean shots whenever he got them off.
2) That said I have to credit Maidana with how much he made the P4P number 1 work for his win. He has gone up in my estimation massively and I think put to rest any idea that Mayweather is anywhere near being the GOAT. I fancy that many of the great 147 pounders of the past wouldn't have looked so uneasy against an admittedly highly talented but still rather crude brawler for the top level.
3) Huge credit to Amir Khan for sticking to his game plan. The manner of that victory against a hard as nails opponent is probably makes it the best of his career to date. The lad may be foolish at times but he has talent and could give anyone fits at welterweight if he's at his best.
4) Credit to Eddie Chambers. I've been impressed with his recent media work in the UK and I was particularly drawn to his point on Saturday that Adrien Broner shouldn't try to emulate Mayweather's style because he gets hit too easily when he goes defensive and yet he is a very heavy handed puncher who slips in plenty of scoring shots when he goes on the offence. He reckons a change in mentality could be the making of 'The Problem' at 140 lbs and I'm inclined to agree. More of Eddie's sharp analysis on UK television please!
Care to agree or disagree with any of these points? I look forward to a bumper mailbag on Monday! – Sir Laurence of Nottingham
Or on Friday, Sir Laurence. I’ll agree AND disagree with your points and I’ll do so in order:
1) Lem’s my buddy but I think his 118-110 score for Mayweather (vs. Maidana) is RingTV.com’s worst round-by-round scorecard since my 116-113 tally for Mayweather (vs. Canelo).
2) Maidana definitely proved that he’s better than the lower-top 10 welterweight contender he was viewed as (despite owning the WBA title) going into the fight. I think most fans and media consider him to be on the edge of the top five or six now (behind stalwarts such as Pacquiao, Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, and young IBF titleholder Porter). However, I would still favor Porter, Thurman, and maybe even Kell Brook (yes, I’m the one American boxing writer who thinks the Sheffield man is the goods) to beat the Argentine swarmer if they were to fight. Viewing Mayweather as the G.O.A.T. (even before the Maidana fight) is as silly as calling Roy Jones Jr. “TBE” prior to his getting iced by Antonio Tarver, or declaring Mike Tyson to be the greatest heavyweight of all time prior his being humbled by Buster Douglas. You “fancy” fancy that many of the great 147 pounders of the past wouldn't have looked so uneasy against Maidana? Dude, never mind how the great welterweights would have handled Maidana. I’m telling you that the very good welterweights of past decades – Donald Curry, Simon Brown, Felix Trinidad, De La Hoya – would have decapitated “Chino.” Buddy McGirt would have taken him to school.
3) I agree that Khan gives any elite 147 pounder fits, especially boxing (and grabbing) the way he did against Collazo. I’d give him a good chance to upset Tim Bradley and Marquez. However, I think Floyd, Manny, Keith and Shawn are athletic enough to catch him and they hit hard (and accurate) enough to take him out when they do.
4) I agree with Chambers’ analysis on Broner. The Problem needs to be more offensive minded. I haven’t heard his commentary on UK broadcasts but I’m sure it’s “spot on” as you Brits say. LOL. Show me a savvy veteran boxer lacking in punching power and I’ll show you an excellent boxing analyst (see Paul Malignaggi, Chris Byrd and Sergio Mora for further proof).
KHAN CAN BEAT MAYWEATHER, WILL LARA GET A SHOT?
I have been reading your mail bag for many years and thought I should finally write in and share some of my thoughts with you.
What a great fight last week between Mayweather and Maidana. I was really impressed by how Maidana swarmed Floyd and out worked him. I actually scored the fight a draw because I didn't ever feel that Floyd was imposing himself and his style on Maidana and also because I didn't think his work rate was great enough.
Moving onto his next fight, I may be one of the few that believe Khan has a great chance of winning against Floyd on the basis that he is young, has fast hands, throws combinations, he looks physically more suited to welterweight and also I believe he will be more focused both in preparation for the fight and on the night of the fight. Floyd also doesn't have the power to hurt Khan with one shot or the volume of punches to break him down. I'm not even a Khan fan and find him arrogant but I do think he's got enough to win.
With Erislandy Lara and Canelo fighting in July, do you think that if Lara wins that his stock will rise high enough for Floyd to consider him as an opponent? If he does have the opportunity to fight him, how do you think that fight will go?
Even if you don't print this, feel free to mail back. Thank you. Kind regards. – Anish, Manchester, UK
Thanks for the kind words and for finally writing in to the mailbag, Anish.
I could be wrong but I don’t think Mayweather will step up to the junior middleweight division again unless it’s to fight Canelo in a rematch. I don’t even think he’ll go up in weight to fight Cotto again (if Cotto beats Martinez), even though that would be a huge event. Lara just doesn’t have the name or fan base to get Mayweather to put on those extra pounds and risk his neck against a bigger man (especially one as talented and tricky as the Cuban southpaw). Think about it, the three junior middleweights (De La Hoya, Cotto and Canelo) that Floyd has fought have all been bona-fide stars. Lara’s not a star.
I agree that Khan has the talent, boxing ability and style to perhaps beat Mayweather, but I disagree that Mayweather lacks the power to hurt the British standout. Mayweather hits a lot harder than most fans (even some of his own fans) realize. His timing and accuracy only adds to the effect of his punches. I could be wrong but I think he’d score the rare knockout against Khan.
I can see Mayweather-Maidana being scored a draw but I also think that one has to give the underdog the benefit of the doubt in at least one round to get that score. I scored it 115-113 for Mayweather but I could also see a 116-112 tally for Mr. Pound for Pound.
I’ll watch Showtime’s replay of the fight on Saturday (after I cover the Bermane Stiverne-Chris Arreola rematch, which was completely ignored by the mailbaggers this week). Maybe I’ll see it closer the second time around, maybe I’ll see a wider victory for Mayweather.
Email Fischer at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer