By Ludwig Daza
Many things have been said about Floyd Mayweather’s anemic stance on a possible fight with Manny Pacquiao, who is considered as the no. 1 pound for pound fighter in world. These statements range from vituperate to vapid, depending on whose side the person making the statement is, whether anti or pro-Mayweather.
Indeed, Mayweather is a polarizing figure. His action and words are certain to elicit comments that are not susceptible to compromise. You either hate him or love him. Loyal fans are not very particular with the words coming out of Mayweather’s mouth since their admiration stems from his boxing skills, which is the substance of Mayweather. His irrational loquacity at times is just a by-product that deserves less attention, his fans will say.
I can clearly recall the times when I considered myself a loyal fan of Charles Barkley. Because his statement are always colorful if not controversial, whatever he says almost always land on the front page of newspaper’s sports section.
His on-court and off-court demeanor makes up the whole Barkley persona. It is as if a story about a basketball game involving Barkley’s team is not complete without a side story about the antics of Charles Barkley. As a fan I adored his controversial statement as much as I adored his basketball skills.
So it must be with the fans of Mayweather. They love his villain posturing as much as they love his boxing skills.
Barkley, although controversial, is always rational and straightforward, while Mayweather has been very irrational lately, prompting the legendary promoter Bob Arum to question his sanity.
His verbal sparring with his father, his burning of money, his baseless PED accusations against Manny Pacquiao, his tirade against Larry Merchant for commenting on his so-so performance against Carlos Baldomir – these are the things make you wonder whether he is losing it.
I have a feeling that it is fear that is making Mayweather do these things; specifically, it is the fear to loss his unbeaten record. The Mayweather persona is built around that unblemished record that a loss will diminish his well-being.
That explains why the mere mention of Pacquiao immediately discombobulates him. He sees Pacquiao as a legitimate threat to his immaculate record, so he must be avoided at all cost even to a point of being considered irrational.
Boxing pundits predict a victory for Mayweather against Victor Ortiz this coming Saturday. But this is a fight that Mayweather knows is fraught with danger. He got careless with a 38-year-old fighter in Mosley who got close to knocking him down. He cannot afford to be careless with a 24-year-old champion.
So this is a fight that Mayweather must be perfect in his execution, lest Ortiz delivers Mayweather’s first loss. One clean punch from Ortiz can make a difference.
Mayweather will be very aggressive in this fight. He needs to dictate the tempo and not allow Ortiz to get his rhythm. In this fight, we will see a Mayweather that fought Diego Corrales. He cannot allow himself to be old in this fight and must condition his mind that he is a young as Ortiz, and therefore there is no need to defend as his speed will smother and negate Ortiz’s offense.
Speed will be the key in this fight, and Ortiz will find himself a step slower. Mayweather will utilize his superior footwork to elude Ortiz’s punches.
When Mayweather said that Ortiz won’t last distance, it only means that Mayweather will be the aggressor, hence there will be few shoulder rolls in this fight.
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