Paolo Predonzan on ‘The greatest: why Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the best in boxing history.’
We have received this article from Paolo Predonzan:
We are talking about boxing here, not about fighting.
There is a hell of a difference between boxing and fighting, between a boxer and a fighter.
I’m not trying to claim here that FMJ is the best fighter of all the times; he isn’t.
Beside to display many tattoos, a fighter needs to be: a very good puncher and a very, very tough guy.
Mayweather has a good pop and great accuracy but he hasn’t a devastating power such as Mike Tyson or Tommy Hearns had. They were great punchers, Mayweather isn’t.
And he is a tough guy but even if he wasn’t and never will be, due to his style, in the position to show his real toughness, nobody will put him in the same league of Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler or Julio Caesar Chavez.
So definitely, he is not the best fighter ever.
Now, what is boxing and who is the boxer?
I find a bit too fancy the definition of boxing as “the noble art”. That’s just a nice phrase that doesn’t define, precisely, the essence and purpose of boxing.
To me, boxing is a sport where the aim is to hit your opposer, without getting hit from him.
Easy to say than to do it.
In order to achieve this goal, the boxer has to possess very many qualities.
He doesn’t need to be just the best on something. If, for instance, he will have just the best defense, this will not make him to win many matches.
And having the best footwork but lacking other skills will, sooner or later, put this boxer in great difficulty when facing a fighter able to slow him down with restlessness pressure and great power.
Because the problem here, is that the guy in front of you is trying to do exactly the same thing you are trying to do, that is to use his best abilities in order to prevail over you.
FMJ greatest ability is to adapt to his opposers’ style, nullifying their boxing skills.
Again, this is easy saying than doing.
Since there are many different styles of boxing, FMJ can do this because he is very good… in just everything.
– He has strategy; he decides the speed and timing of the fight, when to defend or when to attack his opposer. Everything is decided in a split of a second through a rational analysis of the boxing abilities of his contender.
– He dictates the pace of the match mastering defense skill, counter-pouching, footwork, head-control and clinching in order to control his contender’s attack and then hitting him with accuracy and great variety of punches.
– He can adapt not only to his opposer but also to his own condition: when he broke his right hand, he used only his left hand, pushed his defense and footwork to win that match and was able to do the same when, in another match, was the left hand to be broken. He did not panic, he changed strategy, adapting to the situation and won again.
FMJ style is more close to martial arts than to classic boxing.
He is in fact, very confident, very dedicated and when he fights, relaxed and very, very focused.
Looking at his career, it is amazing to notice that he took decisions that seemed illogic to everybody but were actually very wise.
When 23 years old and already world champion, he took a match with no title-on-stake against Emanuel Augustus, a very tough opposer.
Why he did it? Because Augustus was the perfect guy to prepare him for future fights against Corrales and Cotto.
Had FMJ fought Corrales or Cotto without the experience of the match against Augustus, he probably hadn’t defeated the two strong pressure-punchers.
He took Canelo Alvarez when everybody had suggested not taking him, because too big, more than 20 pounds heavier and too dangerous opposer.
But he did it at the right time, just before Canelo, a rising boxing star, could have built the necessary experience to be at his level and made in this way a 2 million pay-per-view match come true and took Canelo to school.
FMJ is also a great athlete. His conditioning being always fantastic, allowed him to be able to use his footwork against bigger opposers like De La Hoja, Cotto or Canelo.
His speed, quick reflexes and good chin, are his natural gifts and he worked hard to get the best from them.
Finally, he was able to do something that shows his amazing business’ skill.
If you looked at the match with Cotto, you saw FMJ winning easily the first round jabbing and moving.
He could have done the same for the remaining 11 rounds but he decided to fight inside with Cotto.
The result was a closer toe-to-toe match that fans loved as never before. Fans, not technicians.
Technicians disagreed with FMJ choice to take that risk with a bigger guy and puncher like Cotto but the point for Mayweather there was to impress the fans and gain a super rich contract of 200 million $ with Showtime.
If all this is not greatness, let me know what it is.