Floyd Mayweather during his media day in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon (Photo: Naoki Fukuda)
By Vitali Shaposhnikov
Have you ever heard that if a fighter spends too much time in the ring being hit, fighting war after war, they tend to slip out of the game much sooner than those that fight smart and avoid punishment?
This idea is not necessarily false, and from many standpoints makes perfect logical sense. Being hit a lot can cause physical and mental damage, leading to a higher chance of permanent and temporary injuries, as well as decline in the ability to simulate self-confidence.
At least it’s something that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been pleading in most of his interviews.
On numerous occasions when asked about how he stays on top and in such a great shape, he always pointed to his defense and the ability to avoid being hit in the ring. And who could argue; he is a master technician when it comes to leaving his face out of the fight.
Knowing his opinion on the subject, it is bizarre to hear Mayweather Jr. himself admitting that he is no longer excited about the sport of boxing, and is about ready to leave it behind.
“I don’t enjoy it like I once did. My last fight is in September,” alleged Mayweather Jr. during his recent media day in Las Vegas this past Tuesday.
Manny Pacquiao on the other hand, the fighter who has been through endless wars against phenomenal world champions, who has bled and went back-and-forth with some of the best punchers at the time, has regained his fire and hunger for the fight.
“The inspiration and determination is back and the killer instinct is there,” Pacquiao insisted. “I love it. I like it.”
According to the earlier stated theory, this seems backwards. Of course all this might simply be white noise, and irrelevant set of words to get the media and the boxing community to talk.
But if this is indeed true, will we be able to see Pacquiao’s hunger vs. Mayweather Jr.’s lack of enthusiasm in the ring? Will there be a tell? A slight indication? While I say don’t count on it, many boxing fans have been discussing this possibility for some time now, pointing to Pacquiao’s recklessness and consistently bothersome calf, and Mayweather Jr.s lack of footwork in the ring.
May 2nd will tell all.
Vitali Shaposhnikov can be reached at email@example.com