Home Columns Floyd Mayweather will surpass Rocky Marciano’s legendary 49-0

Floyd Mayweather will surpass Rocky Marciano’s legendary 49-0

Credit: Tom Hogan - Hoganphotos / GBP

Will it be 50-0 For Floyd Before He Hangs it Up?

Floyd Mayweather Jr. will go on to surpass Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0 and will retire undefeated. Only a robbery, or Mayweather himself, could possibly derail Mayweather from reaching this goal and retiring with a very special place in boxing history.

The last boxer to sit on the precipice of this great achievement was Larry Holmes, whose attempt at the record was ended in controversial fashion against Michael Spinks in 1985.  As great as Larry Holmes was as a fighter, he fought in the shadow of Muhammed Ali. He was troubled by the lack of recognition and his anger left him vulnerable. At 35, age and many ring wars had also diminished his skills. Mayweather is too mentally tough and has no such physical liabilities or self doubt. Floyd will breeze through his next five fights and will eclipse Marciano’s record.

[Editor’s Note: His Showtime deal has just four fights left, including May’s match against Marcos Maidana.]

The media and promotional circus that surrounds Mayweather sometimes clouds the fact that he is a once in a generation talent who is one of the greatest practitioner’s of the “Sweet Science” in boxing history.  His physical gifts rival those of the incomparable Roy Jones Jr.  But what makes Mayweather different from everyone else, and the secret to his success, is that Mayweather has demonstrated the mental toughness and defensive skills to avoid the “wars in the ring” that even the all time greats in the Welterweight division endured.

At 36 years old, when other boxing legends like Sugar Ray Leonard had retired, or were showing diminished skill, Mayweather continues to fight like a man 10 years younger. Leonard’s career ended at age 36 when he was brutalized by Terry Norris and TKO’ed by Hector Camacho

Sugar Ray Robinson, generally regarded as the greatest fighter to ever lace on a pair of gloves, fought to regain his title five times and he was involved in life and death struggles against such notable Hall of Fame bruisers as Carmine Basillio, Jake LaMotta, and Gene Fullmer.

Granted, the level of competition that Mayweather faced is not the same Robinson’s. The original Sugar Man defeated seven Hall of Fame boxers on his way to unquestioned boxing greatness. But should that diminish what Mayweather has achieved?

Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Oscar De La Hoya and Juan Manuel Marquez are all future Hall of Famers and Mayweather handled each of them with ease. Leonard himself has been very praising of Mayweather, calling him the “the epitome of a Champion”. Fans, fighters, and trainers of today often speak of Mayweather with much the same reverence as their counterparts in Leonard’s time spoke about him. In my opinion, examining fighters in this historical context is the best way to judge a fighter’s greatness.

Some may argue that Floyd lacks the “warrior” mentality and should put everything on the line every time. Any boxer who has the courage to enter the ring should be respected. Mayweather has earned the right to pursue his career with the cautious but intelligent approach that is reflected in his consummate fighting style. His brilliance is that he is able to take control of every bout, make the proper adjustments, and exert his boxing style on his opponent.

The only fighter that can beat Mayweather is Mayweather. He could take an opponent lightly, or move up in weight and pick the wrong fight. These are possibilities, but they’re unlikely. Further, any outcry that Mayweather doesn’t move up further in weight are off-base. Let’s not forget the man started his career at 130 lbs.

Mayweather has the mental acuity and boxing IQ that only the greatest champions possess. Some will vilify Mayweather for being an “orchestrator”, carefully picking and choosing his opponents. Yet, let’s be real — while it’s unlikely that he will ever face Manny Pacquiao, the Pacquiao fight would be an interesting but easy tactical win for Floyd against a great fighter who has lost a step.

Mayweather covets his place in boxing history and passing Marciano would be his crowning achievement. The only way I see a loss on Mayweather’s record is if he falls victim to a robbery in the ring like Pacquiao endured against Timothy Bradley. Whether Mayweather enters the pantheon of all time boxing greats will be answered at the end of his career, however his achievements in his era at least put him in the argument. And mark my words, he will retire undefeated at 50-0.