In the Aftermath of Mayweather vs. Mosley, Mayweather’s Legacy is Enhanced, while Mosley Should Retire Before it’s too Late
Many people have compared Floyd Mayweather to Roy Jones because both have been criticized for not always using their enormous talent to compete against the toughest available opponents. Mayweather’s victory over Shane Mosley last Saturday demonstrated that he possesses something Jones lacks: true grit (Jones admitted as much during his post-fight interview after facing Tarver for the 3rd time).
Mosley tested Mayweather in a way he’s never been tested before. During the 2nd round of their fight, Mosley had Mayweather in trouble; especially after a looping right hand landed beside his left ear near the 1 minute mark. Mayweather’s knees actually buckled forcing him to grab and back-peddle to the ropes. At that moment many of the attendees and pay-per-view customers, who undoubtedly paid their money hoping to witness the dismantling of the flamboyant braggart, probably felt it was only a matter of time before Mayweather’s 0 would go.
Yet Mosley, a guy whose heart is beyond question, failed to secure the coveted knockout he kept promising to deliver, and Mayweather not only survived the assault, he regrouped, walked forward and became the “dragon” Nazeem Richardson, Mosley’s trainer, so astutely perceived was inside of him all along. Mayweather followed through on his frequent claim of having an ability to adjust to any fight situation by placing both hands in front of his face, landing left hooks followed by straight rights, and standing toe to toe.
He used frequent feints, stiff jabs and movement to effectively keep Mosley from getting into any kind of meaningful rhythm. Instead, Mosley fought tentatively and seemed reluctant to engage. Mosley never imposed his will on Mayweather and the right hands that kept slamming into his face took away his immense fighting spirit after the 6th round.
So many of us have been fooled thinking that Mayweather’s flamboyant behavior and loud boasting, which is generally associated with weak men, meant he did not possess the internal fortitude needed to overcome a difficult challenge. With this victory, Mayweather can begin to silence those who have criticized him for not facing the top fighters in the welterweight division.
Mayweather vs. Mosley lacked the intensity and drama of Leonard vs. Hearns I, but Mayweather displayed the same kind of heart which secured Ray Leonard that victory years ago. Like Ali, Mayweather has shown that he can talk it and walk it! Now Mayweather’s claim of being greater than Ray Robinson and Ali would only cause him to be confined to a minimum or medium security psychiatric facility instead of solitary confinement in maximum security.
With this victory the stage has been reset for negotiating the highly anticipated match-up between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Money and drug-testing seem to be the primary obstacles for securing the fight. If the pay-per-view numbers from Saturday’s fight are really strong then the Pacquiao camp may have a tougher time garnering a 50/50 split.
The drug-testing issue looms as the big hurdle, however. Mosley’s willingness to undergo the Olympic-style testing may give Mayweather a bit more leverage in the expected negotiations, and Pacquiao’s continued refusal to fully submit to the same tests may not go over so well with the public.
If the fight can be secured and Mayweather gets the victory to reclaim his #1 pound for pound crown, his legacy as an all-time great fighter will be firmly secured provided that he suffers no upsets before retiring from the sport. A victory over a bigger opponent such as Paul Williams or Sergio Martinez would certainly extend his legacy to the point where a young fella may not get chased out of a room of elderly men for bringing up Mayweather’s name in a discussion of top twenty all-time great fighters.
For a long term top-tier fighter to reportedly allow an attorney, with mixed loyalty, to secure a mere 23% of the guaranteed purse from Saturday’s mega-fight is a bit surprising and may be an indication that Mayweather had a psychological advantage going into the fight.
Mosley’s legacy was already secure before entering the fight. His dominating stint as a lightweight, two victories over De La Hoya (despite the admitted steroid usage) and his willingness to face tough opponents when he didn’t have to have already established him as a future first ballot hall of famer and the 3rd greatest sugarman behind Robinson and Leonard. A victory over Mayweather would have certainly enhanced his legacy but the loss should not hurt Mosley’s historical standing.
What about Mosley’s fight future? The best options may be for him to reschedule the aborted match with Andre Berto or even rematch Miguel Cotto, provided he defeats Yuri Foreman on June 5th. Another challenge he may consider is facing the winner of this weekend’s match between Paul Williams and Kermit Cintron.
I am of the opinion that Mosley seriously consider retiring from boxing because I’ve noticed some slurred speech during recent interviews. More victories, million-dollar paydays and even an enhanced legacy are not worth one’s diminished quality of life.