‘Money’ Mayweather cashes in again

Tommy Collins

The popularity of boxing and the sophistication of its fans are diminishing at a rapid rate. But don’t blame Floyd Mayweather Jr. He is the last remaining American icon in a sport that is far from its prime, fighting for an audience that understands less about the sport than ever before.

With the rise of mixed martial arts, offering skillful yet aggressive contests with often quick and brutal results, boxing is simmering on the back burner. The world’s best boxer, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather Jr., dominated Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday night, increasing his unbeaten record to 40-0, 25 KOs.

It did seem somewhat quiet for boxing fans over the past two years while Mayweather was retired. Now back in the spotlight, Mayweather’s mouth made plenty of guarantees and proclamations of greatness with his typical godly confidence. And, as usual, he backed up every word. Mayweather’s artistic display once again proved that he is comparable to the best boxers ever, despite fighting for an unappreciative sports audience.

“I’ve been off for two years,” Mayweather said. “But I can get better.”

Mayweather picked apart Marquez from afar, utilizing superior speed and precision against a smaller and weaker opponent. Marquez is arguably one of the top two best pound for pound fighters in the world, and the best Mexico has to offer. But Mayweather toyed with him like he did his previous 39 opponents, never letting him get close enough to be effective by punishing him with a straight left jab and a brutal right hook.

Mayweather landed 59 percent of his punches to only 12 percent by Marquez.

In his last fight in December 2007, Mayweather faced Ricky Hatton, whom he dispatched with a brutal knock out. While his fight with Marquez was not for a title, Mayweather has earned world championships in an astonishing five different weight classes.

While his defensively dominant style takes much criticism for lacking excitement, Mayweather proves repeatedly that his skills around the ring are second to none. He is the best pound for pound fighter of this generation, and deserves credit despite his seemingly boring style.

Mayweather should not be faulted for his less exciting style just because the audience doesn’t watch enough to appreciate it. To those who follow the sport, Money Mayweather’s fights are a spectacle of precision and skill that compares with the best boxers ever.

Sure, the sport’s popularity is dying. And yes, Mayweather’s fights at times can be painfully boring. But his legacy should not be diminished because he fought during the sport’s decline in front of an unappreciative sporting audience.




The Hilltop Views sports column, ‘Five Minute Major,’ appears every other week in the sports section and is written by Co-Editor-in-Chief Tommy Collins.