Those of you who just got into boxing, you’ve heard about Mayweather in terms of a legendary, and invincible, boxer. But, you’ve probably never got to see him fighting anywhere else apart from old YouTube videos.
‘Money’ Mayweather has been enjoying his retirement for the past two years with an unbeatable record of 49-0. He’s giving up the sweet holiday time to face the greatest MMA fighter in history – Conor McGregor.
One thing we know for sure is that Mayweather is indeed great and no fighter could just get lucky 49 times in a row. For a professional boxer, it takes mental fortitude, skill, and a mixture of timing to excel in the ring.
To win 49 fights and suffer no defeats as a professional, you have to be great. What exactly lies at the core of his success and what are his weaknesses, if he has any?
The Defensive Maestro – Floyd Mayweather
Name: Floyd Mayweather Junior
Nickname: ‘Money’; ‘Pretty Boy’
Record: 49-0; 26 KO
Occupation: Retired Professional Boxer
Titles: Super Featherweight, Lightweight, Light Welterweight, Welterweight, Light Middleweight
Famous Fights: Carlos Hernandez (2001), Ricky Hatton (2007), Miguel Cotto (2012), Manny Pacquiao (2015)
Net Worth: $340mln
Why An Icon: Never lost a fight
Floyd Mayweather’s Strengths
I think we can all agree Mayweather hadn’t fought the way the public would have wanted him. Boxing fans have always wanted to see Floyd throwing ferocious punches and serving knockouts to the opponents.
Too bad for those, who have ever hoped to see just that – Floyd has never let anyone dictate his style. He fights with precision and reads his rival like an open book. He’s also a huge fan of prolonging the fight, slowly tiring the opponent and waiting for their soft spot.
His personal life has always been surrounded by family scandals and money controversies, but there’s never been a doubt about his skills in the ring. Here’s why:
One could think the offence shouldn’t really matter in a sport that is all about punching, dominating, intimidating, and knocking out. And, yes, the aggressiveness is definitely really important in boxing. But nearly not as much as a smart strategy.
Floyd has been a long-time master of an intelligent defence and this is why nobody has ever succeeded against him. Mayweather wins as a defensive specialist, because he fights his opponents in a smart way, tailoring his strategy towards the rival’s attitude and not surrendering to the opponent’s tactic. He fights his game plan, not theirs.
Boxing is about two things – hitting and getting hit. Mayweather excels in both because none of his punches is wasted. He lands a lot of punches but he’s also hard to hit.
According to the modern boxing system, Compubox, Floyd landed 42% of his punches successfully, which is one of the highest in the history of boxing. He also features a plus/minus rating of +24. These numbers represent a number of punches he landed, subtracted from the amount his opponents did.
What does it all mean? That his punches are meticulously calculated, so even if he throws fewer punches that his rival, the ones he does are more successful and they count.
The efficiency is one of the foundations of Floyd’s boxing accomplishments. He doesn't waste time endlessly trying to knock down his opponents, instead, he calculates his every move, both in and out of the ring.
I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone that speed is one of the crucial things in boxing. Having the quickness to avoid punches, as well as being able to serve them when the time is right, is what wins the gold medal.
His punches aren’t viciously thrown and they most probably won’t result in a knockout, but they will be thrown by surprise. The speed and perfect timing of the punches have brutal accuracy, so a slower fighter would never be able to defend.
The traditional defence in boxing is hands-up to protect both sides of the head, but Floyd prefers using the cross-arm defence. He also rarely stands squarely from his opponent, he prefers to stand side-on.
He keeps his left arm low to protect his body and his chin tucked behind his left shoulder, hence it reduces opponent's chances to be able to throw a successful punch.
Floyd Mayweather’s Weaknesses
It’s hard to speak about weaknesses when a fighter has never lost a fight. You would think his invincible and has no shortcomings.
However, one of the Floyd’s greatest weaknesses is also his biggest strength – punching. One of the ways to secure a win in boxing is by punching a knockout, but Mayweather’s punches are never thrown upon striking the opponent.
It’s a risky move but it’s been proven successful for Floyd so far. It’s questionable though if the same tactic will work fighting against McGregor, who’s well-known for aggressive punches and winning by KO.
Mayweather also mentioned on a few occasions that he hadn’t studied his opponents before the fight, he had rather prepared himself in a camp for a supreme condition and trusted his boxing instincts during the fight.
Again, if that was anybody else we were talking about, it would be a no-brainer that it’s a sure fail, but if you’ve been an untouchable boxer all your life, it’s tough to question it.
Is Mayweather Going To Win With McGregor?
This is a question everyone has been asking for the past few months. Even before the fight has been officially announced, Mayweather had already been described as a ‘winner’.
Undeniably, he will have an advantage on the ring by simply being a professional boxer. Even though his technique is questionable for some because it doesn’t align with the strict rules of boxing, it’s an invention on its own.
His mentality, on the other hand, might become for the first time a disadvantage. McGregor is such a different character and I doubt there will be a moment he will hesitate to punch a knockout.
As opposed to calm and composed Mayweather, he enters the ring in a frenzy, almost like an animal going for a kill.
If we trust the bookies, Mayweather is in a clear for a win. But, my intuition tells me otherwise and, somehow, I cannot imagine this fight to be as smooth and easy as all the previous ones for Mayweather.
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