Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at DeWalt event

"There's nothing cool about taking punishment" - Floyd Mayweather Jr

Floyd Mayweather Jr is arguably the greatest boxer ever. 44-0 as a professional (at the time of writing) & champion in 5 weight classes. Known for his incredible defence & strategy (of course his coaches & camp play a large role too) he makes the best look amateurish. He exemplifies everything it takes to be a great fighter, supremely intelligent & a masterful innovator. In one round he shows more skill than many can comprehend, yet he is often seen as boring... As he often points out in interviews, he wants to remain healthy & continue enjoying life with his family.

Contrast any of his fights with the fight that Joe Silva has called "the fight of the century". A macho fantasy, 2 guys wildly trying to knock the other out with absolutely no regard for their own safety. Of course Silva & the commentators & the rest of the promotion team have a vested interest in hyping fights. Their interests are diametrically opposed to those of the fighters. Their role is to maximise the entertainment in order to draw more fans prepared to pay ever higher pay-per-view tolls. Unfortunately most fans & especially new ones, have very little understanding or appreciation of the science & art of fighting... Entertain me!

This contrast is unfortunately a decision that professional fighters are constantly faced with. Especially when starting out, the fighter needs to make money & of course promoters are looking for exciting fighters not necessarily great ones. I have to wonder how many potential 'Mayweathers' have fallen through the cracks because although they always won it wasn't exciting enough. Fighters end up risking life, limb & career for cash. Ultimately because fans are ignorant.

If you have anything more than a passing interest in fighting (or any other pastime) I would recommend that you study it. Find out as much as you can & make your own decisions. Watch & study fights, learn from what the best are doing & if you're a coach or fighter test what you learn. When you study a fight turn the sound down so that you don't get confused by the commentators (they are very seldom experts & often biased). Watch the fight at least 4 times, one fighter at a time first the defence then the offence. Watch & re-watch the interesting bits in slow motion to make sure you see what is really happening. You are looking not for what happened, but how & why it happened. Barry Robinson of A Million Styles Boxing regularly posts film studies in which he shows you in great detail what the greats are doing.

- mec