At 45-0 and having beaten all bar one of the fighting superstars out there in the past 18 years, Floyd Mayweather still seems to have something to prove to himself as his bout with Marcos Maidana fast approaches.
Still holding world titles at 147 and 154lbs, Mayweather continues to command the respect of the boxing fraternity given the nature of his victories over each and every one of the top contenders opposed.
Granted that a mega-clash with Manny Pacquiao is still the first sentence fans mutter when mentioning Mayweather’s future foes, but nobody could deny that the American rarely shirks the big names and duly follows through with dominant performances.
This time around, Mayweather has seemed more vulnerable in the build-up, even speaking openly about retirement and the possibility of settling down and raising a family for the first time. Some doubters have greeted these words with scepticism given the nature of Mayweather’s attitude during filiming for Showtime’s All Access series. The 37 year-old has been causing controversy in the build-up to ‘The Moment’ as he prepares to unify yet another weight-class, leading some to believe that the buys for the pay-per-view offering may not be flying off the shelves as per usual.
Engaging in a tit-for-tat war of words with ex-fiancee Shantell Jackson and bringing up alleged abortions days before a fight is something unusual for Mayweather. However, these days it’s hard to gauge where ‘Money’ is mentally as one minute he brags about having lots of women and cars, but in the next breath has his game face on talking about securing a lasting legacy.
The five-weight world champion is adament about leaving his mark when some believe he already has, but wanting boxing ‘to only remember him and nobody else’ once he retires is something that is certainly never going to happen no matter when Mayweather leaves boxing behind.
It shows insecurity not seen before from the pound for pound king and a willingness to keep striving for more, which makes me personally think that stepping away from the sport could be the furthest thing from his mind.
Could it be signs of a vulnerability in Mayweather or that mask of invincibility slipping? That unsatisfied need to keep proving himself over and over, even with 45 straight wins. I am sure Maidana is keeping tabs on Mayweather’s state of mind and will be ready to exploit any weaknesses that maybe peering out of what has been an impenetrable defence for many years.
Mayweather’s argument over the gloves Maidana wears in another example of mental angst that shadows this latest fight, which could mean we see a totally different ‘Money’ when the first bell goes.
No matter what is going on in his psyche though, skills pay the bill as they say and Mayweather has spades more than any other boxer on the planet if you take Pacquiao out of the equation. It may need an implosion in the ilk of Mike Tyson’s against James ‘Buster’ Douglas for Maidana to end the greatest run of the modern era and tonight we find out if all this furore is just another Mayweather smokescreen.
Mayweather v Maidana is live on BoxNation in the UK from 2am, visit BoxNation to subscribe on a monthly basis.
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