One of the biggest misconceptions hovering around the upcoming Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez fight is the notion that Mayweather handpicked an easy opponent to collect a check. You can ask any *real* boxing fan around about Marquez and they should have him in their top 5 pound for pound. If I had to pick a winner between the two, I’d choose Mayweather easily, but when you take the following factors into account, the outcome may not be so cut-and-dry anymore.
1. Floyd is coming off a 2 year layoff – I don’t care who you are, if you step out of the ring for 2 years theres going to be a little bit of rust when you come back. Another thing to consider is that boxers can literally turn old in ONE fight (see Roy Jones Jr.), it’s always a dangerous decision to take long layoffs when you’re over the age of 30. Floyd’s saving grace *may* be that he walks around in shape at all times, he doesn’t need to drop 20-30 pounds for a comeback fight.
2. Floyd is nursing a rib injury - There’s a conspiracy theory floating around that Mayweather created this rib injury out of thin air because ticket sales for the bout was low, but it almost exclusively comes from fanatical Floyd haters. The type of rib cartilage injury could be a huge hindrance if it’s not fully healed by the time fight night is here on September 19th. Floyd is not an offensive powerhouse, he relies on quickness, reflexes, and defensive counter punching to win fights. This injury could potentially slow him down just enough to make the bout closer than we all expected.
3. Roger Mayweather’s troubles with the law - In case you hadn’t heard, Floyd’s uncle/trainer Roger Mayweather was arrested yesterday for laying the smack down on a woman. This issue wouldn’t be a problem in normal circumstances, but it does serve as another dark cloud hovering over this fight. Will it serve as a distraction in camp?
4. Is Floyd overlooking Marquez for Pacquiao? - I’ve mentioned this before, but if you pay attention to all the pre-fight press on this bout you’ll notice Floyd spends more time fielding questions about Manny Pacquiao than he does on his current opponent. None of us know what Floyd does behind closed doors to prepare for Marquez, but if outward actions are any indication he clearly isn’t worried about Marquez in the slightest.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, in an ideal situation Floyd would win this fight with his eyes closed (he’s just that good), but this situation is getting further and further away from ideal. At this point my prediction for the winner still hasn’t changed, but I will say I would NOT be surprised if we all witnessed a huge upset next month.
One thing that’s definitely been hammered home in the last week or so with the deaths of Michael Jackson and Steve McNair, is that we never tell folks how much they mean to us before it’s too late. This is true on a personal level when dealing with our own family, but it’s also true for public figures and the way they’re handled in the media.
While ESPN was making the rounds getting player reactions to the passing of Steve McNair, Hall Of Fame quarterback Steve Young was quoted as saying “you couldn’t find 5 guys who could do all the things Steve McNair could do on the field.” Those are HUGE words, especially coming from a guy who’s considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, but it also stings that you’d never hear anything like this in the media while McNair was still alive. Sure, the sports media gave McNair plenty of props for being tough and hard working, but those things don’t really speak for the technical skill he displayed at the quarterback position. That type of praise is usually limited to Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Steve McNair could be a classic drop back QB, he could take off with his feet and make you miss, or he could simply run over linebackers with brute strength.
While the rest of the media and blogosphere are currently going crazy digging for details of how and why McNair died, I find myself simply not caring how it unfolded. The bottom line is that a man that pretty much everyone considered to be a great dude is gone. I hope the police find the person who did this and bring them to justice, but outside of that… it really doesn’t matter.
As far as blogging goes, the last week has shown me that I should spend less time caught up in the bullshit and learn how to write about who I appreciate sometimes and why. I’m not suggesting everyone hold hands and sing Kumbaya just because someone died, but it really wouldn’t hurt to speak good of the folks who deserve it every now and then.
I’ll do my part.
One of my favorite shows to come around recently is ABC’s Wipeout. I know It’s not exactly fine theater, but theres something about a 39 year old soccer mom getting bashed in the face by a motorized boxing glove that warms my heart. Through the wonders of Twitter, I learned that Shaquille O’Neal also loves Wipeout and wants to go on the show. (He’s mentioned this on more than one occasion.)
You know what the problem is?
Real celebrities think they’re too cool for all this, so when ABC decides to do a Celebrity Wipeout we’re gonna have to watch Gilbert Godfried, and some douchebags named Heidi and Spencer on the show. Here’s my wishlist of athletes I’d like to see join Shaq if this actually takes place:
1. Peyton Manning – The Ultimate Nerd You think this is a fun show where people just run as fast as they can and hope to make it to the end in time right? Well Peyton doesn’t think so, he’ll spend countless hours studying footage looking for patterns in the machinery, ideal launch points for jumping, and will have an exact replica of the set in his backyard.
2. Floyd Mayweather – Big Mouthed Bastard Everyone Wants To Lose There is no athlete on earth people love to hate more than Floyd (yes, people even hate him more than Terrell Owens). America will hang on the edges of their seats waiting for the moment where his face smashes into the wall…. and if history is any indication… it won’t happen.
3. Butterbean – The Fat Guy While he may be a questionable “celebrity”, he’s fat and thats good enough. Accidents are almost always funnier when theres a fat guy involved. Can you imagine this dude jumping on the big red balls? (Pause)… or on the second stage where the contestants have to jump the plank…. oh man.
4. Serena Williams – Affirmative Action/Token Female Athlete Since there will probably be a slot or two reserved for female athletes, I hope the one with the biggest breasts and booty gets chosen. Serena probably won’t want to get her weave all wet though, so I wish the producers luck on this one….
5. David Ortiz – The Lumbering Oaf Even though Shaq is 7 feet tall and 320lbs, he can move pretty well for his size. The producers need to recruit a second tall guy who makes the country wonder how he’s getting paid as a professional athlete. Plus, I always laugh when he tries to speak english.
How F’ing great was the finish of tonight’s game? This buzzer beater will probably make it into my top 5 favorites (nobody will ever dethrone Robert Horry’s three in the WCF vs. Sacramento). These kind of shots are why I still view Kobe as the better player than LeBron, because I’ve seen Kobe snatch the heart out of various teams with no time on the clock. If LeBron keeps this up he’ll really be the king of the NBA soon.
This was a legacy builder.
shout out to the hoop doctors for the vid.