Floyd Mayweather’s heavily manicured legacy is back in the balance as he faces Youtuber Oladeji Daniel “Deji” Olatu in an exibition bout in Dubai
Champions are meant to shine, and while none shined brighter than Floyd Mayweather over the first 49 fights of his professional career, he has spent the last seven years trying as hard as he can to tarnish that record. For the most part, he has succeeded.
Unwilling to fight a boxer in order to reach that much-coveted 50-0 record, he staged a farce against Conor McGregor, much to the chagrin of the boxing world. In a bout filled with illegal punches and MMA moves that would have any boxer disqualified immediately, McGregor and Mayweather waltzed around the ring for 10 rounds, just long enough to make the $300 million that Floyd earned, and the $100 million that Conor earned seem justified.
Unable to add to that 50-0 record with his next opponents, not with a straight face anyway, Floyd then moved into the world of exhibition boxing, facing kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa and YouTuber Logan Paul before an ever-more-incredulous public. Finally, he faced a boxer, although one who was nowhere near his level, in former sparring partner Don Moore in a non-scored eight-round bout. Reverting to form, Floyd took another bout against an MMA fighter in Japan’s Mikuru Asakura, before heading back into the Youtube world against Oladeji Daniel “Deji” Olatu in an exibition bout in Dubai.
It didn’t have to be this way. Floyd was an astounding defensive boxer, a practitioner of the sweet science of “hit and don’t get hit.” His career is a who’s-who of opponents, defeating the likes of Zab Judah, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and Canelo Álvarez, and Floyd could have simply rode off into a glorious sunset.
During his two-decade professional career, Mayweather won 15 world championships across five weight classes, including the lineal championship in four weight classes. Floyd held the WBC, WBO and WBA Welterweight titles, as well as the WBA and WBC Super Welterweight titles between 2012 and 2015. His skill was always in his defense, with amazing head movement and upper body mobility, he would wear opponents out as they threw punches at nothing but air.
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A true testament to his defensive ability is the fact that his 50 wins include 27 knockouts, a phenomenal number considering his palpable lack of punch power. He would essentially use the frustrations of the opponent to have them throw themselves into ever-increasing vulnerability, ending up, like Ricky “the Hitman” Hatton, knocking themselves out by walking onto a counter-punch.
Very few fighters have ever has Floyd’s speed and agility, and it in the art of pugilism, he is unrivalled. It is a shame that he has chosen to fully pursue his erstwhile moniker “Money” with complete gusto. Somebody should stop him, before there is too much tarnish to shine off anymore on a legacy that deserves better.