Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Topic of the Week: Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Money Mayweather. Love him or hate him, there's no question that he gets people talking, and even though he's officially retired, it's about time we discussed him on the site.

This week, we asked our panel a 3-part question related to Floyd's potential come back...

Photos © Ray Kasprowicz

Do you want to see Floyd come back?

"I look forward to Floyd coming back. Any fight he is in is a mega event and he is supremely talented. I enjoy watching Mayweather apply his craft. I'm not going to say all of his fights are exciting. But he gets more heat than he deserves from a lot of people." - Mark Lyons

"Like him or not, Floyd is good for boxing. He is one of the few big draws we have left, and much of that comes from his being a polarizing figure. Some people think he's a careful prima donna, while others enjoy the hype. Personally, I don't have strong feelings when it comes to Money Mayweather, but I do enjoy his work in the ring. Hey, not everyone can be a Sugar Shane or Holyfield. Those guys would take on anyone, anytime, but they have both paid a price for it. Floyd is much more calculating and given the success he's enjoyed, it's hard to argue with his formula." - Lee Payton

"I'd rather not see Floyd return. He's more opportunist than fighter. Which is great for him and bad for the fans. If he decides he's interested in taking on the best available competition then I then I'd like to see him return, but he hasn't had that attitude since early in the decade." - John Vaci

"I'm not a huge Floyd fan, but if he's willing to fight the guys he should, then I'd be glad to have him back in the sport. He's probably the most recognizable current fighter outside of De La Hoya and boxing needs all the mainstream notice it can garner. If that means Mayweather plays the villain and mucks around like a sideshow, even better. Somewhere along the line people forgot that personality garners attention, and a reaction. Reactions by mainstream or even the sports media is something that boxing rarely gets these days." - Jeff Pryor

"I didn't mind when he retired, as the thought of pointless rematch with Oscar sickened me. Since that's not on the table anymore, I'd be okay with Mayweather returning to the ring, provided he's going to take the fights fans want to see." - Andrew Fruman

"Although I'm not a huge fan, I wouldn't mind Floyd coming back. Polarizing figure or not, he generates a lot of interest and it often is a pleasure to see his unique defensive ability and ring intelligence on display." - Michael Nelson

If Floyd comes back, who would you like to see him fight?

"Man, there are so many guys i would love to see him fight. If Pacquaio (pictured left against De La Hoya) beats Hatton that would be a special match up, although I have my doubts about Pacquaio's chances in that fight. But either way, if I had my choice, it would be Shane Mosley. It's a fight I have wanted to see for many years and it would be great to see it while Shane is still on top." - Mark Lyons

"Bring on Sugar Shane vs Money May! These two were sharing the covers of boxing magazines as far back as 1998. The time is now. Sign on the dotted line, Floyd!" - Lee Payton

"Pacquiao, Marquez, Mosley, Cotto. I might favor Floyd against all of them, but they all bring more to the table than anyone Floyd's faced in a long time." - John Vaci

"Those guys he should fight would include, first and foremost Shane Mosley. It's the most interesting of the possibilities and it's the right time for it. Aside from that match, I would say the names Cotto or Pacquiao, in that order, are the best choices. There are not many other names to consider. Paul Williams would be one other good, but unlikely candidate." - Jeff Pryor

"I'd like to see Mayweather challenge himself if he returns, and that means taking on a legit top welter like Mosley or Cotto. I'm tempted to say Andre Berto as well, but that's probably not realistic until Berto can make a bigger name for himself. I know that a Manny fight would be a mega-event, but it's not on the top of my list, as I think Floyd would win fairly comfortably." - Andrew Fruman

"It's to the point where I wouldn't be intrigued by a Mayweather fight unless I thought he was in some kind of danger of losing. Before the 'retirement', I felt that way with matchups between him and Cotto, Margarito, Williams, and Mosley. Scratching Margarito off the list, I'd add Clottey if he looks impressive against Cotto, and Pacquiao if he decisively defeats Hatton. Out of those names, a Cotto fight interests me the most. Cotto has the style, particularly the jab and foot speed, to give Floyd fits. It needs to happen." - Michael Nelson

According to Dan Rafael, Richard Schaefer and Al Haymon have had preliminary talks regarding a Marquez/Mayweather fight. Are you interested in a Mayweather/Marquez bout? Does JMM have a shot?

"I have a bad habit of underestimating Marquez. So I'm going to do it again. I really don't like his chances against mayweather at all. Floyd would force him to press the fight and at this stage in his career I can't see him doing that successfully against a bigger, faster and stronger man. Mayweather knocks him out." - Mark Lyons

"Floyd is a little bigger, stronger, faster and younger. What advantage does Marquez have? I'm struggling to come up with one. While I'll certainly watch, this match-up sounds more like a business move than a fight. That said, I'd expect JMM to put up a damn good fight. And honestly, I'd be kinda surprised if Floyd toyed with him, because of the champ's technical skills, fire and toughness." - Lee Payton

"A Marquez fight isn't my first choice, due to Floyd having a size advantage. But Marquez has some of the best skills in the game, and has displayed a great will to win the past couple years that may have been lacking earlier in his career. That should be enough to make the fight at least interesting." - John Vaci

"One of those names that he really is not "supposed" to fight would be Marquez. I'm not interested in this bout being that Mayweather has legitimate challenges at his weight and Marquez has unfinished business with Pacquaio.

The fight itself would be a bad styles matchup, would not be entertaining and probably wouldn't be all that competitive due to Floyd's advantages, in size, speed and youth. Marquez's only shot would be to not play into Floyd's hands. Don't be the aggressor; make Mayweather come after him. It may mean the fight dies on the vine and everyone absolutely sleeps through it, but if Marquez tries to push forward he'll get picked apart by the speed. If he refuses to lead, and Mayweather gets just a little antsy to do something, he has a chance to time Floyd and maybe get something going. It's not ideal, but I think it's probably the only chance." - Jeff Pryor

"I'm not really interested, although I can see the appeal of this match-up for both fighters. It's a good comeback fight for Mayweather, as he'll have all the advantages, and a win would set up a Pacquaio fight nicely. For Marquez, he's looking at a career high payday, and regardless of the result, his reputation won't take a hit. Does Marquez have a chance? I doubt it, although I don't think he'll take a bad beating, as I'd imagine it would be a tactical battle short on thrills." - Andrew Fruman

"Juan Manuel Marquez is far down the list. As talented as he is, he's barely getting comfortable at lightweight, and now he'd be fighting a man with similar talent who's last five fights have been at welterweight. If Marquez was even slightly competitive, it'd make for heated discussion over who would have beaten who if they were the same size. But since they aren't, I wouldn't give Marquez much of a chance, nor am I interested in seeing it." - Michael Nelson