For all his showboating and
outrageous spending habits, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is widely considered one of the most tactical, intelligent fighters of all time.
His defensive style necessitates physical stamina, mental patience, and a mastery of the technical aspects of the sport — all of which seem to clash with the egomaniacal, third-person-talking caricature he has created outside the ring.
Listening to other fighters talk about Floyd, you get a sense that his best weapon against Mexican sensation Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night will be his mind.
Floyd wins by out-thinking his opponents, frustrating them into taking risks they shouldn’t be taking.
Here are some quotes from this week from other fighters that give you an idea of what makes Floyd so great.
Paulie Malignaggi, ex-boxer (via Yahoo):
“He makes you miss a lot in his fights. But he doesn’t make you miss the same way. If he made you miss the same way all the time, guys would start timing it and start hitting him. He’ll make you miss the right hand in different ways. He’ll make you miss the left hook in different ways. … He varies the ways he’s able to defend and that is what makes him so difficult.”
Rau’Shee Warren, boxer (via SB Nation):
“Floyd’s a chameleon; he can adapt to any type of style in the ring.”
Ramon Montano, sparring partner (via ESPN):
“Nobody compares to Floyd. He’s the most unique fighter on the planet. Every time I spar with him, he’s different. If I fought tomorrow with him, he’s totally different. He’s the best, and I make my best money with him.”
Malignaggi on what Floyd does to fighters (via Yahoo!)
“After a while, I think guys start losing their minds and it’s hard to deal with the frustration. He’s then pot-shotting you in the middle of the ring, catching you with all kinds of offence. He’ll show you something and you go for it and it was a trap and he makes you miss.
“Floyd is so smart, and that’s such a big part of his defence. I think I’m a pretty smart, thinking man’s fighter and I’ll see Floyd making these moves and think, ‘What’s he going to try?’ And then he does it, and I’ll go, ‘Yeah, now I see what he was doing.’ But he’s so smart and he’s able to frustrate guys so much that it just completely changes what they do.”
That’s why he’s the big favourite against Canelo, despite a size and age disadvantage.
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