Keidel: The Month Of Mayweather

By Jason Keidel
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The paradoxes in pro athletes are amply archived, though Floyd Mayweather Jr. has taken it to a surreal stratosphere.

Mayweather talks about his rugged rearing in Grand Rapids while flaunting a fleet of Rolls-Royces inside his cavernous mansion planted in the Nevada desert. He talks about “cleaning up” his sport while his family’s rap sheet is so long it could be printed on “Mayweather” letterhead. And Floyd Jr. is no stranger to the courtroom, juggling up to six cases at the moment, including a domestic violence charge.

Mayweather was especially violent on a bizarre Saturday night, knocking out Victor Ortiz in the fourth round in Las Vegas (Where else?). Ortiz, in what can only be branded a brain cramp, intentionally head-butted Mayweather, hugged him, kissed him, backed off, and got knocked out. Referee Joe Cortez separated the two fighters, and then an odd sequence occurred: Cortez and Ortiz seemed to forget they were in the middle of a fight. Mayweather didn’t forget, dropping the defenseless Ortiz with a left-right combination.

Victor Ortiz is a decent fighter with a daunting past. His mother abandoned him when he was just 7-years-old, and his father followed suit when Victor was 10, leaving the youngster and his brother to fend for themselves in a tattered trailer in Kansas. So with this hideous history as a backdrop, the chasm between the good guy and bad guy entering this fight was well defined. But the gap between good and great boxer was equally defined, and Mayweather was clearly out of Ortiz’s class, no matter how it all went down.

HBO’s “24/7” series, which chronicles two fighters before they fight each other, framed Mayweather as a case study in family dysfunction, highlighted by a near-fistfight with his father. He talks about his team as a family affair, yet his uncle (Roger, who happens to be his trainer) had to stop Junior from trading blows with Senior.

Mayweather has said on several occasions that he’s better than Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali. Perhaps you must be a fight fan to realize how disrespectful (and laughable) that is. And while histrionics are as much a part of boxing as Everlast gloves, ropes, and a square, canvas ring, Mayweather should know to stop short of shortchanging the icons who made his considerable paydays possible. Mayweather will make well over $25 million for making quick work of Ortiz.

Like many men who can’t think about anything but themselves, Mayweather is surrounded by a large entourage: a horde of pilot fish sucking from the rich shark. In one of the more charming moments leading up to the bout, Mayweather halted his many profane monologues long enough to clasp a stack of $100 bills to his ear in a faux phone chat, after he just scored a bucket of cash betting on an NFL preseason game.

Gambling is one of “Money” Mayweather’s hobbies, though he won’t take the one risk we require – a fight with Manny Pacquiao, whom many (including yours truly) consider the best fighter on Earth. Pacquiao is Mayweather’s weight, age, and is possibly more famous. The fight would probably smash all pay-per-view records.

Each man would earn at least $50 million from fighting each other. Pacquiao and his promoter, Bob Arum, have stalked Mayweather and his promoter (Golden Boy) in an attempt to arrange the one fight the world would still pay to watch. Mayweather is hiding behind the claim that Pacquiao is taking steroids, making myriad testing demands that stretch miles beyond what any sanctioning boxing body requires. Pacquiao has agreed to just about all of them, yet there’s no fight.

In fairness, Mayweather is a beautiful boxer whose maddening mixture of defense, hand speed, and power has pummeled most of his 42 pro foes. But his excesses are so grotesque, his hubris so gratuitous, that he makes it hard for anyone with a sense of self and boxing history to root for him.

Some of Mayweather’s apologists suggest it’s a racial thing, that those of us who don’t buy his act aren’t hard-wired into a select culture of elite athletes.

Gibberish. Some of us know the difference between fly and fool. Mayweather didn’t invent the invective, or the trash talking perfected by Ali and many others before “Pretty Boy” Floyd was born. Ali’s humor was clean, original, funny, and “The Greatest” was a genius at invading the id and ego of his enemy.

Mayweather is just rude, crude, and, if he doesn’t fight Manny Pacquiao, a coward.

Feel free to email me:

Agree? Disagree? Let Keidel know what you think of Mayweather in the comments below…

  • santyboy

    when mayweather ask by reporter you want to figth paquiao? mayweather answer,if your the best take a test,, mayweather if your the best dont cheat,you said you want to clean the boxing,but what you did to ortiz ,, you are the one who make dirty in boxing,,now before you figth ortiz you said paquiao is next,let us see if you figth another if not paquiao you also a lieyer,,paquiao agree all you want now,,dont make another alliby again,,if you are a true champion give us this figth to us this is fans of boxing want,,

  • Alfie

    Hello America, I hope you don’t me interjecting. My name is Alfie and I’m a sports writer/editor here in NZ. We have a world cup going on down here right now and I’m going to USA v Aus on Friday night – and will of course be rooting for you guys. Anyway, I also wrote an opinion piece on the Mayweather fight, was just wondering if you guys would have a read – comments of course welcome, good and bad. Am always learning Jason and really enjoyed your piece. Your language articulation and rhythm was great – much for me to learn from. Thanks again.

    • JK

      Much obliged, Alfie. Just keep reading the writers you admire and practice. Will is even more important than skill. You’ll get there if it means enough to you.

  • Bronx Bomber FAN

    Folks, enjoy what we have. Mayweather is one of the best of all time. So is Paci. Personally I believe Mayweather would beat Paci. Hopefully we will be able to see it. However be more lenient on Mayweather. He has done everything he says he will. He is undefeated. Personally I feel he is better than Ali and Sugar Ray. He has never lost and should have won Gold at 96 Olympics. The man is the best defensive fighter and counter puncher I ever saw. And unlike some of you, I have been in the ring. Never with the caliber of a Mayweather, but with some decent fighters. Mayweather is a gift to boxing that we should enjoy, not pummel with false allegations. Look at how he handle Shane Mosely, who is a very good fighter. It was so one sided that only a bigoted fan could not see the greatness of Floyd. He truly is the real deal. Let us watch history and enjoy the art perfected nearly by Mayweather

  • Steve Perez

    Great article. Ortiz should have known better, but it is what it is. The boxing commission should just get up off their butts and say “The two of you are going to fight on this date and that’s it! The fans demand it!”

  • Byron Mason

    Boxers box and fighters fight, goes the old axiom, useless you’re talking about Floyd Mayweather, the world’s greatest fighting boxer, who does neither.
    He ducks big fights better than anyone I can remember. Maybe that’s his measuring stick when he was compares himself to Sugar Ray, and the “Greatest”.

    Come on Floyd! come out and playy-yay!

    Solid writing Mr. Keidel!

    • JK

      Thank you, Mr. Mason. Again, I ask Floyd’s boyfriends the same, simple questions and they never respond.

      1) Can you name one great fighter Floyd has defeated?
      2) What do you think of Mayweather’s assertion that he’s better than Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson?
      3) Can you offer one piece of proof that Pacquiao is taking steroids?

      Silence. Always.

      • Foluso

        1, Diego coralles, Genaro hernadez are obvious names, now do me a favor and name a great fighter he hasn’t fought.

        2. I really wonder what this proves, of cos Floyd is not the best of all time, but why would he not consider himself the best.

        3. Whether or not he is taking steroids is irrelevant, the relevant question is why cant he take a test within 7 days of the fight when Floyd would be doing the same thing. If the WBC were to start demanding Olympic tests, does that mean Manny would no longer fight?

        notice how I am able to state points without name calling

  • Foluso

    actually u r the one that is biased by your hatred of Flyod, why can’t Manny agree to testing up until the fight? why 7 days prior? Floyd agreed to glove size, weight limit, fines and ring size but you dont remember that, do you?

    • JK

      Apparently you and Floyd don’t like rules when they are inconvenient. I ask you for the fifth time to produce evidence that Pacquiao is taking steroids. Everyone is ready to sign the fight except your boy Floyd. Pacquiao also agreed to give blood five minutes after the fight. But facts seem incidental to you. Perhaps you can also tell me when and how I should write, since you and Floyd are newly minted lawmakers.

    • SANDRA


      • JK

        Thanks for joining us, Sandra. What would we have done without that analysis?

  • Karl Urban

    Yes, boxing is about skill. Therefore, if Mayweather believes that he’s the best and the most skillful boxer of all time, why he doesn’t want to fight Pacquaio?… The answer is simple: Mayweather is VERY SCARED of Pacquaio, because he knows that Pacquaio will blungeoned his face and bring rib-breaking shots to his body. Just watch all Pacquiao’s recent fights for they will be the judge.

    • Pancho

      It’s All a game plan,a FIXED Fight, Folyd paid the REferee,Otiz and the Team Ortiz.

      • JK

        That’s quite a theory, Pancho. Sarcasm?

    • JK

      You’re preaching to the converted, Karl. Manny is a monster and Mayweather knows it. One thing Floyd is not is stupid. Estimates now say that each fighter would make upward of $80 million. If “Money” is so money he needs to sign that contract before he hurts his back while ducking Pac-Man.

  • Matt P.

    its a cheap win no matter which way you slice it. Mayweather may have already been winning, but it wasnt a blowout, Ortiz was hanging with him. These type of fights will continue to throw boxing down the drain.

    • JK

      Thanks for reading and responding, Matt. I agree that the win was inelegant but Ortiz should know to keep his hands up.

      To your other point – the most deleterious cloud over boxing is that the best 200-pound athletes now play for the NFL. Imagine Ray Lewis as a boxer. With all the money in team sports they don’t have to throw punches to become rich. Sad, but true.

  • JK

    With all due respect, sir, Mayweather doesn’t make the rules, his sport does – a sport that has made him a very rich man. And Pacquiao has agreed to blood testing, just not within 7 days of the fight. He’s also agreed to be tested right after the fight. And please tell the group what evidence you or Floyd have to prove Manny does steroids?

  • Foluso

    couple things, boxing is about skill not personality. Mayweather might be a prick but his boxing legacy is not based on him being a prick. Secondly no one can be objective and not wonder why Manny Pacqauio would not agree to a blood test and instead keeps fighting top rank fighters.

    • JK

      By your logic, any man who excels in his sport can remold the rules to his liking. Should Derek Jeter have the authority to make A-Rod take a blood test?

      • Foluso

        That is not even a comparism so I wont respond. bottomline is negotiations take place in fights all the time. people chose glove sizes, weight limit(check the weterweight fight between Pac man and Margarito where the limit was lower) and ring size, so it is not unheard of that Mayweather would demand certain things. The real question is why Manny cannot take this test?

      • JK

        Read my other replay to your comment. Manny has agreed to almost everything. Perhaps you’re blinded by your monolithic love for Mayweather.

    • JK

      And then you can name one great fighter Floyd has beaten. No, an ancient Oscar and washed-up Shane don’t count. Boxers are defined by the men they defeat. That’s why Mayweather will never be a legend, despite his absurd assertion that he’s better than Ali and Robinson (which you conveniently ignored).

      • JK

        I do hate Floyd. And now you can admit you love him. So we’re even. He is one of the top-ten fighters of the last 20 years. I never doubted his talent. I doubt his courage. I think he’s a punk. But if he beats Manny I will retract my assertions. You have my word on that.

      • JK

        Yes, Foluso (why hide behind a handle?), I admit that I hate Mayweather. And now you may admit you love Floyd, so we’ll be even. And while I concede he’s one of the ten best fighters of the last 20 years, he’s nowhere near a legend because he has defeated a dearth of decent fighters.

        That would change if he sheds his diapers and fights Pacquiao. And you have my word that if he does so and defeats Manny I will retract my assertions about “Pretty Boy.” But he can do neither if he hides behind his libelous gibberish regarding steroids. It’s all a pretext to duck the one man who can whip him.

      • Foluso

        actually my name is Foluso not an handle. I dont love Mayweather but I appreciate his skills as a fighter. Of course I want to see Mayweather fight Manny but I have a problem with people saying Flyod is ducking Manny when Manny has refused to take a blood test, agreeing to 7days before the fight is assnine to me. I don’t understand why the media doesn’t hold manny accountable for not taking the test, if Maweather had refused the test the uproar would have been crazy. Also why did Manny sign to fight Marquez before even fighting Margarito?

      • Foluso

        again you are showing your hatred of Floyd, the arguement is not whther Floyd is great, the arguement is about the Manny fight cant be made. but to ans your question about Floyd’s place in history, whether or not you care to admit it Floyd is one of the best fighters of the past 20 yrs.

  • Red Rivers

    Agree!!!! The smaller the mind the bigger warrior we are in that little mind!!!!!!

  • D

    I agree. With All of the above.

  • JK

    Still hammered by censors, bud?

    • Kurt Spitzner

      Being a royal pain in the backside unfortunately!

  • Kurt Spitzner


    • Kurt Spitzner

      Can say plenty but they don’t allow it!

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