COMMENTARY | Floyd Mayweather has often been criticized for taking his foot off the gas when the fight is well in hand. In his last nine fights, Mayweather has scored two knockouts. His knockout against Ricky Hatton was legit. The 4th round TKO over Victor Ortiz is one that comes with a bit of controversy. Mayweather's lack of exciting knockouts in high profile fights is the one thing that fans nitpick. The bellows that Mayweather is a boring fighter have echoed off the walls of many homes that drop some serious coin to watch the PPV king go to work. However, with potentially his toughest task at hand against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, Mayweather has made it no secret that he's looking to knock out the undefeated Mexican.
"I'm looking for the knockout," Mayweather said from his gym as he puts the final touches on his preparation for the highly anticipated September 14 showdown. Well aware that his last fight against Robert Guerrero lacked excitement as he cruised to an easy unanimous decision, the pound for pound king says that he wants to give the fans what they want. "Even in the Robert Guerrero fight I was looking for the knockout, but I hurt my hand. So I wasn't impressed with myself -- because I didn't get the knockout. This time around, I'll be looking for it."
If you ask Mayweather, though, it isn't his fault that he doesn't end every fight with a knockout. He blames his opponents for going into what he calls "survival mode" once they realize that they are being picked apart.
"A lot of times people, fighters, look from the outside and think to themselves, 'this can't be that difficult,' but once they get inside that squared circle with me it's totally different," said Mayweather. "A lot of times I hit these guys and I make them go into survival mode. They do it just to tell their kids that (Floyd Mayweather) didn't knock me out and they went the distance with one of the best."
Mayweather doesn't expect Canelo to go into "survival mode" and fully anticipates him to come at him and offer plenty of opportunities for the five-division world champion to test his chin. But do we really believe that Mayweather can or will knock out Alvarez?
In his last seventeen fights, Mayweather has scored six knockouts. Aside from Hatton and Ortiz, the other victims include Sharmba Mitchell (TKO 6), Arturo Gatti (RTD 6), Henry Bruseles (TKO 8) and Philip N'Dou (TKO 7). And those last four names mentioned all came between the years 2003 to 2005. Not to mention that they were all at light welterweight and lightweight. Facing a man the size of Canelo presents a totally different challenge for Mayweather when it comes to scoring a knockout. Alvarez is far bigger and has campaigned at light middleweight for the past three years. Against Austin Trout, Canelo entered the ring weighing 172 lbs. Chances are that when the two step into the ring, Alvarez will have a 25 pound weight advantage. This isn't a puffed up junior welterweight or lightweight Mayweather is fighting, Canelo is simply a bigger man.
It will be interesting to see if Mayweather really can back what he says or if he's only spouting that information because Oscar De La Hoya predicts that Alvarez will stop Mayweather before the ninth round.
Either way, the fact that Mayweather has even suggested that he's looking to knockout Alvarez should raise a few eyebrows. More often than not, the 36-year-old has strayed away from suggesting that he's even seeking to score a knockout and simply promises that the fight will be exciting. If Mayweather were to stick with this idea, we could be in for a great deal of fireworks on September 14. But it's always possible that it is a smokescreen to make everyone buy the pay per view.
Andreas Hale is a former editor at websites including BET.com and HipHopDX.com. Today, he resides in the fight capital of the world and has covered boxing and MMA for mainstream media outlets such as MTV.com and Jay-Z's LifeandTimes.com, as well as die-hard outlets, including FightNews.com, Fight! Magazine, Ultimate MMA, CagePotato.com and others.
You can follow him on Twitter (@AndreasHale).
- Sports & Recreation
- Floyd Mayweather
- Robert Guerrero