Floyd Mayweather's career is obviously characterised by brilliance within the boxing ring.

But the self proclaimed, 'Money' Mayweather is also notorious for another attribute, something that many people find distasteful within the sport; trash talking.

In the build up to fights, Mayweather runs his mouth almost as much as he runs during training camp. As I mentioned before, it won't win any awards for sportsmanship, but it does seem to play a part in his winning of fights, forty four of them to be precise.

And to be frank, boxing is not like other sports, the competitors are ruthless, and the people who run it are ruthless. Being docile and polite won't win you world titles.

Boxing is like a business, people have to be interested to buy it.

It does not have the same stable fan base as team sports like football, American football or basketball. Only the true boxing aficionados will watch a bad fight.

The fights have to be marketed correctly, and this is where Floyd's trash talking is important. The public will be more interested in tuning into see two guys fight that appear to have a genuine dislike for one another, rather than two fighters saying they respect one another and hoping that the best man wins. At it's simplest form, boxing is a primal act, it involves two men going to physical war, and one way to gain the edge over the opponent, is to mentally intimidate him.

If he has doubts in his head before he enters the ring, he is as good as beaten.

This is why Mayweather trash talks so much, because it works. Mayweather's verbal slurs work in a variety of ways. When he boasts about his unbeaten record and says: "Ain't nobody got a blueprint to beat me", even though a fighter believes in himself, he has to question what makes him different to any of Mayweather's previous opponents.

Mayweather blatantly disrespects opponents, saying he doesn't know who they are, claiming they will be 'easy work'.

This kind of bravado enrages opponents, while it can act as a motivation tool, the reality is that this extra motivation adds a degree of anger to their work, and come fight night, your so pumped up and ready to tear Floyd's head off, that you lose touch with the game-plan.

When fighting Hatton and Guerrero, Mayweather offered to fight these two all out brawlers on their terms. The slickest defensive boxer in the sport will not abandon his own game-plan just to be macho, believing otherwise would be foolish. We all know Floyd is going to box and move all day long. Once again Floyd is playing mind games, making his opponent take their eye off the reality of fight night.

So what of Mayweather's next opponent, Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez? In terms of his pre-fight demeanour, he seems very calm and relaxed about the fight. How many times do we see Mayweather's opponents get drawn into the a game of verbal one-upsmanship? They don't want to appear intimidated by Mayweather, so get drawn into a war of words.

This is not the case for 'Canelo', due to the language barrier between the two. The young Mexican cannot speak English, and Floyd cannot speak Spanish. While the two can speak to the media about the fight, they cannot engage directly with one another in a verbal clash.

This takes some of the edge of the pre-fight hype, but this is a positive for 'Canelo'.

He need not worry about responses to Floyd's insults, and subsequently he can focus on his game-plan 24/7.

Many people feel 'Canelo' is the man to end Mayweather's flawless record in the ring, the way he carries himself in the media is a reason for this. He speaks in a placid, controlled manner about the fight, there is no sense of anger or a desire to get at Mayweather, just a quiet confidence.

Mayweather faced a similar opponent in Cotto. While the Puerto Rican could speak English, he would not engage in a war of words, he was intent on letting his fists do the talking, and while Mayweather won that battle as well, it was certainly one of his toughest assignments to date. 

Obviously 'Canelo' still has to do the business in the ring come fight night, but he is at a distinct advantage to many of Mayweather's previous opponents. His sole aim is focused on training, he will spend more time studying DVD's of Floyd than watching what he has to say on Showtimes All Access pre-fight programme.

His work in training will be dictated by winning the fight in a controlled manner, not trying to knock Floyd out in a frenzied rage.

The fact he does not have to worry about winning the pre-fight war of words, means he has a better chance of winning the war that matters most come fight night in September when he steps between the ropes, and in reality, that is the only war worth winning.

 

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Topics:
#Saul Alvarez
#Boxing
#Floyd Mayweather