Floyd Mayweather - the boxing conundrum that was never solved

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Upon Floyd Mayweather's supposed retirement following his one-sided masterclass victory against Andre Berto in Las Vegas on Saturday night, we are left with numerous questions regarding his legacy, and the void that he has left behind in the sport of boxing.

Questions remain

May I firstly speculate that I believe we have not yet seen the last of Mayweather.

The quest to solidify his claim as the best fighter in history will see him fight once more, in order to better the record of heavyweight Rocky Marciano, whose record of 49-0 is arguably the most impressive for a retired World Champion. 


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Understandably however, the time for Mayweather to retire is almost certainly nigh and probably correct.

Too many times have we seen fighters with staggeringly magnificent records fall victim to "father time;" Julio César Chávez, Roy Jones Jr. and more recently, Bernard Hopkins come to mind.

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Mayweather is far too wise, and will not allow his own career to suffer a similar fate, yet, it would not be unreasonable to expect that record-breaking fiftieth fight sometime next year, perhaps a rematch with Manny Pacquiao or Miguel Cotto. 

Incidently, if this truly is the end of Floyd Mayweather's glittering nineteen-year career, boxing fans, hardcore and casual, should applaud the undoubted pound-for-pound king of the modern era.

Mayweather has fought absolutely everyone that necessitates such a title, from Manny Pacquiao earlier this year to Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton in 2007, as well as late-greats Arturo Gatti and Diego Corrales.

Still, none were able to solve the Mayweather "conundrum," not even Juan Manuel Márquez or Miguel Cotto, or the young pretender Saúl "Canelo" Álvarez.

The list of names on Mayweather's resumé is astonishing, and whilst the self-proclaimed 'TBE' (The Best Ever) has his latest nickname questioned by many, he is by far and away the best boxer of this generation.

Style issues

Yet, despite having fought, and beaten the cream of this era's crop, and having proven that he is in an echelon of his own, it is perhaps no mystery as to why Floyd Mayweather's appeal never quite transcended the interests of boxing purists, captivating the mind's of the more casual boxing fans.

His repertoire of defensive mastery and allusiveness, naturally, never fascinated a casual fight fan, hoping to see five or six rounds of pure explosiveness (as we came to expect from Manny Pacquiao or Carl Froch), rather than the sedated pace that many of Mayweather's latest contests have taken place at.

Despite his trade-mark shoulder roll, and explosive right-hand counter's (two key weapons in Mayweather's extensive defensive armery that oozed undeniable class) his refusal to engage in toe-to-toe brawls, coupled with his cautious, counter-punching style often alienated the average fan, leaving them always wanting more from a Mayweather performance.

So many times have we believed that Mayweather could have scored a knock-out if he had only chased it. 


Certainly, the reason as to why no one has been able to solve the Mayweather "conundrum" is ironically the same reason as to why many will look back at Mayweather as a bit of a boring fighter.

He is so defensively gifted that he never really gave an opponent a chance to beat him, or at least test him over a sustained twelve round period.

Oscar De La Hoya gave Mayweather arguably the toughest twelve rounds of his career, and Shane Mosley had Mayweather buzzed in a way that no other fighter had been able to achieve during their welterweight fight in 2010. 

Still, neither were able to beat him. And he never will be beaten, at least in my opinion. Placing all prejudice against his character aside, and evaluating Floyd Mayweather based purely upon his in-ring accomplishments, he is in a league of his own.

The wheel of boxing upon which Floyd Mayweather was a significant cog will continue to turn without him. Gennady Golovkin, Vasyl Lomachenko, Saúl Álvarez and Terrence Crawford will make sure of that. But his impact on the sport has been phenomenal, a genuine ring genius, and one of the best ever in the sport of boxing. 

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