Whilst us mere mortals consider the new year as the ideal opportunity to hit the reset button, in the world of sport the twists and turns of the plot-line seem to roll on, uninterrupted. To kick proceedings off here on The Commentary Box, a series of posts will see us look at some of the most entertaining sporting storylines spilling over into the new year. Let’s start by looking at boxing.
Floyd Mayweather’s skills declining?
Boxing is a sport shrouded in uncertainty: a one punch knock-out and the fight can be over in a second. The one fact that we can state with certainty is Floyd “Money” Mayweather is simply the best boxer in the world. The American has flat out dominated the sport for the best part of six years. He practically owns the number one pound for pound position (Aside from a brief retirement which saw Manny Pacquiao take the top spot). Mayweather dominates the squared circle to the extent that it is rare for opponents to land a clean blow, let alone win rounds outright. Last year this seemed to change.On a crisp May night in Vegas, we saw cracks appear in his aura of invincibility. Up against the battle hardened Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto , (no spring Chicken himself), he was pushed harder than most analysts had expected. Floyd’s decision to fight off the ropes saw him caught by Cotto on more than one occasion. The great champion’s nose was bloodied by his opponent’s onslaught; a rare site indeed. Although he went on to win a unanimous decision, for the first time in years we were not fully convinced by the boisterous five weight division world champion’s performance. Despite this below par performance current indications are that this is most probably a classic “much about nothing” case. Everyone has their off day, right?
The fact Mayweather has only elected to fight once a year since his 2008 comeback does add to the uncertainty, we are due to find out how much the champ’s skills have eroded, if at all. Unusually, he is scheduled to step into the the ring twice- in May and September. All the questions surrounding his supposed decline will no doubt be answered, a mouth-watering prospect for fight fans. The May showdown will most likely be against Robert Guerrero, a solid welterweight contender ranked number ten pound for pound by “The Ring” magazine. This should be a litmus test, a test that that the Mayweather we’re accustomed to would pass with flying colours. Which version of “Money” will we see come fight night, the master of the sweet science or a man who looks as old as his 36 years?
by Shingi Mararike