Mayweather’s “Epiphany”

By Ted Sares on September 19, 2013
Mayweather’s “Epiphany”
The swagger and edge is still there, but “Maybe he’s just become better at managing it.”

He has been more humble in recent post-fight interviews by thanking God along with his opponent, and even thanking the interviewer…

“I wish him (Oscar De La Hoya) nothing but the best. Hopefully he will pull through like a true champion.”—Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“I want to commend this young, strong lion because he will carry the torch. Tonight, experience played a major key. Canelo has everything it takes to be a legend in the sport. Tonight was just my night. What else can I say? We did it again.”—Mayweather

“I think Floyd beats everyone in history, and anyone who doesn’t realize that by now is stubborn, blind, stupid, or all three.”—Paulie Malignaggi

I’m not sure when Floyd’s moment of revelation occurred and I’m pretty certain it was not in the form of flash or sudden recognition. My guess is that it was a combination of factors that happened over a relatively short period of time. It might have started shortly before the documentary “30 Days in May” was being filmed. Maybe it was when Floyd returned from his jail stint and saw that his friends were still 100% behind him. Possibly a close adviser whispered in his ear and said something to the effect, “It’s time to change your public persona to parallel your ring greatness and to establish a more positive legacy.” His apology to Larry Merchant after insulting him might have triggered something as well.

Whatever the case, the warning signs were out there and Floyd read them and he is now a different person. He wears the mantle of “The One” with more maturity, grace, and awareness. He has been more humble in recent post-fight interviews by thanking God along with his opponent, and even thanking the interviewer. He said this after the Cotto fight: “First of all I gotta thank God. Without God all of this wouldn’t be possible. Tough fight. Cotto is a very tough competitor. He won some rounds, it was tough.”

He seems happy with himself, his surroundings, his family, and especially with his father who he said had a “brilliant fight plan “against Canelo. The Justin Bieber thing, while perplexing, perhaps is Floyd’s sense of high camp humor. Bieber and Lil Wayne first developed their curious friendship in 2012 when Lil Floyd beat Cotto. The rapper and young crooner became a staple in Mayweather’s walk-ins and their bond seems destined to continue. Sinatra had his “Rat Pack” and so did Elvis. Floyd entitled to his. Flunkies and sycophants come with the territory.

Mayweather, who rightfully mouthed the words “What the fuck” when the announcer revealed he won on a majority decision, did not go after C.J. Ross. Instead, he said, “From what I found out, I asked questions. It was the same judge from the Pacquiao and Bradley fight. The best commission in the world isn’t a bad commission. I’ll just leave it in the hands of the commission. If they feel that person should still be out there judging fights, it is what it is…Things happen.” This was a balanced and circumspect statement, something that the Mayweather of old would find almost impossible to do.

When someone from his camp posted something foul about Oscar De La Hoya, Money immediately apologized to Oscar and his family for the posting. “I wish him well and am rooting for him to win his fight too. I also apologize to all of my followers for this ridiculous post. I have no ill-will towards anyone and have repeatedly stated that I only seek positivity in my life and for others.” Said Oscar, “It was very nice of him. I greatly appreciated it…so, thank you.”

It’s taken quite some time and some work, but Money May is finally beginning to win over the media and his peers. Yes, there is excess and what many call obscene wealth. There are the closets of cloths and shoes, the obligatory mansion, the cars, the private jets, the women, and the fame, but the self aggrandizement does not seem to be as distorted as before. Something has changed.

Make no mistake, his swagger and edge is still there, but to paraphrase The RING’s Mark Ortega, “Maybe he’s just become better at managing it.”

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  1. Ted 08:48am, 09/25/2013

    Mill Gratzie Amico

  2. Giorgio Corsi 05:22am, 09/25/2013

    Hi Ted, been out for a while ... you know as a pensioner I need some rest once a while , saw a couple of your good article , the one on Mayweather in particular. I had the opportunity to watch the match and was astonished to see some of the referees judgments: incredible I thought I have seen a different match.
    Good work keep it up
    Ciao from France

  3. Dr. YouTube 10:26am, 09/23/2013

  4. Ted 03:26pm, 09/22/2013

    Thanks Kid. Much appreciated.

  5. kid vegas 02:38pm, 09/22/2013

    Congratulations, Ted. And also congratulations on writing an article that is hate-free, I will say with regret that some of the recent fan boy posts on other articles have just about done it for me re Not quite but just about.  SecondsOut or RING loom. Sorry amigo.

  6. Rob 08:06am, 09/22/2013

    Floyd has always thanked God and praised his opponent (if the opponent deserved it) and showed his humanity at the press conference. As for some who say that LaMotta, and Robinson fought some of the times top middleweights? yes but that was in the era of the same day weigh in, In reality Floyd has been fighting guys that weigh 165-170+ on fight night to his 146-151! He HAS been fighting super middles and darn near lt heavies like Oscar, Cotto, Ortiz AND Canelo

  7. Planet 07:21pm, 09/21/2013

    Let me make the bold suggestion that Floyd might have been a decent person the entire time; the villain act was brilliant and was just what boxing needed: he gave us a reason to care, many wanted (and want) to see him lose.

    He had abandoned the act, as its no longer necessary for his brand.  It was probably exhausting. 

    Supporting this argument is Floyd’s personality prior to his fame: he was sensitive, gracious young boxer, and later on did things like pay for Genaro Hernandez funeral without much fanfare. 

  8. Ted the Bull 04:21pm, 09/21/2013

    Thanks for your comments and posts gents. I have been away in Peabody, MA doing some power lifting and am now one very sore puppy. But I got my trophy!!!

  9. bikermike 02:04pm, 09/21/2013

    pbf has become less of a boil in the ass…in keeping his out of ring behavior ..more private.
    Somebody taught him a bunch of cliches….aka…Bull Durham..bus ride advice to ‘meat’ ‘crash’
    Ted’s point is well taken about the image becoming less abrasive..even somewhat more positive.  He’s always been gratious after a be fair.

    As for time machine bouts…..waste of conversation

    I still think that many boxing fans are waiting for some higher level of pbf’s dance card

  10. Don from Prov 05:13am, 09/21/2013

    IMO Donald Trump is a pompous child
    A majority of those who run out country?  Ditto

    So, to me, Mayweather is still a pompous child

  11. Don from Prov 05:09am, 09/21/2013

    “pompous child”—Matter of opinion
    He certainly has more thoughtful moments now

  12. Traveling Man at Warriors Gym in Peabody 04:47am, 09/21/2013

    He is not a pompous child— not any longer

  13. AKT 04:39am, 09/21/2013

    Canelo must be commended too. He did kinda take Floyd’s straight right hand away from him.

  14. AKT 04:26am, 09/21/2013

    I’m not sure on who would win a bout between FMJ and Ray Robinson. I doubt there will be any knockouts. Both have strong Chins. But I just can call that one. It’ll definitely be very very technical. I might as well watch Bobby Fischer play another Russian.

  15. Don from Prov 04:21am, 09/21/2013

    We all mature sooner or later—

    I still don’t (and never will) like Mayweather and what, to me, he represents.
    In the ring, he is a pleasure to watch: The all-time “match-ups”=something that constantly fuels boxing discussions.  I wouldn’t agree that retiring 49-0 or 50-0 against “decent opposition” = automatic ATG status.  But then there is the semantics of “ATG” to begin with: i don’t know about “Finito, and SRL and especially Duran” seeming, in the context of Ted’s post to represent some low water mark of what an ATG is, but that is yet another discussion.  In some definitions of ATG, or simply “great” I’d find it hard to imagine that Floyd does not qualify.  Point is, that he is about as good as we have now, but he is a cherry picker and a pompous child—

    Then again, he hasn’t thrown any women off balconies.

  16. Darrell 03:25am, 09/21/2013

    Jim, you love all those old fighters, good for you, continue on with your education.  I’ll carry on with those, old, not so old & present who I am interested in.  I have an educated opinion being a boxing follower for at least 4 decades, as well as having an underwhelming amateur boxing “career”, but I guess this gives you license to play the game of oneupmanship…...I’m guessing you’ll continue down that puerile route….

    I did mention he would beat many of those old timers….in their prime also, or is your reading selective?  Keep on grinding.

  17. Monte Cox 06:02pm, 09/20/2013

    @Glenn. Footspeed doesn’t matter when someone is in your face and applying constant pressure and taking away your space. You got to realize some guys are just too strong to box. Ali had to fight Frazier because despite his superior speed Frazier was able to crowd him, close the distance, cut the ring and force Ali to rush his punches. Some guys like LaMotta and Frazier, for instance one has to have the strength to handle them inside and/or the punch to keep them off. In addition to this Floyd isn’t really an up on your toes dancer/mover he fights more flatfooted takers small steps back and counters. He could not do this against LaMotta because he would be too strong just to box at range and would apply constant pressure and force Floyd to fight inside. The argument is ridiculous because Floyd has never fought a middleweight little own a likely top 20 middleweight of all time like LaMotta. If Mayweather fights and beats Sergio Martinez then come back and talk to me about a match against LaMotta, until then its nonsense cause Floyd hasn’t beaten any middleweights.

  18. Jim Crue 05:07pm, 09/20/2013

    who is talking about them at “any stage in their careers”? I , and everyone else is talking about each in their prime.
    If you don’t know much about the “old time fighter” i suggest you educate yourself. How can you have an educated opinion if you don’t know about what you speak. This conversation is over and out.
    Enjoy the fights

  19. Trvaeling Man in lousy Boston Hotel 05:02pm, 09/20/2013

    Darrell has the beat

  20. Darrell 04:33pm, 09/20/2013

    Grind away Jim, teach yourself & get an appreciation for today’s boxers, your the one eyed critic here not me.

    Many of these champs of yesteryear I actually am a fan of, Robinson, Basilio (so strong!), Saddler….even later, Monzon (FMJ would not beat him at middleweight), Hearns, Whittaker.

    I won’t pretend I’m familiar with many of those old time fighters, certainly not Charlie Burley or Mickey Walker but FMJ wouldn’t beat ANY of them?  At ANY stage of their careers??  Show a little intellectual honesty…. I would venture to say he would’ve beaten many of them, in their primes too.  Some he maybe wouldn’t have, but we’ll never know.  He’s an ATG, there’s little doubt about that.

    Lets face it Jim, Floyd would beat LaMotta exactly how he just beat Canelo.

  21. GlennR 02:33pm, 09/20/2013

    @Monte, nice response to the LaMotta-FMJ hypothetical. You are right about two factors, strength and a chin of granite, but i think FMJ’s footspeed conquers JLM in the end….. either way, make for an interesting fight

  22. Traveling man 01:47pm, 09/20/2013

    Monte Cox, nice article on Holmes-Norton fight.

  23. Jim Crue 12:22pm, 09/20/2013

    Ha, NYork irish,
    good call, Rodriguez was tricky and moved well and what about Emile Griffith?
    Ted’s article was good and I guess the subject of Floyd’s greatness always comes up mostly in my opinion because Floyd and his ass kissers and the TV shills keep bring it up. I guarantee Robinson’s all time status was not discussed until many fights, more than Floyd has had so far, into his long career. I agree with Ted, let history judge him and perhaps he may be the best of a weak era but for gosh sakes lets stop talking about his all time pound for pound status.

  24. NYIrish 11:48am, 09/20/2013

    Luis Rodriguez would have given Mayweather fits.

  25. kid vegas 10:20am, 09/20/2013

    Ted, read on your Facebook that you are in another Power Lifting event in Boston on Saturday. Best of luck to you, but be careful.

  26. Ted The Bull 09:58am, 09/20/2013

    Good post Monte. An expert is someone who knows what he or she doesn’t know IMO.

  27. Monte Cox 09:56am, 09/20/2013

    I have no problem with the article and was responding only to the comment by Malignaggi.

    I think FMJ will be considered an ATG but I do think he is being overrated, his competition and carefully managed career leaves a lot to be desired.

    As far as how would LaMotta beat FMJ? How many middleweights has Floyd fought? Zero. How is Floyd going to keep LaMotta off him. he had a cast iron chin and Mayweather couldn’t hurt him and he had stamina and put on pressure and has a consistent work rate and body punching. Floyd has never met a middleweight in the ring little own a very strong one like LaMotta. LaMotta would take away Floyd’s space and make him fight and rush his punches he wouldn’t be able to sit back and pot shot him and he wouldn’t be able to do enough damage to make Jake thing twice about it either. LaMotta would beat Mayweather no question about it.

    As for Robinson he was around 128-1-2 prime record, his only loss to LaMotta who outweighed him by 13 pounds, a loss he would avenge 5 times over. Robinson never lost at welterweight. Robinson had a great chin and indomitable will and was never physically knocked out in a career of over 200 fights. Robinson had speed, power in both hands, some of the most beautiful combination punching ever seen, grace. fluidity of movement, and killer instinct. Robinson beat 10 hall of famers in his career. FMJ has neither the competition to compare to Robinson nor the style or ability to beat him. Anyone who thinks otherwise has never studied films of Robinson and doesn’t know that they don’t know.

  28. Ted The Bull 09:40am, 09/20/2013

    Arggh. My intent here was not to indicate that FMJ could beat or lose to old timers; it was simply to point out that he is undergoing a major change in his persona and it’s a positive one. The quote from Paulie, though curious to say the least, was to indicate how other fighters feel about Floyd. And Paulie doesn’t’ t even know him.

    Fact is, FMJ is getting positive feedback from his peers and that’s something that could be called a major change from the past.

    As for his ATG stature, I’ll wait until he retires, examine his entire body of work, compare different eras and business models and then make my judgment. But if he finished 49-0 or 50-0 against decent opposition, it will be difficult to not attribute ATG to him because if Chavez, Finito, and SRL and especially Duran, why not Floyd.

    Now I am hitting the road to Boston.

  29. Jim Crue 07:42am, 09/20/2013

    I’m not going to get into an online battle about something like LaMotta versus phony Floyd. LaMotta beat plenty of “boxers”
    The point is Floyd may be the best of the current crop of fighters but there is no way he beats the fighters I listed in the welterweight division. And if you go down to lightweight there is another bunch of guys who would have licked him. It does not take a historian to know how much more competitive boxing was when it was a major sport and men were fighting just to survive. The top and second tier fighters fought the best, they did not pick and choose or insist on fighting a guy who has to come up in weight like Marquez or down in weight or is washed up like poor Mosley and on and on….

  30. Dollar bond 05:02am, 09/20/2013

    Fair and balanced Ted

  31. Pete The Sneak 04:49am, 09/20/2013

    Jim Crue…Nicely put man. ..Sounds to me like Paulie Malignaggi is looking to get an invite to join TMT. Either that, or he’s been smoking some bad chiba out there in Brooklyn…Peace.

  32. GlennR 04:49am, 09/20/2013

    Well Jim, lets just say that everyone has their opinion, so grind away…... im no FMJ nuthugger but i do appreciate talent when is see it.

    So tell me, how does LaMotta beat FMJ?

  33. Jim Crue 03:58am, 09/20/2013

    when LaMotta beat Robinson he was not plodding and weighted 16 pounds more than Robinson who was a welterweight at the time. See, Robinson fought everybody and many of his opponents were Middles when he was a welter. Do your homework.
    We never saw the best of LaMotta or Robinson at least not on film

  34. Jim Crue 03:53am, 09/20/2013

    Well said Clarence. I was grinding my teeth when I saw that remark.
    It’s amazing to me that some of the posters above said he would beat the old timers. What old timers? Gavilan, Robinson, Burley, Duran, Hearns, Leonard, Mickey Walker, and on and on? Sorry but he would not beat them. He would not beat LaMotta either. Jake was a big middleweight so they would not have been in the same ring.
    We have to go through this every time Floyd fights. He chooses specific opponents, The lack of top notch fighters these days…. Lets just say he is the best of the current crop and leave it alone.

  35. GlennR 12:47am, 09/20/2013

    NIcely put Darrell, i think FMJ thrives in any era. And thats a good point about LaMotta v Robinson or Mayweather…... i see FMJ handling LaMotta reasonably easily

  36. Darrell 10:11pm, 09/19/2013

    I don’t know Tex…..if a plodding puncher like Jake La Motta can do it I’m sure Floyd would fancy his chances.  I certainly would.

    And in spite of your well demonstrated “certainty” on the utter greatness of the champions of yore, I really believe you should bite it for once concerning this particular fighter.  He’d well & truly clean the clock of many of those old timers.

    It’s also probably a certainty that if he fought in the 50s, 60’s or earlier, he wouldn’t be unbeaten either, with the frequency of fighting & demands of life back then the occasional loss would just go with the territory.  I have little doubt he’d be a champion though, & a great one, whatever era he fought in.

    The old champs were good, no doubts.  FMJ is just as good, and in many cases, better.  It seems just the torch bearers of the “old days” are suggesting otherwise….many reports from around the world are saying otherwise.  My estimation is that FMJ is a great champion & boxer, of any era…..of that I’ve been certain for some time.

  37. kid vegas 06:36pm, 09/19/2013

    Yeah, high camp is right!

  38. Ted 05:36pm, 09/19/2013

    Monte, yes. I only used the quote to show what other fighters are saying about him.

  39. Tex Hassler 05:26pm, 09/19/2013

    Floyd is growing up. Something it takes many of us a long time to do. Floyd Mayweather is good but he would never beat Ray Robinson.

  40. Monte Cox 03:50pm, 09/19/2013

    If Paulie Malignaggi really thinks Floyd Mayweather would beat Ray Robinson he doesn’t realize he is ignorant of boxing history, stubborn, blind, stupid, or all four.

  41. Larry Link 03:14pm, 09/19/2013

    Another viewpoint

  42. Ted 03:08pm, 09/19/2013

    Bienvenue, CG

  43. Clarence George 02:23pm, 09/19/2013

    Can’t resist commenting on the Malignaggi quote, which I came across a few days ago and have been stewing over ever since.  There’s no excuse for a professional boxer of his stature to be so ignorant of the sport’s history.  He should take a leaf from Mike Tyson’s book and study up.  Maybe then he won’t be so prone to making such arrogant and fatuous remarks.

    Thanks, Ted, for providing me the opportunity to get that off my chest.

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