The Double Standards of Dominance
Unfortunately I miss the big fight on Saturday because I had to work. But from what I'm hearing on Twitter from a slew of Monday morning quarterbacks, depending on which side of the fence they fall, Canelo was a hype job, Matthysse was overrated, Floyd is the greatest fighter of all time, and boxing is left a dying patient and the doctors are ready to cut off life support. All of this in one giant echo chamber occupied by fans who really aren't fans of the sport but of certain fighters, and in so doing they truly do not understand the sport from an organic and historical point of view.
Let's be clear: Floyd defeating a young, inexperienced, at least on this stage, fighter like Canelo Alvarez doesn't move the needle much on his legacy. The fact is, as I told Spencer Fearon on Twitter and a host of others, Floyd Mayweather is the best of his era, just as Joe Calzaghe was the best super middleweight of his era, and Bernard Hopkins was the best of his era; to label them the greatest of all time is a bit much even for boxing fans.
In fact Floyd Mayweather isn't even the greatest fighter from the state of Michigan. He's certainly not the most talented fighter to ever represent the Wolverine state, in my view that title belongs to James Toney. Toney wasn't the obsessive gym rat who dedicated his entire life to being in peak physical condition, but he was arguably a level or two above Floyd in terms of natural ability; he was shoulder rolling years before Floyd Jr. came along.
I've also noticed after every Mayweather fight a narrative that builds in terms of somehow dismissing Floyd's dominance as a negative. That somehow dominating every opponent is a killer for the sport when the same people for years applauded and marveled at the same dominance displayed by former UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva. When Anderson Silva dominates and dazzles an entire division for years it's considered great for the sport and people witness his reign in awe and they talk it up. But when Floyd dazzles and displays a higher level of technical brilliance people want to dump on his career and say it's killing boxing because no one can challenge him. However Anderson Silva hasn't been able to raise the profile of the UFC and mixed martial arts, garner as much mainstream attention, or rake in 30-40 million dollar paydays for his exploits the way Floyd Mayweather has, and for a longer period of time; so how exactly does Floyd's dominance kill boxing?
I seem to remember 40,000 people showing up to watch Canelo Alvarez and Austin Trout, two men not name Floyd Mayweather Jr. I remember a sold out crowd coming to watch Pacquiao-Marquez 3 and 4. I remember a successful PPV for the fight between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez; where was Floyd Mayweather in all of this? There will be new stars long after Floyd has left the ring. Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Luke Campbell, Deontay Wilder, and even Canelo Alvarez, will eventually get the ball rolling again in the post-Mayweather and Pacquiao era.
We tend to operate in a tribal culture when it comes to boxing and therefore we view it as "American boxing" "UK boxing", and so on. Remember, the boxing stars coming up across the pond are just as important to the future and popularity of the sport as the fighters promoted in America.
The UK boasted their own super fight when Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler met for the second time at the 02 Arena. That fight was a major success on both sides of the Atlantic. People who understand the sport know there is more dynamics and components to consider in terms of overall growth and success than just the American angle. If UK stars are doing well I cheer for that because it means boxing is doing well and those guys will eventually fight our guys and the events are much bigger as a result.
When this fight was first announced I admit I was pretty happy because I knew it was going to be a big deal in the sports world and for the most part it was. However Canelo Alvarez proved, or Floyd proved actually, that the young Mexican idol wasn't ready for this stage; not quite. I'm not going to dump on the young lad because I believe he will go on to become Mexico's seminal icon in the sport for the next ten years. For fans as passionate and rapturous as Canelo's to just up and abandon him would be unlikely and shameful; I don't see Mexican boxing fans doing that in the slightest.
He's too young, too talented, and too heroic in their eyes to just leave him as a diminished non-star despite what happened on Saturday. He's got a lot to prove yet in the sport and in time he'll bounce back and move the needle once again. If you don't believe he could put 40,000 people in a stadium in Texas or Mexico right now you underestimate the kid's aura.
His fans wanted him to win so bad, and they'll want him to come back even more.
The Bandwagon Lost It's Wheels
Let's finally give Danny Garcia credit, of course I speak of those who refuse to give him credit for what he's done or in their praise of Lucas Matthysse dismiss Danny's track record and talent.
I first saw Danny Garcia when he fought Ashley Theopane on ESPN. It was a very close fight and at first glance you would have thought Danny was this ordinary sort of kind slow fighter who just doesn't have that "it" factor about him that makes you think world champion or future pound for pound star. And I remember telling people that he was one to look out for because I felt he had a little Andre Ward in him, albeit to a lesser extent, Ward is in another class unto himself.
However like Andre Ward, Danny Garcia does a little bit of everything and it doesn't look like much to people. Whereas Ward does everything extraordinarily well, Garcia does everything good; but it works for him. I would rather have a fighter that does everything well or good, than a fighter that can only do one thing extremely well.
Lucas Matthysse, I don't want to say he's all hype because he's a solid fighter and would likely beat everyone else at 140 and you know perhaps he would beat Danny Garcia in a rematch. But Danny had the game plan and the focus to beat him. I think that's something that also separates Danny from other fighters in the division, he's probably the more focused and mentally prepared of the lot. I've never seen a Danny Garcia fight where he starts to look overwhelmed by the situation before him.
By the way where are all the Matthysse so called "fans" who weren't saying anything after he knocked out Lamont Peterson yet didn't go home with the IBF title? The real injustice involving Lucas Matthysse weren't the controversial losses to Devon Alexander and Zab Judah, but the fact that despite knocking Lamont Peterson out, Peterson still got to go home a world champion even though he lost.
Matthysse will be back and I can't wait to see him fight again. If Top Rank and Golden Boy were on good terms we could have seen Rios-Matthysse, Alvarado-Matthysse, Marquez-Matthysse, or Pacquiao-Matthysse.
To all those who were convinced that Lucas would destroy Danny Garcia, it seems your bandwagon has lost its wheels, will you fix it and jump back on, or walk in search of another?
Does the Crowd Beckon...Maravilla, Maravilla?
Is that a fight worth getting up for if it were to happen? A lot of people on Twitter were mentioning Sergio's name more so than Amir Khan. I've always given Sergio Martinez the best shot of beating him compared to the fighters Floyd has faced up to this point. I think more than Alvarez, Sergio would present a much more credible challenge for a whole host of reasons.
For now he's sort of the trending opponent but we'll see what happens from here on.