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"Pretty Boy" Throws Lightning, but wants “Thunder”
By Jason Petock (May 25, 2004) 
Floyd “Pretty Boy” Mayweather, JR.
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Floyd “Pretty Boy” Mayweather, JR. bested DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley in a practically one up-manship type affair this weekend, much to the non-bewilderment of many. What was compelling this time around in the career of “Pretty Boy” is that this had to be one of the most trying and disclosing bouts of his reign in the sport. He exhibited both his unique ability and slight vulnerability as he made his debut in the 140 pound division. Legions failed to think Corley would make such a strong showing even in so lucid of a loss. No discreditation to Mayweather however, who continues to climb the perennial boxing ladder to mega-stardom, one rung at a time.

What could prove alarming as Floyd ascends through the ranks in the immediate circumstance that several in his newly joined division punch harder than “Chop Chop” does. DeMarcus made a valiant, concerted effort against Floyd and deserves the respect that every battle tested warrior should receive and command. Even so, this is an issue to contemplate and ponder further.

Recently, Mayweather has targeted Arturo Gatti as his next opponent. Gatti seems to be the definitive fight that Floyd wants, and seeing as Arturo is the “Blood and Guts” Champion and has proven his heart and strength in the ring time and time again, it’s no wonder. Floyd made light work of a durable Phillip N’Dou and displayed more concentrated power and durability than we’ve seen of him in the past. Instead of out working N’Dou like expected, Floyd beat him up. His hands appeared to be renewed, recharged and most importantly healed.

He’s always had problems with his paws, and after beating Corley it seems as if destiny reared its ugly head once more, with him saying in his corner, “My hand is hurt,” meaning his right, which he threw with authority throughout the bout.

Several fighters suffer hand injuries and it comes with the territory. But this may be more of a curse than a minor hindrance for Mayweather at this heavier weight, where many punch with bad intentions and brittle hands crumble against stoic jaws.

Viewing this fight, this was the first time I’ve ever seen Floyd stunned, not once, but twice. This was also one of the rare occurrences where he bled from both his nose and lip. I’m not attempting to degrade Mayweather here or his performance, and he has always been a top-notch artisan. This fight did tell me a few things though.

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It told me that Floyd is still transcendent in boxing and still a world class athlete. It told me that a move up in weight has not depleted his agility or quickness in the process. It also told me that the only way Mayweather can gain the acceptance and notoriety that he feels he deserves is to take risks. This may not worry you or Floyd even, but it makes me a little apprehensive overall. If he can line up a bout with “Thunder” it would best suit him to use his skills and outpoint the warrior that is Gatti, otherwise it might be a long night if they stand toe-to-toe, or a short one depending on how you look at it. This goes back to punching power and I’m merely speculating as a fan here, not an expert.

Currently, Floyd Mayweather, JR. is not only gunning for the 140 pound throne, but also for the People’s Championship. And why shouldn’t he be? There’s much to be desired for such a title that recognizes heart and soul over flash and display. Depends on what you like. With everything Floyd has accomplished, he still seems to be dejected with where he stands in the scheme of things concerning his fan base, public accolades and marketability. On Saturday he made 3 million dollars to Corley’s 150,000 dollars. I’m sure DeMarcus would have loved to trade purses, especially as he has 7 kids to feed, not to mention the 7 nephews of his departed (RIP) brother who he also raises, honorably. Sounds like he could use the money and I’m not sure how far 150 grand will go. Best of luck to him and his family.

Mayweather, JR. was a sportsman in victory and stated, “Chop Chop” – he throws hard shit, he’s tough!” This was admirable and showed class, especially since when they were fighting in the 11th round his tune was more to the tone of, “Stop crying and fight!” I’m sure he was just caught in the heat of battle. Hats off to Corley who I think was patient, even as Floyd tactically held his head (Corley’s) down with his arm throughout the fight.

In his post fight interview, Floyd responded to various questions posed by Larry Merchant with such replies as, “Chop Chop” was a tough opponent. I hurt my hand in the 4th,” and “A true Champion fights through anything.”
He’s right, a true Champion and warrior does fight through anything.

It’s apparent and obvious that Floyd Mayweather has more than taken notice of Arturo Gatti. Gatti’s public standing and epic wars are legendary and no one can deny his sensationalism at 140. We’ve all noticed it and thoroughly enjoyed it as well. You can hear the hunger in Mayweather’s voice. Every time you read something concerning Floyd, he’s calling out Arturo. Floyd wants what Gatti has, true and complete respect and affirmation as one of the toughest and most revered fighters of his era. And I don’t think I’m off mark or exaggerating in guessing that his path to vindication begins with Arturo Gatti, at least in his mind.

He wants this match-up more than anything because he wants to prove his toughness. I pray that his hands don’t betray him. While I can’t blame him, it may not be the straightest and easiest path to success, taken that he’s already more than paved a golden path on the way up with his devastating ability in the ring and natural skills.

Fighting as a brawler has proven successful for Floyd against N’Dou and Corley so far. But the 140 pound division has been unforgiving over the last couple of years, and larger men deliver larger blows. Sometimes only a couple of extra pounds are all it takes to seal one’s fate.

I trust that “Pretty Boy” will continue on his rampage to glory safely and more importantly – wisely. He’s been a noble warrior and has so much more to give to boxing in my humble observation. I just hope in my estimations that along the way his hands hold up and he keeps a stiff upper lip. Too many fighters’ fates are decided by one punch these days and it would be tragic if Mayweather became just another victim.

Good luck Floyd as you continue to stun critics and fans alike with your resilience. With each performance you get that much closer to your goals hopefully. May your hands remain as firm as your determination.

As this ends, a befitting passage should hold some truth in regards to what has been written here, and also for all involved in the brave world of boxing. It goes: “There is no way for specific circumstance to be foretold. The intelligent warlord carefully examines his own methods prior to attacking. He is able to see the advantages of his immediate plans and the inherent dangers as well. By manipulating the conditions of his plan, he can overcome obstacles that he discovers when initiating the primary attack. By doing these things the fates will smile upon him.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War (Book Eight – Variations of Reality in War)
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