The Best Defensive Fighter In Boxing History – Floyd “Money” Mayweather
By Wilmar Patino:
Floyd Mayweather Jr. (49-0 26 KO’S) is widely regarded as the best fighter of his generation and one of the best defensive fighters of all time. He’s put himself in the conversation with some of Boxing history’s greatest Defensive fighters like Willie Pep, Nicolino Locche, and Pernell Whitaker. His defense has a lot to do with his success and longevity. We’ve seen nearly 20 years of Floyd Mayweather’s brilliant defense and victorious championship fights. When it comes to punches connected, Floyd is the top professional boxer, landing 42% of his punches thrown. Furthermore, his plus/minus average of 24% is also tops amongst active boxers. That number represents the amount of punches he lands subtracted from the amount his opponent does. Those are hard numbers to beat. There’s an old adage in team sports that states “Defense wins championships.” But when it comes to boxing you would think that what truly matters is offense. Yet what the sweet science has always taught us is that Boxing is about hitting and not getting hit, Floyd Mayweather might be the epitome of just that, most certainly in the last decade or two.
From the shoulder roll, to ducking, dodging, and countering, Floyd Mayweather has truly mastered the art of defensive Boxing. Current 154 lb. WBO champion Saul Canelo Alvarez (48-1-1 34 KO’s) had this to say about Floyd Mayweather Jr after losing to him in a lopsided decision:
“He doesn’t expose anything. He’s a fighter that if with three punches he wins the round from you, he’s fine with that. He doesn’t expose anything and give a beautiful fight. He doesn’t care in what way he wins as long as he wins.” Also stating at the post fight conference after facing Mayweather “He’s very fast and accurate and more so when he’s just trying to make points. I didn’t really feel his punches were that strong. But he’s making points and he’s very fast.”
More recently leading up to Mayweather’s mega fight with Manny Pacquiao, Oscar Dela Hoya (39-6 30 KO’s) had this to say about Floyd Mayweather Jr’s skills.
“Now we have to give credit to Mayweather because what Mayweather can do is what Mayweather Sr. calls ‘walking your opponent down.’ So what he does is he gets in the pocket and covers himself and he’ll walk you down. And he’ll let you throw punches and Pacquiao is probably going to keep throwing punches in bunches and he might tire himself out while Mayweather is just blocking everything. And then Mayweather can just come, throw his combinations of two or three punches, win the round, put the rounds in the bag, and win the fight.”
It’s true that Mayweather may not be the biggest puncher, or the strongest fighter, but that doesn’t matter when you’re faster, smarter, and more efficient than your opponents. This remains to be the case in just about every Floyd Mayweather fight. It’s quite amazing to watch and easier to appreciate when you see it in slow motion. Undefeated in 2 decades, the video below is just a small glimpse of Mayweather’s defensive brilliance. We may not see someone this defensively sound and responsible for another generation or two, but we sure can appreciate how skilled and adaptable Floyd has been throughout his career. He always found a way to win. Love him or hate him Floyd Mayweather Jr is a Boxing genius and has been the face of the sport for many years. Will he make a comeback to break Rocky Marciano’s undefeated record? That remains to be seen, but regardless he has cemented his name in Boxing history and will always be remembered as a Boxing legend, and possibly the greatest defensive fighter of all time.