Floyd Mayweather Jr. seems determined not to allow himself to suffer the same fate as Manny Pacquiao.
Though the two have never fought, Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao are forever linked.
Because their every move will be compared, it is impossible for each man not to be affected by the successes and misfortunes of the other.
When Juan Manuel Marquez knocked Pacquiao out in Dec. 2012, the then 35-year-old Mayweather had to be affected.
If he wasn't already aware of his own vulnerability, seeing Pacquiao fall would at least be a reminder of what the sport can do to its champions.
You can bet he will do everything in his power to prevent Robert Guerrero from knocking him off his pedestal.
There are several solid sound bites within ESNews Reporting's very interesting interview with Mayweather. At the 1:45 mark, he discusses Pacquiao's KO loss and the importance of a boxer training all year.
Pacquiao was the only man who could be looked at as Mayweather's peer. To see him humbled only reinforced Mayweather's belief in self-preservation.
That explains why Mayweather gave himself a "D" in his performance against Miguel Cotto in May 2012. While some may have enjoyed seeing Mayweather mix it up with Cotto, Money knows that type of fight doesn't lend itself to longevity.
The multi-fight deal Money signed with Showtime/CBS is designed to take him to the end of his career. He has every intention of ending that deal and his career undefeated and physically unscathed.
That is one of the reasons he brought his father back into his camp. During Showtime All-Access: Mayweather vs. Guerrero Episode 3, Mayweather said:
My dad, he’s been upset with me lately. He’s saying that with my last six fights, he don’t want me to take any punishment. So I need to tighten up with my defense. And I told him he’s right.”
(My father is) here to fix any mistakes that I had, you know, from the Cotto fight, so things will be better come May 4th.
You can see Mayweather discussing this at the 20:45 mark of this video.
His greatest skill is his speed and ability to make fighters miss. Mayweather will more than likely be looking to move back to being the ultra-elusive fighter that stood head-and-shoulders above his competition.
What was the biggest factor in the amount of punishment Mayweather took in the Cotto fight?
In the Cotto fight, it appeared Mayweather got caught up in trying to give fans an exciting bout. What may have been lost on him is that his diehard fans already appreciated his defensive brilliance.
He can't be influenced by the fans that clamor for blood and guts. Trying to satisfy that crowd is a losing battle for Mayweather.
It would ultimately see him meeting the same fate Pacquiao did against Marquez.
Pacquiao is more warrior than athlete while Mayweather is the opposite. While the warrior may get a ton of praise from admiring fans, he's usually worse off later in his career than the athlete.
At the end of the day, boxing is a sport and a business.
Mayweather will go back to being the athlete against Guerrero. Unless Father Time has taken enough of Mayweather's physical tools away, he will fight a fight that keeps away him from unnecessary exchanges.
For Money, that is the smart approach.
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