"I needed my father tonight. My defense was on point and he told me to stick with my defense and that the less you get hit the longer you last," said Floyd Mayweather after his fight with Robert Guerrero (h/t the AP, via SI.com)
Boxing fans have been raving about Mayweather's otherworldly defense against Guerrero, but the real credit belongs to Floyd Mayweather, Sr.
When Mayweather fought Miguel Cotto last year, he wasn't nearly as sharp and took quite a few big shots to the head as a result.
Looking back on the stats for that fight (per Compubox, via boxingscene.com), it's clear that Money's defense was still better than most, as Cotto only landed 21 percent of his total punches. That said, afterwards, Mayweather's face showed he'd taken some significant licks.
Mayweather, Sr. wasn't in Money's corner for that fight, and according to Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole, the pupil realized he needed the master back in his corner: "Miguel Cotto hit me with some shots I shouldn't have been hit with, so I had to bring the defense master back, my father."
As for the elder Mayweather, he was appalled that his son was taking such heavy shots, according to Iole:
"I got in his ear and started telling him he can't take no more punches like that," Mayweather Sr. said. "In two days, he wasn't taking those punches any more. He started capitalizing and countering. As we went along, he kept making them miss and then capitalizing. He just got better and better."
Father knows best in this case, because Mayweather was nearly untouchable for most of the fight against Guerrero.
Not once did Mayweather force a punch against The Ghost. Instead, he followed his father's instruction, making defense his first priority, and the result speaks for itself.
Mayweather danced circles around Guerrero, countering his strikes beautifully. In the end, Money had landed an astonishing 60 percent of his power punches while being hit with only 19 percent of Guerrero's attempts (h/t ShoStats, via CompuBox).
He was as quick as a viper, and as Guerrero grew more and more tired and frustrated by his lack of success, that's when Mayweather was able to attack on offense.
Bobbing and weaving, Mayweather took the fight in his grasp with incredible ease.
Would Mayweather have dominated Guerrero without his father in his corner?
It was a masterful performance by the greatest boxer of his era, but the credit doesn't belong solely to the man who held the belt after Saturday night's fight.
Mayweather, Sr. is the genius behind the curtain—the man with the plan.
Money would have probably won the fight without his father, but there's no chance he would have been able to put together such a masterpiece using the same tactics he displayed against Cotto.
And that's a fact.
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