Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Chases His Tail

Bill CodyCorrespondent IIISeptember 20, 2009

LAS VEGAS - SEPTEMBER 19:  Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) celebrates his unanimous decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez during their bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena September 19, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Eric Jamison/Getty Images)

I would hate to be in Floyd Mayweather's camp this morning. How do you tell a man who is so calculated in everything that he does that he may have just outsmarted himself?

I mean, Floyd, Jr. likes to talk about how he doesn't care what everyone else thinks but the look on his face during the post-fight interview and his skulking retreat to his dressing room while the fans booed him told the whole story.

Money cares a lot and he just doesn't get why he can't impose his will on the fans the way he does fighters in the ring.

The problem is he has never excited the casual fan, and hardcore fans, while they grudgingly admit his talent, also realize he doesn't fight anybody who has a chance of beating him.

Real fans know he struggled with Jose Luis Castillo at 135, but that doesn't mean if Manny Pacquiao destroyed Castillo at 140 he would easily beat Money May if they fought. So, real fans also know that beating JMM at Welterweight doesn't prove Mayweather will have his way with Pacquiao at a 144 catch weight fight that wouldn't include a bogus, "I pay you a few shekels if I don't even try and make the weight."

Hardcore fans know that as good as Mayweather is, he was still too gutless to close the show on Saturday night even though he was never in danger from Marquez. Which may be Money's biggest problem.

Fight fans like to see a good fight, and Floyd, Jr. just isn't a fighter. He's so good defensively that he doesn't have to fight. But he will never get respect as a fighter if he doesn't.

If boxing fans wanted to see ballet, they'd pay to see Baryshnikov.

Fans want to see him fight Pacquiao because the Pac-Man is the one fighter who has the speed to make Mayweather fight.

Whether Manny can win is a different question. I don't know. Floyd's pretty good. Manny might not win even if he gets to Money.

But with Pacquiao's hand and foot speed, Mayweather will be forced to fight. And if Floyd's forced to fight we might finally find out how good he really is.

And that would be as good for Floyd as it is for the fans. He might finally get the respect he thinks he deserves.

But that begs the question, did Floyd outsmart himself?

Because you see, this fight was always about leverage for his contract negotiations with Manny. Word out of Money's camp today is he will go back to demanding 55 percent of the gate. No way will Arum and Pacquiao agree to that.

Plus, Manny still has to get by Cotto, which isn't a given. And the reason Pacquiao's fighting Cotto is because Floyd took the JMM fight to get better leverage in the first place.

So, now fight fans have to hope Manny beats Cotto, Floyd comes to his senses and Manny doesn't quit and go into politics in the spring like he originally planned. That's a lot of ifs.

So, what was the point of last night's fight?

Maybe Floyd can answer that but I never could. Floyd didn't get any respect, he didn't show he could draw (quite the opposite actually, and don't think Bob Arum didn't notice), and the fight we all want to see still might not happen.

I heard Burt Sugar on a talk show recently. He said he puts the Pac-Man in his top 25 fighters of all time because he defeated the best in his natural division and then moved up and destroyed top fighters as well.

When asked about Mayweather, he said he had him just outside the Top 100 because he's never consistently fought the top competition in any division. Last night's fight did nothing to change that.

Worst of all, when the smiling, fearless Shane Mosley called out Floyd in the ring, Money looked like the man who was afraid to get it on, not the other way around.

Whether Floyd wants to admit it or not, the only thing Money proved last night is how badly he needs to take the fights that fight fans want to see him take. And he needs to do it it soon.