It happens to everybody, Everybody. Irrelevant of who you are, how much money you make or how many trophies you have in a case at home. There will come a moment, despite the bluster and the bravado, where you step in that ring or on that court or on that ice and you know. You just know, it’s over. The only question is this: How are you going to deal with it when that moment comes? Floyd Mayweather will eventually have to ask himself this question. But for the man who was in the co-main event, that question is already here and has been here for quite a while. The only question is this: Does he know it, and will he get out before he really does serious damage to himself?
Canelo Alvarez is 21 years old. That’s the main point of what Mosley-Alvarez was. Could the old master – the man who has fought champions of all stripes, pull one last great night out? Could he stir the echoes one last time? The simple answer to this was…No.
And the sad part is and this again is something that is universal – you don’t know when that moment is going to come. If you had told the fans in Madison Square Garden who were watching that night that Riddick Bowe, the architect of one of the greatest heavyweight trilogies of recent memory was done before he stepped in the ring with Andrew Golota no one would have believed you. If you would have told those same fans if they had come back later, that Naseem Hamed was done as a prizefighter the night he stepped into the ring against Marco Antonio Barrera in Las Vegas they also wouldn’t have believed it.
That’s the funny thing about boxing. When it’s done, it’s almost never gradual. It’s just…. done. You can’t even see it coming, because boxing isn’t like football or basketball where you see the athlete every day or every week and come to that slow realization that “he can’t play anymore.” It only happens when the bell rings.
Shane Mosley can take some comfort in this fact: It happens to everyone. No one is immune from the moment when it all goes away.
But before we get to the other man in our little play, I think it only right that we pay tribute to a man who was, at one time, the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world, someone who compared favorably to the greatest lightweight champions ever and the kind of champion we need more of not less.
Now to the other man in our little play. Floyd Mayweather has always tried to make himself as different. In an era where the top stars are promoted by big conglomerates, Floyd promotes himself. In arenas where your most popular fighters are whirling dervishes of offensive fury, Floyd is a defensive wizard who husbands his aggression. But there is one thing about Floyd that makes him different above all else is the one thing that might make his eventual demise altogether quicker than other fighters.
Simply put, he doesn’t fight enough. Now I know what you’re thinking dear reader, “Doesn’t that mean he has less of a chance to have hard fights?” True. But it also means he is more prone to rust than other fighters might be. When you don’t keep your skills sharp, when you’re not at the top of your game that moment when it suddenly becomes all over comes quicker than it would normally.
And that fact, that inevitability is what I think Floyd is trying to avoid by his scheduling. But trust me, and I can say this with certainty, time is undefeated. And it always wins by KO.