My two cents: Is being the best not enough?

by • May 5, 2013 • NewsComments (0)

There were a lot of things working against Floyd Mayweather Jr. before last nights showdown with Robert Guerrero – A domestic violence charge, a two month jail term, a year between fights and being on the wrong side of 35 but nothing could deter the five divisional boxing champ as he cruised to a one-sided victory.

Guerrero had called for a date with Mayweather for several years and while he was a valiant challenge for the returning champ, like the 43 challenges that came before him, he was unable to solve the riddle.

Mayweather simply took very few clean hits from the talented southpaw. Guerrero showed a lot of heart and a rock solid chin but little else. As the war waged on, the champ danced around him, connecting with his straight right-hand at will.

In the closing rounds of the fight, Mayweather was masterfully controlling the action but the 15,880 fans that filled the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada began to turn on the fight.

Steadily the sound of boo’s grew, the crowd begging for Mayweather to put the nail in the coffin but it never came and  the champ was showered with negativity from the capacity crowd by the time the final bell sounded.

While I sat back in my chair, gazing down at my Twitter timeline of people complaining about the utter dominance put on display by boxing’s finest athlete, it felt eerily similar to the fallout from every Georges St. Pierre fight.

St. Pierre has been unmatched in almost every contest. While it is miraculous to witness fellow pound-for-pound greats Jon Jones or Anderson Silva thrash an adversary, it’s an entirely different spectacle watching GSP.

The UFC’s welterweight kingpin, for the most part, leaves no element of doubt when his fights are over.  Not because they his helpless opponents are left in a bloodied mess, but because they were broken, beaten and completely shut down over 25 minutes.

There is a lot to admire about a GSP fight – continually serious challengers to his welterweight crown are put ahead of him and none have given him a run for his money, none have even come close in over five years but he continues to be one of the least celebrated UFC champions among MMA fans.

Just like Mayweather, when the fight is over the talking point goes towards the fact that St. Pierre hasn’t finished an opponent with a legitimate knockout of submission since his obliteration of Matt Serra in their 2008 fight, not his flawless performances inside the Octagon.

The general public don’t argue over a match being exciting in regular stick and ball sports, there is a large emphasis on winning rather than entertaining.

The UFC have taken a turn to the entertainment side in recent times and it has resulted in some farcical match-ups with three fighters (Nick Diaz, Frankie Edgar and Chael Sonnen) challenging for UFC titles coming off defeats before the first third of the 2013 calendar is over.

At its core, fight sports are about determining the very best. St. Pierre and Mayweather are the pay-per-view kings of their respective sports and two of the all-time greatest prize fighters regardless of how flashy their highlight reel is.

Simply put, I don’t want to watch a sport where being the best isn’t enough.

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