Breaking down Floyd Mayweather PT 1. (Boxing at range)

The opponent

“Sugar” Shane Mosley is known for 2 things, Blinding hand speed and crushing power. See for yourself In this fight spent much of the early going working with just a short, quick jab to the body or head. Fairly simple strategy ,changing levels and poking at Mayweather’s defense for holes and openings.

Mosley trying to pressure

Notice how he uses the body jab to distract as he changes levels to land a couple short hooks before May can tie him up.

Floyd’s pull counter

Mosley jabs at Mayweather who’s incredible sense of timing, distance and quick reflexes allows him to make the jab miss by just an inch or two while throwing and (usually) landing a hard right hand counter. Notice how he turns his head as the jab comes in, pointing his face away from Mosley? That is called changing head slots and by doing it you gain about 3 extra inches of distance from from your opponents hand to your face. His perception of distance is off the charts. In terms of the opponent it really discourages jabbing. The jab is the most important punch in boxing. It’s more than just a weapon. It’s a tool boxers use to measure distance, blind opponents to bigger shots, and occupy them and keep them on defense. BY countering the jab you take all those tools away from them, because unless you are exceptionally tough (or stupid) you are going to stop doing things that get you punched in the face. This is also true in daily life as well.

Floyd gets cracked

Notice how the second he takes the big right hand from Mosley he grabs hold of the arm that hit him. Even with a minor concussion Floyd is trained enough to try and tie up immediately to prevent Mosley from following up with more effective punches. More on this (and sweet sweet slow-mo) later.

Mosley follows up

Floyd still badly hurt from the shot in the last gif gets hit HARD again. Floyd made a mistake here of trying to throw back before he had fully recovered and almost got put down because of it. Wobbly legs force him to try and clinch to stop the assault Mosley is putting out.

A perfect gif for all the Mayweather haters

So remember that body jab I was droning on about in the first couple gifs. This is why Mosley was doing it. Mayweather is an absolute, borderline psycotic, perfectionist when it comes to defense. He does not want to be hit AT ALL. BY ANYTHING. So Mosley putting that body jab to work consistently knew that at some point Floyd would over-commit on his defense to it and that would be his moment to land his powerful right hand. The second highlight is Floyd throwing a hook but getting beaten to the mark by a short straight jab knocking him off balence. It forced the left hook to go a bit too far and Mosley follows up with a cracking hook of his own.

Floyd is back

After the round ended Floyd finally gets his senses back after the big shots he took. He recognized it was the jab to the body that open up the right hand and immediately decides rather than defend it he would use it as an opportunity to throw his own punches. He flurries (or steps out) every time Mosley throws it for the rest of the fight. Mosley had his chance but when Floyd is committed to stopping a punch you either stop throwing it or take a beating. Also notice Floyd’s feet moving as he punches to break off the line and forces Mosley to reset before he can attack again.

Unorthodox leads

Mayweather begins to open up his offense now as Mosley looks very hesitant and confused. This gif pretty much sums up Floyd’s very unique approach to offense he very rarely uses a jab to the head to set up his bigger punches instead he uses feints to elicit a response and wherever he opponent chooses to defend he throws where they didn’t. I really wish I could slow gifs down because he does it for just a fraction of a second to the point where it is barely perceptible. He sets himself with his right hand high and left low presenting a number of different threats to both levels, observing the reaction and then exploiting it. Here Mosley reacts to the right hand when Floyd does it so he throws the lead left hook, Mosley gets his hand up in time to block it but Floyd follows with the right before backing away and sticking a jab into Mosley’s body as he walks in adding power to it. And then another pull counter for good measure.

More mind games and confusion

Here he ducks and changes levels before feinting the jab which makes Mosley throw a jab of his own. Floyd throws another left hook/right hand combo scoring with the right hand yet again. You see that punch Mosley throws. That is the punch of a guy who can’t bridge the gap with his jab. Mosley is all out of ideas here.


Mosley steps in with another body jab, Floyd tries to answer with a pair of left hooks that miss but he steps to his left as he punches lining Mosley’s head up perfectly for the right hand.

Just look at that

Using the pull counter again on the jab and immediately changing levels underneath the left hook before stepping out of range. Brilliant stuff.

I’ll make no bones about this. This man is a complete and total piece of shit as a human being. So are many great athletes. I’m not saying that I support him or would ever buy one of his PPVs but the man is a sublime boxer. We must seperate the artist from the art. He can do things that only the greatest fighters ever have been able to do and do them totally reflexively with out thought but it isn’t his technique or speed that win him fights, it’s his mind. He is a chess master like I’ve never seen before. Those who criticize his lack of knockouts and safety first style need to realized that for the last 7 years he has been fighting men about 20-25lbs heavier than his best weight class and he was cursed little power and very brittle hands. He fights like this because he has to in order to win fights. I cannot fault a guy for doing that. For those of you who can’t get over it here.


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