Floyd Mayweather is one of the best boxers ever. With an undefeated professional record of 50-0 and multiple belts in different weight classes, Mayweather has earned record-breaking amounts of money in his career. And he did all that with the help of his infamous defensive boxing style.
What is Floyd Mayweather’s defensive boxing style?
While Mayweather fights with a defensive style, it’s not as simple as that. As Pundit Arena says, Mayweather actually has three things that allow him to fight so defensively.
The first one, and likely the one that he’s best-known for, is the shoulder roll, or as others call it, the Philly Shell. The Philly Shell is a defensive boxing stance where the boxer puts their arms in such a way that it’s very hard to actually hit anything important.
Mayweather uses the Philly Shell very often. With the Philly Shell, as Pundit Arena says, Mayweather’s opponents will have a hard time hitting him where it counts. But, Mayweather also has great reflexes. When Mayweather isn’t using the Philly Shell, he’s often dodging punches with just an inch to spare, all thanks to his fast reflexes.
Reflexes tend to slow down with age, but Mayweather’s reflexes are still sharp despite being in his 40s. The last thing that Mayweather has, and the thing that’s harder to train for, is, as Pundit Arena calls it, boxing IQ.
Mayweather is just a very smart boxer and he knows when he should be dodging and when he should be swinging. A good boxing IQ is hard to get, and Mayweather simply has a very high one.
Why fans hate this style
Boxing is a combat sport, and boxing fans generally want to see people knock each other out. A defensive boxing style is the opposite of that.
Floyd Mayweather’s defensive boxing style has allowed him to take very little damage in his fights. In fact, like Pundit Arena says, that’s why one of his nicknames was “Pretty Boy”, as Mayweather rarely looked injured after his fights.
As Business Insider reported, Mayweather’s defensive style, while it allows him to dominate his opponents, rarely makes his fights exciting. This was especially true when Mayweather finally fought Manny Pacquiao in what was the biggest boxing event in a long time. Many fans expected this to be Mayweather’s toughest fight, but Mayweather did what he always did and fought defensively.
Mayweather used every defensive technique in the book to make Pacquiao miss his shots. Mayweather then threw and landed a few punches to score points, but the fight was mostly this dance on repeat. Mayweather didn’t really try to knock Pacquiao out, so the fight ended in a decision in Mayweather’s favor.
Don’t hate the player, hate the game
As Business Insider said, fans really shouldn’t blame Floyd Mayweather for doing what works. At the end of the day, Mayweather is a fighter and there’s no reason for him to get punched in the face if he doesn’t have to. His defensive style lets him take little damage in fights, which is a good thing for him.
Many boxers have died in the ring or suffered severe brain injuries afterward due to taking too many shots to the head. Mayweather’s defensive style prevents him from joining that long list of athletes with brain injuries. On top of that, Mayweather’s brand is based around being undefeated. Once a boxer loses, they’re less scary than an undefeated boxer.
Mayweather has no reason to change from his style since that will just lower his chances of winning. That’s really why fans want him to change his style, it’s because they want to watch him lose. That said, Mayweather did fight more aggressively against Conor McGregor, and unsurprisingly, he won that fight easily.