How to (Almost) Beat Floyd Mayweather, by the Men Who Came Close

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“PERFECTION is not attainable,” said Vince Lombardi,
the legendary NFL player and coach, “but if we chase perfection, we can catch
excellence.”

At first glance, the word perfection would appear to encapsulate
Floyd Mayweather’s 50-fight professional better than most – yes, better even
than ‘Pretty Boy’ and ‘Money’ and ‘TBE’ (The Best Ever). The stats, 50-0, are
perfect and his style, too, whether operating as a super-featherweight,
lightweight, super-lightweight, welterweight or super-welterweight, was often the
very embodiment of fighting perfection; his every move, be it the flick of a wrist
or roll of a shoulder, designed to inflict maximum damage while minimising the
return.

Such was his brilliance, in fact, we speak of Mayweather’s
shortcomings not in terms of fights lost or opponents unconquered but in terms
of the memorable punches landed on him and the scorecards not indicative of a
dominant, landslide victory. We focus less on his ring record and more on his
criminal record. We highlight human flaws in lieu of him looking anything but
human when wearing boxing gloves. For him we have – have always had – different
rules.

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