Despite still being considered the most talented fighter of his generation by many, it appears that Floyd Mayweather may finally be slipping down the pound for pound rankings he once ruled.
Inactivity since his victory last May against Shane Mosley coupled with the usual raft of bad press that seems to accompany him whenever he stays out of the ring for any extended period of time might seem the most obvious culprits.
This recent slip however hasn’t been caused entirely by Mayweather’s own shortcomings, but once again the achievements of a fast rising Filipino.
(And this time his name isn’t Manny Pacquiao, although the Sarangani congressman recently scored an out of the ring victory of his own over the aggro happy Las Vegas resident)
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All in all the last couple of weeks haven’t been kind to Floyd Mayweather.
Firstly, main rival Manny Pacquiao secured a meeting at the White House with U.S president Barack Obama, something that Mayweather, and indeed few fighters in living memory, ever managed to achieve.
Not so coincidentally the very same day Mayweather published pictures of himself at the Super Bowl some weeks earlier with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former president George W. Bush.
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As if Pacquiao’s presidential coup wasn’t enough of a slap in the face to Mayweather though, it now appears that rapidly rising star Nonito Donaire is also getting in on the act of outdoing him.
In flattening the then number one ranked bantamweight Fernanto Montiel in just two rounds over the weekend, Donaire has now overtaken Mayweather on several prominent pound for pound lists.
BoxingScene for example now have Donaire at number two behind Pacquiao, and Mayweather at number four behind Sergio Martinez due to his recent inactivity.
Numerous journalists, experts and fighters have also voiced similar sentiments, and even many who don’t believe Donaire has yet done enough to overtake Mayweather now consider it only a matter of time until he does.
The Ring’s pound for pound list for the time being still has Mayweather listed at number two and Donaire now at number three. But how long he will remain there with nearly a year since his last fight and without a return bout in sight isn’t clear.
Donaire announced shortly after his explosive knockout over Montiel that he intends to unify the Bantamweight division before once again moving up in weight.
If that rings true he will likely next take on the winner of the upcoming Showtime bantamweight tournament, contested between Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares in April.
Should he win that he will have taken on two elite fighters in the space of only a few months, certainly more than Mayweather has of late.
Donaire isn’t the only threat to Mayweather’s ranking either. The likes of Tim Bradley or Amir Khan could both be close with a couple of wins, especially if they face each other in the summer. Sergio Martinez is already close, and the obstacle of bizarre HBO matchmaking aside is always eager to take on the biggest names.
Clearly though, unless Floyd Mayweather announces his next fight soon, Donaire and eventually others will begin overtaking him.
Ted Williams, Pitt: “If Donaire can climb up a couple more divisions he will probably knock Pacquiao off as well, he’s taking on better opponents right now”