Who is your ‘Money’ on?

2010-05-01 00:00

I SUPPOSE going to a family wedding should be my main focus today.

Truth be told, I should have had an overdue haircut and a possible trim of a ‘tache that is very quickly rivalling that of the Springbok coach, who has been silent for an eerily long time.

But, typically, I have procrastinated by going to the golf course, the mall — heck, I even went to the gym.

I refuse to part with the tangled mess of Afro-hair that I have tussled with for two and a half years.

I think it has even come to define me — a fine mess of a young man trying to get by.

My parents frown upon it, and the boss despises it. Those are already two excellent reasons to keep it and, with winter nigh, I would be loathe to stroll around with a shiny “chiskop” that glistens so much with Vaseline that it blinds oncoming traffic.

So the tangled mess will stay.

But back to the story. After the small matter of the wedding and the reception, the plan is to stay up through the night to catch the hottest fight in years.

Floyd “Money” Mayweather Junior against Shane “Sugar” Mosley. It’s a slug fest that is almost a decade overdue, but we should all be grateful that it is here, anyway.

Not that “Money”sees it that way.

You see folks, this is the brashest, flashiest yet most technically gifted man in boxing right now.

And he knows it.

Mayweather’s incessant trash-talk has stoked the fires to this red-hot battle for a month now, and Mosley just cannot wait to get a piece of him.

And neither can most of the rest of the boxing world.

I have grown to know that the world loves a winner, but absolutely hates a winner who knows he is one.

Just on Wednesday, we were given an example of a man who prides himself on winning and then rubbing everyone’s nose in it.

José Mourinho delivered on his promise to take Inter to the final of the European Champions League, and then proceeded to do everything short of cartwheels on the Nou Camp pitch.

That is his way, and those who cannot bear this chest-thumping man of brilliance are always waiting to see him fall.

Well, the same goes for Mayweather.

He has long spoken of how he is unappreciated, disrespected and generally undermined because he reduces all his opponents to mediocrity.

He never misses an opportunity to remind everyone of his 40-0 record. “Forty have tried, and 40 have failed,” he said recently.

“Everybody is chasing Mayweather. I am the cash cow. I am the face of boxing.”

Strong words, indeed, and his latest outburst that suggested he was better than Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson has pushed most boxing neutrals to root for the “other Sugar” come tomorrow morning.

But there is just one problem.

Mayweather is not just any boxer, he is the guy that hits and doesn’t get hit.

He possesses reflexes so fast that he could probably hold his own in the ring against Chuck Norris.

Hang on. He is great, but nobody messes with Chuck.

Mayweather’s ability to avoid punishment has led to all sorts of accusations of cowardice, gamesmanship and straight up chickening out, but the inconvenient truth is that he has beaten all comers.

Much like Mourinho, he employs a game plan that revolves around ensuring that you do not lose, instead of going hell for leather to win.

Some say that this proves he is no warrior, but I would beg to differ.

If I were so slick that I could hit people and avoid being knocked out, I would also play to my strengths. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that there is method to Mayweather’s madness.

And now Mosley.

At 38, some say that this fight has come five years too late for the brawler from “Big Bear”.

He dismisses such talk, saying that he will prove to the world why he thinks he is the best out there.

And if anyone can match “Money” for speed, then it has to be “Sugar”.

It is a compelling tale, rooted in animosity between two men who have been eyeing each other out for far too long.

I don’t know when the boxing bug bit me but when it did, it bit hard. I suppose there is something painfully poetic about a man handing out a lesson to another over a pair of leather gloves.

Hit or get hit, dance or sit down — you get the point.

And this new-age “prize-fighting”, where the hype starts well in advance and just builds up the tension, makes for great viewing.

So, once I have shaken a leg at the reception and lined the belly with a few courses, I will endeavour to stay up to catch this bout at the crack of dawn.

I really ought to be showing all this enthusiasm for the wedding, but maybe it’s because it isn’t my big day just yet.

Then again, I don’t think it would make a difference if it were my own nuptials, because I would definitely not remember who caught the bouquet at the reception, but I would certainly recall who threw the first jab in Las Vegas.

What a way to kick off the honeymoon that would be — the groom watching boxing in his tuxedo, while the bride sulks in the corner.

Ring up the lawyers!

And just for the record, despite his preening, his insults and his generally inflated opinion of himself and his extraordinary talents, I still fancy Mayweather in this one.

If I were a betting man — which I am not (yet) — my money would be on “Money”.

Catch the fight on SuperSport on HD and SuperSport2 from 3 am early tomorrow morning.

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