Floyd Mayweather Jr. definitely had a great inclination on equaling Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record because he announced his retirement after attaining his 49th win and picked a gift opponent in Andre Berto.
Mayweather was already 38 years old when he attained 49-0 while Marciano was 33 years old when he retired with an unblemished record. And here’s the bad news – The Ring Pound-for-Pound king Roman Gonzalez, whose record now stands at 44-0 with 38 knockouts, will likely eclipse the 49-0 records of Marciano and Mayweather if the Nicaraguan continues his mean streak in the ring.
Gonzalez, who goes by the moniker “Chocolotito,” looks even more equipped to eclipse the 49-0 records of Marciano and Mayweather because he does not have major weaknesses in his game. Although he has a staggering knockout percentage, Gonzalez isn’t a slugger cut out from the mold of Mike Tyson or a buzzsaw like Manny Pacquiao.
Looking at how Gonzalez dismantled our very own Brian Viloria the other weekend, it was very clear the Nicaraguan is a ring technician who combines bone crunching punching power. He also has respectable defense and is not one to mix it up recklessly.
And like Canelo Alvarez, Gonzalez entices his opponents to punch first so he can unload his own barrage of punches. This type of boxer-puncher is actually the worst nightmare of a skilled fighter who lacks punching power and a bone-crunching puncher who lacks defensive skills. Perhaps a counterpuncher like Mayweather or Guillermo Rigondeaux can partly neutralize a boxer in the mold of Gonzalez. But fighters like Mayweather and Rigondeaux are a rarity nowadays and it looks like boxing fans want to watch boxers who have styles that are more offensive than defensive in nature.
And thankfully, Gonzalez is now the top pound-for-pound fighter today because what boxing needs to revive itself from the doldrums is to have superstars who have styles that please fans. Gonzalez, Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman and Deontay Wilder now lead the pack of new-generation fighters who have crowd-pleasing styles. But Gonzalez is on the top of the heap and is the very anti-thesis of Mayweather.
But Gonzalez is not only the anti-thesis of Mayweather when it comes to fighting style—Chocolotito learned to fight in the streets and came from abject poverty like our very own Pacquiao.
When it comes to pay, however, Mayweather is the anti-thesis of Gonzalez because the American has pocketed multi-million paychecks while the Nicaraguan has yet to snare a multi-million dollar purse.
And perhaps having a paycheck not yet as big as Mayweather’s is what motivates Gonzalez to maintain his crowd-pleasing style.
But now that Gonzalez is The Ring Pound-for-Pound king, his journey to 49-0 will now be closely watched by boxing fans who one day might rally behind him in large numbers to see him beat Marciano and Mayweather’s fight records.
So how would Mayweather react just in case Gonzalez nears and eventually eclipses 49-0?
If Mayweather tries to denigrate Gonzalez by saying the Nicaraguan never earned huge paychecks or is fighting in the lower divisions, that would only make more fight fans root for the Nicaraguan.
At 38 years old, Floyd staging a comeback and fighting a no-name or fading opponent would only invite criticism and ridicule while taking on the likes of Thurman, Garcia or even Kell Brook, all undefeated, would be risky for the American.
The Nicaraguan just turned 28 last June and could easily rack up six more victories at a frequency of twice a year, which will give him enough time to recuperate between bouts. So by fighting only twice a year, the Nicaraguan can attain 50-0 in about three years or by the time he is only 31 or 32 years old.
Gonzalez is really bad news for Mayweather.