The Best In The World: This Is What Makes Floyd Mayweather So Successful

by Paul Hudson

Floyd Mayweather is great. Scratch that. He's not great; he’s amazing. Even amazing would be an understatement to describe a legend of his kind. Mayweather is perfect. He is perfect at his craft; he is perfect at what he does, and his perfection is made clear with the simple fact that this man has never lost a fight and has a 45-0 record and 26 knockouts to prove it. No one in the sport of boxing for a little over ten years has been able to take down the best pound-for-pound fighter of our time.

Think about that: ten years and no one has even come close to making Mayweather break a sweat. From Ricky Hatton to Oscar Del Hoya, none of Mayweather’s opponents stood a chance. His dominance is not something that can be overlooked: a champion in three different weight classes, eight world titles and over a decade of triumph. It is no wonder why this man is a little bit cocky.

Okay, a little cocky may also be a bit of an understatement. Mayweather may be cocky; he may be arrogant; he may be extremely disrespectful at times, but from his perspective, he is the same guy that has remained untouchable for the last decade. So by all means, he has the right to be the villain everyone hates to love because, unless someone can knock him off his feet (literally), he has all the right to flash his dominance and use it as a competitive advantage.

What other athlete can you think of in this day and age that showcases such superiority over the rest of the competition? There is none, because the deciding factor is that even the great ones that have been great for a while, like Tom Brady and LeBron James, have losses in their respective sports. Not Floyd Mayweather; he has proven to be nothing less than perfect.

The one thing Mayweather loves more than beating his opponents is money. So much so, he has even changed his nickname from "Pretty Boy Floyd" to "Money Mayweather." One top of that, he’s branded his clique, which includes Justin Bieber, who makes north of $50 million, as "The Money Team.” And rightfully so, as the man made $41.5 million this past weekend while dominating Canelo Alvarez in 12 rounds of nothing more than simply toying with him and showing the 23-year-old what it’s like to be in the presence of a king.

After the fight, Canelo simply admitted there was no solution for him. Just like the 45 men before him who stepped in the ring with Mayweather, there was no way Canelo was beating him. There was no simple plan of execution. 46 men have tried to take Mayweather down, and 46 men have failed in the process. This leaves us asking, aside from his flashy lifestyle, his arrogance, his affinity for money, and the fact that Justin Bieber is his friend, which is a whole other story, what makes this man so successful at what he does?

There was once a quote said by Stephen King that went something like: “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” If you have ever seen the art of Mayweather boxing, you will notice the man has talent. He has a knack for punishing his opponent. He’s quick, using his lateral movement and managing not to catch as many hits at the same time. It is no doubt that Mayweather is talented, and anyone can see that. But if you were to ask Stephen King if talent is what propelled ten years of dominance and an undefeated record, he would tell you that there is something more to it - not just inborn talent.

What exactly is talent? We hear it thrown around a lot, but what is it more than a person’s propensity for a craft or trade, or a person’s intense interest in a sport or activity? One may attribute certain personality traits as being more supportive of certain career choices, but one cannot argue - as in the case of Floyd Mayweather -that there exists such a personality that suits boxing perfectly and solely; that there is such a personality designed or destined to be that of a boxer’s. No, there’s more to it - much, much more. Whatever you believe talent to be, or however much of it you believe Mayweather to possess, it has attributed the least amount to the success he has experienced.

Floyd Mayweather’s success can almost wholly be attributed to two things: work ethic and dedication. He doesn’t just have a keen interest or “talent” in boxing, but rather, he has chosen boxing as his sport, his profession, and he works at it endlessly and restlessly. Above all else, Mayweather is a rational thinker. He is smart and enlists a strategy that has proven to be unbeatable: stay quicker, stronger, and last longer than your opponent. He works on his technique regularly and combines his sheer ability with his intellect to outthink, outmaneuver and outdo his competition. Simply put, Floyd Mayweather has dedicated his life to the sport he loves and enhanced his near flawless physical and mental abilities, which, in combination, have never been outdone.

Mayweather has won fight after fight because he has mastered boxing better than anyone else - there is no secret to it. He has put in more hours than anyone. He has trained harder for longer than anyone. He has yet to battle an opponent that has been able to outdo him in any aspect of the fight. Floyd Mayweather is, hands down, the most well rounded fighter in the ring today and possibly, ever.

The truth is, it will be incredibly difficult to beat Mayweather while he remains in such great condition. Only when his training begins to slow due to his age will anyone be able to compete against him. Mayweather has, better than most people can claim to have done so in their lives, figured out and implemented the perfect formula for success. He trains his body and his mind continually. He attacks his opponents from both sides. He plays mind games. He is patient.

He has incredible endurance, and he will always outlast his opponents. He minimizes his mistakes and maximizes the opportunities his opponents have for mistakes. He doesn’t fight in one style; he fights in any and every style. He fights in the style that will beat his opponent because he is always fighting his opponent. He uses tactics specific to his opponent’s fighting style, knowing their weaknesses and exploiting them. He brings out the worst in his competitors and takes advantage of it when they fall weak.

The fact is that no fighter is likely to beat Mayweather in the near future. As long as he keeps on training the way that he has and stays focused the way that he has, he will remain ahead of the game.

Mastery is a marathon.

The only way to beat Mayweather is to out-train him, outthink him and over-endure him. There is no talent in the world that will be a match for the hard work and dedication that he puts in. The only way to be a worthy opponent is to put in the hours and the sweat. If he never slows down, then no one will ever be able to catch up.

Floyd Mayweather is one of the few people - if not the only person - who has every right to run his mouth in any way he pleases. In the ring, he has proven to be unbeatable. His work ethic has proven to be unmatched, and his mental prowess has yet to find comparison. If he wants to call himself the best there is, then he damn well can. Anyone that has the audacity not to give Mayweather credit where credit is due should step into the ring with him. If you can’t beat the man that claims to be the best, then who are you to say he isn’t exactly that?

Photos credit: Al Bello/Getty Images, WENN