Twenty-Twenty Hindsight - December 10, 2007 - Mayweather-Hatton, Jeff Lacy and More

I've decided to change the name of my look back at the weekend that was in boxing to celebrate something that happens more often in the sweet science than in any other sport. As fans and observers, we're constantly changing our opinions after the fact. Even things we "knew" going into the fights are often fluid.

In the rush to coronate Floyd Mayweather Jr. as the greatest ever, or even the greatest boxer today, we shouldn't lose sight of what he's really about. His new, self-given nickname makes it perfectly clear: he's about the money. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, since boxing is his job. We just need to keep in mind that Floyd is more interested in being a star than he is in proving himself the best - especially since he's already convinced himself he is the best.

So no, we're not going to see him fight Miguel Cotto or Paul Williams or any fights he could actually, you know, lose. There's not as much money in them as the fight he just took, and Pretty Boy knows it. Ricky Hatton provided the perfect opponent at the perfect time, as his rabid fans helped add to the financial side of the fight while his aggressive style made gave many experts just the slightest hope he may have a chance to win.

As we saw, that hope was largely unfounded. The Hitman succeeded in making it an ugly fight at times, but once Mayweather made some adjustments there was really not much drama. The fact that one judge gave Hatton only one round at the time he was knocked out tells you that he wasn't really in the fight.

The HBO announcers made the assertion that Hatton brought out the best in Mayweather, but that's an exaggeration. He made Floyd fight a little differently than he's fought in the past, but did he really push him? I don't think so, and I'm not sure we'll ever see Money in a fight that will reveal the full nature of his tremendous skills.

That's because PBF's best skill is knowing exactly what fights to take to realize his own goals. He's become the heir apparent to Roy Jones Jr. in that regard, racking up wins and making money while putting himself in very little actual danger. You've got to admire him for the way he's transformed himself into what he really wanted to be all along - a star - even as you wish he'd really push himself further.

There was an undercard on Saturday too, it just wasn't a very good one. Daniel Ponce de Leon looks like he is trying to learn how to become an actual boxer, but in the process he drained most of the excitement out of his fight. Let's hope he figures out a way to round out his game while retaining the combination of aggressiveness and power that marked the early stages of his career.

Jeff Lacy also was less than scintillating, and two of the three BoxingWatchers.com staffers actually scored his fight for his opponent. Is he, as the HBO announcers seemed to hope, just shaking the ring rust off following his serious shoulder surgery? Perhaps, but if he fights future fights the way he did Saturday night, he's much more likely to be used as a stepping stone for up-and-coming fighters than he is to make a serious comeback of his own.

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