Go on step in it... I dare you.
It is the point of all no returns- the move reconsidered. It can be a rather uneasy feeling, for once you've stepped in it - there is no going back, and you are very likely to be the subject of everyone's attention.
I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about the ring.
There are no teammates. There is no one to help you on an off night if you have one. There is only the reality that everything you are is about to be revealed whether you like it or not, right down to your true personality even.
And that's what makes boxing's most polarizing and enigmatic personality so... different.
The tongue really doesn't weigh anything, yet so very few people can hold it. For proof of this, look no further than the WBC/WBA welterweight champion and RING #1 rated best pound for pound fighter in the sport, Floyd Mayweather.
He also happens to be the WBC super welterweight champion by virtue of his clinical, 12 round dismissal of Saul "Canelo" Alvarez last September 14th. Surrounded by his rabid fans in a private theatre while watching that fight, Floyd made me look almost as bad as he did Alvarez, whom I'd actually picked to win.
It wasn't one of my better moments and rarely am I really that wrong about the outcome of a fight. But in a moment of candor - I'll tell you I really wanted Alvarez to win. This wasn't so with Marcos Maidana I, in a fight I picked Floyd to win barely [click here for how I saw that fight after they weighed in. Kinda redeemed myself a little].
Fast forward to September 13, 2014 and the event probably reveals itself in slow motion to the man who calls himself "TBE", or, "The Best Ever".
Having faced the now former WBA welterweight champion (but no less formidable) Marcos Maidana this past May, Floyd probably visualizes every calibrated movement of both himself and Maidana, and appears to once again be in top form physically.
He exercises a lot; but I don't think he gets nearly enough credit for running his mouth, jumping to conclusions and pushing his luck. Never one to disappoint on camera, there he was again doing all 3 with aplomb on Showtime's rather entertaining "All Access" last Saturday night. We can expect more of the same tonight.
Nothing in the episode surprised me, but I did pay close attention to what both of them had to say a few days prior to its airing.
Maidana, clearly more comfortable with the position he's in now as opposed to a few months ago, has absolutely no fear of Mayweather and even less respect for him. Between his 24 rounds with both Floyd and Adrien Broner, he's more than prepared for the style and persona he's dealing with. He goads, chastises, and almost promises a comprehensive beating this time around.
Mayweather, for his part, sees the first fight as equal parts anomaly and aberration. While he feels he won the fight (as do I), he knows he really didn't beat Maidana. He absolutely does not feel that "Chino" is on his level, and is going in with the belief that he can win every round before (get this..) stopping Maidana.
The saying goes: "There's 3 sides to every story. Yours. Theirs. And The Truth." I'm going to at least attempt to unveil this "truth".
"FLOYD'S SHOT. HIS LEGS ARE DEAD. WE'LL TAKE THAT FIGHT ANYTIME HE'S READY."
Freddie Roach, August 2014
He based that off of Floyd's last two fights he said, and I don't totally disagree with him, though I do. Manny Pacquiao (who wants to fight Floyd at his Mayweather Boxing Gym, during a congressional session, or really anywhere he can get his ass) also feels this way in assessing Floyd.
And judging by his latest statements pertaining to Floyd's intellect in the above video (as talks have once again heated between them like never before), he may feel as if Floyd made a really dumb decision to face Maidana again, as it could jeopardize a fight that seems to be coming to fruition between him and Mayweather for May 2015.
I've picked Maidana to win on September 13th the same way I picked Floyd win the last time - via extremely close 11th round KO. This fight will be better than the first one because both of them will fight with even more pride and passion.
At the sound of the bell, Maidana will charge Floyd with assault and battery, and it will be up to Floyd to lay down the law. But the real problem I see (and contrary to what he believes) is there seems to be a missed demeanor in his punches that won't make Maidana worry about any penalties or consequences.
Mayweather has again not allowed Maidana to use his preferred choice of gloves, but he's still not going to fight the type of fight he prefers or imagines. He has reached that point in every great fighter's journey where there is no return.
His physical regression is subtle. But at the world class level that is the difference between victory and defeat. Against this particular style- a marauding, constantly attacking and foul infested hell ensemble with power in both fists, he's asking a lot of a 37 year-old body that is now more stationary than ever.
He may have told you that "he chose" to make the first fight that way, but his body said he didn't have a choice. I've heard him say: "I'm not getting older, I'm becoming a classic."
The fight on September 13th will be just that. He just better hope he isn't on the wrong end of it.