By Chris Robinson
The Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Paul Spadafora rumors are starting to pick up more steam by the minute and as uninterested as we all may be, they are worth acknowledging. To those who remember, Mayweather and the former southpaw champion Spadafora got into a well-documented sparring feud over ten years back in Las Vegas and there were whispers of them possibly facing off back then but nothing came about.
But with Mayweather having been inactive for almost a year now following his twelve round drubbing of Shane Mosley inside of the MGM Grand, 'The Pittsburgh Kid' has seen his name thrust back into the spotlight after disappearing from the public's eye following some domestic trouble that caught him some jail time in early 2005.
Earlier tonight I asked Floyd's Uncle Jeff what he made of all of this and he didn't hesitate to criticize the potential matchup.
"To be honest, it's a meaningless fight," said. Jeff, one of the most sought after trainers in the Vegas area. "It means nothing to boxing. It means nothing to Floyd. It only means something to Paul Spadafora. If I walked into a room full of people, and I asked them 'Who is Paul Spadafora?', they would have to be complete boxing enthusiasts or boxing writers to know who he is. He brings nothing to the table other than a video that was ten years old."
Spadafora held the IBF lightweight crown from August of 1999 to May of 2003 and in that time he made ten defenses of his belt, including victories over Angel Manfredy, Billy Irwin, and a draw against Romanian brawler Leonard Dorin. He was gearing up for a defense of his title when he came across Floyd, who was said to have been out of shape, and the two pugs decided to go heads up with one another.
Jeff recalls the session vividly.
"I was there to watch the whole thing unfold," Jeff continued. "It was one of those situations where Floyd was going through some stuff with his manager at that time so he took some time off and he didn't fight for eight months. So he jumped in the ring against a guy who had a title defense the next week. Basically for the first two, three rounds, Floyd beat the crap out of him. But that part of it people never see. After that of course, just because of his pride, he continued to go on."
Jeff obviously doesn't give the sessions too much thought and pointed out that Spadafora's trainer at the time, Jesse Reid, was the one responsible for posting the videos online in an attempt to stir interest in a fight between the two undefeated stalwarts back when they both were champions.
No matter how you cut it, this isn't what we need from Floyd right now. A fight with Manny Pacquiao is the showdown people have been craving for and even if that doesn't come off there is a wealth of talent between 140 and 154 pounds. Jeff signs off by again stating how damaging this could be to the 34-year old's reputation.
"There's too many marquee fights out there for him. I think it would be wrong for him to take the fight. If he's doing it for the sole purpose of somebody posting as a video, that is not a good business decision. That is going to hurt his credibility more than it is going to help it."