What Characteristics Made Floyd Mayweather so Successful?

Floyd Mayweather is widely considered as the greatest fighter, pound for pound, of this era. With an impressive 84-4 amature record, olympic bronze medal, undefeated professional record, 5 division world championships and 12 world titles, his achievements in boxing are clearly one of a kind. Outside of the ring his success is matched by his flashy lifestyle; with his multiple bugattis, ferraris and massive homes.

How did Floyd Mayweather become so successful, from his humble beginnings out of Grand Rapids, Michigan and how did he overcome the tremendous obstacles in his life?

Here are a few items that helped make Floyd Mayweather successful:

1 - Expect the Best

Floyd expects the best of himself; an off day would be when someone got him with an insignificant punch in sparring. He would take the time to break down his training and find out why he made the mistake, think, learn from it and never let it happen again. He was self aware about his weaknesses and flaws, and always worked on improving them.  His fight IQ is unparalleled.

However, he did not have these expectations just of himself, he also held others accountable to the same high standards as well.  The people around him were expected to possess the level of professionalism and dedication that he had.  From his chef to his drivers, he expected things to be done properly around him. All of these outside elements contributed to his success, and everyone around him had to be just as committed to working as hard as he was in order for him to succeed.

2 - Intelligence

At the world class level of fighting, most fighters are in good shape.  Floyd Mayweather was able to defeat his opponents by being smarter than them. Floyd understands the mechanics of fighting, when an opponent is position A, doing attack B, then it leaves a,b,c open. He understands this for virtually every single possible position in the ring, and applied it when he was in the ring. He wasn’t brawling, or throwing uncalculated shots and hoping that one would land. Everything was laser guided, for a specific target. If you watch his most recent fights including the one against Manny Pacquiao, you can clearly see him reading his opponent, then capitalizing on their mistakes. Floyd fights smart, and that is why he is able to remain undefeated in the most brutal sport in the world.

3 - Ability to Adjust

One of the most difficult things to do in fighting ,and in life, is to make adjustments and to win using your weaker tools in response to your opponent at the time of the fight. It is very difficult to make adjustments when you are in the heat of the battle because it tests one’s ability to see the fight, respond intelligently and go against your natural intuition, which is to use your strongest weapon.

Floyd Mayweather is a master at understanding his opponents and exploiting their weakness. He understands how to select weapons not based on his own ability, but the effectiveness of the weapon at that moment. We see this in many of his fights where the first two rounds seem to be fairly equal or him even losing (Shane Mosley), then he makes an adjustment and completely dominates the rest of the fight.

4 - Hard Work and Dedication

The secret to Floyd’s success can be heard chanted by his teammates as he trains. Hard Work and Dedication; two words easily spoken but extremely hard to maintain. Anyone that has trained for fights understands the difficulty involved in preparing for one fight, let alone over 100 matches. Few people can truly grasp the dedication, work ethic and sacrifice required to be a top tier fighter. 

The average person may struggle with working hard for a few days while the committed person can possibly stick with something for a few months or years. After a while most people will need a break and time off. Floyd Mayweather has dedicated most of his life (30+ years) to boxing. He consistently trains harder than anyone. He never drinks alcohol and treats his body the best way he can. His dedication has been consistent for over 30 years. Can you do what he does? Train 9 hours a day, for 30 years?

His workouts are relentless, sometimes 3 - 4 hours long, multiple times a day, 10 rounds on the pads, a few rounds on the bag, another 10 rounds on pads followed by 2000 punches on the bag, then maybe a 10 mile run. When he walks up to a fight, he knows that he worked the hardest.

5 - Confidence

If there is one word to describe Floyd Mayweather; it is confident. He has the ability to get into his opponent’s mind from the moment the fight is announced. Many people are quick to judge his confidence as arrogant and cocky. From the beginning, Floyd was a talented fighter, however the one thing that separated him from others was his relentless work ethic. He didn’t have a choice in this matter.  His father forced boxing onto him and taught him the secrets of the game. At a young age Floyd began to think about the boxing game differently than his opponents and this gave him a huge advantage, which led to his impressive 84-4 record.

As a professional fighter, close members of his team would agree that Floyd Mayweather’s work ethic was unmatched. His confidence was a result from reason number 1; when he walked into the ring on fight night, he knew that there was no way the other person had been more consistent, and trained harder than he had, you just couldn’t do it.

 

 

Cam Tang Poy is a Kru (instructor) at York Muay Thai in North York, Toronto. He began training Muay Thai in 2007 under Kru Yai Jenypher Lanthier (Head instructor of York Muay Thai). Since then, he has competed as an amateur fighter both in Canada and the United States, and now focuses on developing the students and athletes at York Muay Thai. He is also the director of their Kids Muay Thai program. In 2010 and 2011, Cam taught the Muay Thai program at York University’s Tait McKenzie Fitness Center, as well as Boot Camp classes at its Vanier College. In 2012, Cam became an Ontario Certified Teacher, completing his education at the University of Toronto. Today, he has the privilege of living his passions 24/7. Working in Toronto schools during the day and training Muay Thai students by night has pushed him to continue learning and growing. He loves every moment of it.