I find we as people continue to remain passionate about boxing because the fighters, especially like Pacquiao, are acting out some of our very typical id fantasies: of being aggressive towards another human being and trying to induce as much damage as possible onto our opponent. Mayweather to the causal fan is defined as boring, not exciting. In my practice, time and time, I will reach out to my patients and discuss how for many of us, the day is supposed to be boring, or simply mundane. Everyday cannot be one exciting match. We will burn out. We will take unnecessary risk. We may as they say get “knocked out.”
Mayweather has been boxing since he was age four and has learned all he needs to see in the ring. Over the course of his early career, including the amateurs, he examined the mistakes he would make and use them for inspiration to obtain his greatness. In the first few rounds of his fight he is curious of what his opponents will bring as their game plan. He shows insight acknowledging what for him may be the better strategy. He remains humble in the ring and takes small risks, hoping for the victory at the end of the fight. He delays gratification. He is mindful, adapting over the middle part of the fight to continue to utilize his skills, the skills he trusts and has practiced over the course of the majority of his life, to assure he remains out of danger and is working enough to win rounds. He does not seek the knockout.
Like boxing, emotional intelligence is fostered as a child. Our country I find does poorly at this. If we spent as much time on teaching our kids nursery rhymes and riding a bike (all still important) as we can on teaching them how to manage emotions, deal with conflict, then these issues would not arise so much in adulthood. In my practice, I see many folks who cannot handle conflict, they are anxious about being assertive, afraid to make decisions (or throw their punch) for fear of making a mistake and having regret, or the opposite like Pacquiao in the ring, being impulsive, taking too many risks, and hoping to maintain a constant high that for many is not sustainable. They seek to find that one defining moment of their life, that one knockout, that by only focusing on this, they miss the smaller wonderful and in my opinion more meaningful parts of life. Life should be made up of more jabs instead of the knockout. Preparing and taking our time can lead to more frequent and consistent successes.
Though many may define Mayweather in the ring as boring, the attributes he carries through his perfect 48-0 record are all those that if we focused on ourselves and mastered, we would all be a little more emotionally intelligent. Take our time, use insight, don’t take on too many risks, know our limitations; be curious and adapt, persevere when times get rough, but know if we have practiced these skills within in lives, the victory will more likely to be ours at the end when the bell has rung.
As for Mayweather’s issues out of the ring, I can't speak to this matter, but he can always email me anytime to discuss working on interpersonal conflict and developing more adapftive means to cope.