Gnarled knuckles. Mangled fingers.
Lame handshakes. Sore and swollen
wrists. They are the signatures of
battle commonly found on the hands of
boxers and Floyd Mayweather knows the
pain all too well. Mayweather, a fast
and explosive boxer dances and
pounces at the boxing ring better
than most top caliber fighters in the
ring. As the owner of the Junior
Welterweight title, Mayweather has
most pundits calling him, pound for
pound, 2005’s best boxer.
Born on February 24, 1977, in Grand
Rapids, Michigan, Floyd Jr. has
boxing in his blood. His father,
Floyd Sr., fought Sugar Ray Leonard
in the late ’70s, while his uncle
Roger was a Junior Lightweight and
Super Lightweight champion. It was no
surprise then, that Floyd Jr. showed
an aptitude for boxing from a very
When he had received enough training
from his dad and uncle, Floyd entered
the world of amateur boxing as an
adolescent. Fighting at 126 pounds,
Mayweather put together an amazing
84-6 record as an amateur, winning
Golden Gloves championships in 1993,
1994, and 1996. Mayweather made the
Olympic team in 1996 and at the
Atlanta Olympics, he beat boxers from
Kazakhstan, Armenia and Cuba before
falling to a Bulgarian in a highly
controversial semi-final bout.
Mayweather had to settle for the
Last December 9, Mayweather Jr.
defeated Great Britain’s Ricky Hatton
in the 10th round of their World
Boxing Council welterweight title
fight in Las Vegas.
During pre-bout interviews,
Mayweather has repeatedly denied that
his hands might cause him a problem.
Hatton himself is concerned that
Mayweather may use his hands as an
excuse if he loses his title.
However, his camp agreed that the
priority was to prevent the American
from any illegal advantage using the
controversial pain relief medication.
The Hattons maintained their focus on
this issue at another prebout meeting
when they wanted to ensure that
Mayweather would not be able to
protect his hands with an unfair use
of tape and lidocaine.
However, the Mayweathers are unhappy
that lidocaine has been specifically
identified as a drug that cannot be
used. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic
(numbing medication). It produces
pain relief by blocking the signals
at the nerve endings in the skin.
Lidocaine topical systems are used
for pain relief and for managing
discomfort associated with herpes
zoster virus infection of the skin
Mayweather’s hand problems have been
long documented but they resurfaced
in an edition of a television
documentary that showed the boxer
having a wax paraffin treatment and
quietly acknowledging the issue.
However, with all the controversy and
trash talks that surrounded their
title bout, Mayweather still managed
to beat his opponent.
Fight veterans such as Mayweather and
Hatton, have struggled over the years
to keep their hands healthy, a
problem that is shared by many
boxers. Some of those fighters are
resorting to expensive pain relief
drugs and, if necessary, undergo an
intricate surgical procedure to
restore the strength of their hands.
While the boxers try to explore all
options to remove pain from their
bread-winning hands and knuckles,
boxing officials are still in hot
debate about whether existing rules
should be changed regarding the use
of anesthetics in a sport that has
been hounded by drug and steroid
scandals for many years.