Originally Posted by DanielJFiasco
I think the "Philly Shell" (we need a better name for it...) gets too much credit due to Floyd Mayweather. The basis of Floyd's success is more to do with how he implements it. I think his best defensive trait is his manipulation of angles. When he throws shots he puts himself in positions where his opponent can't counter from balanced positions. Even if somebody reads him and gets a shot off at him, it's rarely from a solid base. It's a myth that he relies on great reflexes. Sure his reflexes are good, but what flatters them is that Floyd is leading the dance, he is showing openings and then closing the door on them.
The first Castillo fight is a strange one. Whether it was to do with his broken hand or not, Mayweather certainly wasn't at his best. He got squared up a lot against the ropes, and at times he crossed the line between fighting off the back foot, and just running, which is unusual for him. Here's an example showing Mayweather absolutely square against the ropes and being caught, something you don't see very often with Floyd. Castillo gets his lead foot right down the middle and goes to work. Floyd, realising he has got himself into a bad position then gets his on his bike.
But I actually think it would be a boxer who could beat Floyd's shell, not a pressure fighter. A good boxer who can out position him, and draw his leads (that springing right hand for example) and then punish him. That said, I thought Marquez would be a tough night for him
Back to your question, speaking just about the Shell and not Mayweather, I think pressure and volume can overwhelm it, as can a great feinter but for me squaring the guy up cuts it wide open, more so than any other guard. It's the equivalent of flipping the turtle over and slicing into it's soft underbelly to use Hopkins terminology! If its defense was THAT good, you wouldn't be able to order turtle soup!
You'd think that, for those reasons exactly AND the fact you'd need a good jab to offset Floyd's, that Arguello would be the perfect foil for Floyd. His punch picking, accuracy, timing, and nearly unsurpassed ability to place his feet in te perfect position to get off certain shots. He's also one of the hardest chinned, hard punching monsters of all time, the archetypal boxer-puncher (or rather stalker-puncher
) and a man who could keep a strong pace throughout the championship rounds.
Unfortunately, his feet were set in stone in terms of chasing an opponent around. Floyd's feet and movement surpass Vilomar Fernandez IMO, and his best offence is sharper and faster, if not as all-out dangerous, as Jose Luis Ramirez's, who also outmanoeuvred Alexis whilst employing an aggressive output.
I'd actually say Floyd is Arguello's
stylistic nightmare despite Arguello looking the tick the boxes in terms of drawing the picking opportunities from Floyd.
It probably wouldn't be easy though. Not even Marcel
had it easy.
Anyone who's read my Encyclopedia piece on Arguello will know how high I hold him. So maybe this will finally put the hater
jibes to rest