Mayweather, Mourinho and the value of being boring
Sometimes you just can't win.
Having emerged victorious from one of the most eagerly anticipated fights of all time, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has received as much criticism as praise.
What a joke. One of the most boring fights I've ever seen. Mayweather doesn't fight. He runs, he hides, he goes backwards
— Gerry Callahan (@GerryCallahan) May 3, 2015
Mayweather's victory against Manny Pacquiao showcased the defensive tactics that have been commonplace throughout his career, but for some that wasn't enough.
It might not have made for the electrifying battle that those who were sucked into the pre-fight hype hoped to see after paying for the pleasure...but that's not the point.
The simple fact is that Mayweather tactically outclassed Pacquiao, whether it was good to watch or not. In the post-fight press conference, his virtually unblemished face showed almost no evidence that he'd just gone 12 rounds with the southpaw.
As boring as that may have been for some spectators, his approach clearly works.
Jose Mourinho is another man who can testify to the effectiveness of being 'boring'.
After Chelsea clinched a point at the Emirates that all but sealed their first Premier League title in five years, the B-word was out in force. It seems no credit was due for Mourinho nullifying a very much in-form Arsenal side without his top scorer, Diego Costa.
It's a criticism that has been levelled at the Portuguese throughout his career, including during triumphant Champions League campaigns with Porto and Inter Milan. But, as with Mayweather, another relentless winner, Mourinho's approach has certainly done him no harm.
Mourinho is the Mayweather of football. Despised by many and not too entertaining but wins regularly and is the best in the business #motd2
— Rian Hoskins (@RianHoskins) May 3, 2015
In the UK, too many young children getting into sport for the first time are told it's the taking part that counts.
It's not: it's about winning.
And even though sport has the knack of churning out a storyline worthy of Hollywood once in a while, it simply can't be that way all the time. Those who look to perfect a game plan and stick with it in the face of criticism are often found lifting the trophies at the end.
The very best know that winning can't always be beautiful. At times it's as much about limiting an opponent's threat as it is imposing your own.
Some might call it boring; others call it using your head. That's why Mayweather's was barely bruised on Saturday night as he lifted his belt for the final time.