Mayweather’s secret boxing skills revealed by US Air Force psychologist

May 1, 2015

Floyd Mayweather’s boxing skills are placed under the analytical microscope by psychologist and former US Air Force force and White House Strategist Gary Kline

Floyd Mayweather’s fight with Manny Pacquiao is billed as the the richest bout in boxing history.

The contest itself is of considerable interest for students of sports management and promotion.I want to concentrate on a study made by author and psychologist Gary Klein in his recent book Seeing what others don’t .

Klein had been working on a theory of how insight occur. His interest in sport and boxing had prompted him to study an unexpected result of a fight between Mayweather and the British boxer Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton for the welterweight championship, also for the welterweight championship in Las Vagas [December, 2007].

The contestants had similar records. Neither had lost as a professional boxer.
Hatton was considered the more explosive puncher, Mayweather the consummate boxer.

Hatton’s power threatened Mayweather at the start, although Mayweather, according to Klein hung on, until with two rounds to go, Mayweather launched what Klein saw as a desperate but lucky punch from a defensive position, and with Hatton moving in. Lights out for Hatton.

The end of the fight was as surprising to Klein as it was to Ricky Hatton.

Was it just luck?

Klein took the video of the fight and analysed carefully and repeatedly what had happened. His original view was that he had witnessed a ‘get out of jail break’ by the American.

But as he looked more closely, he finds the pattern which he and Hatton had not. In the early rounds, Hatton’s fierce left hand sweeping hook damaged Mayweather. But Klein began to see how Mayweather pwas increasingly coping in defense. He was learning that the attack brought with it a weakness in defense and was waiting for the time to make his own reply.

It almost worked in round eight. Hatton, tiring, continued his plan, now against an opponent waiting. In round ten, Hatton continued his strategy against a prepared opponent. Mayweather took his second chance. Hatton lost on a technical knockout.

Klein suggested that Mayweather had also analyzed Hatton’s style in advance, but needed to learn it again from experience. It suggests how expertise is acquired.

Other examples

Other examples abound. The unexpected slice of luck may be open to another interpretation. It may be the reaction of a goal keeper saving a penalty, or a great tennis player ‘guessing where an opponent’s serve or reply is going or even a strong chess player playing a move likely to induce an error rather than a technically sounder move.

Klein suggests his own change of belief, from seeing a lucky punch, to seeing a process of experiential learning, weakens the ‘aha’ theory of insight.

It also helps those interested in the fight to see what is going on in a different light.


Katherine Viner faces big changes as the new Editor in Chief of the Guardian

May 1, 2015

Katherine Viner takes over a unique organization newspaper operation whose cultural influence [as parodied by Inspector Grim] belies its rocky finances and declining print circulation

In recent years, The Guardian has gained international attention for its part in the wikileaks drama. The business operates through The Scott trust, established to preserve the liberal values of its founders. As such, editorial appointments are made by the board, but after taking cognition of the result of a vote by its journalistic staff. Ms Viner won 53% of that vote.

The values do not include making money, which is just as well, because the Guardian doesn’t, at least not from its core print product.

Guardianistas

The new editor will be well aware of the long and distinguished history of the Guardian, through which it seen as a custodian of the moral compass of cultural correctness in the UK. As such, its faithful readers, the Guardianistas, are mocked satirically by Detective Inspector Derek Grim [in the you tube above] as being “Namby pamby wishy washy hoity toity, snotty snooty,” and as a personification of “political correctness gone mad”.

Preserving a culture

The history of the Guardian is briefly recounted in a 2002 article in the newspaper:

The Manchester Guardian was founded by John Edward Taylor in 1821, and was first published on May 5 of that year. The paper’s intention was the promotion of the liberal interest in the aftermath of the Peterloo Massacre and the growing campaign to repeal the Corn Laws that flourished in Manchester during this period. The Guardian was published weekly until 1836 when it was published on Wednesday and Saturday becoming a daily in 1855, when the abolition of Stamp Duty on newspapers permitted a subsequent reduction in cover price (to 2d) allowed the paper to be published daily.

The Guardian achieved national and international recognition under the editorship of CP Scott, who held the post for 57 years from 1872. Scott bought the paper in 1907 following the death of Taylor’s son, and pledged that the principles laid down in the founder’s will would be upheld by retaining the independence of the newspaper. CP Scott outlined those principals in a much-quoted article written to celebrate the centenary of the paper: “Comment is free, but facts are sacred… The voice of opponents no less than that of friends has a right to be heard.”

Today’s paper is now utterly comfortable in its metropolitan clothes, but still with more than skin-deep liberal tendencies inherited from its Mancunian predecessor.

Its new editor in Chief faces challenges of all print media, but at least does not have a Proprietor and a board of activist shareholders urging her to place financial considerations before all others.