His front foot movement is exemplary. He brought the "check hook" into vogue, but most kids trying to emulate him, dont stop to consider that he doesnt "throw" the punch he "delivers" it, by setting it up with that lead foot.
I remember moments in some fights where he was under pressure- perhaps Castillo 1 and Jesus Chavez- the elevated front shoulder allowed a barrier, with the right foor moving back- fraction by fraction, creating counter opportunities. A lateral step then orbits the opponent.
At 0.59 seconds of the following video it cuts out frustratingly as mayweather steps forward with the right foot- encircling Chavez, in a manner not unlike Toney vs. McClellan above.
4.54, shows a nice upper body shot of this, without the shoulder contact. Between 1.59 and 2.03, he also uses that rear leg to let of a number of attacks from within a 90 degree arc, that look impressive, but also leave him safe from Chavez's impressive aggression.
Mayweather becomes much more combative after this and although still brilliant, I don't believe his rear leg is utilised for defense much after this.
This was actually a really entertaining fight.
It may be a controversial opinion, but I think Mayweather got "lazy" as he's climbed divisions.
Obviously the top seed in the sport at the moment- back in the lighter divsions, he was very active- the rear foot working constantly on the defense- the front leg working constantly on the offense.
It seems to me in his more recent marquee fights, he relies on the shoulder roll and pull counter almost exclusively- very intricate technical movements, but understood by the crowd so that he nearly always gets a reaction (I have the Marquez and Hatton fights in mind here.) I know that Mayweather reverted back to a traditional "European" defense for large spells against Judah, but I must watch that fight again and see whether he relied on the front or rear leg for defense and countering.
Very good point about Sweet pea. As a southpaw I haven't even looked at Pernell and tried to steal anything yet... he was unbelievable! I'll have to learn how to slow things down when i watch him anyway...