From what I know, Floyd Mayweather does not answer to anyone. Floyd does not answer to his business partners, to Manny Pacquiao, Top Rank, Golden Boy, or Showtime.
Floyd Mayweather is his own boss. Remember?
Since when did Floyd Mayweather need a poll from the fans to tell him what to do? Maybe the 37 year-old had an overnight change of heart. Maybe he doesn’t care about the money he will generate by accepting a fight with Amir Khan, which most of the boxing world has already expected to happen since November.)
Say what you will about Amir Khan. Love him or hate him. Say he deserves a shot at King Floyd or say he has no chance. But one thing is for sure, Amir Khan is an international boxing star, make no mistake about it.
Maybe Khan is not the biggest star in the United States. Maybe he’ll lose to Mayweather in a one-sided fight. I don’t know what will happen. Khan has lost fights. And he has speed, foot work, and natural skill that is extremely effective. We’ve seen him outbox some of the world’s best fighters. Freddie Roach claims that Khan beats Mayweather.
We can go back and forth about the outcome of Mayweather/Khan or Mayweather/Maidana all day. That is the beauty of boxing. And no disrespect to Marcos Maidana or his fans–he is one of my favorite fighters–but no one was calling for a Mayweather/Maidana fight until Maidana beat Adrien Broner. And Maidana and Broner combined do not have more fans than Khan.
Floyd knows Khan’s impact. And boxing is a business. We are in the fight business, my friends, the fight business. Fans choice has little to do with the boxing decisions made to benefit the boxing business. If our opinions made a difference to Mayweather, the businessman, he would have fought Manny Pacquiao ten times by now.
Most intriguingly for Mayweather is that Khan is the most popular fighter in the UK. Khan is probably “known” more than Mayweather in other parts of the world outside of the US. Imagine an international press tour that sends Mayweather/Khan to Pakistan, England, Dubai and other exotic countries. Khan has that kind of universal pull from the public. Just follow Khan’s Instagram or Twitter accounts to see where he goes.
Are we supposed to expect Floyd to take a Maidana fight because hardcore fight fans submit a vote on a public poll? That’s a risky financial choice for Mayweather, who likes to gamble his money on football, not boxing.
Boxing needs anything that allows mainstream sports fans to interact. Look, I get it. And Mayweather is a marketing genius. OK. Just don’t treat me like a fool.
On Super Bowl Sunday Floyd Mayweather announced that he will have the fans decide his next opponent. Mayweather created a poll on his website, Mayweatherpromotions.com, to allow fans to vote their choice between Khan and Maidana. On February 5th Fightnews.com reported that Marcos Maidana was winning the poll by a wide margin. The website said Maidana was winning 79% of the vote. On February 6th, Yahoo Sports reported that Maidana only had 51% of the votes. The website has roughly 20,000 votes as of this writing, and an overnight change of nearly 30% sounds a little strange. So I did some independent research on the poll and looked to see how it benefits Floyd Mayweather outside of boxing. The poll is generated by Lockerdome.com. Their slogan is “Collect Anything.” Before a voter submits a pick on Mayweather’s website they must sign into their Facebook or Twitter account and authorize Lockerdome.com to update their personal profile, post tweets, and see who they follow and who follows them. Mayweather and Lockerdome.com will have access to every users' likes and dislikes. Facebook does the same thing. When you “Like” something on Facebook they know to target you. If you are a football fan and have liked your favorite team's fan page don’t be surprised to see ads that target your interests.
This is the future of marketing. By doing this future opponent poll, Floyd is building a database of super fans. Now he can create content and merchandising for engaged followers because he knows their interests and curiosities. It’s genius. It’s smart business. Floyd is changing the game once again. But I’m not falling for it. Don’t waste my time. I have enough of my personal information on the Internet.
You can email Ray Markarian on Twitter @raymarkarian or email him at Raymond.Markarian@yahoo.com