Why We Can’t Stop Watching Floyd Mayweather

We can’t help ourselves, can we?

No one can deny the extraordinary physical gifts and ring generalship (a term both annoying and never more apt than when used in reference to Mayweather) of the most skilled pugilist of his era.

That being said, most of us sure don’t like him. It’s not hard to imagine why.

There are few more unpleasant people in the modern world of sports than Floyd Mayweather Jr. A loudmouthed, self-aggrandizing, serial abuser of women, he’s hardly an agreeable figure. Oh sure, there are Floyd fans. Some enjoy him for his technical virtuosity, but most are the types who, well, just like jackarses.

The kind of people who love Barry Bonds and have big hopes for Johnny Manziel.

Typically, these are not the sort of folks you would ever want to get stuck sitting next to on a cross country flight, or even stand behind in a line at the supermarket. Jackarses gravitate to jackarses.

So what excuse do the rest of us fight fans have? It’s not like most of Floyd’s fights are all that exciting. Mayweather’s defense-first, low punch-volume bouts do not lend themselves to fan friendliness. It doesn’t help that his skill level is so high that not many fighters can hang with him. The king of the shoulder roll, there have been whole fights where Floyd has hardly been touched.

Yet in a time where boxing has become a second tier, almost fringe sport, Mayweather has remained one of the biggest draws in all of athletics. He has managed this despite being one of the most “play it safe” boxers in the history of the fight game. It’s not just his cautious style in the ring either. For as great a boxer as Floyd is, he’s an even better matchmaker. Very few times in Mayweather’s career has he fought a great fighter at their peak level of performance. In fact, I’m not sure he ever has. Sure, there are a lot of quality names on his ledger, but the best of those were either pre-peak (Canelo, Diego Corrales) or post peak (De La Hoya, Mosley). Are there exceptions? I suppose one could argue Jose Luis Castillo and, well, not much else.

Seldom has Floyd even been tested by this long succession of matchups against ‘not quite there’ and ‘no longer there anymore’ opponents. Sure, Castillo bothered him, the B+ level “Chop Chop” Corley buzzed him, and for one brief moment in an otherwise lackluster affair, “Sugar” Shane Mosley had Floyd holding on so he could hold himself up, but for the most part, Mayweather has spent his career making the notoriously risk averse Roy Jones Jr. look like a base jumping daredevil.

Perhaps there is no better argument of this than Floyd’s almost pathological avoidance of Manny Pacquiao. This, a subject so well-worn and exhausting it’s no longer even painful to discuss, just boring. It must be said though, when the whirling dervish began to come up in weight and started bouncing guys who looked nearly twice his size all over the ring (Cotto, De La Hoya, Margarito, etc.), there was no more obvious or exciting fight to be made than Manny-Mayweather. Both were near-peak and massive draws in their own right. It was the fight that just had to happen that didn’t.

Getting a major fight together in the modern age of boxing is always a perilous endeavor. The egos of the boxers are generally only matched by that of their promoters. In the case of Manny, that means Bob Arum and since Floyd essentially promotes himself, well, you do the math.

That being said, there were and are so many fat stacks of cash on the table, it makes the scene of the Joker burning a tower of money in The Dark Knight look quaint. Still, Floyd always found an issue. First there was his request for Olympic style drug testing. Which Manny agreed to within a year (light speed in boxing terms). Then Floyd balked when Manny wanted the drug testing window to be just outside 30 days before the proposed fight. Of course, money became an issue too. At one point, Floyd offered Manny a flat rate of 40 million for the fight. Which if ever a monetary amount with seven zeros attached to it could be found insulting, this was it. To offer a fighter of Pacquiao’s level no percentage of the PPV money is practically unheard of. Unless, of course, you don’t really want to make the fight at all.

The aggravating thing is Floyd would have still been the odds-maker’s favorite. Manny was and is the naturally smaller fighter and is nowhere near as careful and technical a fighter as Floyd. Still, fight fans deserved this scrap. If anyone was going to press Mayweather, it was sure to be the highly skilled, lightning fast, punches in bunches–and from all angles—Manny Pacquiao who would do the pressing. It’s still the best thing that never happened.

Only it still might. Just recently, there was some noise from Arum that the fight would take place in 2015. Which would suit Floyd perfectly. Now that age, indifference, and a devastating one-punch knockout by Juan Manuel Marquez have left Manny if not withered, clearly diminished. Certainly Floyd is not quite the fighter he used to be, but he has taken so many fewer punches and been in such a small number of truly tough fights, he would now go from being a solid favorite to an overwhelming one.

That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t watch though. Of course we would. Even though we know the outcome is all but certain and the event nowhere near what it could have been. We watch because we want someone to shut this charmless man’s mouth. We are desperate to see it and I fear quite doomed to never. Floyd’s too good. Too clever. Too careful. It is maddening and we wouldn’t miss it for the world. We just can’t help ourselves.

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COMMENTS

-Kid Blast :

Not sure why Johnny Manziel belongs in the same sentence with Barry Bonds.


-Froggy :

I hope Mayweather reads this article and believes it, then there is still hope he will fight and lose to Pacquiao ! But I doubt it !


-SouthPawFlo :

Johnny Manziel, Floyd Mayweather & Barry Bonds?! I don't see the connection.


-the Roast :

At 75 bucks a pop I have no problem not watching yet another UD.


-SouthPaul :

It definitely ain't cheap to watch Mayweather. 86.00 a pop to view it closed circuit in Vegas inside the MGM grand ballroom which is where I saw it. The buzz is always great for a fight in Vegas but this time around in comparison to the first bout (I was there) a bit less lively. Tickets for the live show inside the arena were also still available an hour or two before the doors opened. The weigh in was one of the funner ones i've seen. Plenty of fan appreciation coming from Mayweather Promotions. Lots of giveaways, lots of entertainment. Fun times.


-brownsugar :

It definitely ain't cheap to watch Mayweather. 86.00 a pop to view it closed circuit in Vegas inside the MGM grand ballroom which is where I saw it. The buzz is always great for a fight in Vegas but this time around in comparison to the first bout (I was there) a bit less lively. Tickets for the live show inside the arena were also still available an hour or two before the doors opened. The weigh in was one of the funner ones i've seen. Plenty of fan appreciation coming from Mayweather Promotions. Lots of giveaways, lots of entertainment. Fun times.
Hey SP you have the best Las Vegas- town-bar-and-resort hopping stories ever. Can you share more of those?.... introverted recluses like myself are living vicariously through those adventures....lol


-SouthPaul :

Brown Suga'! Here's a quick one. I arrive in Vegas around noon time. Walk into the MGM to meet up with a few friends. Their first time in Vegas for a fight weekend. Everyone is starving so we walk over to the dreaded food court. I say dreaded cause I usually stay away from those cookie cut places. Would rather sit down somewhere more unique and relaxing but I ended up getting out voted by the group I was with. Lol. Anyhow, as we walk into the food court area (inside the MGM) there stands Evander Holyfield in the McDonald's line. Orders what appears to be a burger, fries, and drink... Walks off to a table where he sits all alone eating his meal. My buddy wanted to go over and ask for a photo but I get weirded out about things like that, boxing legend or not, I suggest letting the man enjoy his food without being hassled. My friend agrees... On our way we go (after finishing up our pizza. Lol).


-the Roast :

SouthPaul, you back for a while or just passing through? Don't tease me now. Don't play me small. If I see Evander Holyfield eating alone at McDonalds in Vegas I take my Clubhouse meal and I sit down across from him and I start talking. Maybe not looking for a picture but by the time its over Evander would want a picture with me. "You ever read the Sweet Science Champ?" "Ever hear or the Roast?" Probably end up hangin with the Real Deal for the rest of the weekend.


-Radam G :

Brown Suga'! Here's a quick one. I arrive in Vegas around noon time. Walk into the MGM to meet up with a few friends. Their first time in Vegas for a fight weekend. Everyone is starving so we walk over to the dreaded food court. I say dreaded cause I usually stay away from those cookie cut places. Would rather sit down somewhere more unique and relaxing but I ended up getting out voted by the group I was with. Lol. Anyhow, as we walk into the food court area (inside the MGM) there stands Evander Holyfield in the McDonald's line. Orders what appears to be a burger, fries, and drink... Walks off to a table where he sits all alone eating his meal. My buddy wanted to go over and ask for a photo but I get weirded out about things like that, boxing legend or not, I suggest letting the man enjoy his food without being hassled. My friend agrees... On our way we go (after finishing up our pizza. Lol).
Holy would not have minded you guys coming over to holla at him. If he would have been with company, it would've been all wrong. Boxers eating out in public all alone are appreciated of the love. And they expect it. Whenever GOAT Ali wanted fan company, he would walk to the ice cream parlor all along or with kid Radam. Umpteen fans would pop up. And the GOAT would jive and convive and high five with every single one of them. Holla!


-brownsugar :

Wow SP thanks excellent story... You should do a travelling blog as it relates to boxing


-SouthPaul :

Not a bad idea at all, Brown Sugar. Inconsistent Contributor. Roast If I can stick around you best believe it's to read guys like you, Radam, Dino, The Shadow, Brown Sugar and the rest of the crew. Everyone of you has shared some great boxing, life stories. Definitely the best boxing fourm. Annnd still!


-The Shadow :

Not a bad idea at all, Brown Sugar. Inconsistent Contributor. Roast If I can stick around you best believe it's to read guys like you, Radam, Dino, The Shadow, Brown Sugar and the rest of the crew. Everyone of you has shared some great boxing, life stories. Definitely the best boxing fourm. Annnd still!
<---- I missed this guy.


-leon30001 :

Gotta be honest, I can't wait to stop watching the guy. It's BORING. The fights, the stuff that surrounds it. Boring. Great defensive fighter yadda yadda...but won't fight the right guys, never says anything remotely interesting. Floyd won't be missed too much.


-amayseng :

IT just goes to show there is a huge market for wanting a boxing star. Floyd is defensive, not overly active, does not knock guys out, but is skilled and smooth enough to ooh and awe the crowd enough to keep selling.. There is a fanbase here that wants boxing stars. GGG needs to be promoted right.


-amayseng :

Not a bad idea at all, Brown Sugar. Inconsistent Contributor. Roast If I can stick around you best believe it's to read guys like you, Radam, Dino, The Shadow, Brown Sugar and the rest of the crew. Everyone of you has shared some great boxing, life stories. Definitely the best boxing fourm. Annnd still!
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