He made more money in one fight than Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, who were both clearly superior fighters to him, made during their entire careers. Nobody begrudges a fighter making all the money he possibly can, even Floyd Mayweather, but enough is too much.
He’s been a pro for 19 years and yet has there hasn’t been one fight that he participated in that was truly memorable or one that you’ll take to the grave with you. Maybe there was for some but certainly not me. Is he the greatest or most complete boxer you’ve ever seen? Absolutely not. Unless perhaps you’re a new boxing fan under 35 years old. He’s certainly not the fastest of hand or foot that we’ve ever seen and his punching power is just adequate. His signature trait is his defensive prowess, and even at that he’s pretty basic and vanilla in that he covers when the opponent punches and doesn’t mix until they reload. Past defensive wizards like Willie Pep, Wilfred Benitez and Pernell Whitaker engaged with their opponents and made them miss repeatedly. And don’t point to one sequence where Mayweather did it and then act as if you shoot my argument down. If I searched long enough I could find a clip where Paulie Malinaggi looks as if he’s Ray Leonard’s equal as a finisher.
And then there’s the well-chronicled argument that he cherry picks his opponents, or at least most of them. This is something that cannot be denied by an open minded fan who has no stake in solidifying his place among the greatest of the greats in order to justify their fandom.
Since he barely defeated a washed up Oscar De La Hoya eight years ago via split decision, he’s never passed up the opportunity to say he always gives the fans what they want. This is the biggest crock that has ever been perpetrated by any fighter in boxing history. Actually the opposite is true. If there was a great fighter who cared less about boxing fans than Floyd Mayweather does, I need someone to point him out to me. In 19 years fighting as a pro there’s been one fighter that boxing fans pleaded with him to fight. His name is Manny Pacquiao. Remember him, the little flyweight/featherweight dynamo who chased Mayweather for almost six years before they finally fought.
Sports/boxing fans have short memories. The morning after Pacquiao took apart Miguel Cotto, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was a legitimate super-fight. Manny was a non-stop perpetual motion attacking machine and Mayweather rarely threw more than two punches at a time. However, regardless of how much the fans clamored to see them fight, Mayweather threw up a faux roadblock every time. Then fought a no hope opponent and dangled the possibility of maybe fighting Pacquiao next, but it never happened. During the interim fans foolishly bought everyone of Floyd’s fights on PPV for a lot of money. And with the exception of his bout against Miguel Cotto, three years after Pacquiao beat him, and the first fight against Marcos Maidana, not one of them were terribly exciting or drama filled.
Finally after the public became fed up with Mayweather not fighting Pacquiao, they let him know that they were done buying his fights. This was an idea that gained momentum when Mayweather’s friend and apologist Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN, while looking directly into the camera, that the only fight people wanted Floyd to make was against Pacquiao…..not Marcos Maidana or Amir Khan. The timing couldn’t have worked out better for Mayweather. By the spring of 2015 Pacquiao was 3-2 in his last five bouts, his offense was reduced to a jump in head first one-two and he was very hittable to put it mildly. Not to mention in his last loss he suffered one of the most brutal one-punch knockouts in boxing history, something Smith constantly alluded to on ESPN.
With the threat of fans ignoring Mayweather and the reality of Pacquiao’s decline, Mayweather agreed to fight the only boxer fans ever wanted to see him touch gloves with, Manny Pacquiao. Only six years too late. And as it was said in this space for six consecutive years, when Floyd finally agrees to fight Manny, the result will be a forgone conclusion, resulting in a Mayweather boring decision win. This is exactly how it turned out.
However, two things transpired that no one completely saw: 1) boxing fans would be ripped off like they never were before to see it and 2) Mayweather would be confronted by an injured Pacquiao who basically fought with one arm. I’m not saying that’s why Mayweather won. I’ve always maintained that Mayweather would beat Pacquiao because he owned the size and style advantage, nothing will change that.
Earlier this month it was reported that Mayweather was going to fight former title holder Andre Berto 30-3 (22) on CBS and not PPV. Which seemed like a good way for Mayweather to win some fans back after gouging their eyes out to see him fight the compromised Pacquiao.
Only now that doesn’t appear to be the case.
According to a report on TSS by Michael Woods, Mayweather “won’t be offering up a freebie for fans” on September 12 as he will fight on pay-per-view.
“The source tells us (that) money matters, and how to get Floyd the amount he desires won’t be so clear if it was done on ‘free’ TV,” Woods reported. “A mass of eyeballs would have been a bonus, the thinking seems to be, but the PPV model will lead to the payoff Floyd seeks as he tries to get to 49-0.”
If what Michael Woods says above comes to fruition, every fan who buys another Mayweather fight is a complete and utter fool. For what? Why would anyone pay to see Mayweather box again after the joke the Mayweather-Pacquiao promotion and fight turned out to be? Floyd had to be laughing at boxing fans on the inside after the fight. He even said to Pacquiao when the bell rang to end the 12th round “we made a lot of money.”
When are fans going to grasp that Mayweather will only continue to gouge them out of their money if they allow him to? What happens if nobody cares about Mayweather’s next fight? If fans have no interest and voice they’re not buying it, do you really think SHOWTIME is going to forge ahead and make a fight nobody is planning on coming to or buying via PPV. No way!
Then what? Well, either Floyd fights a real fight for a reasonable price, or he retires because nobody gives a damn anymore about him and the WWE event that his care has evolved into. Heck, as Woods detailed above, it’s all about money with Mayweather. Floyd taking the fans’ money and then mocking them when he thinks nobody is listening. Believe me that will change once fans, if they ever do, decide they want it to. And if they buy his next bout and it’s a snooze fest, which I guarantee it will be, they have themselves to blame and no one else.
If I were Mayweather I’d keep playing the fans as long as I could just because I can. Who wouldn’t? But I’ll tell you what…….let word get out that fans are done being ripped off by Mayweather and they refuse to buy his next couple fights and things will change in less than a New York minute.
Wake up boxing fans! You’re not going to see a great event or something you haven’t seen already. We’ve seen the show for eight plus years, it never changes, and now there’s undeniable proof that it’s not worth paying for again. What an amazing twist of fate. Mayweather goes 48-0 but can’t give away fight 49 because nobody cares or wants to get fleeced again.
Of course that won’t happen because people are like sheep and sheep usually are slaughtered and money changes hands.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com