Bless Kathy Duva and her candid soul.
You get some folks who beg off commenting on the Sept. 12 Floyd Mayweather versus Andre Berto fight, because they didn't put it together. Then you have Duva, the New Jersey-based dealmaker who has the living and breathing terminator Sergey Kovalev under her umbrella, who understands that we are all in this together, that one promtion, or the ways of a fighter not signed to her can affect her and her business, because that fighter can affect the perception of the sport as a whole.
I checked in with the cinnamon-haired hitter—yeah, she's a hitter, she can sling it and bring it as well as any dude in her sphere, is never afraid to get pugnacious–while she was in Russia, cementing deals to firm up Kovalev's next tangle, which will come the end of November, against TBD.
So, Ms. Duva, what do you think about Mayweather-Berto? “Yeah, I won't be buying that one,” she said, and I could hear the sound of her nose wrinkling in distaste. “Cotto versus Canelo, I can't wait to see that one, I will pay for that one. But Mayweather-Berto, I will follow you on Twitter, and I'll be happy to read your stories…but we all got duped into buying the last one.”
Some will say she's staying in her lane, defending it, talking smack to boost her own rep…I can't wholesale dismiss that POV, but all in all I say no, she's saying what many are telling me they feel, on Twitter. And she thinks it's her duty to pipe up, because boxing is a shared space.
“It's our sport,” Duva continued. “This Mayweather fight doesn't reflect well on our sport. I'd rather put on real fights! This idea that you can't risk a loss, that your undefeated record is the most meaningful thing…that's not a legacy, It's just a bunch of wins!”
There you have it…hard, precise flurries from Duva. But of course, not all share her sentiments…there is no shortage of Floyd fans who will lobby for their guy, and tell you that because he's soldiered on so long, he deserves to make whatever fight he wants. And I don't dismiss that logic. But I'd be more inclined to be closer to embracing it if fans didn't have to dig so much and so deep into their pocket to watch this Picasso at work. Yeah, watching Picasso paint, there wasn't always such a heavy market for that. The finish product, it was majestic. But as he dabbed and stroked and put the piece together, it wasn't scintillating. Same with Floyd, arguably…I respect the artist–yeah, he's among TBA in the defensive realm– and the artistry…but prefer a different brand of painter…
You all see the response to the Golovkin-Lemieux scrap, the Canelo-Cotto tangles…these are pairings where concussive offense is virtually insured. To me, that's the primary attraction of boxing. Mayweathers' bank account might hint otherwise, but he's the exception, not the norm. Check back for more from Duva on Floyd's legacy and how she thinks the sport will deal when he bids a final adieu.