The Mayweather Effect – and It’s Costing You

The Mayweather Effect – The Mayweather influence is impossible to miss.  If you’re an astute follower of professional boxing you’d have to be blind to miss the enormous impact that Floyd Mayweather has had over fighters such as Manny Pacquiao 58-6-2 (38), Miguel Cotto 40-5 (33), Canelo Alvarez 47-1-1 (33) and Danny Garcia 32-0 (18) – as it pertains to the way they’ve managed their careers and how they’ve gone about choosing opponents over the last three years and perhaps even a little further back.

It’s one thing for fighters to make as much money as they can because of the nature of the sport. A fighter’s life could be taken with one-punch on any given night. Nobody begrudges the men and women who step into the ring being paid well for the risk they take; they don’t accept the high risk solely for our entertainment. However, does the boxing public have to be gouged when some of the marquee fighters fight? I, like most, respect all fighters at every level, but at some point the elite guys in the sport have to give the fans more of the fights they want to see if they’re being asking to pay for it. I doubt there will be a single bitch pitched by anyone for having to pay to see the upcoming Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward light heavyweight title bout in November. Nor will they gripe when they are digging into their wallets to pay to see the middleweight title bout between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez when the fight finally comes to fruition.

The recently retired Floyd Mayweather made more money than any other fighter in boxing history. Some may think of Floyd as being a remarkable fighter in the ring, which is not something I’m on board with totally. Yes, he was a great talent but in my opinion he’s nowhere near being one of the greatest of the greats. But when it comes to managing a fighter’s career and picking the right fights balancing the risk-reward factor…he is beyond a doubt “TBE!”

Notice how Cotto, who I used to love as a warrior, now only fights an opponent who has a legitimate shot to beat him (such as Sergio Martinez or Canelo Alvarez) if the bout is on PPV. Recently there were reports that he was going to fight former featherweight title holder Yuriokas Gamboa, but then his management felt the wrath of the backlash and pivoted, saying that they were never serious about making that fight. As for Alvarez, he’s playing with Gennady Golovkin the same way Mayweather did with Manny Pacquiao. Canelo knows the fight with Golovkin will always be there for him assuming that he doesn’t lose in the interim. While at the same time, Golovkin, who turned 34 in April, is aging exponentially faster than him. Canelo understands the way Floyd did that when the fans have it in their head who they want to see fight whom, nothing can shake them from it unless one of the fighters loses. Alvarez, because he’s such a draw, can order from a menu of opponents who are low risk – and as for Golovkin, the middleweight division is so pedestrian that the chances of him losing are slim and none, and Gennady already knocked out slim.

Danny Garcia is another bright guy who has been influenced by Mayweather when it comes to who he chooses to fight. Danny has a firm grasp that he must remain undefeated at the championship level and fight the biggest names when the risk of losing is the lowest and the purse is the highest. So don’t hold your breath waiting for Garcia to fight either Keith Thurman or Terence Crawford until the chance of him getting a fight with either Mayweather or Pacquiao no longer exists, which is not the case as of yet. And then there’s Manny Pacquiao who is having a hard time getting a cable network to broadcast his upcoming fight with Jessie Vargas on PPV. Perhaps the sand is through the hour glass pertaining to Pacquiao.

It’s pathetic that the only fights in professional boxing that matter in the eyes of many in the boxing establishment are those which supposedly merit PPV, which is a residual of the Mayweather effect. And what’s even worse is today’s elite fighters know it and it’s the reason why they are so judicious in who they fight. Another byproduct of the Mayweather effect is that the results of even the so-called big fights are often a foregone conclusion. It’s a great formula for the fighters but the fans are usually ripped off.

The above fighters have the formula down but they’ll never reach Mayweather’s level because he went one step further in gaming the system. Floyd accepted being the B side and taking the short end of the purse in two mega-fights that were walks in the park for him, namely his matches with Arturo Gatti and Oscar De La Hoya. Then he gets to take credit for having beaten two “monsters.”  At this point, he starts to dip his toe into the water of calling himself an all-time great, and finds out that no one is laughing at him.  So he escalates that to “the best ever,” at which point he no longer has to fight anyone dangerous; people will now pay to see the best ever. None of the other guys trying to do what he did can even hint with a straight face that they’re the best ever, and none of them has won a megafight in order to establish his bona fides.  Cotto comes closest, but he’s lost as many big fights as he’s won.

As long as the paying public continues to pay for fights like Canelo-Smith and Pacquiao-Vargas, we’ll be waiting years to see Golovkin-Alvarez or Pacquiao-Crawford.  Floyd conditioned the paying public that he was must-see regardless of the opponent. Manny followed suit and after that fans became fanboys and thought they had to see fights like Mayweather-Guerrero/Berto and Pacquiao-Rios/Algieri. Now the mold has been cast and only the fans can smash it — something I’m not confident will happen. But remember, as long as Canelo makes millions fighting Smith, and Pacquiao pockets millions fighting Vargas — the fights we really want to see them partake in get further away.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

The Mayweather Effect / Want to know more about boxing? Check out the latest videos at The Boxing Channel.

 

COMMENTS

-oubobcat :

Frank makes some good points in this article. It is interesting to see how Miguel Cotto's perspective on opponents has changed in the recent years. No doubt, that is influenced by what he learned from Mayweather. Frank is also correct about how Danny Garcia's career is currently being managed at the moment. He is holding out for a big name big money fight. The way the Garcia team look at things at the moment are that they took their risks (Khan, Matthysse and Peterson) and have still come out undefeated. Now is there turn for the multi-million dollar windfall. I have no doubts Garcia is hoping to be the Mayweather opponent once Mayweather unretires. Until then, the Thurman fight is too high risk with too little reward. But dates with Robert Guerrero and probably Andre Berto later this year are what he is willing to take. Name opponents whom he should handle and get paid decently to do so but little risk involved. Canelo is also in a similar mind set and that is why we are getting Liam Smith forced down out throat. And Pac-Vargas is a money grab. I think most of us see that. In breaking both Smith as an opponent for Canelo and Vargas as an opponent for Pac, well there seems to be almost no scenario in which either opponent has a realistic shot at winning. I posted something last week about a tremendous fight made for September 30th between Michael Perez and Petr Petrov. I'd take those kind of evenly matched guaranteed to produce action fights over some of the main events we have been forced to watch recently either on PPV or cable subscription.


-Radam G :

No matter how you spend it, boksing is just being itself. And has always been this way going back to when the excuse making of "Boston Strong Boy" John L. Sullivan refused to dance with certain opponents. And all the Jacks did the same. Jack Johnson drew the Color line on a Canadian-born pug who was his same color. Team Jack Dempsey and his promoter stayed clear of "The Brown Panther" and the old-arse but this still dangerous "Unforgivable Blackness" Jack Johnson. The other famous Jacks are not coming to my mind right now. And I don't want to bring up the Joes and Jerrys and the like. Fans have seldom got the scraps that they wanted. Prizefighting pugs ain't trying to hear them. We should all just call a spade a spade and quit hiding in the shade. The game is a money business. And fans don't run syet with their individual small pay for diz and dat scrap. Only the pridefighters come around so ever often and give you great pride scraps for peanuts; so you are spoiled. Start paying $10,000 for ringside seats, $2,000 for nosebleed ones and $200 to $500 for PPV; and we will get the scraps you want. Don't pass out holding your breath about fights that you wanna see until the above. (I know that it has been said that da game is a working man and poor people sport, but I see the working man and poor people wasting money on all types of dumbsyet. Then again, that waste of money is credit that makes the working man and poor people into arseholes in deep debt with illusions of being middle class, which the mainland USA is about five percent now -- depending on how you count value and debt versus true value and debt.) Canelo ain't fighting no 3g until maximum moolah can be made on an old, damaged, used-up 3g. And the old PacMan ain't never fightin' no Bud." Bud can skip up to welter and expose E-Spence. And Hulkquez's old-pi$$ drinking arse and full of da syet can do the fifth dance with Da Manny. Holla!


-brownsugar :

Floyd definitely abused the PPV model, along with Paq..... although Floyd (and Paq) are one of the few boxers to possess PPV quality skills. PPV became the holy grail, the mountain top, ....the pie in the sky goal for everyboxer with a dream to reach the Shangri la of the fight world. Only it didn't exist... it was an artificial construct created by a marketing genius who held the carrot of an eventual showdown with the mighty Pacquioa as the ultimate reward at the end of the rainbow. And once we got there it turned out to be a pyramid scheme. ...nothing but depleted junk bonds and expired lottery tickets. It lured network TV giants, promoters, agents, distributors and event providers who tried to ride the wave as if it would last forever until the all parties involved realized it wasn't a sustainable market without the sustainable talent. But once the right ingredients return.... such as dominating boxers with either incredible talent or incredible power(or both), who can delivery water cooler moments while creating compelling matchups against similar opposition arrives....only then we will see something worthy on PPV. In all fairness to Pac and Floyd, in their youth, we've never seen anything like them. But when pretenders jump on board (like Canelo) or too soon like Crawford interest fades.


-brownsugar :

Floyd definitely abused the PPV model, along with Paq..... although Floyd (and Paq) are one of the few boxers to possess PPV quality skills. PPV became the holy grail, the mountain top, ....the pie in the sky goal for everyboxer with a dream to reach the Shangri la of the fight world. Only it didn't exist... it was an artificial construct created by a marketing genius who held the carrot of an eventual showdown with the mighty Pacquioa as the ultimate reward at the end of the rainbow. And once we got there it turned out to be a pyramid scheme. ...nothing but depleted junk bonds and expired lottery tickets. It lured network TV giants, promoters, agents, distributors and event providers who tried to ride the wave as if it would last forever until the all parties involved realized it wasn't a sustainable market without the sustainable talent. But once the right ingredients return.... such as dominating boxers with either incredible talent or incredible power(or both), who can delivery water cooler moments while creating compelling matchups against similar opposition arrives....only then we will see something worthy on PPV. In all fairness to Pac and Floyd, in their youth, we've never seen anything like them. But when pretenders jump on board (like Canelo) or too soon like Crawford interest fades.
I think I was a little to harsh in the above comment. What I meant to say is fighters want to become PPV stars before they have even forged and intimate and unforgettable relationship with the fans. PPV status is not a place boxers gravitate automatically .....just because they may have one fight in the pay per view ranks. Floyd delivered, he sold himself tirelessly but he instigated other champions and fanned the flames to create rivalries, he fought all over the country calling out everybody and antagonizing anyone who would listen.... but most importantly he delivered with an unparalleled skill set in the ring to show why he was "must watch" TV. Canelo vs Beefy will be an excellent fight... I just don't care enough about Canelo who is good but merely average when compared with Paq, or Floyd to buy his fights.


-Radam G :

Money May's old, gray @$$ is in his gym training for a comeback at the age of 40 years old in February. As I said, "pug don't quit, they just fade away." Well over a 100 years ago, a 40-year-old Bob FitzSimmon won the world light heavyweight title. You see 40-something-year-old champs are nothing new. They come a dime a dozen. Holla!