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Floyd Gets Treated The Way He Wants Us To Treat Him

BY Lee Wylie ON April 24, 2012
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instagr.amEDITOR NOTE: I recently posted blogs on the ESPN New York website which touched on a question that dogs at me: does the boxing media treat Floyd Mayweather fairly, or is there a double standard applied to the outspoken boxer, as, say, compared to Manny Pacquiao. Our man at TSS Lee Wylie read the posts, and was moved to respond.

I think we treat Mayweather the way HE wants us to treat him.

I'm going to use a wrestling analogy here. Back in In 1996, Dwayne Johnson came into World Wrestling Entertainment. At 6 '5'' and nearly 300 pounds, Johnson had a similar physique to the all-time popular Hulk Hogan. WWE owner Vince McMahon thought Johnson was going to be the "next big thing." At the time, Dwayne was playing off of his Samoan heritage, calling himself Rocky Maivia. It was obvious from the start that he was talented, but the marketing was all wrong. What made Hulk Hogan popular in the 80s and early 90s - a fan friendly style, aimed at the younger generation - was not what fans wanted in the late 90s. As a result, Dwayne Johnson found himself to be on the receiving end of much hatred from WWE fans, even though Rocky Maivia was considered to be a fan favourite. Dwayne Johnson knew this moniker wasn't working. His in-ring style was not the most exciting, nor was his personality - neither was Hulk Hogan's, but he, unlike Johnson at the time, had charisma to compensate for his lack of excitement in the ring. Dwayne Johnson's act was stale and dated.

Enter The Rock.

After an unsuccessful stint as a babyface that was met with hostility from fans, Dwayne and McMahon decided to go with the flow and turn Rocky Maivia into a heel. This way, the fans would continue booing him, but now, it would look like it was because of Rocky's villainous behaviour, rather than because fans just did not take to his character. At first, things went according to plan. Maivia continued his regular behaviour, but because of who he aligned himself with at the time - a hated faction called The Nation Of Domination - the booing from the fans did not seem out of context with his character like before. Then the transformation. Johnson changed his character name from Maivia, to simply The Rock. The Rock became a brash, cocky character, who only referred to himself in the third person, i.e - The Rock said.....

As a result, The Rock became a lot more interesting. The fans booed him even louder. Until the unthinkable happened. Fans got so into Johnson's character, that they actually started appreciating him. So much so, that The Rock became arguably the biggest superstar in WWE history. In the ring, nothing changed - Johnson did the exact same things inside of the ring that he always did. But his out of the ring persona is what makes The Rock larger than life. Fans were and still are captivated by his charisma. Despite Johnson actually being talented between the ropes, it's The Rock's personality outside of the ropes, that makes him the most polarizing wrestler ever.

From "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather Jr. to Money May.

When Floyd Mayweather Jr. came onto the pro scene in 1996, he was being touted as the next Sugar Ray Leonard. This was immediately a marketing mistake by Bob Arum. (The same thing will happen to Adrien Broner soon enough.) While Mayweather's talent may have been even greater than Leonard's, fans by and large adored Ray Leonard.

By facing and defeating Arturo Gatti in 2005, Mayweather believed that he would capture some of Gatti's fan base. Back then, Mayweather had a different attitude. He was the fighter who wanted to face and beat the best. After the Gatti fight, you see Mayweather burst into tears, yelling "Gatti's great, Gatti's great" almost to reassure himself that he was finally going to receive his just dues. Mayweather's interviews at that time were typical of what he thought fans wanted to hear - you would often hear him calling out the likes of Kostya Tszyu and Naseem Hamed,who were the biggest perceived challenges at the time. To say fans never took to Mayweather is an understatement. Under the next Ray Leonard tag, Mayweather couldn't sell out Boardwalk Hall in AC. Mayweather's in ring style, while superb for the purists, lacked excitement.

Enter Money May. Mayweather, like Dwayne Johnson, developed a new persona. Brash and cocky, Mayweather became the fighter everybody loves to hate. He is now arguably the most compelling athlete in all of sports. We will never seen him compete again at the Boardwalk Hall, let alone not sell it out. Mayweather has the character outside the ropes to compensate for any lack of between the ropes buzz.

Like Bruce Wayne said in the movie, The Dark Knight, "Batman will be whatever Gotham wants him to be." At the time, the city needed a focal point to aim its hatred towards. Batman was it. Boxing already has its super hero - Manny Pacquiao, the nicer than nice, exciting fighter between the ropes. Boxing fans don't need another Manny Pacquiao. They need a villain. Floyd Mayweather is what boxing fans want right now.

He is the fighter everyone loves to hate. We wouldn't want it any other way. And neither would Floyd.

Comment on this article

deepwater says:

obama and floyd.nice picture. does obama speak out against the fact that floyd beats women and threatens his kids? nope. Obama is more like bush then bush was. I think money and 50 cent touch each other

Radam G says:

I'm with TSS scribe Lee Wy on this one. Not only do the boxing media, especially the American one, treat Money May fairly and give him what he wants, they enjoy him controlling them with the wildest jive spit, since the GOAT Ali was whacking and attacking pugilistic and medialistic [sic] a$$es. Hehehehe! Oh, YUP! Money May controls nowadays media as GOAT Ali did back in the day.

In my humble opinion, "fairly [and] a double standard" depends on what you are talking about and how are you spinning it. There is a penny a ton of pugilists spitting jive, hyperbolical bullsyet and straight-up fibs just as Money May does, but they don't get the time of day and/or a scintilla of a nano second of the night.

Now how newsy is the jive of Fifty Cent hanging out with Money May and Money May "(loves) him like a brother." Go on Youtube and holla at how Otis Redding hanging out with the young Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali, and the GOAT "loved him like a brother." Money May is hot copy for nowadays boxing scribes. Anything that he says or does, the scribes will find a way to spin into their opinions of new worthiness.

For example: Nowadays because it is okay to be disrespectful and speak rudely about the U.S. Prez, the boxing media broadcast and write about some tired, dumb syet that Money May brags about making the U.S. Prez carry one of Money May's belts to the ring, if Money May builds up the courage to tangle with Da Manny.

And look at how the boxing media know -- but let Money May -- be a lying B**** about how much money that he makes and how much that he is willing to pay Da Manny. And how he is not fighting Da Manny unless the Da Manny consent to getting ripped off in the back-in-da-day-Joe-Louis style for getting a shot at a sinneralla [sic] race-in-play champion. WOW! How covert ___ ____ ____ ____ keep rearing it ugly _____ head.

Unless some Yanky panky -- I mean hanky panky -- is going on, it is not about if the boxing media are being "fairly" to and using "double standard" against Money May, it is about why in the double fudge are they adriotly letting him play them for fanboys and floozie koozies? Holla!

brownsugar says:

Floyd has done and excellent job with refurbishing his image... while making more subtle moves to be politically correct as he seeks to cross over into a larger fan base.
You can literally see Floyd put on the ski mask and the black hat whenever it gets close to fight time...the same way pro wrestlers don their boots and spedos,.....The haters come out the woodwork and the fans rejoice........ but the best thing about it is,... the MoneyMan always delivers, everytime he's in the ring,

even when he's injured, (hands, shoulder, etc)...

Have to admit ,.. the comment about the Prez carrying his belt was hilarious,.. I bet Obama had to laught at that himself. But I thought his mention of the "The Hunger Games" in one of his best promo posters yet.

When it comes down to it, the publicity side of the game is just advertisement, it's only business..

It's the fight itself that I really care about

And this one is shaping up to be even more exciting that the Ortiz bout. Both of these guys are going to be fighting at such intensity there's no way it will go the distance,... Then the speculation begins again for the winner

If Floyd wins,.... in a hard fought gutty manner,... that causes both men to push themselves to their limits, ....expect Sergio, or Alvarez to be next,..and become one of the larges grossing fights in history...... because I seriously doubt Arum will allow his cash cow to enter the ring with Floyd until he begins to shows signs of arthiritis

Radam G says:

I think that this fight will go the distance. If it doesn't, Cotto will not be the one not able to continue. Optical illusions are everywhere. And the BIGGEST ONE is that a white Jewish man is preventing a high-yellow brown Asian from entering the ring with an African American, when the Jew, the Asian and African American can make tons of money. [Sarcasm to the max for those who may not catch on.]

Don King probably won't ever say this publicly, but he is right about this "one dumb-a$$ ghetto ______, who acting like a F**KING fool and is embarrassing ____ ____ ____. Holla!

brownsugar says:

????????????????????? Huh??

jzzy says:

Money May hasn't been in a war in a long time. That is Cotto's only chance really, to use his superior strength on the inside. Mayweather will gain fans if he prevails in a knock down dragout brawl. At 35, his legs wont be there and this will be a give and take fight. We'll see if he holds up. That being said, Pro boxing would be boring without the Mayweather gang, like them or not.

deepwater says:

this fight is 80-20 favoring mayweather. cotto has a shot but not a good shot.i dont like any of the past 4 presidents. bush 1 put us in the trade deficit with china.blow job bill repelled glass steagel which set up the housing crisis,bush the retard destroyed the constitution and cranked up the war machine, and obama is doing just what bush did only bigger.i rather a lamp be president because it wont start any bs wars or tax me to death. lamp 2012!

SouthPaul says:

Pretty Boy Floyd definitely took the script from WWE and ran with it. Right from the jump it was apparent to me what was going on and what was to come. Starting with the exaggerated amount he was paid for making those brief appearances. Were we really to believe a shrewd brain and brawn businessman like Vince McMahon was going to shell out 20 million to an outsider like Floyd? C'mon now. Corny but brilliant.

Good read, he's definitely being portrayed in the way the script has been written. I ain't mad, make that moola, son.

maromero says:

see i dont know if it was Floyds idea to change his ways outside the ring. I actually think it was Ellerbe who guided him. I mean he had to promote himself one way or another after leaving Bob.I see Floyd trying to be a trash talker kinda like Ali but he comes up short in wit and charisma. He is not creative by any means and when he isnt trying to talk s#it about somebody he is pretty much boring. I am a fan of Floyd but I dont think he really needs to do another 24/7 unless its with Manny.He is already a made fighter so he can stop trying to be a jerk because he is not doing a good job anymore.As a matter of fact i thought Margarito played the villain better than Floyd.this just reminded me of Victor Ortiz trying to be the bad guy without believing it one bit himself.lmao

vjoe says:

"arguably the most compelling athlete in all of sports" ????? Let's see...very gifted boxer who appears to avoid any fights that may involve a real risk a losing, tired trash talker recycling bad guy wrestling themes that are sixty years old, history of cheap shots in and out of the ring, overall boring safety-first boxing style, happily plays the race/sex/class/ethnic card whenever available, etc., etc.....but record pay-per-view numbers. To describe this fellow as "compelling" is an interesting commentary on the state of sports and society.

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