Floyd Mayweather Jr: You should thank him
By Jermill Pennington: It’s been a while since I’ve wrote something for the rabid fans of boxingnews24. I have been participating in the commenting forums. In my participation I have noticed the utter disdain some fans show towards Floyd Mayweather Jr. As fans of the sport we all have the right to pick our favorite fighter, we also have the right as fans to say that our guy is the best in the world.
With those rights given to fans, there needs to be some standard of a fan. As a fan, your first love should be the sport itself; no single being should ever have more of your heart than the sport. No matter how much I loved Jordan and Magic my love for the NBA was greater than them as I am still a fan. You must also have the where with all to understand when an athlete is pioneering a sport and have enough perspective to be able to appreciate.
The name Floyd Mayweather is one that brings mixed opinions as well as heightened emotions. Depending on who you ask you could be told he is the greatest fighter that has ever lived, or the biggest crock that boxing has ever seen. But one thing is sure about Floyd Mayweather, when he is mentioned the dial moves. Let’s go back to say 2005, this was a low in boxing when many fans thought boxing was dead. Remember that “boxing is dead” for a while there even I was coming to grips with the imminent death of a love one.
Fast forward to 2014 and I would say that boxing is in the best shape it’s been in since the mid to late 90’s. I won’t say that Mayweather single-handedly resuscitated the sport, but for all parties involved Mayweather’s name was likely attached. With boxing regaining attention from the mainstream, MMA has fallen below the radar once again when MMA was supposed to be the sport that put boxing out of its misery for good. As we can see that won’t be happening anytime soon.
Another credit to Mayweather is something I have dubbed “The Tiger Effect”. When Tiger Woods entered golf he dominated and brought mass attention to the sport. In turn every golfer on tour reaped the benefit. How you ask? Tiger made purses larger and courses would pay more to have the tournament played on their grounds. Larger purses meant more cash for everyone. In a sport like golf being in 2nd place isn’t so bad as you will likely receive a couple hundred grand. The same rule applies in boxing. With Mayweather pushing the bar on how much a fighter can earn per fight, in essence everyone’s bar is raised. I doubt Pacquiao would be seeing 20 million dollar purses if not for having to be par with Mayweather.
Canelo making the scratch he did versus Mayweather is nothing more than a tool for future negotiations. Miguel Cotto even in a loss to Mayweather in some way rejuvenated his career. Robert Guerrero’s name is now amongst the elite being able to call out any fighter he chooses when before he was amongst the Andre Berto’s of the world. Even Victor Ortiz who was the victim of the infamous “sucker punch” has since looked happier than I have ever seen him. He went on to be a contestant on dancing with the stars as well numerous ventures in other countries. All from being knocked out at the hands of Floyd Mayweather.
Mayweather has played a large part to the excitement that has come back to boxing. The deal with Showtime has brought more eyes to the television set with boxing being the main event. It’s been nearly a decade since I have been excited about the heavy weight division. With Mayweather providing a stage we as fans are able to find interest in other fighters. Another thing I love that Mayweather is dong is giving us as fans a night of boxing. Yes, a full night of boxing featuring some of today’s elite.
Mayweather making the push for strong undercards is a great thing. If you “as a fan” have a problem with strong undercards, I personally would question just how much a fan you really are. I’m going to pay for all the fights (Pac fights & May fights) so why not FINALLY get a bang for my buck. Last September from a fans perspective was nice. It had been a while since I had seen a co-feature that meaningful. I hope this effort translates to other fighters and promotions. Hopefully the days of an athlete retiring poor and having to fight to make ends meet in years he has no business in the ring will come to pass because of Floyd setting a new mark for athletes.
All that said, maybe not now, maybe it will be when he’s gone, but if you are a fan of boxing you should thank Floyd Mayweather.
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