Hagler doesn’t think Mayweather winning 50 fights would be as impressive as a heavyweight doing it
By Dan Ambrose: Former middleweight world champion Marvin Hagler doesn’t think WBA/WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (48-0, 26 KOs) would be accomplishing as much in winning his 50th fight than it would be for a heavyweight going 50-0. Mayweather is looking to tie former heavyweight world champion Rocky Marciano’s record of 49-0, which he set in 1956.
The record has since been broken twice by non-heavyweights in Julio Cesar Chavez and Ricardo Lopez. Mayweather has said that he doesn’t plan on sticking around for another fight after he ties the 49-0 mark by Marciano.
Mayweather wants to retire and not bother in coming back in 2016 to win his 50th fight. However, a lot of boxing fans think Mayweather will come back next year to try and beat Marciano’s mark by one to finish out his career at 50-0.
“I think it could be an interesting fight,” Hagler said about the Mayweather-Berto fight to Fighthype. “You got to realize too that this guy [Mayweather] is not a heavyweight like a Marciano. If it was 50 fights in the heavyweight division, I believe that would be the story and that would make history. I don’t think because Mayweather wins this 50th fight or whatever, it’s going to be the same as if he was a heavyweight.”
Mayweather might get more fan appreciation for hitting 50-0 if he fought better fighters. Mayweather has kind of slacked off since his win over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2013. Since then, Mayweather has twice beaten Marcos Maidana, and then beaten an injured Manny Pacquiao.
If Mayweather were to keep fighting tough opposition by fighting guys like Amir Khan, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia, I think boxing fans would care a lot more about him potentially hitting the 50-0 mark. But fans will care less if they feel that Mayweather focused on facing guys that were beatable in order for him to hit the 50-0 mark.
It means a lot more to fans when a fighter is facing nothing but the best time after time then if they face guys that are beatable in order to pad their resume, which it appears Mayweather is doing by taking on a well-worn 31-year-old Andre Berto on September 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I don’t know that fans will care any less about Mayweather hitting the 50-0 mark just because he’s not a heavyweight. Mayweather has already established himself as a huge pay-per-view attraction. We have no way of knowing whether boxing fans would care more about the 50-0 mark if a heavyweight were breaking that mark because the U.S. doesn’t have a heavyweight poised to break that mark yet.
Larry Holmes came close to breaking the mark in the past when he hit the 48-0 mark. But he was beaten by Michael Spinks before he could get to the 49-0 record. I don’t remember the boxing fans getting all that excited about Holmes being on the verge of breaking Marciano’s record back then. My understanding is that few people cared about it. They just wanted to see a good fight, and the Holmes-Spinks fight wasn’t a huge one like the Holmes vs. Gerry Cooney fight before that.
Undefeated WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (34-0, 33 KOs) has a chance of one day breaking Marciano’s 49-0 record if he can win another 16 fights. With Wilder fighting approximately two times per year, it will likely take Wilder another eight years to accomplish that record if he keeps fighting twice per year.
That would make Wilder 37-years-old by the time he hits the record. I find it very doubtful that Wilder will stay unbeaten for the next eight years. It would mean that he would need to be guys like Alexander Povetkin, Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko, Dillian Whyte, Tyson Fury, Carlos Takam, Kubrat Pulev. If Wilder is able to get to 50-0 without getting beaten, we’ll be able to see if Hagler was right about boxing fans caring more about a heavyweight hitting the 50-0 mark than a welterweight like Mayweather.
Since I give Wilder very little chance of ever making it to 50-0, I don’t think American fans are going to see anyone hit that mark for a long time to come. Even if one of the European heavyweights like Joshua or Whyte make it to 50-0, it might not be a big deal if they padded their record in order to get to that mark. As of now, Whyte and Joshua have not faced anyone of quality and they have 13 and 15 wins on their resume respectively.