By Joss Gooseman:
Floyd Mayweather has always been insecure about his place in the sports of boxing. Outside of the ring, he had to flaunt around his earnings, his cars, his jewelry etc. When he realized after the dela Hoya fight that the key to getting rich in the sports is the “ppv” factor, he created a persona, even changing his moniker from “pretty” to “money”.
He knew that he will be hated on, and he actually banked on that fact. His reasoning is that people will pay just to see him lose, hence he thought of it as a win-win situation. At first, he never cared about the glory nor legacy. To him it was all just business, plain and simple. He even said so himself.
When the BWAA named Manny Pacquiao as the fighter of the decade, when celebrities started following his arch rival, he started seething. Ranting and spewing out racists remarks on Youtube, he even questioned the patriotism of his fellow Americans who, like what he said to Larry merchant, didn’t give him his “fair shakes”. So he took it upon himself to call himself “tbe”, the best ever. He had to, simply because nobody did and he was fairly sure that his fans will follow suit and call him as such. He can always play with his fans psychologically. He was always believed and forgiven by his diehard fans.
He was so wrapped up in his persona, the one he created, that he himself started believing it. That he is the greatest of all time, ever. Even dissing fighters of the past like Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhamad Ali. He was caught in the hype he himself created. And to maintain his ppv draw, he had to maiintain his “zero”, of which he did so by carefully basing the late half of his career on his business model, “little or no risk, high reward ventures”
Rocky Marciano’s son was quoted as saying that it is more difficult to have a record of 49 wins and no loses in the heavyweight division. He is right, simply because, for the glaringly obvious fact that bigger men punch harder. Thus, nowhere else in all the divisions can the cliche, one punch can change it all, be truer than in the heavyweight division.
Julio Cesar Chavez was 87-0-0, before his draw with Pernell Whitaker, and it could have been a truly amazing record of he decided to hang ’em up, right there and then. Nowhere near is Floyd’s record to that of Chavez.
Although he is good at selling himself, Floyd knew that the ppv numbers depend on the other fighter who would be sitting in the opposite corner of the ring. He knew, deep within himself that half the draw is the fighter he is facing. When people, especially casual fans, see the possibility, no matter how remote, of that fighter beating Floyd, his fights sell. Again, that business plan of Floyd’s, people will pay up to see him lose.
And now, the bitter realization
In his (supposedly) last fight, his ppv numders were beyond dismal. people didn’t see Berto as a threat, so, nope, they didn’t care about the fight. Floyd thought that the spectacle of seeing him in the ring for the last time would draw in fans. Well, the ppv numbers told the whole story. In his own words – numbers don’t lie.
When he wanted to go out and exit the sports of boxing in blazing glory, the fight came and went with nary a whimper.
What Floyd failed to realize is that all his cash, his cars, his jewelry will not, and can not buy respect.
And even more so, 49 and oh, can not buy respect. All great fighters in history had loses on their records, thus. simply being undefeated can not make you “tbe”.
Never did, never will.