Mayweather hurt boxing says Robert Garcia
By Allan Fox: Floyd Mayweather Jr. hurt the sport of boxing before retiring, says trainer Robert Garcia. He says that Mayweather hurt the sport in a way due to the lack of action in his fights, and the important ones that he never took. Garcia didn’t use any examples of what fights that Mayweather had that lacked action, but he might have been talking about his big pay-per-view bouts against Manny Pacquiao and Saul Canelo Alvarez.
Both of those fights lacked drama and excitement because of Mayweather playing it safe and boxing for the full 12 rounds. Mayweather obviously had no obligation to the fans to stand and brawl with Pacquiao and Canelo, because he didn’t have the punching power to fight that way against those fighters. Those fights were dull in the minds of a lot of fans, and it might have made some of them less willing to purchase other boxing PPV events.
“Floyd did so good in boxing. He made the most money any boxer ever made,” said Robert Garcia to Fighthype.com. “He made a lot of money, but somehow it could have hurt boxing a little, because with Mayweather, we never seen those fights that fans want to see when it comes to action and stuff like that. He might have hurt, especially with the pay-per-views and all that. It might have hurt boxing a little bit,” said Garcia.
Some believe that Mayweather hurt the sport and then took off into retirement rather than continue fighting and potentially seeing his PPV numbers drop badly. They feel that’s why Mayweather is choosing to try and fight a UFC fighter in Conor McGregor now, because the boxing fans won’t purchase his fights in high numbers any longer. McGregor is bringing in huge PPV numbers for his fights in the UFC.
It was an opportunity lost when Mayweather fought Pacquiao. There were a huge amount of casual boxing fans that paid to see the fight, and they were left very disappointed. The fight was hyped through the roof for months, and product was very poor. Even the undercard for the Mayweather-Pacquiao card looked like it had been thrown together without much thought in terms of trying to entertain the fans that had paid a ton of money. If the fans are still angry about that fight, then it’s not surprising that the PPV numbers haven’t been as good they once were.
The highest boxing PPV since the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was Saul Alvarez’s fight with Miguel Cotto in 2015. That fight did 900,000 buys. It wasn’t a great. Cotto mostly boxed instead of going after Canelo to try and knock him out. Canelo fought at a pedestrian pace, as if he were afraid to gas out.
There are some fans out there who firmly believe that the low PPV numbers that we’re seeing in the sport right now is because of the super expensive Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in 2015. The fight failed to deliver on the hype that had been generated. Neither fighter was willing to take any risks in that fight. The boxing fans paid a lot of money to see the fight on PPV, as the prices were raised sky high to take advantage of the interest in the fight. That’s part of the beef that many fans had. They felt that they were ripped off. It might be just a coincidence that the pay-per-view industry hasn’t been good since the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. There are some fans that really believe that Mayweather hurt boxing with his fight with Pacquiao. Mayweather is on the verge of facing UFC star Conor McGregor in a boxing match. Will this fight hurt the sport if it fails to live up to expectations? We’ll see if the fight takes place.
“I think there are some big fights that are going to start happening this year,” said Garcia. “I think boxing will be back where fans are wanting to see those fighters. There’s not one fighter that has done what Mayweather has done. Maybe a lot of fans don’t enjoy it. Maybe a lot of fans don’t like it. But businesswise, it was the best thing. As I said, that may have hurt boxing a little bit, but all the fighters that are out there right now, we can get boxing back to where it was 10 years ago when people were paying for pay-per-views. Canelo is already a big name in pay-per-view, and after the Chavez fight, that’s going to be huge if it’s a good fight. I’m sure they’re going to have a rematch. If Canelo fights Triple G, that’s going to be huge also. Boxing will be back on top,” said Garcia.
I don’t think Canelo vs. Golovkin will bring boxing back to the point where fights would do 1 million buys. Canelo isn’t being matched in the right way for him to become a big PPV attraction on a consistent basis. He’ll bring in a lot of PPV buys every now and then, but I don’t think it’ll ever be consistently big numbers because his promoters at Golden Boy seem to be very reluctant to put him in risky fights where he could lose. They still haven’t matched him against Golovkin, and it looks like they’re waiting for something to change before they eventually put him in with him. I think the PPV numbers will eventually start going upwards, but only when a new star emerges that is willing to fight the best, and not let his promoters steer around to safe fights against past their best fighters.
“Maybe it will take a little while before anyone in boxing can do what Mayweather and Pacquiao were doing, 1.2, 1.5 pay-per-view sales,” said Garcia. “Right now with pay-per-view, 500,000 to 600,000, it’s already being a huge, huge hit. 400,000 is huge,” said Robert Garcia.
500-600K is not the same thing as 1.5 million buys. Garcia is kidding himself. The numbers are much lower than they used to be, and there’s a reason for that. The boxing public don’t see enough compelling fights for them to want to pay their hard-earned money. When you see a top fighter like Canelo facing a welterweight like Amir Khan or an obscure junior middleweight like Liam Smith, the fans aren’t going to want to pay to see that kind of thing. Manny Pacquiao fighting Tim Bradley for a third time and Jessie Vargas on PPV, those are not great fights. The top guys aren’t fighting each other often enough in the divisions that the fans are interested in. You’ve got promoters playing it safe with their fighters by putting them in too many sure thing fights where they know their fighter is going to likely win.
Right now, the UFC seems to be doing better than boxing, and one of the reasons for that is because they have interesting matches much of the time. The UFC is making better fights than what we’re seeing in boxing, and the fans are responding to that. When you see a UFC event bringing in 1 million buys, and then you compare it to the low PPV buys were seeing from the top fighters now in boxing, it’s clear that changes need to be made in the sport.
If Mayweather came back to the sport and was willing to face someone good like Keith Thurman or Golovkin, it would be a shot in the arm for the sport. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. Mayweather wants to fight a novice in McGregor in what will be a bad mismatch.