Abner Mares, says “Floyd Mayweather Jr. hurt the sport of boxing”

By Boxing News - 05/07/2021 - Comments

By Jimmy James: Abner Mares, former world champion in three different weight classes, spoke in a live interview with Golden Era about the current condition of boxing by saying that “boxing remains a sport as we know it,” but things have changed.

“The days of the best fighting the best is no longer a reality, and it won’t change anytime soon,” said Mares to Golden Era Boxing.

“Now, more than ever before, boxing has become a business as we see with YouTubers; it’s about making millions and not about leaving a legacy that died.” Mares added, “Floyd Mayweather was partly responsible for hurting the sport of boxing.”

I couldn’t agree anymore with Mares; after the nineties, the sport of boxing started to suffer a steep decline, where the best no longer wanted to challenge the best.

The bipolar difference between the two champions couldn’t be more visible when comparing former undisputed Champion Bernard Hopkins and Mayweather Jr as far as risk-taking. Two boxers with two different mentalities of the sport.

Image: Abner Mares, says "Floyd Mayweather Jr. hurt the sport of boxing"

Hopkins never had a fear of fighting the best and ducked no one. Meanwhile, Mayweather Jr, using calculated risk, avoided black fighters for most of his career and sought after Latino boxers like Marcos Maidana and Victor Ortiz, who only knew how to push forward without many dimensions to their game.

Hopkins was the essence of a warrior, and Mayweather was the essence of prizefighting taken to a whole new different level.

Many people accuse Mayweather Jr. of avoiding Paul Spadafora, Paul Williams, Kosta Tszyu, Winky Wright (who he tried to put a rehydration clause), and Keith Thurman, among a series of other boxers.

Not to mention fighting a prime Manny Pacquiao, that was a whirlwind in the mid-2000s and making the boxing world wait until Pacquiao lost steam with his aggression.

With time, the damage became apparent and widespread visible to old-school boxing aficionados that suffered from watching the best fight the best.

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Boxers like Canelo Alvarez copied Mayweather Jr by also trying to avoid black undefeated boxers in their best moments while jumping to different weight classes like he is doing right now with Demetrius Andrade Jermall Charlo and David Benavidez.

Canelo also sets highly questionable contract clauses to his opponents to weaken them before the fight, which has created controversy repeatedly.

Charlo avoids both Benavidez and Andrade and wants to mimic Mayweather Jr. and Canelo Alvarez. In contrast, Gary Russell Jr is flat-out avoided by everyone in his division like he doesn’t exist.

These boxers and many more today have been overall a bad influence on the sport we all love. The fans are also partly to blame for this tragedy because they have become complacent after constant exposure from the media to believe undefeated records mean everything in boxing.

Traditional Boxing is about styles; it is not about being undefeated or trying to price yourself out from other champions to avoid risking a loss on your record.

Fans today abandon those that risk fighting the best and praise those that the media tells them is good without real solid proof. Most of these boxers have never been undisputed to their divisions, and they are called the best without earning that title.

Image: Abner Mares, says "Floyd Mayweather Jr. hurt the sport of boxing"

Had Mayweather Jr, Alvarez and Charlo lived in the 1920-50s; their whole undefeated scheme would have ended with multiple losses on their records.

Juan Zurita, Freddie Steele, Lou Ambers, Tony Canzoneri, Fred Apostoli, Georgie Abrams, Sugar Ray Robinson, Archie Moore, Holman Williams, Tony Zale, Beau Jack, Ike Williams, and many other legends from that legendary generation showed us what being a technical warrior is all about.

Boxing fans should never embrace this new scam of undefeated records and revert to push boxing to the old days of unifying championships before we all lose the sport that we all love.