And just like that, the biggest fight of my life time has come and gone. Every generation has its super-fight, its contribution to the next generation of boxing, this was our generation’s entry in the annals of boxing history. I wasn’t around for Louis vs. Schmelling, or Ali vs. Frazier. I was here for Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.
Floyd Mayweather; not known for his quiet before the storm demeanor, his humility, or his relativity to the every-man, conducted himself with class following his clinical performance over the idol of millions.
Perhaps the creation of the idol that is Manny Pacquiao, the emotional investment required to hoist a mortal human so high in the mind-set, added to the disappointment created by the bizarre absence of reality when Pacquiao stated “I thought I won the fight”.
Manny Pacquiao, so dominant for so many years, so charismatic, so marketable, did not win the fight. He barely won a round.
In a fight that had a monumental build up on social media never seen before. Floyd Mayweather became the target of social media attacks and jokes by the legions of worshippers of the Filipino phenom to become the de facto villain during the build-up. A role Mayweather had taken on purpose in the past to sell previous fights.
I don’t know Floyd Mayweather personally but I know people in professional and amateur boxing. Good people, family people, world class trainers, and world champions. The one statement I heard more than anything when I was out and about getting predictions was “You know the Mayweather’s aren’t really like that in person, they’re good people”.
Formerly the “Pretty Boy”. Floyd took on the persona of “Money” after leaving Top Rank with a goal of making nine figures for a fight, and to become the highest paid athlete in the world. No different than Peyton Manning leaving the Colts for the Broncos, or Lebron James leaving the Cavs for the Heat.
Floyd Mayweather made a sports business decision. Period. Boxing skill aside the business acumen of the fighter has never been a bright spot in the sport and Mayweather should not only go down as the best fighter of this era but also as one of the best figures in the business of boxing.
True good people don’t always stand out front pointing at their contributions to charities, or how often they stand in the pews of their respective faith. They just do good and expect nothing in return. Mayweather donates to multiple charities quietly, to help the homeless and never stands up to trumpet his good deeds. He just does them because inside he feels compelled to.
Genaro Hernandez, who Mayweather beat to win his first title passed away a few years ago. Mayweather quietly paid for his funeral. Never made a statement. Never sought publicity. Just paid for it and wished the family well.
Money, the proverbial root of all evil and solver of all of life’s problems. Money Mayweather win or lose in his last fight will easily go down as the best boxer of this era. No fighter in the last forty years has perfected the hit and not get hit art of the sweet science the way he has. The history books shouldn’t judge Mayweather because of the character he’s portrayed to sell fights, but for the efforts and sacrifices he’s made in the ring and with his checkbook.
Muhammad Ali, revered as the greatest of all time was once a hated man by half the nation. George Foreman once the meanest, nastiest man in the heavyweight division, turned into America’s sweetheart in the nineties. Iron Mike Tyson, the epitome of rough around the collar served time in prison for rape and has most recently become the next chapter of beloved fighters to transition from villain to hero.
Floyd Mayweather will end his career soon, he will go down in history as the greatest of this era, there are no challenges left for him to take, he could walk away from the sport today and no valid argument of unsettled business could be made against him.