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Friday, 28 October 2016 14:16

Floyd Mayweather: Does boxing miss 'Money?'

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2016 is nearing its end and according to many of the wise and informed voices in boxing fandom, the year has been somewhat disappointing.

We're perhaps left to only hope that next month's showdown between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev delivers close to our deserved expectations.

A familiar ocean of mud seemed to swell once again earlier this year when so many of us were able to crack a smile at the thought of a clash between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin only to feel the familiar twisting of the arm. Websites aplenty are saturated with the year that was for the Sweet Science.

Manny Pacquiao took on Tim Bradley for a third time in a bout which didn't exactly cause heads to turn at whiplash inducing speed. Pacquiao will soon fight Jessie Vargas and while the bout may be noteworthy on paper to some, it's certainly not what many of us would like to see on our plates so close to Thanksgiving.

There's still a handful of contests to round out the year, but will 2016 go down as one of the more forgettable times in recent memory? On the other hand, the fact that the sport thrives in other areas outside of mainstream attention and pay per view telecasts is another story for another day. 

How quick we've been to forget the action that was Carl Frampton versus Leo Santa Cruz just a few months ago. We live in the midst of instant gratification with phones consistently grafted to us, so boxing's business first approach doesn't sit well with most. This might beckon the question: does the sport of boxing miss Floyd Mayweather?

Junior, of course that is.

The fighting discipline is now waiting for its next polarizing figure to headline a few times a year. Floyd may not have exactly fought who we wanted or when we wanted it, yet there was no denying his star power. Only the final fight of his career, which took place last September in Las Vegas against Andre Berto was one with which we could find so many better things to do on a Saturday night.

Think about it just for a moment. Granted, some of us may not miss him and his tendencies, yet as a fighter, no one has come close. Tyson Fury, depending on who is asked shook up the boxing world just a bit earlier this year when he managed to be marginally less sleep inducing than heavyweight king, Wladimir Klitschko. We were led to believe there'd be a rematch, but Tyson decided to fly over the cuckoo's nest instead. However, the alternative was even more promising. Klitschko versus Anthony Joshua, anyone? Yes, of course! Alas, that's not happening.

Love him or absolutely detest him, Mayweather didn't mess around when it came to fight night. This is not in reference to the negotiating process which stretched for more than half a decade. Rather, it's in regard to the understanding that no fight means no money.


He loved to make it, whether to help buy another limited edition car or carry it around in a duffel bag. In turn, his soon-to-be embarrassed opponent knew that a payday such as the one he'd receive wouldn't soon resurface if he exited stage left.

Floyd did a good job of selling himself, which would mean more dollars at the box office and on television as well as movie screens. We bought into it, too. Miguel Cotto would truly test him. Canelo Alvarez would wrest the title from the loudmouth American and Mexico would rejoice.

Marcos Maidana would pummel him and how could we forget the thought of Manny Pacquiao taking out six to seven years of frustration on him in the ring?

If anyone reading this article ever had the chance to be in Las Vegas during a weekend surrounding one of his contests (save for the Berto fight, as this writer can attest), then it's easy to recall the relative buzz a "Money May" bout would create, somewhat akin to that of Mike Tyson.

Granted, the excitement level and knockouts may not have been ever present for Floyd, yet fight fans by the masses would descend on Sin City to be part of the experience, or to "take it all in", so to speak.

Mayweather is still in the news these days, even though he's not fought in over a year. Anyone with a Yahoo account can find an article about him as part of its sports page provided one can overlook the plethora of insignificant trash ads which adorn the screen. Pacquiao wants a rematch with him, according to one boxing journalist. That particular news grabber probably generates more hits than one which actually focuses on Manny's upcoming opponent, Jessie Vargas.

Additionally, Floyd hasn't completely closed the door on coming back to the ring, even though he'll turn 40 in February. Whether subject to argument or decisive opinions, does boxing have a Mayweather hangover? The sport may be neither better nor worse without the all time, pound for pound great, but it sure is different. That's not part of the debate docket in any way.