Floyd Mayweather: Don't be surprised if vulnerable 'Money May' loses last fightWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Fresh off winning the biggest fight of his career and one of the most significant in the entire history of the sport, Floyd Mayweather, who just earned a record-setting purse, should be on top of world.
... But he isn't.
Last night, fans witnessed in Floyd Mayweather a 'businessman' who finds absolutely no bliss in boxing. As a matter of fact, during the pre-fight interview with Jim Gray, Mayweather came across like a man who detests the sport.
Laconic in comparison to years past, Floyd, even during the pressers and weigh-in, looked like a man who didn't want to be there.
It just wasn't fun anymore, was it?
... And Mayweather's lack of enthusiasm showed.
Pacquiao seems to still still have that fire; where is Floyd's?
Long gone is the cheerful, boyish smile and in-your-face arrogance that brought him so many fans and enemies. Even in the ring, Floyd simply did enough to win; nothing more, nothing less.
As a result, Floyd's next and last fight will be one of the biggest challenges in his career.
If Manny Pacquiao, Fighter of the Generation distinction, unspeakable monetary rewards, and mind-blowing international, mainstream coverage can't get Floyd excited, how is he going to motivate himself for his next fight?
Mike Tyson vs Kevin McBride anyone?
Who remembers Mike Tyson's final bout against journeyman Kevin McBride in 2005? Granted, Floyd's skills haven't deteriorated like Tyson's but, nevertheless, even that compromised version of 'Iron Mike' should have beaten McBride. After all, the well-sculpted Tyson was 38, not 98.
"I am not going to fight again," stated Mike after he quit on his stool at the conclusion of Round 5.
"I'm not going to disrespect the sport anymore by losing to these types of guys."
"I don't have the stomach for it anymore."
Boxing isn't like football or basketball where a disinterested athlete can 'hang on' and enjoy some semblance of success. At this level, any world class fighter is capable of losing badly and getting hurt against a top 10 contender if he is not mentally prepared to a degree.
We saw a different Floyd Mayweather last night. Something has changed.
He is quickly evolving from a fighter who lived, ate and breathed boxing to a mature, civilized businessman who, despite his freakish skill set, has no business in the ring against a top contender. Maybe someone will hook him up on Wall St? Psychologically, he seems better suited these days to be sitting behind a desk and hobnobbing with entrepreneurs like his new friend, Warren Buffett.
If Floyd decides to face a quality journeyman next and for relative pennies, how in the world will he get motivated? He was abundantly clear he fought Pacquiao for one thing - the money.
What many will fail to realize is Floyd's potential next opponent will be hungry, disciplined and in the best shape of his life. He'll train like he's never trained before, knowing a win over Floyd would secure him financial stability and boxing immortality.
At this stage, and for relative chump change, does Floyd Mayweather really have the stomach for another high-stakes fight?
Historically, disinterested fighters don't perform well.
Perhaps he should attempt to reach a settlement with CBS/Showtime in hopes they'll allow him to forgo the last bout on their six-fight deal?
Floyd's comments and body language, last night and over the past several months, suggest he may be ripe for the taking in September.
Physiscally, he's still beyond awesome... But emotionally, Floyd Mayweather may have already checked out of the fight game.