Mayweather Further Tarnishes His Image With Proposed Wrestling Match

floyd mayweather jr.Matthew Hurley: Floyd Mayweather Jr. has always wanted nothing more than to be a crossover star. Boxing, the profession he was born into, has apparently been a means to an end for the so called pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. Many of his ring performances do indeed justify that distinction and his talent is unquestionable, but his desire to fight the very best in boxing has been questioned by many in the media and certainly by the general boxing public. At least as of late.

Now comes the news that Mayweather will participate in ‘WrestleMania XXIV’ at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida on March 30th. The welterweight champion will apparently take on seven foot Big Show, a four hundred and thirty pound wrestler.

At a press conference held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Mayweather, who as of late has gone by the nickname ‘Money’, tossed out hundred dollar bills into the crowd before staring up at his future opponent. The sight of the diminutive boxer and the towering wrestler was not lost on Big Show..

“I weight three times as much as he does,” he was quoted in the Associated Press as saying. “It’s not fair, but I’m a businessman and I see an opportunity for business.”

Many fighters have made the foray into the wrestling world but for the most part it represented the nadir of their professional careers – a watershed moment that personified the broken down champion. Mayweather, however, is simply all about the cash. According to his manager Leonard Ellerbee and WWE executive Shane McMahon, Mayweather is guaranteed a twenty million dollar purse for his ‘performance’ on the pay-per-view broadcast.

Boxing fans who are already clamoring for Mayweather’s head for not signing to fight welterweight belt holder, and near universally regarded number one challenger Miguel Cotto, should have a field day with this nonsense. But Mayweather is much more concerned about promoting his star appeal than hanging on to that mythic pound-for-pound moniker.

“I’m outside the box,” he said at the press conference, as his alter ego ‘Money Mayweather’ took over. “Floyd Mayweather is not just a fighter, he’s an entertainer. That’s what the world must know.”

Unfortunately this new attempt at massaging his own ego will only alienate him further from boxing fans, the most hardcore of which will see this foray into a ‘pre-determined’ sporting arena as the ultimate betrayal.

Mayweather is still scheduled to fight a rematch against aging Oscar De La Hoya in September. Their May 5th bout of last year, in which Mayweather won a split decision, was the richest in boxing history and apparently went to the fighter’s money loving head.

Despite the negative feedback anticipated by this latest turn of events, Mayweather’s often braggadocios manager Ellerbee was surprisingly candid.

“Either I’m going to be a genius with this or I’m the biggest idiot,” he was quoted by AP reporter Beth Harris as saying. “Boxers have such a short window of opportunity. He can’t become any bigger in boxing.”

One can only wonder what the taciturn Miguel Cotto thinks of all this.

Article posted on 27.02.2008

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