In Defense of “Money” Mayweather: A True Prizefighter

mayweather30.03.08 - By Michael Herron (M.I.C.) - The definition of prizefighting is simple; a match fought between professional fighters for money. Fortunately, Floyd “Money” Mayweather, the best Pound-for-Pound (P4P) fighter in the sport, understands the meaning. Lately, critics have attacked Mayweather for his decision to appear in Wrestlemania to face the behemoth known as “Big Show.” My question is, why not? What’s wrong with a professional boxer having some fun and making some money courtesy of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)? There are fighters who go life and death in the ring, the Vasquez –Marquez trilogy for instance, yet receive pennies in comparison to “Money May.” Before you rattle on about how much you admire Marquez and Vasquez, be reminded that neither of them are considered P4P #1, neither is making millions, and neither have three potential mega-million dollar fights lined up in the near future..

So what is the root of the problem? Some writers/critics have suggested that he is avoiding Miguel Cotto; and that if he would just fight Cotto everything would be fine. I find the Cotto demand to be quite humorous. Mayweather is sitting at the top of the mountain; why should he spend his days worried about Cotto? “Money” does not need Cotto; Cotto needs “Money.” Mayweather stated on ESPN’s Friday Night Fight’s, “I’ll fight these guys when I get ready.” These are the words of a prizefighter who is in control of his own destiny. The ultimate goal of every prizefighter is to be in control of their own destiny, why detest Mayweather for being in control of his?

Critics also like to compare Mayweather to former P4P king Roy Jones, Jr. Bravo I say-- it’s a good comparison. They both are multi-division champions, each possessed unworldly talent and skill, and both proved to be the best fighters of their era. In addition, they both understand the concept of prizefighting and recognize the need for boxers to branch out of their chosen profession. It’s no question why WWE has sought out Mayweather, and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has recently come to Jones in an attempt to bridge the three sports. It is sad and ironic that other combat sports can recognize Jones and Mayweather as the best in boxing, yet fans and critics in their own sport refuse to acknowledge their obvious greatness.

So for “Money May” to be apparently hated so much by fans, critics, writers, etc…, he sure is well compensated for his services. On the flip side however, critics say nothing about Oscar De La Hoya’s multi-million dollar paydays. It’s okay for him to swindle the public with meaningless fights. Just this past year alone, Oscar has made offers to Cotto, Hatton, Pacquiao, Maweather, and Forbes. His opponents get physically smaller everyday. What is the meaning of these fights if not a payday? Does Oscar want to be the next junior welterweight and super-featherweight champion? To his credit, he’ll possibly get his paydays with all of them. Why? Because no matter how meaningless the matchup; Oscar first and foremost is a prizefighter. Even “Money May” admits Oscar excels in that area.

In the name of dignity however, let’s ask the question; when was the last time Oscar beat a top opponent? If you ask me, you’d have to go back to the mid 1990s with his gifts over Pernell Whitaker and Ike Quartey. Since then he has been inconsistent and far from the best. With his losing record in big fights, a matchup with Mayweather shouldn’t even be justifiable at this point in his career. Yet critics say nothing about Oscar’s offer, they’d rather bash Mayweather for taking the fight. Only an idiot wouldn’t take easy money, maybe Cotto should try it.

So while critics complain and groan, Mayweather is busy setting up 2008 and 2009 for mega-million dollar events. He will make millions from his appearance on Wrestlemania--millions with De La Hoya II--millions with Hatton II in London, and in 2009 he’ll save the last dance for Miguel Cotto, assuming he hasn’t been beaten yet. This doesn’t sound at all like a bad deal to me; he’ll make his money, defeat Cotto, and retain his P4P title. When his career is said and done, Floyd “Money” Mayweather will have proven to be not only one of best P4P fighters of our time, but also one of the smartest prizefighters of all-time.

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Article posted on 30.03.2008

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