“Money” Mayweather’s money troubles are good for boxing

By: D.C. Winters - In the months leading to his showdown with Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather is still denying reports from the AP and ESPN that he owes 6.4 million dollars to the I.R.S. and others. “Money” Mayweather’s debt, if true, could lead to series of interesting matchups in the coming year.

Fans were introduced to Mayweather’s lavish lifestyle during H.B.O.’s “24/7” series. While promoting himself as the villain in fights with Oscar de la Hoya and Ricky Hatton, Mayweather flaunted his extravagance.. Now, a year and a half after retirement, he has returned to boxing under rumors of financial trouble.

Though odds makers have installed Mayweather as the favorite, he still faces an imposing challenge in Marquez, with the threat amplified by a long layoff. The risk may seem uncharacteristic for a boxer who was often criticized for avoiding dangerous opponents (Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, and Miguel Cotto) throughout his career.

A win over Marquez is no guarantee, but looming on the horizon is a huge payday for a match with Manny Pacquiao. “Money” Mayweather versus “Pac Man” would likely generate more revenue than any other fight that can be made in boxing. Pacquiao, however, faces his own daunting opponent in Miguel Cotto on November 14th at a 145-pound catchweight. Hopefully, Mayweather will face the winner sometime early next year. The division also offers the possibility of attractive matchups against Shane Mosley and Paul Williams.

It may be unfair to assume that Mayweather’s reported debt is the sole reason for his comeback. Perhaps he wishes to cement his legacy by adding more high-profile wins to an already impressive resume. But regardless of the reasons for his decision, Mayweather’s return will be beneficial to fans, promoters, and the sport.

Article posted on 02.08.2009

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