An all-time great, Floyd Mayweather, the self-proclaimed “T.B.E” (and you know what the initials stand for) today turns 44. 44 years is an age when almost all boxing greats this side of Archie Moore, George Foreman and Bernard Hopkins are happily ensconced in retirement, and maybe Mayweather is too. Even if he’s not admitting it. To be fair, Mayweather has said many times that he is retired, yet with his constant talk of exhibition bouts and possible comebacks (this coming from people other than Floyd), is Mayweather really yesterday’s news?
Mayweather loves to keep himself in the news or to be more accurate, his ego needs it. But is Floyd still relevant today? Is Mayweather still a fighter worth talking, or reading, about? If you are excited about the postponed but apparently now back on “fight” Mayweather will have with Logan Paul – Floyd says, somewhat optimistically, the bout will lure 80,000 fans in Las Vegas – then, yeah, Mayweather is still cool and in fashion. To plenty of other people, the Mayweather of today is nothing more than a cash-grabbing celebrity who is milking every possible ounce that remains of his attraction and appeal.
Back in the day, however, Mayweather was a genuinely great fighter, a star that everyone wanted to see; wanted to pay to see. It might seem sad to many of us how Mayweather is, in the words of new star in the making, Teofimo Lopez, “tarnishing his legacy,” but it could also be argued how any past his prime prizefighter who is still capable of pulling in the prize – as in piles of cash – should do exactly that. And Floyd dances to nobody’s tune but his own. Mayweather may have a very real fear of going broke, yet his business acumen seems set to save him from ever succumbing.
Mayweather’s final legacy might be that of superb businessman, more so than great and adored ring warrior, yet it could be argued how Mayweather’s career has seen him enjoy enormous and well-earned plaudits as both. Yes, some of the greatest of greats performed exhibitions basically just for fun – the likes of Ali, Robinson, Marciano and Johnson playing it up for the fans and moving around for nothing much more than their attendance fee and to entertain their fans. But today things are a whole lot different, and a famous fighter can pull in a small fortune by way of an out of shape exhibition. You can’t blame Mayweather for living in the times he lives in, I guess.
But to remind ourselves of when Floyd was a truly great fighter, the following list of Mayweather’s vanquished foes shows how special, how talented, how hungry he once was. Mayweather may never be special or hungry again, but he will always be, special.
Canelo Alvarez – Mayweather W12
Diego Corrales – Mayweather WTKO10
Sugar Shane Mosley – Mayweather W12
Manny Pacquiao – Mayweather W12
Ricky Hatton – Mayweather KO10
Juan Manuel Marquez – Mayweather W12
Oscar De La Hoya – Mayweather W12
Miguel Cotto – Mayweather W12
Arturo Gatti – Mayweather WRTD5
Jose Luis Castillo – Mayweather W12 (x2).
Now that’s a special resume. Even one that should be milked for all it’s worth?