"I won, but I didn't beat him."
Apollo Creed, following his loss of a victory over Rocky Balboa
The other day while perusing through a boxing site as I'll sometimes do, I came across an article titled "Floyd Mayweather offers more evidence that he is a sexist, racist classless man who just happens to be a great boxer" (you can see this ugly piece here if you like).
The writer brought up some rather unsavory comments Floyd made about Manny Pacquiao a few years ago and the very unfortunate incident at his Las Vegas gym involving his father for the whole world to see.
We know about his jail stint resulting from domestic violence and his overall negative history with women. So his recent Instagram message to women concerning how they dress in proportion to how they are treated, was probably not a good idea coming from him.
That said, I didn't think the article was very fair or even warranted. We all have bad personality traits if examination is conducted, and if that persona is under the glare of a public armed with gadgets to expose in an instant - we'd all fall short.
For Floyd, its not his personal shortcomings as a man that makes him a loser - no. That is subjective and laden with perception, which is also right around the corner from an opinion. Its what he's done to boxing, and what he's doing to its storied history, that threatens to place an "L" next to his name for life, and sully any victory he's ever had in his thus far unbeaten career.
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In the early part of 2012, Floyd Mayweather walked into his Las Vegas gym and noticed a certain hard-working, super-middleweight fighter named Lanell Bellows. A compactly built and sturdy fighter of resolve, a quick glance at Bellows' style and posture probably caught the eye of the very discerning pound for pound champ, for its uniquely similar to that of Miguel Cotto, who just happened to be Floyd's upcoming opponent.
Whether or not this was happenstance is anyone's guess, but the encounter did happen to make a huge impact in the life of Bellows. He was a 26 year-old fighter with 3 professional bouts under his belt at the time, who now found himself in the ring doing 5 minute rounds with the best fighter in the sport. Over the course of what had to be the hardest work of his life, he earned a contract with TMT.
Enter June 2014, on Father's Day to be exact, and Bellows reflects on fatherhood and dreams. Now heading into his 8th pro bout later this month at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, the still unknown TMT fighter (now campaigning as a middleweight) is optimistic. "I'm all about my family man, and being fair to others," stated the humble Bellows. "I feel so fortunate to have a good team around me that believes in me. I've worked hard and I'm not going to stop until I get to that title."
"Psst... Maybe you might want to give him another look for more work Floyd. He still looks like Cotto, which might be a rematch we're interested in, unless of course you feel Miguel's done nothing to deserve one. All he is, is waaaaay better than the guy you faced before. But we'll take a Maidana II fight or one with you know who. That is, unless you're afraid to."
There is no "I" in team - at least I don't think there is - but TMT (aka "The Money Team") really only consists of him, and there really isn't that much time left in his career. If TMT is to be left in good condition once he departs from the sport to ensure its long-term viability for fighters like Bellows, he'll have to make the close of his career especially memorable.
Mayweather regards himself as "TBE". The media didn't give him this moniker, nor was there some colossal movement to drum up this talk. He came up with it. And if it wasn't him, then it was either his "great" manager Leonard Ellerbe (he is that) or the very savvy Harvard alumni Al Haymon who thought it was a good idea.
Since we live in the era of the "selfie" portrait, that means that narcissism is in, just as Mayweather is on his way out. But he can't do major fights on his own or all by himself. He needs help - whether he wants to admit it or not - and his latest fight (and perhaps toughest of his career, a razor-thin decision over Marcos Maidana) and the one he had in May 2013 against Robert Guerrero, prove that point.
Floyd tried to con Saul Canelo Alvarez into fighting Austin Trout on his undercard to utilize his fan base and appeal, so that he could bolster his own numbers. He had a handshake agreement with Canelo to fight him in September 2013, only to not put it in writing.
So Canelo essentially said "F*ck you", and did huge numbers at the Alamodome in San Antonio last April on his own. Floyd would ultimately fight Alvarez last September, but not before losing Showtime extreme amounts of money (in his first contracted bout) for beating a guy in Guerrero with no appeal, pull, or clout.
He was a loser for doing that, and a loser for making Canelo drain to 152lbs (especially after he killed Pacquiao for facing Cotto at 145lbs in 2009).
The Mayweather cognoscenti knows he isn't a major draw without being opposite a major star the public wants to see destroy him. Perhaps this is why they all decided it was a good idea to use Pacquiao vs. Bradley II as a platform to promote his fight against Maidana.
He did the same thing in promoting himself in his "unretirement" fight against Juan Manuel Marquez at the weigh-in for Pacquiao vs. Hatton.
If we're going to the scorecards, it kinda looks like Floyd f*cks around and becomes a loser for that too.
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I thought Floyd edged Marcos Maidana in a great fight, and I've never withheld the opinion that he is indeed a great fighter and an all-time great. No one - or anything negative he just might do in the future - can take that away from him.
But because he's so emotionally attached to his image (and his unblemished record), he is losing credibility by the nano-second. PPV numbers don't lie, the public is getting sick of being conned at the box-office in their living rooms.
He knows he can't keep going to jail for incidents involving the mother of his children, being accused of ordering violent crimes, stealing other fighter's promotional platforms, posting things that come back to haunt him on Twitter or Instagram, or getting into beef with T.I. at Fatburger eateries.
You can't be the highest paid athlete in sports and be the simultaneous biggest asshole in sports without some fair degree of karma to balance things.
"TBE", never gave the sport a fight with Margarito, a rematch with De La Hoya, a match-up with Kostya Tsyzu, Paul Williams, or Sergio Martinez (these are just a few examples), even though he always had the talent to win any of these fights. If he were "TBE", he'd be eager to eclipse "The Greatest" resume of all-time in Ali's.
Because he's been fearful of defeat, he doesn't want to try to challenge that feat. He'd look to sidestep a Provodnikov (this would be a brutal fight for Floyd), a Bradley (he's too hard of a worker), or a Thurman or a Porter (both way too dangerous). But based on Danny Garcia's last performance - he'll probably do, and that's been part of Floyd's problem. He's been correctly perceived as being too much of an opportunist at the fans expense, while Bernard Hopkins (for example) has gone out of his way to beat the biggest threat he can find (including calling Floyd out).
No fight in history would have been bigger than one with Pacquiao - this still holds true though its a lesser fight now - and he should be honored to be connected to that distinction. I hear he wants to simultaneously put both his 147lb and 154lb WBC lineal championships on the line in a truly historic fight.
This has never been done before.
Here's a thought Floyd.... Since you've been so very envious of Manny's achievements (and you have been, don't f*ckin lie Floyd), why not just fight him with this grand idea?
All Pacquiao did was defeat a guy you never wanted to fight in Margarito to get his record breaking 8th world title in as many divisions, and that would sorta be like killing two birds with one stone. What's the worse that could happen, you'd lose one of the greatest fights in history, as opposed to losing your mind over a fighter you were scared of?
I can see it now, "Floyd Mayweather, 46-1, Is A Winner", because you could really lose the most demanded fight ever. Think about Floyd. Don't go down in history for losing a fight you never even tried to win.