Monday, May 4, 2015
Does Boxing Have A Floyd Mayweather Problem?
Let's get something out of the way right off the bat - boxing ain't dead. Oh, I know the smartest people in the room are all saying it now, but I very much doubt they were saying it when they coughed up a hundred bucks to see Mayweather fight Pacquiao on Saturday night. I doubt they'll be saying it when the next superfight rolls around either. No, they'll wait at least twenty four hours after that one ends before starting up again.
So yeah, boxing is alive, and from the looks of it, not doing too badly for itself right now. That being said, my friends, I think our beloved sport may have a problem - a Floyd Mayweather problem.
The guy just ain't bringing in new fans, folks. Not like a star of his caliber should be. Take the Pacquiao bout, for instance. That one will, by year's end, have proven to be bigger than just about any other sporting event besides the Super Bowl. Believe it. Yet the uptick boxing will have received from it probably won't move the sport as far in from the margins as it logically should have.
Because Mayweather doesn't thrill. Yes, he's a stylist rather than a puncher, but both Ali and Ray Leonard were stylists and they knocked people out. Not always, but enough to draw the love. There's nothing exciting about Floyd. His is a masterful study of process rather than electrifying art.
Yet it's not his fault. The guy's 48-0, people. And yeah, he's now beaten the best in the business. He may not be "The Best Ever," as he claims, but Floyd is most certainly up there. What's more, there's no reason why he should change his style at this time. None whatsoever. Barring any flukes, he's going to retire undefeated.
He also, sadly, is probably going to retire boring casual fans - and even a lot of hard core ones - near to death. Fortunately, the end of Floyd's career is on the horizon. He's most likely going to leave the sport of boxing while the general public is still really willing to give it a chance. Hopefully the heir to his throne will be more satisfying for potential fans.
Paging Keith Thurman.