Thursday, June 25, 2015

It's Still Floyd Mayweather's World

Yup, the "Fight of the Century" just ended and people are already talking obsessively about Floyd Mayweather's next opponent. This makes sense, of course, since Mayweather is supposed to fight in September (although it's doubtful Showtime - who Floyd has a contract with - would care if Mayweather decided to fight later). One has to wonder, though, what will happen when Mayweather finally is out of the picture. It's going to happen, after all, whether Floyd retires or overstays his welcome.

Indeed, Mayweather is absolutely, positively a one man show when it comes to the sport of boxing right now. No one - no one at all - can reach across the margins and grab hold of casual fans like Floyd can. What's more, it doesn't look like anyone will be able to so in the near future, either. And that's not good for boxing.

Think about it - by the end of the Hagler-Leonard-Hearns era, Mike Tyson was already established as a household name and international star. Same goes for Oscar De La Hoya at the end of the Tyson era. Who's out there to take the reins from Mayweather, though? Canelo Alvarez? GGG? Maybe - but those dudes have a long way to go before they're ready to become names that non-boxing fans are familiar with.

At least some of this might have to do with Mayweather himself, truth be told. He's a marketing genius, after all. Seriously.  The fact that he has no major endorsement contracts and has a serious criminal record to his name only adds to the unlikeliness of his triumph. Consider this - Floyd's the highest paid athlete in the world  and a household name - despite all the odds that would indicate otherwise. That's the very definition of success.

And part of Mayweather's success may stem from the fact that he lets it be known over and over and over again that he's the biggest show in town. Tyson was deferential to the greats of the past. Floyd says he's better than them. Such hubris can have an effect and that effect might well be people believing no one else is worthy of the spotlight. Manny Pacquiao was the exception, but Mayweather bested him...and now there's no one else.

And, again, that's something of a problem.

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