Floyd Mayweather: The Circus Returns
Floyd Mayweather is the enigma that won’t go away. Tempted by or in need of the money and with an ego that needs constant inflating, Mayweather just can’t let go.
He seems intent on hanging around until there are no miles left in the fighting brand. Mayweather has many flaws elsewhere but in the ring, at his peak, he had very few. Even in his last real meaningful fight with Manny Pacquiao in 2015, Mayweather showed his class. Pacquiao made his excuses, Mayweather made his point.
Mayweather fought with caution, certainly, in the twilight years of his career, he took minimal risks, aware that every punch absorbed now, will count much more later in life. The millions earned are not worth paying a far greater price in the years to come. Mayweather can’t be faulted with his safety-first approach. Health and wealth go hand in hand.
Mayweather was not there to entertain, he had his price, one he budgeted for, he wanted to be able to live well long after the final bell had been rung. Too many live in darkness, not able to remember the brilliance they once had. Those that did had moved on to the present. A conveyor belt of little sympathy or loyalty.
Mayweather was certainly cynical in the last few years, picking opponents who posed little threat, he knew the end was coming. Mayweather took what he could while he could, low-risk high reward, Money Mayweather he most certainly was. The fighter that probably understood the fight business more than any boxer in history. In a blood sport, Mayweather was a sublime artist.
If the interest is still there you can’t blame Mayweather for continuing to dabble in a sport he once ruled. Andre Berto was bad, very bad, Conor McGregor was a circus that fooled many. Somehow they got people to watch to see what would happen when virtually everyone knew exactly what would happen. McGregor believed, blinded by arrogance, Mayweather just knew.
In 2018 the Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa was stopped inside a round, an exhibition of many things. An episode akin to the playground bully doing his thing.
The circus is back, early next month, Mayweather returns once again. In an exhibition of the might of the dollar, Logan Paul, one-half of the YouTube brothers that have created a new playground in the world of boxing, is the hand-picked opposition.
Mayweather recently turned 44 and looking more like Adrien Broner with each passing day, he feels he only has to turn up to win. He is probably right, but complacency has cost many before him.
Despite the diminishing opposition, millions still tuned in, many to see him lose. Mayweather rarely obliges in anything, losing was never part of the script. The ‘exhibition’ with Paul will see many who once jeered now cheer, hoping the old champion will rid the sport of at least one of the brothers who seem intent on using their new toy for as long as they can. Content for views, anything goes in search of clicks.
Boxing often sinks to the bottom of moral fortitude, it’s not a place for preaching values and decency. A sport so simple, made complicated by those that choose to take from those that risk far more than a few dollars. Everything revolves around one thing.
Mayweather vs Paul is another step on the worrying trend that threatens to overshadow fighters and fights that deserve far more attention. It’s an easy win, but equally, everything that is currently wrong in the sport.
Mayweather shouldn’t be fighting period, to be fighting a YouTube ‘star’ is insulting not only to his own incredibly impressive legacy but to the sport where he made his name. If by some miracle Logan wins, some elements of the damage will be irreversible and unbearable. Paul is younger and bigger, the only things he has in his favour. He needs more, much more.
The hope is Mayweather wins and finally goes away to count his millions and find whatever he needs elsewhere. But the likelihood is that a win will set up more of the same later this year. Jake Paul will probably face Mayweather with a narrative of family revenge and much more, the showbiz will continue with no end in sight. Jake Paul will bring more to the table, most of it we could do without.
Mayweather will pick and choose what he does, the least amount of risk with the highest possible reward. Boxing will hope that a YouTuber isn’t the one who benefits if and when Mayweather finally gets it wrong. The longer the circus goes on, the more likely one day he will.