Undefeated boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. proved his dominance once again this Saturday as he cruised to victory over Robert Guerrero.
Mayweather has established himself as the pound-for-pound king of boxing time and time again. The sport is often referred to as the “sweet science,” and the artist formally known as “Pretty Boy Floyd” can be considered the Albert Einstein of it.
Though both hardcore and casual boxing fans could be witnessing one of the greatest of all time in the ring, I believe it’s possible for Mayweather to do much more to save the sport that is considered to be dying.
Mayweather may be dominant and an engaging personality, but he has only finished seven of his last nine fights, including a controversial one over Victor Ortiz.
It’s blatantly obvious that the casual fans love to see knockouts, just like they like to see fighting in the NHL and crashes in NASCAR.
It’s sad to say that Mayweather’s amazing footwork, head movement and ability to not damage isn’t enough to make fans pay to see him fight. Nothing showcases this more than the early Pay Per View (PPV) numbers from this weekend’s bout.
ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael tweeted “No official PPV #’s yet for Floyd but 2 industry sources tell me they look bad (under 1M). We’ll see. If true, heavy $$ losses for Showtime.”
These numbers may be more a testament to Mayweather’s opposition. Though Guerrero may be a proficient boxer, he didn’t have the name or a threatening enough skill set to make this an intriguing match-up.
However, if the self proclaimed “cash cow” of boxing was who he said he was, wouldn’t his name alone sell that fight?
He was a part of the fight that produced the biggest live and PPV numbers in 2007, but let’s not forget who that fight was against. Just six years ago Sunday, the Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya fight produced a near $19 million live gate, good for the No. 1 gate in Nevada history.
Mayweather has a lot to live up to in addition to those early PPV numbers, as he signed a deal with Showtime that has been called the “richest individual athlete deal in all of sports.” The deal is for six fights and 30 months, and was a huge blow for competitor HBO whom Mayweather previously had a deal with.
Another problem with casual fan interest in Mayweather is the frequency (or infrequency) in which he fights. He only had one fight in 2012 and one this year. In fact, he has only fought six times since the De La Hoya fight, which averages out to one per year.
Casual fans take on a “what have you done for me lately” mentality, and the infrequency in which Mayweather fights could be pushing them away.
Some believe that making the “super fight” that never happened between him and Manny Pacquiao take place will still garner much interest. However, Pacquiao was just announced to be taking on Brandon Rios in Macau, China later this year.
Additionally, Pacquiao was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in December and must get a few wins under his belt to make this a sexy fight again.
So what is my solution to this Mayweather problem? An end of the year fight with undefeated Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who just recently handed Austin Trout the first loss of his career.
Though I do question if Alvarez is ready for such a drastic step up in competition, I’m not sure if there is a way to be any more ready for Mayweather.
The biggest reason this matchup will garner attention is because both of these fighters stand undefeated with more than 40 fights under their belts, so to speak. The marketing writes itself; two undefeated fighters enter the ring and only one comes out with an unblemished record, much like Mayweather’s fight with Ricky Hatton.
Also, Alvarez has quite a fan following from the Latino fight fans, and anytime you can amass pride, culture and hope into a fighter, it usually means fireworks in those marquee fights.