Floyd Mayweather Will Lose


By Ivan G. Goldman

Floyd Mayweather will lose. For sure. If not to hungry, durable Robert Guerrero on May 4, then to the opponent after that or the opponent after the opponent after that. But if he keeps fighting he will lose. He’s a great talent, but he’s not Superman. He’s more like Batman. No super powers. Not that I necessarily want him to lose. But he turned 36 on Sunday.

008 Floyd Mayweather interview IMG_0598
Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime

I’m sure Mayweather’s new contract with Showtime is magnificent, just as his assistant Leonard Ellerbe says it is. HBO already made him rich, and Showtime will make him even richer, but Team Mayweather has maneuvered its golden goose into a corner.

Badly as they wanted him, his new network still must have reserved the right to refuse an opponent. It’s not like the nineties, when HBO obediently televised Number One pound-for pound Roy Jones against assorted cops, schoolteachers, and the like.

No one could imagine Jones losing. He was gifted, a great tactician, and always in shape. He rarely lost a round. But in 2004 his magnificent reflexes failed him, and Antonio Tarver, a loudmouth who’d been following him around at his press conferences and getting in his face, knocked him out in the second round. Jones was 35.

Even though we don’t know the details of Floyd’s 30-month contract, and even though the network might sign off on one or two no-hopers, he will have to take tough fights to continue his career. But his skills won’t improve. They won’t even level out. They will erode. That’s true even if he resorts to PEDs, as Shane Mosley and so many others did in a desperate attempt to stop themselves from slipping into mediocrity.

Floyd’s legs weren’t altogether shot in his last fight, against Miguel Cotto last May, but they weren’t working for him the way they used to. That’s because Floyd can’t fool his legs. They know how old they are. Most folks think fighting is in the arms. Wrong. A fighter with an injured hand or arm can stay in the fight and win. We’ve seen it happen. But when he hurts a leg, he’s out of it. When you fight in welterweight territory you have to use your legs a lot because the other guy, if he’s any good, is using his.

The biggest-money athlete contract on the books right now is the New York Yankees’ $275 million deal with Alex Rodriguez, which spans 10 years. He signed it in 2007. Everyone understood the Yankees didn’t expect him to be competing in 2017, but they got to spread out the payments. A-Rod, formerly a great player, will be 38 in July. He has trouble getting used to a body that doesn’t have the same reflexes it used to, and he’s no longer a clutch player. He competes as a competent, not extraordinary third baseman. But when he screws up he doesn’t get smashed in the face by a guy who practices every day to perfect the way he smashes other guys in the face.

When the Lakers picked up point guard Steve Nash, 38, this season they pledged to give him $27 million over three years. He made close to $12 million last year playing for the Suns. The Lakers figure if they can get two good years out of him for under $14 million a year. they did okay, although they also paid with four extremely valuable draft picks and a $3 million payment to the Suns. Major sports are a business, but there’s always been plenty of gamble to them. An injury kept Nash out of the lineup for 24 games at the start of the season. That’s another aspect to the gamble. Aging athletes are injury prone.

It’s very unlikely that Showtime expects Floyd, who’s fought 42 times over a span of more than 16 years, to engage in six fights in the next 30 months as the contract lays out. However it plays out, the Showtime people have a big attraction for now, a very attractive pay-per-view card shaping up for Cinco de Mayo weekend, and if Floyd competes long enough for his body to betray him, well, they have young fighters like Canelo Alvarez lined up to step into the vacated spotlight.

Mayweather’s Rasputin, Al Haymon, doesn’t expect to get six more big fights out of Mayweather either. That’s why Haymon is hooked up with youngsters like Adrien Broner. Showtime and Haymon understand Floyd is playing a game of geriatric chicken, that he could grow old right in the middle of a fight. The question is, does Floyd know it?

Reading Goldman’s critically acclaimed novel Isaac: A Modern Fable {Permanent Press, 2012) is a fine experience the author wishes for each and every one of you. So buy it. Information HERE

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