By Jackie Kallen
I am not necessarily the biggest Floyd Mayweather, jr. fan around, But I certainly don’t hate the guy the way some of you do. To hear some boxing fans talk, the guy has never fought anyone worth fighting and is a fraud and an egomaniac. I admit that some of the choices he has made in his personal life have not all been stellar. But the man can fight.
Photo: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy
I can’t argue with the egomaniac description, but to run the guy down for not fighting anyone is not exactly fair. In 42 fights, Floyd has beaten every man in front of him, more than half of them by knockout. He stays in shape, comes to win, and is currently worth around $90 million.
I can hardly go anywhere in public and not have someone bring up Mayweather to me. When people know you are in the boxing game, they give you their opinion whether you want it or not. I don’t know if it’s pure jealousy or sincere hatred, but this guy has a hell of a lot of detractors.
When he was fighting at 140#, people accused him of dodging Hatton. Then, a year later, at 147#, he was berated for not facing Carlos Baldomir. The fans taunted him for being “afraid” of these guys and doing anything to avoid them. So, to silence his critics and prove them wrong, he went on to fight them both.
He fought Baldomir in 2006 and dominated him. He won basically every round and showed the world that the challenger was not even in the same league. Mayweather picked up $8 million for his evening’s work and went about his business. Did he get the respect he wanted? No. A lot of the writers said that Baldomir wasn’t as good as they thought he was so it was no big deal that Floyd beat him.
A year later he stopped Hatton in the 10th round and picked up a $25 million paycheck. Did the fans cheer and praise? No–they claimed that Mayweather waited too long to fight him and by 2007 Hatton wasn’t as sharp anymore.
I get it that Mayweather is not the most warm and fuzzy guy and his arrogance and conceit have turned a lot of people off. But the guy is an incredible boxer. Why not give credit where credit is due?
When Mayweather beat Mosley effortlessly in 2010, the fans dismissed the win because Mosley was “a shot fighter.” Since “Money” reportedly took home $30 million that night, he could easily shrug off the haters and go buy some new cars and jewelry.
Now he is set to fight Miguel Cotto on May 5. Cotto is a big puncher with wins over Mosley, Judah, Mayorga, and Yuri Foreman. Once considered the big bad wolf, people have long wanted to see Mayweather fight him. But after Cotto lost to Margarito and Pacquaio, his stock went down and people are dismissing him as not in the same stratosphere as Mayweather.
Never mind that Cotto avenged the loss to Margarito last December by retiring him in the 10th round. Boxing fans still want to devalue him so that a Mayweather win over Cotto can be scoffed at. The haters will still find something to bitch and complain about. So Mayweather obviously can never get the respect he craves unless he beats PacMan.
Some are accusing him of stalling until both fighters are older and Manny will have lost some of his steam. The haters say that Floyd dodges guys until he feels they are starting to rot like an over-ripe banana. Then he picks them off with ease.
As I said, I am not his #1 fan. But leave the guy alone already. He has the potential to go down in history as one of the great undefeated boxers (like Marciano and Calzaghe.) He may leave this sport with an unblemished record and a fat bank account. So cut him some slack and show him some respect.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen