The Importance of Being Floyd Mayweather
by Hans Olson
Floyd Mayweather is back.
Love him or hate him, you can’t ignore him.
On September 17th, the eyes of the world will be upon the MGM Grand in Las Vegas; over 16 months since the last time we saw “Money” in action.
Photo: Taylor Hallman/Boxinginsider
“I am excited to get back in the ring because Victor Ortiz is a great challenge for me,” said Floyd at Tuesday’s presser in New York. “Ortiz is young, fast, and a very strong champion so this is not going to be easy…but I will prepare myself with the same dedication I have always had for my fights and show fans around the world that I am the best boxer in the world today.”
You could make the argument that Floyd is the best boxer of his generation; a defensive mastermind with boundless ability underrated power—-his precision and accuracy unmatched.
His resume? Not too bad either.
Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Carlos Baldomir, Zab Judah, Arturo Gatti, Jose Luis Castillo, Jesus Chavez, Diego Corrales, Genaro Hernandez…
To say he hasn’t fought the best out there is grossly overstated.
At Wednesday’s presser in Los Angeles, Floyd alluded to wanting to face Pacquiao in the future. “I don’t duck or dodge anyone. This is for the fans. This is for the Pacquiao fans too. Do I want the Pacquiao fight? Absolutely, if that is what the fans want. I want to give the fans what they want, but I have to take it one step at a time. I cannot overlook Victor Ortiz.”
Should he fight Manny Pacquiao?
Should he have fought the likes of Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto few years ago?
I would have loved to have seen that.
Then again, who cares? There are dozens of fights I would have loved to have seen at one time or another that never got made for a multitude of reasons.
Boxing is far from perfect. You learn to take what you get. For now, what we’re getting is a heck of a matchup between Floyd and WBC Welterweight Champion Victor Ortiz.
Have I gone back and forth on my opinions of Floyd Mayweather and his overall legacy? Absolutely! But I’ve also done that with a plethora of fighters I admire. Fight fans like to dream a little dream every night, contemplating various fights and scenarios…who we want to see fight who, who’s better than who, and who was better than who in that person’s respective era.
There comes a certain point where you have to accept reality. Certain things are the way they are.
From his earliest days as a pro dating back to October of 1996, Floyd has refused to compromise himself inside or outside of the ring. Consequently, Floyd Mayweather is one of the few fighters in boxing today who can be compared to the greats of the past in near-equal terms.
The people who complain about who Floyd Mayweather fights or doesn’t fight are the same kind of people who are never satisfied with anything in life. They’re the same people who buy a record and complain about “the rest of the record not being as good as the single,” or a movie that doesn’t live up to it’s theatrical trailer’s promise. That’s not to say having a strong opinion is a poor thing, it’s just tired.
Golden Boy’s Richard Shaefer was at the podium during Tuesday’s press conference and made a few interesting statements regarding Floyd’s popularity. “Floyd has sold almost half a billion PPV’s in his last four fights.” Startling to say the least. Shaefer continued. “He has 1.3 million Twitter followers, he is a marketing machine and he gets it.”
That’s the thing. Fans, writers, other fighters…everyone can complain about who Floyd fights, but if you continue complain…why even order the fight? Why buy a ticket to the fight? There is nothing to suggest that Floyd’s popularity has dwindled one bit in recent years. If anything, his absence from boxing has only heightened his popularity.
People tend to want what they can’t have. Mick Jagger famously sang “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, you might find sometimes you get what you need.”
Floyd Mayweather is the most important fighter in boxing.
On September 17th, we’ll again get what we need.
follow Hans Olson on Twitter @hansolson