By: Kirk Jackson
The former pound-for-pound boxing king may no longer be regarded as an active boxer, but he remains a fixture in combat sports.
Whether rumored to rematch mixed-martial-arts star Conor McGregor, or set to face another undefeated star in the mma world Khabib Nurmagomedov, Floyd Mayweather remains an active headline.
Photo Credit: Floyd Mayweather Twitter Account
And those in tune with the living boxing legend may be privy to “Mayweather Curse.”
What’s the “Mayweather Curse” you ask? It’s simple, much to do about poking fun at coincidental instances revolving around Floyd Mayweather and some of his rivals over the past decade or so.
Noted rivals Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Ronda Rousey, Anderson Silva, Dana White and Conor McGregor appear to be victims of the “Mayweather Curse.”
They’ve all engaged in escalated trash-talk and some engaged in battle via the boxing ring.
Anderson Silva is no longer really a fixture within the mma world as far as competing, Rousey suffered two consecutive devastating knockouts in the UFC before parlaying a career into the world of fictional wrestling.
Financially McGregor is raking in the big bucks and doing exceptional; from a professional fighting stand point his career is in question after losing to Nurmagomedov and Mayweather consecutively.
De La Hoya has personal demons on public display in the news unfortunately, along with being linked to inappropriate, racist emails denigrating another person.
Pacquiao suffered defeat against Jeff Horn after losing to Mayweather and isn’t a strong fixture within the boxing scene as of now. Some of that is nature running its course as he has a long professional career and is heading towards the finish line.
Point being, Mayweather’s rivals have generally been on the wrong end of his wrath. These events could purely be coincidental right?
But here’s a different take on this “Mayweather curse.”
His public persona is that of a man boasting about his finances, women and lifestyle. He’s the Ric Flair of professional fighting.
He lived to that moniker for years on end; dominating across five weight classes, spanning across three decades, while collecting large checks and world titles.
To reach and maintain that level of greatness, one must be dedicated, hard-working, must be ego-driven and the mental capacity to place everything together.
But what comes with that is an addiction to fame, an addiction to the spotlight, the desire for attention and it’s fair to suggest Mayweather is a victim of that.
Eventually nature runs its course, nothing lasts forever and empires fall. The Mayweather Curse – as it applies to Mayweather is the curse of wanting more even though time has expired. But that want may end up damaging the foundation of what your success is based off of.
Boxing Legend Sugar Ray Leonard has a great quote in an interview with Nathan Rush from Athlon Sports & Life regarding life after boxing, the addiction to fame and difficulty finding purpose once a fighter realizes their career is over.
“It’s so seductive. The fame and the fortune — especially if you’re of that marquee level. The fame and fortune is so seductive that you don’t want to let it go. You always believe you have one more fight left in you,” said Leonard.
“And that’s the fault of most fighters, myself included. We think we have one more. And the fact that we train, we train hard. Training is one thing, that’s the easy part. Getting mentally prepared is another. Because we live the life of the caviar, private planes, suites in hotels and then we try to be that hungry fighter, that gladiator, that warrior who has to dig deep and show intestinal fortitude. But you don’t have it like that anymore. You just don’t have it that way. It’s a natural thing that we all lose at some point. We’re competitive but we’re not that competitive.”
Mayweather shocked the world when he revealed that he had signed with Japanese mixed martial arts promotions company RIZIN Fighting Federation to fight 20-year-old Japanese kick boxer Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve in Saitama.
The undefeated 41-year-old has never fought professionally in mixed-martial-arts and it has yet to be decided what format and rules the fight would follow.
Mayweather’s last bout was in 2017 when he snapped a two-year retirement to pull off a TKO win in ten rounds over UFC superstar Conor McGregor, running his record to 50-0 and most importantly earning close to $300 million for the event he co-promoted.
While boxing rules restrict bouts to the use of fists, mma rules incorporate kicks, knees and elbow strikes, as well as wrestling, joint locks and chokes – all unfamiliar with Mayweather.
Mayweather is confident they would reach an agreement that would suit both fighters and appears confident with his abilities as an overall fighter.
“I can wrestle, I can wrestle a little bit. I can box a lot a bit,” Mayweather told Reuters. “We will just see. I can do it all. I can do anything if I set my mind to it.”
Nasukawa is contracted to RIZIN and competes in their championships in both mma and kickboxing.
Mayweather is stepping into another realm and it’s fair to suggest this is just another money grab. Questions remain as to how lucrative can this opportunity be for all parties involved and what are the lasting effects from this move?
Will other boxers follow suit and is Mayweather truly biting off more he can chew?
“I’ve been blessed to be in the sport a long time and to make over a billion dollars in the sport,” said Mayweather.
“But this particular bout is special as far as giving people something they’ve never seen before. I’m not really worried about the weight class or rules – it’s about me displaying my skills against another skillful fighter. I just want to entertain.”
Mayweather may be tempting fate, facing a fighter half his age with a skill-set he is unaccustomed to facing at the professional level.
The chances are he may get humbled in the form of a one-sided beating and or the money generated from this event may not be as significant as initially planned.
Essentially, the event must manifest before we can analyze the end result, but the desire for additional finances and attention may not lead towards the satisfying outcome Mayweather is seeking.