The Case Against Floyd Mayweather: The Boring Boxer by Elijah Sumalbag

Boxing is a sport like no other. From the build-up to the fight to the fighters finally facing off in the ring, boxing is an age-old form of entertainment. From the beginning of mankind, fighting has been a vice, yet a form of enjoyment to watch. It is often labeled as a “bloodsport,” touted as “too controversial” at times, and no doubt “violent.” With origins from 688 B.C. in Ancient Greece, only during our time has boxing ever been paired with the word “boring.” This is all thanks to Floyd “Money” Mayweather, a boxer with a 50-0 record with 27 KOs under his belt and 9 titles, ranging from Featherweight all the way to Light Middleweight. Yet, why would someone with an undefeated record tarnish the name of boxing with the word “boring.” Mayweather and his fans certainly do not think so. Why should they? He has an undefeated record of course, which isn’t boring. In fact, because of his record, fans believe Mayweather’s name should be mentioned among the greats like Tyson, Sugar Ray Louis, Foreman, Fraizer, and so many more. Their faces and names are undisputed in the Mount Rushmore of Boxing. But, Mayweather’s name remains in dispute constantly, despite “retiring” like 10 times or something like that.

Let’s start with his 50-0 Record. Unlike most sports, boxing is a disorganized one, the fighters have a say on who they fight, how it’s promoted, where it’s going to be, and what is at stake. Mayweather has his own entertainment agency called “Mayweather Promotions,” yet the only entertaining thing about Mayweather isn’t his fights, it’s the hype he creates leading up to it. He often trash talks about how his opponent “doesn’t want any of this,” and he creates drama to surround an upcoming fight. The notable and most fishy one was over a dispute on where Mayweather vs. Pacquiao would be held. Mayweather had tried to get into Manny Pacquiao’s head by demanding Olympic-like drug testing else the fight would be called off, a sneaky accusation of Pacquiao using performance-enhancing drugs. Much to Mayweather’s dismay, Pacquiao agreed without hesitation (simply because Pacquiao does not use drugs. Period.). The fight was to be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, where Mayweather had a strong foothold among the Nevada Athletics Commission (those who judge and decide the fight), like paying the judges from his own pocketbook. Yet looking back on his last 13 fights, all of them have been held at Las Vegas, 12 of which have been held at MGM Grand consecutively, and 10 of them have been decided by judge’s decisions. Not only that, but Mayweather is also no stranger to what we call in the boxing world “robberies.” His fights against Cotto, Pacquiao, and especially Castillo (among many others) are on the top of the list that makes anyone scratch their head and wonder “why did he win in the first place…”

Take that information how you will. 

Now if that isn’t enough to change your mind about someone who dubs himself “TBE” (The Best Ever), let’s talk about what actually happens in the ring. Yes, no doubt in his prime and younger years he was a force to be reckoned with – KO’ing fights with less than stellar careers and beating those with impressive fighting skills in the ring fairly. He chose his fights based on how good the fighter was, making sure they aren’t (to be frank) TOO good. The titles he won during his prime years were against aging boxers out of their prime. However, let’s shine a brighter light on his very much disputed 2007-2017 boxing years. When he started leveraging fights to where it’s always in Las Vegas, he also started to claim his own greatness. From here, his “fighting style” changed. As he battled against boxers who held a higher skill level and stellar careers, his fights turned boring. If you look at highlights during those fights, you can see that most of the time Mayweather was backing down under the pressure of his opponent. The “Sweet Science of Boxing,” as he and his fans like to call it, is just running away from his opponent and shooting soft jabs from afar. Yet something that isn’t really seen in YouTube highlights is the hugs. Yes, you read that right. Mayweather would hug his opponent before the beatdown to his “Prettyboy” face (another name Mayweather gave himself) would start. Hugs (or the technical term “getting locked up and clinched”) is not exactly allowed, boxers while in the clinch must take a step back and the ref is required to break up the fighters. While hugging his opponent, Mayweather would give cheap, soft punches to the body of his opponent, which shows up on the stat line and gets his numbers up for the judges despite those punches coming from an unfair advantage he has over the other boxer.

Because of this, his fights are boring. He hypes up his fights through his promotion agency and his childlike drama so his fans and boxing fans (who are separate groups) blow their money on PPV and tickets to watch his lame matches. Mayweather has dubbed two fights he has been in as “The Fight of The Century:” Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, which he also called “The Battle for Greatness”, and Mayweather vs. McGregor. Conor McGregor is an MMA kickboxer and not a real experienced boxer, and his first-ever bout in the professional boxing ring was with Mayweather. Yet, post-fight, media outlets say that it was “disappointing,” “underwhelming,” “upsetting,” and “boring.

Now why is this important? He still claims before every fight that he will beat his opponent to a pulp (which he never ever gets close to) and he still gets wins and a record he can tout over the greats of the sport. What separates him from the greats is that he isn’t a real boxer or fighter. You look at Tyson, who earned the name “The Baddest Man on The Planet,” Ali who is dubbed in the sports world “The Greatest Boxer of All Time,” and so many more, and you can see in their career that they were feared. Boxing is a fighting sport with roots from the Greeks in the Olympics fighting barehanded against each other in the dirt, and even Roman Gladiators dominating coliseums. In fighting sports, you have to be feared to be considered one of the greats, and you have to back it up. You must send a message to those who dare to fight you with your bruised, bloodied, and beaten opponent. Tyson would knock his opponents out cold, and Pacquiao would bloody up his opponents, leaving them in recovery for months. They were dominating figures, fighting those who challenged them, and fighting the big names in the ring to solidify their own names among the lists of the best of the best. Yet, Mayweather doesn’t have this dominating presence. People are afraid to lose to Mayweather, but they aren’t afraid to fight him. But the greats, people are afraid to fight. Period. Mayweather is the worst thing to ever happen to the boxing world.

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