In less than 30 days time, the greatest boxer of this generation will have his last fight for the second time in his career. A career filled with riches beyond what the everyday man can comprehend.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather will culminate his life as a pugilist in a month against a man who could’ve been engineered in a lab to showcase every strong point that Mayweather possesses.
Mayweather’s Exit Will Start a New Era in Exciting Boxing
Andre Berto is a gatekeeper of the least spectacular kind. There was lots of promise on his prospects as a boxer a couple of years ago, but that has gone by the wayside. Berto was known for his exciting style and his power punching when he was making his way up the ranks. Although, he was able to beat the fighters that he was supposed to beat, Berto really hit a plateau relatively early in his career. Four years ago Berto faced fellow up-and-comer Victor Ortiz and engaged in one of the wildest brawls boxing has seen in the past half decade.
Berto lost the decision, but it was a very respectable and spirited effort. No one seemed to think that Berto had declined or lost a step, most people simply amounted it to him throwing caution to the wind and coming up short in a gun fight, but it might have been a bit more damaging than previously thought. Berto has shown nothing new and nothing conducive to believing that he has improved. Even in hiring well-respected and renowned coach Virgil Hunter, there is no clear sign of any improvement. Berto is still the same stagnant, headhunting boxer-puncher he was in 2007.
The rumors that Mayweather’s last opponent would be Andre Berto were rampant. Not many people in the boxing community were surprised at the fight announcement, what was surprising was how the fight would be presented.
Mayweather equates his entire being on his net worth, no big surprise from the most obscenely gaudy figure in the elite athlete community. In hindsight, his decision to present the fight on pay-per-view shouldn’t be too surprising, but it was. Floyd Mayweather fights are cultural events, there’s no need to follow the sport to watch his fights. There will always be a large section of casual sports fans with sufficient ignorance and fat billfolds who will pay top dollar to see a spectacle, meanwhile this incomprehensible move by Mayweather is making some boxing fans seethe with fury.
The biggest reason the Mayweather/Berto pay-per-view is being met with such vehement uproar is due to the initial reports that it might be broadcast free on a national network like CBS. That was great news for boxing fans and especially Mayweather fans who just shelled out one hundred dollars for one of the most underwhelming boxing matches in memorable history. Any man could have rested on their laurels after winning over a quarter billion dollars for one night’s work, Mayweather is a man who had close to half a billion in the bank prior to the Pacquiao fight. Nine figure paydays in boxing don’t exist, and it’ll be an unpredictable amount of time to know when or if it will happen again.
Mayweather needs no more money, he has said this himself, a child knows this, yet his choice to put this fight with Berto was a choice of unmitigated greed. It was a conspicuous decision to put a few million dollars more in his bank account, over spreading more attention to the sport that made him the wealthiest athlete on the planet.
Is Floyd Mayweather Jr. really that fickle? Yes. Does he really believe that this mockery of a boxing match will make him more money? History should prove he is correct. Should the public criticize this idiotic choice any chance they get? Yes, but it’ll be futile. These greedy and impractical decisions will all be a distant memory in a few months, because for the first time in a long time boxing fans will have a chance to celebrate and not have to see the ridiculous caricatures that comprise The Money Team.
Just a few days ago, it was officially announced that current WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto will fight Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on November 21st and boxing fans couldn’t have been happier. The hype, anticipation and long delayed nature of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao had the boxing community so enthralled that they all seemed to forget the practicality of how competitive that match really could be. Both Mayweather and Pacquiao were past their primes and Pacquiao especially, had waned his aggression and become a much more passive fighter in the past five years, this will not be the case with Cotto and Alvarez.
Miguel Cotto’s success after training with Freddy Roach has been tremendous. After losses to Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao, pundits began to close the book on Cotto’s career as an elite pugilist, now after his destruction of former champion Sergio Martinez and Daniel Geale, he is being ranked as one of the top pound-for-pound boxers In the sport.
“Canelo” still only holds one loss to Mayweather and his last fight against James Kirkland is still the frontrunner for fight of the year and knockout of the year. The improvements for “Canelo” have been very slight and his agression has gone nowhere, in fact, he may be more agressive now than he ever has been. At only 25 years of age, “Canelo” holds the weight of Mexico on his shoulders, and given the long standing rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico it could prove advantageous in this showdown.
If you’ve followed boxing for any period of time you are aware of what a significant role the Latino audience plays in the viewing public. Latinos are probably the most passionate boxing fans in the United States and the Mexico/Puerto Rico rivalry goes back decades. The rivalry is akin to a FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid soccer game, one doesn’t need to be strongly involved in the sport, athletes or countries participating in it to want to see this epic athletic competition. Add that dynamic to the surefire excitement that these two exceptional boxer-punchers can produce and it is simply a must-see event. Moreover, Cotto and “Canelo” are only two pieces of the post-Mayweather world.
Gennady Gennadyevich Golovkin or “GGG” as he’s known to boxing heads, is a pressure puncher the likes that boxing hasn’t seen since early Mike Tyson. Golovkin is proclaimed by many as the most intimidating boxer in the sport today, he hasn’t faced any big name opponents due to his dangerous style and thunderous punching power. Golovkin will next face a serious threat in Canadian knockout artist David Lemieux, and that should be a guaranteed barnburner.
Sergey Kovalev is a name that is becoming synonymous with fistic violence, and is an outstanding blend of power and technical boxing skill. In addition to up-and-comers like Terrence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko, Nicholas Walters, and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, it is feasible that boxing is heading into a new golden age of exciting boxers not seen since the 1980’s.
Passings of the torch are usually met with some type of nostalgia and admiration for the person exiting the arena, it is quite difficult to see that type of respect paid to Floyd Mayweather. Although pundits and analysts are usually very complimentary of his skill and technical prowess, his bravado, peacocking of his exorbitant wealth, and treatment of women will prove hard for boxing fans and media to miss the man. The “Money” era will soon end, it will be more fizzle than bang, but the men waiting in the wings are here to display the attributes of boxing that made us fall in love with “the sweet science” in the first place.