As Floyd Mayweather continues his dominance in the sport of boxing, and is set to take on Marcos Maidana this Saturday night, the question often pops into the minds of many observers. What if Floyd Mayweather lost his next fight? Would boxing be at a loss? Would it be better? Losing is a part of sports. But unlike any other sport in the world boxing is one where it doesn’t have to happen. Just ask Floyd Mayweather, who this Saturday brings an undefeated record of 45-0 to the squared circle, is the world’s richest athlete, and is living life as a King. Retiring undefeated is his goal but is continuing to be undefeated a good thing?
What a win means:
First let’s break down the positives of Floyd Mayweather winning his fight Saturday night, which he is likely to do considering he’s a 12-1 favorite. Should he win the aura around Mayweather’s persona only increases. People pay to see him lose, or so he says. Meaning that those people will continue to pay to see him lose and his next fight will feature that same theme as Mayweather’s fights have always portrayed. “Is this the fight Mayweather loses?”
Another positive to Mayweather winning is that boxing doesn’t have to “die”. Not that it would, but if you listen to the mainstream reporters that don’t report boxing, after Mayweather there will be no one left to carry the sport. A loss would mean he will likely lose that undefeated aura that surrounds him, meaning that people will stop wanting to watch him. Unlike guys like Mike Tyson and Oscar De La Hoya, it’s believed that people only watch Mayweather to see if he will lose, not because he is exciting to watch in the ring. A loss would take away “casual” boxings fan’s only reason to watch him fight. And if casual fans lose interest in Mayweather, like it seems that they have lost in Pacquiao, who is there for them to watch? Would it endanger the sport? A Mayweather win would prolong those questions from mainstream media.
A win would also keep fans hoping, wishing, and begging for the showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao’s knockout loss to Marquez didn’t take away the fans desire to see this fight, and now that the Pacman is riding a two fight win streak, including one to avenge his “loss” to Timothy Bradley, the fans are more intrigued now to see the fight take place. Mayweather winning keeps that fight alive, even if it is on life support. A loss this weekend to Maidana could destroy that possible showdown in terms of being able to sell.
What a loss means:
What if this Saturday night Floyd Mayweather suffers one of the biggest upsets in boxing history? What if Floyd Mayweather loses? The fans would likely cheer in joy, and the Mayweather fans would shed the tears. People wouldn’t want to see him fight anymore. The Pacquiao fight would be dead, and Money Mayweather would just be a normal boxer. The “people pay to see me lose” selling point will die. No one will pay to see Mayweather fight again. Is all that true? Not exactly. In fact, Mayweather losing could actually benefit the sport, and him.
Floyd Mayweather has a serious problem going into his September bout should he beat Maidana Saturday night. Showtime, Golden Boy, and him all have this problem. The problem is, he has no one to fight. The struggle to sell this Maidana fight to the public is real. The buzz around Saturday night’s fight is dead. Experts are projecting a maximum of 900k PPV buys which is well below his usually 1.3 million or higher. It won’t get any better after May 3rd. While undefeated guys like Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter may be formidable foes, unless you’re a hardcore boxing fan you have no idea who they are. Manny Pacquiao is the only person left and everyone knows that story. It’s not happening.
So Floyd Mayweather losing Saturday night wouldn’t just be shocking, it would blast open a door that has been sealed shut. A door that no one has even thought about looking behind should it be open. Regardless of what people say, a loss makes Mayweather’s September bout ten times more intriguing than it would if he wins. People will pay, but it’ll be because they want to see what happens next. They want to see if Mayweather is done or if was just a fluke. A rematch with Maidana would probably double the PPV buys, and should Mayweather come back and avenge his only loss, fights against guys like Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, and Amir Khan may become more intriguing to fans because they will believe that he can lose to these guys. Losing may actually make him more money down the road.
A loss may also be what it would take to finally see a showdown with Pacquiao. Should Mayweather lose, and he want to continue boxing, his advisors may convince him that a Pacquiao win would send him back into the limelight. They may want him to finally try to make the fight. He may finally take the fight, and the fans will still want to see it. Will it do 3 million PPV buys like everyone expects coming off the first loss of his career? No, but it might still get close to 2 million and that’s still some serious money for him.
Floyd Mayweather doesn’t know what it’s like to lose. He’s been the king of the boxing world for over seven years now. There’s no telling if he did whether he would choose retirement or want to get right back in the ring. We all know what’s going to happen if Mayweather wins. We’ll sit around and guess for the next month who’s going to be the next victim. We’ll complain about how nobody can beat him, and every opponent Showtime and Golden Boy brings up we’ll bash them unless it’s Manny Pacquiao. But should he lose, no one will know what to think when they wake up Sunday morning. For the first time people will be stunned, shocked, and that may not be a bad thing for him or for boxing.