Next Saturday night the face of boxing, Floyd Mayweather, will enter into the ring for the last time. So he says. Now that is not something I believe but it is something that I am an avid fan of. Before you Floyd Mayweather fans start blowing up my Twitter feed, relax, because I also think Manny Pacquiao should hang them up too. I’m not discriminating. In my opinion, both of these fighters have held the world of boxing hostage for far to long. It’s time for them to ride off into the sunset.
There is no denying what Floyd Mayweather has done for the sport. Some of it has been good; some of it has been bad. He’s brought in record-breaking numbers that has transcended the sport with a personality that you either love or hate. His defensive skills and boxing IQ is unprecedented. Yet, it seems that he has been hurting the sport lately more than helping it.
History will come to know the Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown as the biggest robbery in boxing history. Not by the judges, but by the wallet’s of everyone that paid for it. Anyone that follows the sport of boxing with just the slightest intelligence knew what to expect. Mayweather would box, Pacquiao would try to engage, and it would be a boring fight. But most of the people that purchased that fight thought something different. They thought Pacquiao would force Mayweather to fight, and when that didn’t happen, they swore off the entire sport of boxing for it saying things like "boxing is dead" or "this is why no one watches boxing anymore." And that has been the problem all along...casual fans only watching two fighters and ignoring the rest of them.
Boxing has become a niched sport along with the UFC. It’s carried by one thing, it’s biggest stars. For boxing, the past five years has been carried by Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. It’s time for that to change. I don’t believe Floyd will retire after September 12th. He will announce it, and then be back in a year or two. What my biggest fear is though is that Floyd will “retire”, Pacquiao will come back and win two fights in 2016 and in 2017 everyone in the world will be calling for a Mayweather-Pacquiao II showdown. Mayweather will win again, easily, and then people will start chanting that boxing is dead again putting us right where we are right now.
In a perfect world, September 12th is the last time we see Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao loses his first comeback fight and decides to retire. Why? Because they overshadow the fighter’s that casual fans need to see. The one fighter that comes to mind is Gennady Golovkin, a devastating puncher whose style of attack and pressure mimics that of almost everyone’s favorite fighter over 20 years ago, Mike Tyson. Golovkin has superstar power written all over his face. And while most fans have turned away from the sport because of the “boring” style that Floyd Mayweather has presented, Golovkin’s vicious style brings us back to the 90’s where people paid just to watch a great knockout or a toe to toe war. Golovkin, and guys like Canelo and Kovalev, give that. People get their money’s worth because every time they step into the ring the energy that overcomes you as a fan is that someone is getting knocked out, and if not, then it’s going to be one hell of a fight.
Guys like Golovkin, Canelo, and Kovalev have been overshadowed by the presence of Mayweather and Pacquiao. Toe to toe wars like Mattyhsse-Provodnikov, Salido-Martinez, and Santa Cruz-Mares in 2015 get overlooked because the only two fighter’s that casual fans ever pay attention to is Mayweather and Pacquiao. The same goes for ESPN. Golovkin-Lemieux and Cotto-Canelo is guaranteed to be ten times better than Mayweather-Pacquiao however ESPN will do little to promote it and it will get millions of less PPV buys. That’s a shame because those two fights are the type of fights that the nation should be watching if they want to see great fights. That is why I say goodbye to both Mayweather and Pacquiao with a smile on my face. As soon as they are gone, the sport can move on with new exciting fighters that the world needs to see.