Floyd Mayweather Has Ruined The Sport Of Boxing
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
— Updated on 13 June 2023

Floyd Mayweather Has Ruined The Sport Of Boxing

— Updated on 13 June 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Long before he began selling his legacy for duffle bags of cash, Floyd Mayweather Jr’s pursuit of a flawless 50-0 record forever altered boxing’s landscape.

And the sport has still yet to recover.

The best defence is to not be there

Where the legends of old like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, and of course, Mike Tyson would’ve happily thrown hands with just about every manner of beast inside the ring, the former five-division champion was decidedly more… selective. Strategic, even. Although perhaps that’s to be expected from history’s greatest defensive boxer.

Now don’t get us wrong. A cursory glance at the elite names he’s faced since debuting against Roberto Apodaca will (rightfully) paint the picture of an illustrious career. But there’s certainly more to be said about the asterisks, of which there are several, as well as the glaring omissions.

It’s no secret Mayweather only fought Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, and Oscar De La Hoya when it was clear they were all beyond their prime, and let’s not even get into the science/politics surrounding weight classes a la Ricky Hatton and Huan Manuel Marquez (that nebulous topic deserves a standalone article).

The protracted list of certifiable threats that he never faced, however, is far a more egregious crime in our view: Paul Williams… Antonio Margarito… GGG… Sergio Martinez… Paul Spadafora… even Australia’s own Kostya Tszyu (the latter of whom defeated his uncle Roger for the IBF light welterweight title).

Which begs the question: how valid is Floyd Mayweather Jr’s claim to being the greatest boxer of not just his generation, but the greatest boxer of all time?

The blueprint for “success”

In the years since logging his 50th professional win against then two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor in what is still the highest-grossing pay-per-view fight of all time – a fittingly farcical bout to punctuate his career (right before his second career as an exhibition fighter) – boxing’s overall direction has left something to be desired.

It’s to the point that the likes of undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney have started to openly speak out.

“Like the UFC. Those guys fight each other, lose, fight, fight again. Still equally big, maybe even bigger after a loss,” Devin Haney explained in an interview.

“Look at [UFC middleweight champion] Israel Adesanya. He lost and he came back, won, and now he’s even bigger than he was before… He came back and he proved himself.”

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Haney added: “We could change the whole dynamic of it but we’re not… Floyd made boxing bigger and everything but he kind of messed up the game with the undefeated record and undefeated is everything, so guys don’t want to fight you. They want to keep it zero.”

On the subject of MMA, incidentally, the similar criticisms have steadily been fired in the direction of undefeated UFC great Khabib Nurmagomedov, who many believe hit the trifecta of:

  1. Weight bullying the lightweight division
  2. Winning the vacant lightweight title against second replacement and part-time real estate agent Al Iaquinta
  3. And retiring 29-0 before accepting the challenge of a Conor McGregor rematch; the perennially cursed Tony Ferguson bout, which was rescheduled/cancelled a grand total of five times

This pervasive culture of taking calculated risks is what makes prime-against-prime encounters like the recent clash between Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis so increasingly rare, and the sport is languishing for it.

Time is a flat circle

Over a decade ago, Bleacher Report‘s Jason Amareld wrote the following…

What could have been one of the greatest careers in boxing is ruined by Floyd Mayweather’s unwillingness to fight the best competition in the sport. He seems to only want to fight people at the end of their careers or simply a fighter that is not on his talent level. That attitude is seriously hurting the great sport of boxing.

If Muhammad Ali would have turned down fights against George Foreman or Joe Frazier, he would have been remembered like people of our generation will remember Floyd Mayweather Jr – as a chump.

Floyd is in a position to change boxing for the better and at the end of the day, he only thinks about himself. What is the best thing for Floyd Mayweather? He couldn’t care less about the sport, a shame that one of boxing’s biggest talents has decided to put himself on a pedestal and let the future of the sport suffer.

Why do you think the UFC is blazing with popularity? It’s simple, the best fight the best. They don’t make excuses not to fight or chose an opponent they know they can walk through. The fighters in the UFC will take any challenge in order to prove they are the best fighter in their division.

If Floyd Mayweather wants to be remembered as a great boxer he will shut up, put his money where his mouth is and fight Manny Pacquiao. Win or lose, it is a victory for the sport of boxing.

Man up!

Aside from eventually giving the PacMan a crack, sadly, not much has changed.

Perhaps like his professional boxing record, Floyd Mayweather Jr’s very name should come with an asterisk when it comes to the GOAT conversation.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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