Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"Money to Blow" ... The Floyd Mayweather Jr. Empire ...



   Some people just have a great business sense about them and have truly mastered the art of making a "dollar out of 15 cents". Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. is definitely one of those individuals. What he has grown his brand to become in the Sport of Boxing is nothing short of phenomenal. Forbes Magazine lists his net worth somewhere around $115 Million (rare air for most professional athletes not named Derek Jeter).Forbes Magazine also reported that he earned $85 million, alone, in 2012. True, in the eyes of many, he will go down as one of the BEST Boxers in the History of the Sport and arguably the best EVER, pound for pound. It's hard to argue an undefeated record that NOW stands at 44-0 (after a masterful performance against the rugged but noticeably slower Robert Guerrero). Mayweather's boxing skills have never been questioned. His defense is second to none and his lightning quick punches have frustrated victim after victim. I'll get back to his fabulous boxing accomplishments, later in this write up, but for now, let's get back to the MONEY !                                      


   Mayweather's Professional Boxing Career began back on 0ct. 11, 1996 with a TKO of Roberto Apodaca. His career earnings have topped $213 Million (not counting the Guerrero fight). Not bad for a kid form Grand Rapids, Michigan. 43 wins later, "The Money Team" stands as a Brand in the Sport only rivaled by Oscar De La Hoya (estimated net worth $175 Million) and his "Golden Boy Productions". De La Hoya had a 4 year head start on Floyd (making his Pro debut in 92') but after signing a MEGA deal with CBS/Showtime for 6 fights (now 5, after the win over Guerrero) at a projected $250 million, Mayweather can surpass his business rival midway through the deal. The true earnings of the deal depend on quite a few variables. The 6 fight deal could possibly be for $200 million guaranteed and pay-per-view earnings could push it beyond $250 million. Some suggest the deal could blossom into the $300 million (and possibly $500 million range) if Mayweather can keep his record unblemished and fight the best of the best. The deal could ultimately lose it's punch (no pun intended) if Floyd were to lose. If he IS able to stay undefeated and beat the best competition available in these next 5 fights, he sets himself up NICELY for the next phase of his Boxing career ... Promotions !


   I don't think there was any doubt in Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s mind that he was a better boxer than Robert Guerrero. It was a "Win/Win", all around, for "The Money Team" (who got a record tying $32 million guaranteed to fight the hard hitting Guerrero who only got 3 million guaranteed) and an offer he could NOT refuse. The question remains, though, when will Boxing fans get the Fight they ALL want to see. I haven't really quite put my finger on the REAL reason why Mayweather vs. Pacquiao has NOT occurred yet ? Sure, I've heard all of the doping allegations by Mayweather against Pacquiao but I think there's more to it than that. It's ironic that even after coming off of 2 straight losses (a controversial split decision to Tim Bradley and the infamous Juan Manuel Marquez knockout) that this match would STILL "break the bank" ? The Love/Hate relationship that boxing fans have with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is astounding. I believe that just as many people want to see this fight just to see Floyd hit the canvas and possibly lose. It reminds me of when the Bulls were on their epic title runs, during the Jordan Era, and just as many people wanted to see them fail as succeed. I think some boxing fans have grown tired of Floyd's absolute mastery in the ring where he strikes just enough to win rounds and his impregnable defense hardly gets him touched. This was definitely the case in his most recent fight with Guerrero where Floyd peppered his opponent with an array of right hands (ultimately injuring it about halfway through) and avoiding many of Guerrero's attempts to land flush shots. Seeing this fight only makes me want to see Mayweather vs. Pacquiao THAT much more. Both fighters are getting up in age (Mayweather is 36 and Pacquiao is 34) and Pacquiao may be the only imaginable opponent quick enough to match Mayweather strike for strike.


To think about where the Sport is now from a marketability stand point to where it use to be is nothing short of amazing. Can you imagine what Muhammad Ali's net worth would be in this world of Social Media and Self Promotion ? I also can't help but think of some of the awesome rivalries from back in the day. It makes you wonder how Sugar Ray Leonard would be regarded today if he dodged the "Motor City Cobra" (Tommy Hearns) or "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler ? Aren't the epic battles he engaged in with these great fighters what helped create his mystique as one of the BEST fighters ever ? I guess this is why I have a problem with Mayweather calling himself the GREATEST ever. The Greatest ALWAYS fought the BEST and looking at Floyd's last 9 fights I don't see any "Fights for the Ages" ? 7 of his last 9 went all 12 rounds and were won by decision (the other 2 by KO over Victor Ortiz in the 4th rd and a TKO of Ricky Hatton in the 10th rd). I can't be mad at a great boxer (and businessman) that recognizes he has staying power and longevity long after he hangs his gloves up but while he ties them on for fights I want to see him match up against the BEST the sport has to offer. I tip my cap to 44-0 but just like the rest of the Boxing World I want to see Mayweather vs. Pacquiao while it STILL matters. Mayweather can't cash in FULLY on his CBS/Showtime deal without taking this fight. Many of his fights, as of late, have been "business decisions" which have helped him not only to cash in but also keep that sparkling undefeated record. I have NO issue with Floyd conducting his in ring business with the same strategic maneuverability as he does outside the ring (don't take risk and strike while the "iron is hot"). Floyd recognizes that if he doesn't allow himself to get hit consistently he can fight at a high level with his cat like instincts for as long as he wants. The Cotto fight (last May) is the only fight within recent memory I can remember him even getting tagged and he did that to prove a point to the boxing public. If Floyd is the Champion I believe him to be, he knows this fight with Pacquiao MUST happen not only for his LEGACY but his bank registry ... It's where the "Money" is ...

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