I think Floyd beats everyone in history, and anyone who doesn’t realize that by now is stubborn, blind, stupid, or all three…he is the best ever – Paul Malignaggi
Every Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight comes down to two fights – one versus his opponent, and the other versus the weight and history of boxing. And with another dominant performance last Saturday against Canelo Alvarez (well, save for one judge), Mayweather stretched his career record to an unprecedented 45-0. He’s no longer discussed on a scale with contemporary peers; every victory is another case to be made for his rank amongst the Ali’s and Sugar Ray’s.
It’s the margin of skill over his opponents that attract this discussion more than anything. Canelo Alvarez was supposed to be the one – a power puncher with a 15 pound weight difference going into the fight. Yet, as he found out, you can’t knock out what you can’t hit in the first place, as he only landed 22% of his punches (117 out of 526 punches) to Mayweather’s 46% connection rate (232 out of 505 punches). The biggest talking point after the fight (outside of the judging) was not the result, but rather, who else is there left to challenge Mayweather? The most popular response seems to be to keep moving up in weight, and maybe, someone gets lucky and connects on a blow that sends Floyd to the canvas.
The other aspect of Mayweather’s brand comes from his Showtime TV contract, a 30 month, 6 fight deal that shifted the balance of televised boxing from HBO. It may end up being worth $250 million. No other boxer in history will make as much money from the sport than Mayweather; he may be the most powerful boxer in the history of the sport. For all his dominance inside the ring, the gap between him and his peers outside the ring is just as wide and profound.
The elephant in the room was Manny Pacquiao, but with his recent struggles, that superfight may have passed. For now – and it’s been this way for awhile – Floyd only chases himself.
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