Join Date: Nov 2010
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Will Mayweather ever fight an opponent we really want him to?
It has now been over 10 years since the enigma that is Floyd Mayweather took on an opponent that I wanted to see him face. April 20th, 2002, to be exact. The opponent was Jose Luis Castillo and the WBC Lightweight title was on the line.
When Floyd started his career and ripped through the lower weights it was hard to find a bigger fan than me. I said then that he was the most skilled fighter i'd seen since I started watching boxing and I still think that today.
After leaving the 135lb weight class though, Mayweather has never faced any of the fighters that I wanted to see him face. I'm not saying he hasn't fought good fighters but he's never faced the guys i've really wanted to see him in with.
His 140lb stay was more or less a joke. This wasn't all Mayweather's fault to be fair even though I feel more could have been done on his part to make better fights. The Gatti fight is not a great win but it is a fight anyone would have taken, much like Floyd's fights with De La Hoya and Hatton which we'll come to later.
After the Gatti fight Mayweather would move to 147lbs where he would take on former 140lb title holder, Sharmba Mitchell. For his first fight at the new weight this was understandable and it gave him a good tune up opponent for the southpaw Judah, who was the champion at the weight and probably Floyd's next opponent.
Judah would then go on to face and lose to Carlos Baldomir. That should have signalled the end of Mayweather-Judah, at least until Zab had rebuilt his career. Mayweather would go on to face Judah as planned.
Before the Judah fight, Mayweather was offered a fight with the WBO champion, Antonio Margarito. Margarito had won the WBO title in April of 2005 when he took out touted young power puncher, Kermit Cintron.
At that time, Cintron was considered a hot commodity in the welterweight division much like Kell Brook is today.
All the fight fans were talking about now was Floyd Mayweather v Antonio Margarito. Absolutely everyone was talking about that fight from fighters, to promoters, to fans on message boards.
But Floyd said he had agreed to face Judah on April 8 and that was the fight they went ahead with...
Mayweather won a comfortable decision over Judah after a few moments early in the fight that looked like Judah may have his number. The fight was of course marred by the in-ring riot that stemmed from a Judah low-blow.
Surely now with Floyd 'MONEY' Mayweather free of commitment and a career high purse of 8 million dollars on the table, we'd all get to see the fight we wanted - Mayweather v Margarito. After all, Floyd only had one fight left on his deal with Top Rank and the most money he'd ever seen prior was the 5 million he made in the fight with Zab Judah.
In a strange turn of events Mayweather would once again turn his back on the 8 million dollars to face Margarito. Floyd had one fight left on his deal with Top Rank and he wanted out of it.
Floyd would offer Bob Arum $750k out of his own pocket to buy out his contract with Top Rank which Arum readily accepted.
After buying out his contract Floyd entered into talks about a fight at 154lbs with Cory Spinks. That seemed strange to me, considering he would not have made any money with Spinks who has always and always will be a non-draw.
The Spinks fight did not happen of course. Mayweather would be rescued by Dan Goossen with an offer to face Judah conqueror, Carlos Baldomir, for 8 million dollars. The same figure Bob Arum had put to Mayweather several times in the past to face his champion, Margarito.
Floyd would gleefully say he's making the same money to face the lineal champion. A fighter who is famed for saying such things as "belts just gather dust".
The thing is, Floyd didn't really make the same money....
He'd spent 750k to buy out his contract with Top Rank.
Why not keep the 750k, fight Margarito for 8 million and then walk off into the sunset holding hands with Oscar?
That always puzzled me. It didn't puzzle me as much as Floyd's cult like fans who would defend this though. Every excuse in the book was made and everyone was to blame, except Floyd. I've never met a Mayweather fan without an excuse.
The Margarito saga was then forgot about. Floyd would go on to face De La Hoya and Hatton in two blockbuster pay-per-views before announcing his fake retirement.
Was it just a coincidence that this "retirement" lasted the whole duration of the Welterweight division being the hottest weight class in boxing?
After coming back and facing Marquez, the fight the fans wanted to see was Mayweather v Pacquiao, the two fighters considered the best of their era.
If people thought the Margarito excuses were good, those pale in comparison to these...
First it was "take the test". Where the hell did that even come from? Floyd had no problem stepping in the ring with De La Hoya who had been associated with PED rumors for years. Why didn't he demand Oscar take the tests? Nice one Floyd, it took you until your 40th fight to want to "clean up the sport".
After back and forths and posturing from both camps, Pacquiao would get tired of it all and say he would take any and all testing. Still not good enough for Floyd though. He then changed the hurdle once again. Even after Pacquiao went on record saying he would take less money and any test, we still had no fight.
I dont know about anyone else here but i'm inclined to believe the blame lays firmly on the shoulders of Mayweather for these two fights with Margarito and Pacquiao not happening. After all, they both have a track record of facing the best fighters right through their careers.
Another excuse that is branded around is the Top Rank one. Bob Arum supposedly doesn't want to make the big fights that involve rival promoters. I mean how ridiculous is this? This is a promoter with history of making fights with rival promoters. He's put cash-cows like De La Hoya in with Don King's Tito Trinidad and as little as 4 months ago, he put Chavez Jr in with Lou DiBella's, Sergio Martinez. That doesn't seem to me like a promoter who only wants to make in-house fights or make fights that he knows his fighter will win.
I cannot say the same about Golden Boy. Top Rank have given us the biggest pay-per-view fights in recent history that do not involve either Floyd Mayweather, or Manny Pacquiao. One of those fights was done with a rival promoter in DiBella and the other one was done with a fighter who was leaving his stable, in Cotto.
Just when i'm on the subject of DiBella and Martinez - They've told Floyd they are willing to fight him and even come down to 150lbs and take 20% of the money.
What excuses will we hear this time?
I'm thinking it will be something new. Floyd cant use the money excuse to avoid Sergio after Chavez Jr just had a successful pay-per-view with him and he cant use the test excuse, because Martinez is demanding his own testing for a proposed rematch with Junior.
Mayweather is good for boxing from a business standpoint but from a fans standpoint he needs to step his game up and start taking on the fighters the fans actually want to see him with. Mayweather needs to face Sergio Martinez for his own legacy and he should be going in with Austin Trout who had an easier time with Cotto than he did, on May 5th.