To an an extent, fans and media alike have always had reason to criticize the undefeated Mayweather, 44-0 (26), mainly due to his dubious selection of opponents throughout his professional prime. It’s one thing to pop off as a snarky media member. For us, it’s far too simple to be jaded despite many of us not knowing what it’s like to actually step into the squared circle. It’s entirely another thing to be a hardcore fan who spends his or her hard-earned cash 50-to-60 dollars at a time in exchange for very little in the satisfaction department.
It’s akin to looking to a hooker for emotional gratification.
But since Mayweather faced his first opponent as part of his six-fight/30-month contract with the Showtime network, Robert Guerrero, the onus has been on the pound-for-pound (for what that’s worth) great to disprove the masses. The young Mexican titlist is the second rung on the ladder of proof Mayweather must climb in order to show Showtime’s Executive Vice President of Sports and Event Programming Stephen Espinoza that all that fat CBS cash was stacks well spent.
Tied down with a deal that could realistically total 250 million dollars when it’s all said and done, the pressure is on the five-division beltholder to put out like that aforementioned hooker. The difference now is this lady of the evening has to make her johns believe she’s enjoying the act.
And that act involves four more fights, the Alvarez bout notwithstanding.
Naturally, every legally binding agreement boasts a most effective caveat and Mayweather’s Showtime pay guarantee is no exception. That 250 million relies on whether he can put out six times in those 30 months. He doesn’t have to – but if the Showtime network gets its way, he most certainly will.
And one can only imagine that for Mayweather to stay dedicated, he must lose to “Canelo.”
Dear reader, you might wonder where this particular line of logic is coming from but consider this: the Showtime network might not have to pay out on an unfulfilled contract but it certainly stands to gain more for an agreement that’s been properly met. For Mayweather, a boxer who’s seen the inside of a ring five times in as many years, six outings in two-and-a-half years is one hell of a schedule to get used to – and he already kicked it off with an injury to his right hand about halfway through his fight with Guerrero.
This isn’t to say Mayweather, he of infamously brittle hands, isn’t ready to fully engage with Alvarez. But it’s obvious he had a bit more time to heal between fights previous. Now, he had a mere four months and change to recuperate and train for Alvarez, 42-0-1 (30), seemingly an unheard of timeline for today’s elite fighters.
Nonetheless, this is a major variable of note and one most in higher places might be jotting down on their weakness lists. But the weaknesses aren’t just limited to the physical. The mental can be entirely more crippling, especially to the likes of Mayweather – the ego of all egos (save perhaps for the fighter who often puts the “twit” in “Twitter,” Adrien Broner). It was bad enough when he lost on one scorecard in the De la Hoya bout in 2007 (judge Tom Kaczmarek saw the fight for De la Hoya, 115-113), in which he won via 12-round split decision. It would be worse for Floyd to lose or, at the very least, suffer a draw, especially in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada.
This might just be the contract guarantee Golden Boy hopes for. And in the arms race taking place in the “Cold War” between Showtime/GBP and HBO/Top Rank, the former “Pretty Boy” is the former’s greatest weapon.
Is it possible for Mayweather to lose by decision? At this juncture, quite possible. Judges are judges and if the fight is competitive enough…well, judges might just see what’s less effective or not even there. This isn’t to say the trio of Dave Moretti, C.J. Ross and Craig Metcalfe is incompetent. Quite the contrary. However, ringside judges don’t observe fights from the same angles being each is given a side of his own. And if De la Hoya’s adamant claims of Alvarez’s imminent dominance (in the opinion of the “Golden Boy”) are taken to heart, perhaps the defending titlist’s efforts will shine even brighter.
De la Hoya insists “Canelo” will even knock Mayweather out. Now unless Alvarez catches Mayweather with a shot reminiscent of Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Manny Pacquiao IV, that scenario is doubtful. Mayweather’s defense is the best in the game, even at age 36.
This is why the draw becomes the most realistic possibility of all. De la Hoya’s insistence of an Alvarez win is so thick with optimism, it makes one wonder what’s up his Golden Sleeve. And with the subtle disdain he and Mayweather have for each other, throwing “Money” under the bus doesn’t seem too far out of left field.
So what does a draw - or worse, a loss – mean for The Money Team? Retribution in spades. Although, he gained the official decision over Jose Luis Castillo in their first go-round in April of 2002, Mayweather granted him a rematch almost eight months later when most fans and media saw “El Temible” as the victor. Even the thought of a disputed win haunted Mayweather; can you imagine what a loss or a draw would do to his psyche?
But that draw…man, that’s sounding way too realistic right now. And that would bring the pampered icon back to the ring in January of 2014 with a chip the size of Grand Rapids locked onto his rolling shoulder. Think of that popcorn hull jammed between your gum and a tooth. It’ll be that irritating for Mayweather.
And it’ll guarantee at least a third fight into the Mayweather/Showtime contract. As for a Mayweather loss? Let’s wait until after his 37th birthday.
(Next week, I’ll offer up my thoughts on Garcia vs. Matthysse.)
Shameless Plug Moment…
If you’re feeling artsy, please check out the Q&A Vents Magazine did on Yours Truly last week. Grab a cup of coffee and sit back for a look into the mind of a flighty, comic book-crazed artist!
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