By John F. McKenna (McJack)
It is generally acknowledged by boxing fans that WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO’s) is the most technically brilliant fighter of his generation. It is also a given that he would have given any of the great fighters from past generations a run for their money. As great as they were fighters like Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Harry Greb and Sugar Ray Robinson would not have just rolled over “Money” Mayweather as some old timers would like to think.
Love him or hate him everyone who is a student of boxing and its history must concede that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a great and formidable fighter. Floyd has the ability to make other great fighters that he has faced look ordinary by comparison. When Juan Manuel Marquez fought Mayweather in 2009 he was completely out of his league. Floyd pitched a near shutout against a fighter who fought the other great fighter of our time, Manny Pacquiao on even terms in 3 fights.
Floyd’s greatness however extends beyond what he has accomplished in the ring. He has the rare ability to be a promoter of himself. The bad boy image that Floyd has so carefully cultivated is a role that he plays very well. His ability at self promotion can only be compared to that of the great Muhammad Ali. No other fighters have had that ability to the same extent as Mayweather and Ali. Ali admitted years later that he got the idea by watching the famed wrestler Gorgeous George. Muhammad was smart enough at a young age to realize that people would pay money to see Gorgeous George hoping to see him get beat. At one point in his career when Ali was criticized for bragging he responded with the famous quote: “It ain’t bragging if you can back it up.”
The HBO 24/7 reality show is a natural way for Mayweather to build up his fights and add drama. In addition Floyd has the media in the grasp of his hands. Sports writers hang on to his every word reporting even his most mundane conversations. He has a large army of loyal fans who are only too eager to pay money to watch him fight in addition to those who hate him, but will still pay to watch his fights.
Part of Floyd Mayweather’s attraction is that he is not under contract to any promoter. He defers to no one when making his decisions and calls his own shots.