Opinion | Sep 11 2015

Snips and Snipes: Why would Floyd Mayweather stop at Rocky Marciano’s record?

Eric Armit gives his take on the boxing world this week
Floyd Mayweather
AP-Mayweather-Berto-Boxing

SO this will be Floyd Mayweather’s last fight. Somehow that does not ring true. Over his career Mayweather has been a massive talent and had the ego to match. Taking that into account what great athlete in any sport has ever said that he would be happy to equal an all-time record but had no interest in beating it. Proving you’re the best is what elite athletes are all about and if Mayweather settles for equalling Rocky Marciano’s record that will haunt him for the rest of his life. Of course there is another reason why Floyd is saying this is his last fight. Put simply there is no other way to market the fight. Andre Berto is a good fighter. Not great but good, but not good enough for a fight with Mayweather to be attractive on its own. The only thing that makes Mayweather vs. Berto saleable is the “Floyd’s last fight” tag. I understand that ticket sales etc. have been sluggish and without that last fight tag they would be a lot worse than sluggish. Perhaps Floyd is serious about this being his last fight but he does not strike me as the sort of guy who would walk away one fight short of standing out on his own as the world title holder who retired with the longest unbeaten run. Equal best is not Floyd-only the best will do.

An illustration of how the sport has changed over the years is that it will have taken Mayweather just a month short of 19 years to reach his 49 fight total. It took Marciano only 8 years. Fighters fought a lot more often in the in the 1940’s and 50’s. Between 1948 and 1949 Marciano had 24 fights because purses were much small so to make a living you had to fight more often.

I have heard people calling for Mayweather to have one more fight after Berto and go up against Gennady Golovkin. There is no way that is going to happen and rightly so. Mayweather started out as a super feather as a pro having won medals at light fly and fly in major competitions as an amateur. The most he has weighed as a pro is 151lbs against Miguel Cotto in 2012. Golovkin is a natural middle having spent the last three years there as an amateur and never weighing below 158lbs. Either Mayweather would end up giving away a lot of weight even at a catchweight or Golovkin would have to saw a leg off. Just no sense in that fight.