Floyd Mayweather: Loathing Without Fear in Las Vegas

I woke to watch this morning’s Mayweather v Maidana title bout with the intention of producing a bog standard write-up of the action.  I left social media alone during the fight before scrolling through reams of tweets immediately after.  The vast majority of people I follow are boxing writers, analysts or commentators of varying merit and reputation who, once all of their great minds are combined, generally provide a relatively balanced view of a fight.  Not so with Floyd “Money” Mayweather.

Almost to a tweet, it is possible to determine who is for and who is against from the first 140 characters or less.  The love or hate can manifest itself in a between-the-lines intonation or an in-your-face bias, but personal feelings of the man appear almost impossible to hide.  And for those in any doubt, the lovers are few and far between.

Immediate reaction to the alleged bite in the eighth round is a prime example.  It was ignored, brushed over or met with extreme mirth by the majority.  Some postulated that, through a padded glove, you’d barely feel a bite from teeth encapsulated within a gum-shield.  They could be right, but on the other hand, Tyson managed to remove a portion of Holyfield’s flesh, albeit ungloved, in similar circumstances in the same ring 17 years ago. 

See Also

At time of writing, I’ve seen no 100% conclusive footage of the incident.  But the circumstance and reactions from both is enough for probable cause.  Did Maidana bite him?  Almost certainly.  Did it have any material effect on the fight?  Almost certainly not.  

That being said, even light nibbles in the ring should surely be frowned upon and had other fighters been the perpetrator and victim, the same boxing heads laughing off the incident would be spleen-venting for days to come.  Herein lies the problem with seeking a considered and dispassionate analysis of Floyd’s actions between the ropes.

There are various sources of the antipathy towards Mayweather.  Sadly, and despite what the more self-righteous members of the boxing fraternity will proclaim, a conviction for domestic abuse tends not to be the main driver behind the loathing in Las Vegas every May and September.  Neither is it a naturally defensive style in the ring nor a perceived leading role in denying fans the one fight they have all wanted this century.  Instead it is the persona he, and various television networks, have cultivated for the self-styled TBE.

Within a couple of minutes of any given episode of All Access or 24/7, Floyd makes the top three in the average human’s, Guys I Could Never Be Friends With list.  It is a veritable 25 minute extravaganza of arrogance, misogyny and tasteless profligacy.  Think, the Wolf of Wall Street meets a professional wrestler in character in the middle of a Lil Wayne song.

The fact that it is a reality TV show, surely the most misleadingly-named genre in television, cuts no ice with the majority.  But while a kernel of truth normally lies at the heart of hyperbole, it is hard to believe that Mayweather genuinely lives each day of his life in such non-stop caricature self-indulgence and offensive bombast.

By the same token, not everyone he faces can possibly be the quiet, humble, respectful father/husband/son of the year nominee we are urged to buy into.  Marcos Maidana’s torso is peppered with jailhouse tatts for example.  Does that mean he is actually not the decent guy he comes across as?  Of course not.  But did he end up in the slammer due to a heart of gold and extensive volunteer work in the community?  Equally unlikely.  There is much more grey than black and white in the sweet science.

Of course, boxing needs these televised manufactured dichotomies.  Without the ingrained tribal allegiances inherent in team sports, it struggles to maintain relevance and sell itself otherwise.  Regardless of how outstanding the two athletes in question are, if they are just a couple of regular Joes with a healthy respect for each other, PPV numbers and ticket sales suffer. 

Polemic rivalries and controversy are a must and while Muhammad Ali managed to generate it single-handily back when tweeting was just for birds, today’s largely characterless generation need all the help the media can give them.  That is the true reality that underpins the 21st century fly on the wall documentaries that are now the staple of big fight promotions.  It is a reality that has made Floyd Mayweather a very rich and very unpopular man.

Alleged carnivorous interlude aside, there was little of note in this particular stage of Mayweather’s 18 year unbeaten odyssey in the ring.  Nobody was predicting anything other than a comfortable points victory for the American and that is exactly what transpired.  Only El Chino’s more ardent fans, and the three ringside judges, will argue he deserved more than a couple of rounds.

The Argentine brawler was strangely restrained throughout.  His team will undoubtedly apportion much of the blame for that on an over officious Kenny Bayless (who incidentally refereed Mayweather’s debut back when Ike Quartey was the WBA welterweight champ), and it is true that the referee was far too quick to call break from the outset. 

But a relatively conservative Maidana appeared to be following a pre-determined plan to pick his punches in a more controlled form of the wild, heavy-handed aggression he is famous for.  If the Garcia family really came up with that tactic for a fighter like Marcos against a fighter like Floyd, I would consider revoking Robert Garcia’s 2011 trainer of the year award.

The result of the strategy was Maidana landing almost 100 punches less than the first fight.  On the basis that his sole chance of victory relied on landing one big one, buying less tickets for the raffle was never going to help his cause.  A big right wobbled Floyd at the end of the 3rd but the champ was never in mortal danger and countered to great effect all night long. 

With one KO in seven years, and that the highly controversial ending to the 2011 Victor Ortiz bout, Mayweather appears to have given up on early nights and never looked likely to buck the trend tonight. For that reason he has never been a feared champion in the mould of Tyson or, more recently, Gennady Golovkin.  

Ws and $ are the only goals now and that was number 47 and at least 33 million respectively.  Where the next W and $ will come from is anyone’s guess.  But as sure as night follows day, both will come. Universal respect and appreciation from the boxing world at large? Now that’s a different story altogether…


Read more articles about:



Vasiliy Lomachenko undergoes shoulder surgery following loss to Teofimo Lopez

Vasiliy Lomachenko undergoes shoulder surgery following loss to Teofimo Lopez

Vasiliy Lomachenko 14-2 (10) entered his fight against Teofimo ‘El Brooklyn’ Lopez 16-0 (12) with an injured rotator cuff, according to his manager Egis Klimas. The 32-year-old Ukrainian southpaw lost his WBA and WBO lightweight titles to IBF cham…

Errol Spence Jr prepared to jump up two weight classes…

Errol Spence Jr prepared to jump up two weight classes to face Canelo Alvarez

Unified welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr 26-0 (21) has revealed an ambitious plan to move up to middleweight to face Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 53-1-2 (36). The 30-year-old Texan southpaw said he would like to take on…

Lee Selby vs George Kambosos winner to get shot at…

Lee Selby vs George Kambosos winner to get shot at Teofimo Lopez

The winner of the IBF lightweight world title eliminator between George ‘Ferocious’ Kambosos Jr 18-0 (10) and ‘Lightning’ Lee Selby 28-2 (9) will put themselves in line for a shot at undisputed 135-pound champion Teofimo ‘El Brooklyn’ Lopez 16-0 (12)…

Eddie Hearn leads calls for judge Terry O'Connor to be…

Eddie Hearn leads calls for judge Terry O'Connor to be stood down after Lewis Ritson-Miguel Vazquez fight

Promoter Eddie Hearn has called for judge Terry O’Connor to be immediately stood down by the British Boxing Board of Control after footage emerged of him appearing to look at his phone while judging the Lewis Ritson versus Miguel Vazquez junior welte…

Liam Paro wants world title shot in 2021

Liam Paro wants world title shot in 2021

WBO number two and IBF number three junior welterweight contender Liam ‘The Prodigy’ Paro 19-0 (12) wants a world title shot next year and he doesn’t care who it comes against. Scotland’s Josh Taylor 17-0 (13) holds the WBA and IBF titles while Ca…

Terence Crawford vs Kell Brook set for Nov 14, Joshua…

Terence Crawford vs Kell Brook set for Nov 14, Joshua Franco vs Andrew Moloney II in co-feature

Top Rank has officially announced WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford 36-0 (27) will defend his championship against Kell ‘Special K’ Brook 39-2 (27) on November 14 at a venue to be confirmed. In the co-feature WBA ‘regular’ super fly…


Welcome to Ringnews24; read the latest boxing news from around the world.

The site is run by boxing fans James Tonks and Lee Daley.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free toEmail Us

Write for Ringnews24