Money Mayweather Will Be Remembered As Boxing’s Chess King 


Floyd Mayweather’s 12-round ring around the rosie rematch with Marcos Maidana was typical of Floyd’s fights over the years. He danced and pranced and counterpunched and held and grabbed and used his lightening speed and technical mastery to accumulate enough points to cruise to a unanimous decision, without ever engaging too much or exposing himself to any real danger.

Mayweather upped his stellar record to 47-0 and save for a fat lip, he came out of the contest ready to hit the Vegas strip.

Mayweather’s either beaten everyone on his plate or outlasted all potential adversaries. Moving forward, names like Amir Khan and Keith Thurman are surfacing as potential victims and barking/begging loudly for a title shot.



Most agree, however, that Manny Pacquiao is the only fight that will silence Floyd’s haters and finally give him that signature victory over a guy most boxing heads consider close in skill level and capable of taking Floyd deep into unchartered and treacherous waters. Such a test of will is mandatory for any fighter so quick to emphatically anoint himself attempting to call himself the greatest ever.

The biggest knock on Iron Mike Tyson other than the fact that he actually got knocked out by Buster Douglas, is that Tyson destroyed his competition but never rebounded from a loss to beat someone that defeated him or robbed him of an opportunity

Lennox Lewis did.


The test of an elite fighter comes when he is either equally matched and prevails, or suffers a major setback, trains even harder and digs down deeper into his resolve and spirit to come up with a plan of redemption.

Floyd has a superior legion of fans. Then again, his career’s flourished during a time when boxing has lacked superstars and lost popularity and ground to MMA and other contact sports.

Boxing needs Floyd Mayweather more than he needs the gladiator sport. He’s the richest athlete in the building. And to tell you the truth, the game probably loves him more than he loves the game. Mayweather is a legendary fighter. A true savant and child of the craft. His genetics alone give him an advantage in any fight.

It’s his warrior’s heart that has been questioned many times over the years. It’s a perception, that despite his conceit, has seeped into his subconscious as he engages in super Alpha-male behavior in public and within the confines of his home. Some people confuse the two, as a champion and undefeated boxer undoubtedly has to have heart, but in Floyd’s case, he’s so far ahead of the game and he controls the box office so lopsidedly that he’s been able to maneuver the chess board in his favor for years.

The failed fights with Pac Man really fueled a group of Mayweather dissenters, who feel that he purposely ducks fighters who can possibly put him in the hospital in favor of washed up names and inexperienced and under-skilled cats, who he can outpoint without much fear of getting knocked out or injured.

Some heads just call him the most intelligent boxer of all-time. (But that wouldn’t make sense, because 50 said he can’t read). Look at the debilitating physical conditions past champions are in. Floyd’s father and uncle were formidable boxers and both speak with a slur and have obviously incurred some brain damage along the way. Floyd has been able to stay undefeated, at the top and independent of most bloodsucking promoters. He’s been able to call his own shots and keep himself healthy by choosing his opponents carefully and strategically.

Those that thirst for blood and the sight of boxing’s proclaimed modern day Muhammad Ali (big mouth only, not content) sprawling on a canvas or getting wobbled by a multi-round beating, don’t like the way he plays his ghetto poker.

The undefeated record speaks for itself. His electric showmanship and artistry is unmatched in today’s boxing arena. Still, many boxing fans will ask the question, “When has Floyd ever truly been challenged?”

At this point, people consider Maidana a legitimate challenge because he happened to hit Floyd a few times and relentlessly moves forward during their fights.



In the end, Maidana still got picked apart and he never hurt Mayweather. The rematch was a more convincing win for Floyd than the first fight, and it marked the end of Maidana’s shot at being a legend-killer and upsetting the King. Boxing’s still caught in the Money Team chokehold, and while lame after lame duck is dismantled, Floyd’s name is becoming synonymous with explosive out of the ring nonsense like his multiple domestic abuse incidents, the bid he did, his brawl with T.I. and the mystery surrounding his relationship with Tip’s wife Tiny. His social-media instigated literacy battle with former friend and Money Team associate 50 cent had Twitter and Facebook buzzing.



People want to see Floyd expend that kind of energy in his fights and in finding a competitor worthy of being in the ring with him. If Floyd isn't losing steam in the streets or at the bank deposit, he’s definitely losing momentum at the box office. He’s still boxing’s biggest draw, but Vegas gamblers weren't that interested in his rematch with Marcos Maidana.

The amount wagered on Saturday's fight was down significantly across town. Jay Rood, vice president of race and sports books for MGM, said the rematch attracted less than 50 percent of the betting action that Mayweather's fight with Canelo Alvarez drew in September 2013.

That’s unusual for a rematch, which is often more marketable and publicly attractive than the first encounter. Reports say the betting handle on Mayweather-Maidana II has been described as "horrible.”

"He's a draw, but it's not translating to the betting window," Rood said of Mayweather.

In the past, Mayweather fights have attracted historical six-figure wagers and the occasional million-dollar bet. Not many of those ballers splurged this weekend. There was a time five years ago when a Mayweather fight was one of the largest attractions in sports. Now, some see him as a boxing bore looking for an easy score and a 50-0 retirement record.

"We took a couple big bets on Floyd, but not as many as in the past," said John Avello, executive director of the Wynn Race and Sports Book. Rood said the MGM took a couple of six-figure bets on Mayweather, but not nearly as many as in previous fights.

Maidana was clearly not a fan of Mayweather’s tactics. In his previous fight, The Argentinean bomber impressively dismantled superstar Adrien Broner, who stood toe-to-toe with Maidana at times.



Maidana would get no such cooperation from Floyd.

"I thought I won the fight but if the judges want to give the fight to a guy who runs that’s their decision,” Maidana complained following the loss. “I feel like I was the aggressor and I kept applying the pressure. He kept holding and pushing and the ref never did anything about it. Instead, the ref took a point away from me.”

The fight was just the second rematch of Mayweather’s 18-year Hall of Fame career. listed the ten toughest fights in Mayweather’s entire career. I was surprised they could find ten fights that actually posed problems for Mayweather, who may not be as active as past champs, but is probably as dominant as any champion ever.

He was never really in danger of losing a fight. A couple of guys rocked him a few times, but they never knocked him down.

The desperation of critically searching for specific rounds that Mayweather lost over 47 fights, to find moments in which his legacy might have been threatened, speaks for itself. Boxers, fans and analysts don't control the future of Money Mayweather. He holds that power. Whether or not he keeps his nose clean long enough to fulfill his potential is up to him. Mayweather said that he plans to retire at the conclusion of his six-fight Showtime/CBS contract, which likely will be next September. He is more than halfway through the deal worth more than $200 million coins. 

"Absolutely, "Mayweather said of his plans to keep that retirement schedule. "My next fight is in May and my last fight is in September, so a year from now will be my last fight. Hard to believe that a guy like Floyd would end his career one win shy of 50-0. 

At 37-years-old, he's no young buck and the game isn’t getting any bigger. He is the pendulum. The barometer. Boxing has given him more than anyone. As a performer, he’s been a great ambassador for the sport. His sideline antics may reflect poorly on his character, but it does wonders for a sport that needs as much PR as possible these days. If he is truly the greatest ever and the lifeline of pro boxing, then he knows he ultimately owes it to the game to fight anybody people accuse him of ducking.

Floyd can easily just start with Pacquiao—who’s already past his prime—and put an end to any doubt that the Michigan Mix is the official pound for pound beast of his generation. Or he can continue to play chess and puppet master without the full respect of the people and his peers, but with the full respect of the celebrity journalists, social media groupies who feed off and selfishly fuel the flames of his flamboyant bad boy image and claims that he’s the best to ever do it. Is his ego so inflated that he can’t see past the left wing of his money mansion?

Or is his reality consistent with his belief that,  “the fans think I’m good. I know, I’m great.”

Who am I to argue?

He’s tactical in business, like he is in the ring. And he’s a maniac every other time. Sound like genius to me.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.