Can Floyd Go from Villain To Hero over Night?
In the modern era of Boxing, there are only three names that stand in the conversation of GOAT (greatest of all time). The first of these three is Floyd Mayweather, the second is Pretty Boy Floyd and the third is Money Mayweather. All names that lead to the one and only Floyd Mayweather Jr. The boxing industry’s most hated athlete. Despite Coming from humble beginnings, mastering the skill of boxing, going undefeated thus far and ultimately becoming the greatest boxer this sport has ever seen Floyd is still the industry’s Villian. So with so much success how did Floyd’s name become so cringe worthy? More importantly, How can Floyd ever fix this issue?
Floyd is without a doubt one of the greatest fighters to ever touch the mat. He has had 49 professional fights and won them all. He has made it a purpose to give back through many charitable contributions and even started the Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation. There is a lot that Floyd has done to contribute to the world but we all know the bad guy image isn’t just given out. The Villain Image for Floyd starts in 1996 after his professional debut against Roberto Apodaca.
In 1996 a young Floyd Mayweather Jr. took on Roberto Apodaca ultimately destroying him. Two years later, now with a stream of confidence, he looked to take down Genaro Hernandez. This time around Floyd was known for his boastful antics, Taunting his opponents and speaking of himself in 3rd person. Essentially showing all the characteristics of an arrogant asshole, The kind people don’t like. As Mayweather continued to win his ego grew larger, his talent increased and his trash-talk became unbearable.
Awaken Pretty Boy Floyd, a young slender version of Floyd whose remarks made his opposers uncomfortable, whose eccentric spending habits made the haters mad and whose total package made the world watch. Fight after a fight the boxing world grew frantic waiting to see Floyd’s domineering empire fall. One side exclaiming “He talks too much $#*!” the other chanting “He pays the judges!” His position in boxing became clear, the bad guy everyone wanted to lose. Fans and critics alike watched Floyd fight, waiting to see if he would ever lose. Understanding this dynamic Floyd upped his antics, doubled his flashiness and ultimately tripled the profit.
Awaken Money Mayweather, a seasoned boxer whose remarks hit hard just not as hard as his accolades. At this stage in Floyd’s career, he has done everything there is to do in the sport of boxing. The need for his past antics is trivial. He is still Pretty Boy Floyd at heart but the now older and wiser Money Mayweather is all about the money. The antics and trash talk is all geared towards selling the fight. When asked about his antics prior to a fight Floyd told media it was “Absolutely” centered around promotion. “I’ve always thought that,” Mayweather said. “At first, it was like, one way or another, by communication or by my boxing skills, you will watch me, you will see me, I will be seen. But I’m in a position now I don’t have to do that.”
In 2015 Money Mayweather took on Manny Pacquiao. A match coined to be the fight of the century. A match that was said to be Floyd’s first loss. As Manny and his team would have it this was a fight of good versus evil. Media coverage everywhere painted the picture. Pacquiao, the devoted Christian whose team claimed God was on the side of (A statement Floyd laughed at in an interview) versus Floyd, the man corrupted by money and power. With no contribution to the role, Floyd was deemed the bad guy once again. On May 1st, 2015 the “villain” struck obliterating Manny Pacquiao. This time announcing his retirement shortly after.
“He’s taller and has a longer reach, he’s a bigger man from top to bottom. A lot younger so youth is on his side and I’ve been in a couple years.”
Awaken Retired Floyd, A well accomplished Floyd Mayweather whose new life revolves around family and mentoring upcoming talents. A life that would not go over well with critics and fans. As Floyd enjoyed retirement the critics heckled, enticing potential fight opportunities over the past two years until finally, Floyd returned. In a clear money-grab fight, Floyd has agreed to fight MMA sensation Conner Mcgregor. Unlike previous fights, Floyd has chosen to sell this fight with a narrative of potential defeat. Recently Floyd told reporter Stephen A. Smith that Mcgregor was more than a worthy opponent stating “He’s taller and has a longer reach, he’s a bigger man from top to bottom. A lot younger so youth is on his side and I’ve been in a couple years.” A clear attempt to add anticipation to the fight. In an attempt to become the good guy of the two Floyd has even stated he’s fighting for the world saying “I’m doing this for the Americans, I’m doing this for the Spanish, I’m doing it for everyone around the world and I know he’s doing it for himself, He’s doing it for his Irish fans”.
Clearly, Floyd is not interested in being the villain of this match-up and luckily for him, McGregor isn’t making it too hard. In their most recent press run, McGregor has been the one playing up mischief between these two. Blurting racial slurs and even physically touching Mayweather. The media, of course, doesn’t see this as mischief. Often times dismissing McGregor’s behavior as a “Joke”. During the press run, Floyd spoke out telling the camera “I’ve been flashy for years. I’ve been driving Ferrari’s and Bentley’s and Rolls-Royce’s over 20 years. All this flashy stuff I was doing. ‘Oh, he’s arrogant. He’s cocky. He’s unappreciative.’ Take the same guy that’s in contact sports, steal my whole blueprint, and they praise him for it.” Despite Mcgregor’s outrageous comments and actions, Floyd is still having trouble denouncing the bad guy reputation. Of course, Floyd isn’t completely innocent he has had his fair share of outrageous comments as well. Still, that doesn’t mean Floyd deserves to be the villain here.
So the question still stands, “How can Mayweather finally become the “good guy”? Especially when nothing McGregor says or does counts against him? The answer is he doesn’t. A loss would surely humanize Floyd and ultimately give the world a reason to sympathize with him but C’mon this isn’t a video game. This is reality and the reality is that Floyd is all-time great. The only way he can get close to becoming the good guy is by taking a loss.