On Monday, FightHype published an exert from an interview with Floyd Mayweather in which he addressed one of boxing’s burgeoning stars and, in the eyes of many, the heir to his pound for pound and Pay-per-view thrones – Gennady Golovkin.
The utterance of Golovkin’s name, and the news that his first PPV outing had failed to really capture the attention of the masses, seemed to animate Mayweather who launched into something of a rant. “Money” bragged about how his achievements as a draw “will never be duplicated”, but nevertheless went on to dispense some advice to those who will attempt to follow in his footsteps.
“I just want to let the fighters know this, just because you can fight has nothing to do with selling tickets, putting asses in the seats, or becoming a pay-per-view star. It takes more than just being able to fight. It takes more than that. You have to have a certain aura about yourself, a certain charisma about yourself, a certain sales pitch about yourself; it takes a total package”.
Amidst his lecture about the path to superstardom, Mayweather also spoke of the importance of taking risks – wait for it….wait for it – like he did! In this context, he encouraged Gennady Golovkin to take on Andre Ward in order to really establish himself.
“The thing is, as far as boxing, it’s all about taking risks and taking chances. I did it. I took risks. I took chances. I’m just waiting to see if Triple G is going to go up and fight Andre Ward. I’m going to be convinced when he can go up and beat Andre Ward. Until then, I’m not convinced”.
That statement is bound to draw laughter from many within the boxing community.
Mayweather’s reputation in the sport is diametrically opposed to that of a risk-taker. Floyd, in fact, is commonly labelled a “cherry-picker” by boxing fans and even by some members of the media. It has often been suggested that, especially as his career wore on, he tended to avoid the toughest challenges available. He has been accused of waiting until name fighters displayed signs of decline before fighting them, and of seeking advantages in tricky match-ups by contractually forcing his opponents to make uncomfortable weights the day before battle.
Not to mention that inside the ring his style is as risk-averse as it gets.
Even if one isn’t in agreement with the theory that Mayweather’s career was built on smart match-making and manipulative business tactics alone, you would have a hard time arguing that Floyd was in the habit of taking undue risk.
Floyd wasn’t finished with the controversial statements, however. Again seemingly inspired by the talk of Golovkin’s emerging status, he went on to talk about a far more sensitive issue – racism in boxing. Mayweather spoke about the pressure he felt from the public to fight Manny Pacquiao, before questioning why Golovkin wasn’t feeling that sort of heat regarding a match-up with Andre Ward.
Mayweather, it seemed, was suggesting that this was down to issues of race and favouritism.
“And I honestly feel it’s not a black thing, it’s not a white thing, it’s the right thing, but like I said before, racism still exists in boxing. They had Hispanics and black fighters only that was dominating the sport for years. An Asian fighter comes along and makes a lot of noise, which is Manny Pacquiao. For years, they said I was a coward, I was scared, or I was ducking this guy. All I said is random blood and urine testing and let’s make it happen. Eventually, we got to a certain point, we negotiated the fight, it happened, it is what it is. So what I’m saying is this, they were so adamant about that fight [Mayweather vs. Pacquiao], you know, but they’re not adamant about Triple G fighting Andre Ward?”
“Whoever is forcing Andre Ward to go up to [light] heavyweight, that’s not cool at all. They’re trying to get him beat. From the looks of things, what’s going on in the sport of boxing, they want their superstar to be Caucasian. It’s obvious. And this has been going on for a very long time. They wanted me to lose to Pacquiao, but that didn’t happen”.