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The Greatness of Floyd “Money” Mayweather

On October 11, 1996 Olympic Bronze Medalist Floyd Mayweather Jr. made is professional debut by stopping his opponent in two rounds.

That was more than 20 years ago. Mainstream fighters like Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and Oscar De La Hoya were still fighting. Yes, it was that long ago.

This kid Mayweather had a great story. He came up poor and had to fight to survive. Like so many others, he had to provide for his family due to hardship. His father, Floyd Sr., a former boxer who once fought (with a reported broken hand) and lost to boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard was incarcerated and could not be present for both his son’s Olympic fights and professional debut.

His uncles Roger and Jeff (both former boxers) with the former being a two time world champion would train their nephew in the absence of Floyd Sr. Within 2 years, Floyd Jr. was 17-0 and was campaigning in the 130lbs division.

He fought the best fighter available, the late Genaro Hernandez, for world title. Mayweather put on a masterful performance beyond his years by totally outclassing the more experienced fighter who ceded his title to Floyd in 8 rounds.

Floyd would go on to dominate the division for the next three years. The next major challenge was the late Diego “Chico” Corrales. Mayweather-Corrales was a “pick em” fight. A fight that many boxing experts thought either fighter had chance of winning. Mayweather again silenced his critics and totally outclassed Corrales forcing his corner to stop the fight in the 10th round after Corrales suffered a total of 5 knockdowns.

Having conquered the 130lbs division Mayweather would go on to capture world titles in the 135lbs, 140lbs, and 147lbs division. Having won 4 titles in 4 weight divisions Mayweather Jr. joined the elite club of Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearn’s, Roberto Duran, and Pernell Whitaker who were the only ones at the time who had accomplished this feat.

Mayweather already a lock for the boxing hall of fame had proven himself. It was almost 10 years since Mayweather had made his pro debut and he had still not penetrated “mainstream” audiences. To overcome that obstacle Mayweather challenged “The Golden Boy”, Oscar De La Hoya. Mayweather would go on to defeat De La Hoya by split decision victory, set a Pay Per View (PPV) record, and became a household name.

Mayweather would continue his winning ways by going on to defeat future hall of fame fighters such as Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, and Miguel Cotto until he was finally awarded with what was then the richest athlete contract at the time. It was a six fight whopping 200,000,000 million dollar contract. Mayweather would earn every bit of it by grossing over a 1 billion dollars for the network that gave him the contract.

His PPV fights against Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez also broke PPV records in regard to financial revenue. Mayweather retired after fulfilling his contract when he defeated former Olympian and World champion Andre Berto.

After almost 2 years in retirement, Mayweather returned to fight MMA fighter Connor McGregor. While McGregor put up a valiant fight, Mayweather impressively knocked him out within 10 rounds setting another PPV record and surpassing heavyweight boxing great Rocky Marciano record. Mayweather is now 50-0. At 40 years old Mayweather is still fighting on an elite level.

But why is Mayweather still good for boxing? When the Mayweather show comes to town, it’s good for everyone including Mayweather’s opponents. Right now there is some fighter at home hoping the Mayweather camp calls and offers him a fight against Mayweather. Economically it’s great for the service industry in Las Vegas when Mayweather fights. It’s good for service workers, Hotels, Casinos, Airlines, Bars, Restaurants, etc.

When Mayweather fights, everybody doesn’t just eat, they eat well. It’s rumored that Mayweather will once again come out of retirement to either rematch with McGregor or fight another opponent in 2018.

With all the bad blood in recent years between Mayweather and De La Hoya a rematch would make sense and would likely perform well with PPV. De La Hoya is reportedly back in the gym training. Whoever Mayweather fights, if he again comes out of retirement, no matter what anyone thinks of him his Greatness cannot be denied due to his longevity in Boxing, accomplishments in the ring, and his ability stimulate an economy when he fights.

Contact Writer:

***Ralph Rimpell is a writer based out of New York and is a Boxing Correspondent for Ralph holds an undergraduate degree from City University of New York. He has been a Boxing Writer for over ten years having written for several top boxing websites on the World Wide Web. Before becoming a writer, Ralph's passion was for professional wrestling until he realized professional wrestling was entertainment and not a real sport. It was at that time the 1984 US Olympic team made up of future stars such as Evander Holyfield, Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker, etc. entered the professional ranks and signed with promotional outfit Main Events.It was also at that time a young exciting Heavyweight originally hailing from Brooklyn named Mike Tyson also turned professional and became the face of boxing. Young boxing fan Ralph just couldn't get enough of boxing as a large part of it was being broadcast on "free TV". As time went on, Ralph felt boxing writers were not being forthcoming with their boxing coverage, opinion pieces, interviews, etc. So Ralph decided to write an article and submitted it to a Boxing website thinking it would be deleted and ignored by the Editor. To Ralph's surprise his article was posted on their website and the readers embraced it. The rest is history.

"I thank God for the Internet because it has created opportunities for writers like myself who likely would not have been given an opportunity to write for print publications. I hope someday soon to expand my role in Boxing on different levels." -- Ralph Rimpell

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ralph Rimpell.

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