When a boxer’s nickname is “Money”, it carries certain expectations. High living and lucrative fights have long been associated with the kid who was born Floyd Sinclair in Grand Rapids, Michigan. On his way to becoming the #1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world, he would go through another nickname, “Pretty Boy” due to his lack of scars, in spite of his choice of career. His old-school, shoulder rolling technique of defense can surely be credited for his unblemished visage.
But Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s life has been one of contradiction and irony. Born the son of a boxer who had fought Sugar Ray Leonard, he eventually became estranged from his father while the elder Mayweather was in prison, taking so many years to bring him back to the fold that Floyd Sr. actually trained some of his opponents. He fought Diego Corrales who was facing jail time for domestic abuse, saying “I want Diego for all the battered women across America. Just like he beat that woman, I’m gonna beat him.” But later, Mayweather would also see the inside of a prison for similar offenses. The highest paid athlete in the world grew up with six other family members in one bedroom, sometimes without electricity. But he took on the nickname, “Money” after defeating the only boxer to generate more revenue than he, Oscar de la Hoya.
Having faced opponents with names such as Gatti, Judah, Hatton, Mosley, Cotto, and Alvarez, Mayweather remains currently undefeated at 45-0-0 with 26 knockouts to his credit. One foe that has eluded him is Manny Pacquiao and many fight fans feel that the ultimate match to be wished for is a showdown between these two giants. They have come close on more than one occasion, apparently, with negotiations falling through over disputes on the subject of blood testing by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. These Olympic-style tests in the world of professional boxing were instigated by Mayweather and are felt by many to be an important part of his legacy.
Having already retired (“I have nothing left to prove in the boxing world”) and come back more than once, each time to increased glory, the question is now whether Mayweather will go on to beat Marciano’s record of 49-0-0. He has five fights remaining in which to do it. We shall see.