Anyone who has ever wondered why Floyd Mayweather Jr. didn’t fight Manny Pacquiao in his prime, or why he probably won’t fight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez at any point in the foreseeable future, needs to look no further than what happened on Saturday night.
In front of a rambunctious crowd that came to see him fight live and millions of folks tuning in at home, the undefeated superstar defeated Robert Guerrero with ease.
Aside from the first two rounds, Mayweather went through the entire bout completely and totally unchallenged – something that has held true in every match he’s had over the past 10 years (excluding the Miguel Cotto fight). The 36-year-old star toyed with Guerrero, displaying his Hall of Fame-level elusiveness and accuracy, and he managed to overcome a hurt hand en route to a unanimous decision victory.
For his relatively miniscule troubles, Mayweather took home $32 million. That total matches the previous high he set last year when he squared off against Cotto. Guerrero, for his part in the proceedings, took home $3 million plus whatever the powers that be decide to scrape off for him from the pay-per-view sales.
In 2012, Mayweather was the highest-paid athlete in the world. If he fights twice this year, as he is pretty much mandated to by his new Showtime deal, there is a very good chance he’ll eclipse last year’s $85 million intake.
The money that Mayweather takes home fighting good -- but not great -- boxers is why he didn’t fight an in-his-prime Manny Pacquiao, and why he won’t fight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez anytime soon. It just doesn’t make financial sense for him seek out fights against equals when he can make such ridiculous sums of money fighting lesser foes. And that statement isn’t meant to a.) degrade a solid fighter in Guerrero or b.) to absolve Pacquiao from his part in not making the super fight happen, it’s just the reality of the situation.
If you could make nearly as much money not risking a loss as you would risking a loss, what would you do?
Mayweather’s legacy is set at this point. He’ll go down as a guy whose fans will remember him as arguably the greatest boxing tactician of all time, and whose critics will remember him for the opponents he didn’t fight. Nothing he does from here on out will change that. And to his credit, he’s smart enough to understand that.
It’s impossible to know what Mayweather will do from here on out, but it’s a pretty safe bet that he’ll likely stay true to the philosophy that earned him that ‘Money’ nickname in the first place.