Floyd Mayweather Jr. has decided he needs a little more support in this pesky war he’s waged against Manny Pacquiao, Top Rank and the like. So, who is he bringing in for reinforcements? 50 Cent? Floyd Mayweather Sr.?
Unfortunately, no. Mayweather’s vision is much grander than that. He wants America on his side. Yes, America.
Speaking with ESNNewsReporting.com recently, here is what Mayweather had to say:
“I’m an American citizen and I want the American citizens to stand behind me. If you are the best, step up and take the test. That’s all I’m saying. If you don’t have nothing to hide, take the test. I represent this country and I want this country to get behind me. There’s no country like America, so whoever’s facing Floyd Mayweather, tell them they have to step up and take the test.”
One of the more fascinating subplots of this endless Pacquiao v. Mayweather rivalry has been the level of support that both sides have gotten. Pacquiao, of course, has gotten unwavering devotion from his cult of loyal followers. He’s an international icon, politician and widely respected by most, so it was to be expected that he would have more support.
Mayweather, on the flip side, experienced support in waves throughout this whole painful process. First, he had adamant boxing fans who may not even have been his fans (but respected his in-ring ability) who defended his right to challenge Pacquiao’s stance on performance-enhancing drug (PED) testing. Then, when Pacquiao agreed to Mayweather’s requirements and the latter still found a reason not to agree, the support began to waver.
And, finally, over the last year and change when Mayweather consistently found time to run his mouth, but couldn’t find the time to work out the kinks to a possible fight, the support largely dissipated.
Pacquiao has always been very Philippines-oriented. He often makes mention of his home country and the adoration he has for it. He frequently speaks in his native language. It’s known and accepted. But this is the first time that Mayweather has opted to invoke any sort of reference to America, though. The undefeated superstar has never been one for heavy patriotism in his speech so, why now?
Maybe Mayweather is finally feeling the sting of zero support. Perhaps he now realizes that even certain people -- those who appreciated him from a distance despite the black hat he often chose to wear for his “Money” Mayweather brand -- have finally grown tired of his antics. It’s tough being the heel. It’s even tougher being the heel when you can’t even get the folks who go against the grain and root for whoever everyone else isn’t rooting for on your side.
This America-first approach feels like a last ditch attempt. Mayweather has already lost the PR war against Pacquiao, Arum and Co., but he doesn’t realize it yet. He thinks that maybe, by playing off the patriotism in the U.S., he can drum up a little support at home.
Sorry, Floyd – no go.