As the author Paul Magno alluded, those who see themselves as boxing purists are so full of …, ahem – themselves!
Aficionados, even though their concerns and ire may come from a good place, are quick to forget that pugilists are professional prizefighters first and foremost.
If how they fight inside that squared jungle they call a boxing ring is a marvel to watch and pleases them pious folk, all the better.
What one Floyd Joy Sinclair has managed to do under the business tutelage of Al Haymon, next to God-given boxing talent, is to learn the whole value chain of the hurt bitnezz outside the ring.
In essence, he uppended the applecart and rubbed the establishment up the wrong way since the early 2000s when, upon being offered a multi-fight $12 million deal by Bob Arum to fight under the HBO network, he termed it “slave wages”.
And when realizing that the “Golden Boy” in Oscar de la Hoya was the go-to man in terms of getting paid very well, he challenged Arum to allow him to jump two weight divisions to fight the 1992 Olympic gold medalist for all the marbles to determine the sport’s “Money” man – mind you, his father Big Floyd was the chief trainer of DLH then!
Not only did Arum baulk at this, he kept avoiding promoting Floyd’s interests very well.
That is until their contract was about to end and Floyd bought himself out for around $600,000 to be a free man so that Mayweather Promotions could be an independent outfit for real. Then, back in May of 2007, the unthinkable happened – a not as yet fully developed Pretty Boy, with only two fights at welter, fought a bigger Oscar at junior middleweight for his WBC trinket and won via a split decision.
Not only did that bout shatter pay-per-view records for fights outside the heavyweight division, but it confirmed what Lil’ Floyd himself had been telling his detractors, doubters and naysayers – that “all roads in boxing lead to Floyd Mayweather junior!”
Not only was he undefeated and arguably the pound-for-pound best boxer then, but he was the PPV king too.
So, all the drama and the persona that he’s showed us since he changed his fighting moniker from “Pretty Boy Floyd” to “Money” are all carefully crafted to hoodwink the moneyed casual sports fan into shelling out ’em Benjamins to see him (hopefully) shut up and get beat.
The stuff that he does has all the hallmarks of a high-wire trapeze artist who, without a safety net beneath him, has seen him stand in the line of fire inside the ring and still step out of it largely unmarked and, more importantly, with his faculties intact.
I doff my hat off to him.