So is this is the end? We hope so…
A crowd of 13,395 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas saw the expected as Floyd Mayweather Jr. easily handled the challenge of the flawed Andre Berto by the scores of 117-111, 118-110 and 120-108. It was a result that was never in doubt from the moment it was signed over the summer.
But the question is: Is this the last we saw of Floyd Mayweather Jr.?
Let’s hope so.
Yeah, I said it. Like many others, I’ve long had my fill of Mayweather. He’s incredibly effective as a boxer and there’s no denying that he’s a first-ballot (unanimous) selection for the International Boxing Hall of Fame and he long ago secured his place as one of the most lucrative entities in the sport’s history. There’s no denying his accomplishments in the squared circle.
(Now, whether he’s the “TBE” – as he insists – well, you can argue that amongst yourselves).
The problem is, his fights are increasingly good for nobody BUT him. While he lines his pockets with an inordinate amount of millions, even the most ardent supporters of boxing are finding it more and more of a chore to watch him perform. Boxing – like any other sport – is entertainment. The truth is, Mayweather’s skill is more art than theater. For whatever reason, despite defeating Manny Pacquiao last May in the non-fight of the century, it was “Money” who took the lion’s share of the heat and felt the ire of the fans.
And it was felt in this promotion, in which thousands of tickets were discounted/slashed/comped and certain sections of the MGM Grand Garden Arena were simply closed off. I know of one ticket buyer (my buddy Allan, from England – and yes, he actually flew in for this event), who had his ticket upgraded for free. According to those who were in Las Vegas this past weekend, there was very little buzz for this fight. I mean, they didn’t even have the traditional post-fight Mayweather MGM Grand stamped afterward.
It’s not clear just how well this promotion will do financially (and Floyd will be just fine; thank you very much. He’s getting his minimum $32 million, regardless.) but perhaps even Mayweather knows the spigot is about to run dry for the time being and what better time to announce his retirement or latest hiatus than to finish out his much ballyhooed six-fight deal with Showtime and, then later on, make his triumphant return to the ring in a year or so – or when the new MGM/AEG venue opens up in the spring of 2016?
The ironic thing was that the overall card was actually pretty good. As expected, the undercard delivered quality and competition action, capped off by the grind ’em-out slugfest between Rocky Martinez and Orlando Salido, who battled to a draw in their rematch (these guys could fight 50 times and you’d get 50 really good scraps). This is why, to many hardcore fans, Mayweather-Berto had the feel of a high-priced, walk-out bout.
And it was…well, a Mayweather fight, meaning that, for long stretches, really nothing was going on. It was at this point in which Twitter was much more entertaining than what was going on inside the ring. Mayweather was strategic and guarded, while Berto was largely ineffective. There is a tactical brilliance to what Mayweather does; however; it oftentimes sucks the life out of fights. Floyd is about being effective, not exciting and, quite frankly, that’s OK because he’s never pretended to be about anything else.
If you happen to fall for the sales pitch promising fireworks time and time again, well, that’s on you. There was a time – believe it or not – during his run at 130 in which Floyd was actually a crowd-pleasing fighter but as he’s become more and more of a brand, he’s become a safety-first (second, third and fourth) boxer.
Floyd has now reached the mythical 49-0 mark.
He would tell Jim Gray of Showtime in the ring after his latest victory, “I’ve been in this sport 19 years, been a world champion 18 years, broke all the records. There’s nothing else to prove in the sport of boxing,” he said afterward. “My 49-0 record is a part of boxing. Records are made to be broken. Hopefully, someday, we can find the next Floyd Mayweather. Now it’s time to spend time with my family and children, make sure they get the proper education. I also want to help the fighters under the Mayweather Promotions banner. I’m leaving the sport with all my faculties; I’m still sharp and smart. I’ve accomplished everything in this sport, there’s nothing else to accomplish.”
What I found most interesting about the fight between Vanes Martirosyan and Ishe Smith was actually the scorecard of one Ms. Lisa Giampa, which, despite two knockdowns scored by Martirosyan, had the fight dead even at 95-95 (both Richard Ocasio and Max DeLuca had Martirosyan winning 97-91). So in neither round, in which Martirosyan sent Smith to the canvas, did she give him a 10-8 round. In fact, she ruled both rounds dead even.
Giampa has had some other rather curious scorecards over the years (but in all fairness, you do enough fights and you’ll have an off-night or two) but it’s clear that the Nevada State Athletic Commission realizes it may have a shortage of competent judges and are actively recruiting for more. UCNLive was sent this letter from Bob Bennett, the executive director of the NSAC, to Mike Mazzulli, president of the ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions):
Good afternoon, hope you’re enjoying the challenges of your new position.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) is recruiting experienced referees and judges and we are hoping that you can assist us with our recruitment by sending out the information, listed below, to all Commissions. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
Our goal is to be as transparent and fair to anyone who has interest and wants a chance at a Nevada license.
NSAC requirements for experienced referees and judges:
– Desire to reside in Nevada
– Resume and documentation of experience
– Recommendation from current licensor
Timeframe and Process for NSAC Recruitment
October 31st: resume, documentation of experience, and recommendation from current licensor must be submitted
November: Review by Executive Director and Committee of Existing Officials
– Rank order applicant(s)
– Recommendation to Commissioners of who to invite to Nevada for a working interview in an actual fight (4-6 round fight)
– Interaction with other officials
December: Interview by Full Commission for Licensure
– Commission will interview applicant(s)
Thank you for your interest in being a referee or judge with NSAC. For additional information about NSAC, please visit our website at http://boxing.nv.gov/
Nevada Athletic Commission
The Peter Quillin-Michael Zerafa fight was a dangerous mismatch in many ways. What took place can’t be a complete surprise…Gabriel Campillo needs to be put down as a fighter…Oscar Valdez looked really good in stopping Chris Avalos. Expect him to return in December…Jacksonville State nearly pulled off the college football upset of the year versus Auburn…Tough loss for Notre Dame, losing Malik Zaire (Irish have had some key injuries this season)…The Canes’ defense was sleepwalking for a whole half on Friday night. Their exhibition season ended against FAU and now the real season begins this weekend against Nebraska – and yeah, I’ll be there at Sun Life Stadium…Great to have the NFL back, better to have the NFL RedZone back…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.