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Thursday, April 15, 2010

How crucial is Mayweather's unbeaten record to his appeal?

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Pittsburgh Fight Sports Examiner | Scott Heritage

Floyd Mayweather is a fighter who has little use for belts or rankings. What he seems to prize above all else are two things, his money and his unbeaten record.

According to Floyd himself though, his record isn't as important as he tends to lead people to believe.

Speaking to BoxingScene, Mayweather said:

"I don't think about the '0',I think about winning. Everything takes care of itself if you win. Of course it's a great thing to be undefeated, but I don't consciously think about it when I'm preparing for the next fight."

Shane Mosley's trainer Naziim Richardson recently voiced his idea that the early rounds could be the key to beating Mayweather. Talking to the L.A Times boxing correspondent Lance Pugmire, Richardson said:

"We could get through five rounds of this thing up 5-0, at that point, Mayweather may just say, ‘Forget it, I've got a rematch guaranteed. Try again next time. "

On several boxing forums the idea taken further and it was even put around that Mayweather isn't concerned about losing the first fight, because of the amount of money he would be able to make from a rematch.

Obviously this idea is almost certainly a load of bunk; Mayweather can make money from the rematch either way, and with a loss on his record he merely drops a few places on the all time great list. Even if he obliterates Mosley and knocks him out as his trainers are claiming, a rematch would still do big business.

Having a loss on his record would greatly diminish his drawing power though. Many people watch Mayweather's fights because they know they will watch a masterful display of technique. Equally many others because they are hoping the current opponent will finally be the one to beat him and shut him up.

Equally as importantly, if Mayweather were to lose then going forward he would have a lot less bargaining power than he does at the moment. Not only would he immediately drop to the third best fighter in his weight class, but without a title either it would be a difficult road back to the very top for Mayweather.

Even his 'money' persona would be damaged by a loss, and we might even see a more mature, less arrogant Mayweather after his first loss. As difficult as it is to believe all the things he comes out with now, some still do. Everything from claiming to be similar to Martin Luther King to being the greatest fighter ever lived, and a lot besides. Yet many of his fans believe all his spiel.

With a less than perfect record, it would be a lot more difficult for Mayweather to continue with his brash public image. For Mayweather personally it would mean reconciling his self confidence and undying belief in all the nonsense he comes out with at times to reality. So long as he is undefeated he is in a perpetual cycle where he can say what he likes and then believe it because he is still winning.

Peter White, Pittsburgh: "Mayweather is more worried about his 0 than he is about his money, and that's a lot. No way he would ever throw the fight just to make more money"

Robert Starnes, Greensburg: "Mayweather's ego would never allow him to give up in any fight, besides even if he could make a lot from a rematch, he can get one anyway and it would probably stop his fight against Pacquiao from happening if he loses now"

Michael Withers, Pittsburgh: "Without his unbeaten record, Mayweather's fans would abandon him completely. Half of them only watch hoping to see him get beaten and when it finally happens no one will be interested anymore"

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