Floyd Mayweather has an odd assortment of friends
On Saturday night, Floyd Mayweather took to the ring to take on Miguel Cotto in yet another matchup between ‘Money’ and someone not named Manny Pacquiao. Thefight was hyped up as the last fight before Mayweather serves his prison time for domestic violence and because Team Money was reportedly going to walk away with $32 million just for showing up. That’s an absurd amount of cash even before you factor in the added revenue from pay-per-view sales which likely pushed Mayweather’s take-home north of $40 million. In short, Money made his money. On top of being a world class boxer, Mayweather sees himself as an entertainer, and as such keeps the company of other entertainers. For numerous fights, he’s had rapper 50 Cent accompany him to the ring, carrying some of his numerous championship belts. For the Cotto fight, though, Mayweather decided to a few more to his famous person entourage and made up one of the oddest corners in boxing history. Joining 50 Cent in belt-carrying duties were WWE COO Triple H, who likely started a friendship with Mayweather when Floyd fought Big Show at Wrestlemania, and Justin Bieber, who looked absolutely terrified to be so ridiculously out of place.
Yes, Bieber-fever has apparently spread to the boxing world. Bieber was never far from behind Money as he walked out from his locker room to the ring and then in the ring during pre-match introductions. Even the ring-side announce team couldn’t help asking, “Umm, what?” when the Biebs was walking out with Money and 50 Cent, asking if anybody else noticed that Bieber looked a bit “out of place.” Rest assured, fellas. Everybody saw it. The only explanation I could come up with is that Bieber’s rapping on “Boyfriend” is getting him a lot more street cred than it probably should.
As for the fight itself, Mayweather continued his streak of dominance, running his record to 43-0 with a unanimous decision over Cotto. Miguel gave as good as he got for four rounds, but took more than 120 punches on the chin and side of his face combined. He got a few good shots in, bloodying Mayweather’s nose on more than one occasion. At the end of the night, it was an easy decision for the judges while still being a reasonably exciting fight to watch for the paying customers at home.
After the fight, Mayweather made sure to tell everyone what a great fighter Cotto was (like seriously about a hundred times) to try and steer Mayweather’s career narrative away from “he doesn’t fight anybody good,” and keep it on just “he doesn’t fight Pacquiao.” The question was asked about when he would fight Manny, as that seems to be just about the last person he hasn’t fought yet and Mayweather dipped, dodged, and deflected the question in that patented Money style. He pointed fingers at others for the fight falling apart last time and seemed to answer every question about what he was doing to make the fight happen with “Give the people what they want!” forgetting that he’s one of the parties not giving the people what they want. Will Pacquiao be your next fight? “Give the people what they want!” Will you back down on your 60-40 split of the money? “Give the people what they want!” Would you like fries with that? “Give the people what they want!” Textbook non-answer answers to every question…like any great business man.
At the end of the day, besides being a world class boxer and entertainer, Floyd Mayweather is a business man who’s biggest concern is his bottom line. They don’t just hand out the nickname ‘Money’ after all, and right now, nobody’s bottom line is looking better than Money’s. Cotto came in as a defending champioin at his weight class and walked away with his biggest payout of his career at $8 million while Mayweather walked away with $32 million for just another day in the office. Nobody is better at maximizing his own cash value than Money and he isn’t going to do anything to put that in jeopardy.
His brand is wrapped up in his perfect record and the hype surrounding the ‘will they or won’t they’ saga of Mayweater-Pacquiao is probably his biggest money maker right now. If the fight happens…then what? No more hype, no more selling interviews on the how’s and why’s it hasn’t happened, and all that will be left will be a quiet walk into the twilight of his career. The build-up sustains him and more importantly, it pays him. So while Mayweather the boxer should do whatever it takes to make the Pacquiao bout happen, Money the business man knows better than to rush into anything before maximizing his own gain. So when will Pacquiao-Mayweather happen? Only when Money needs it to.