Love him or hate him, Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. is an impressionable guy.
And out of all the talking points and storylines to come from his dominant victory over Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero at the MGM Grand Arena on Saturday night, it was his superstar prowess and pulling power that again shone the brightest.
Even under the already-bright lights of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Guerrero started stronger of the pair—as expected—with Mayweather taking his time to get settled. But once he was in, it was clear that the defensive elusiveness, timing and counter-punching of Money May was going to be the difference.
In the middle rounds of the fight, Mayweather started to make his presence felt—dominating with his right whilst maintaining his defensive solidity at the same time. He showed his counter-punching prowess and his mobility, and began to open up a commanding lead over Guerrero in the process.
A lead that would eventually see him pick up an unanimous decision and keep his perfect undefeated record and his WBC Welterweight championship.
It was, in every sense of the word, a clinic from the champion.
But aside from the defensive brilliance and flurry of punches that Mayweather unleashed here, his mass appeal was again evident on one of boxing's biggest nights.
Whatever you think of him, Mayweather is the biggest draw in a sport that features plenty of big-name and big-talking fighters. And whatever you think of him, the man they call Money brings plenty of that to the sport—more than any other fighter can attest to.
He is, after all, the undefeated pound-for-pound king.
His career record stands at an impressive 44-0 with 26 knockouts.
With every fight that passes where his streak remains unbeaten, his mass appeal grows—as does the list of fighters that wish to silence the trash-talking Mayweather.
And yet time and time again, it is Mayweather's fists that do the silencing, and it's Mayweather's fists that continue to bring fans to the sport around the world.
The facts, according to Forbes' Kurt Badenhausen, are simply astounding.
Mayweather's nine HBO pay-per-view events generated 9.6 million buys.
Throw in $543 million in television revenue as well.
He has been a part of the four biggest non-heavyweight pay-per-view events in boxing history, and he still possesses the same marketability as he did years ago.
ESPN reports that Money's pay-per-view deal with Showtime Networks Inc. at the start of last year will see him earn $32 million from this fight alone. Some might see that as a ridiculous amount of money for a single fight (which is completely understandable), but the reality is that Mayweather deserves it given the celebrity status that he has and the way in which he brings fans to the sport.
Here's what Showtime said in announcing their mega-deal with Mayweather:
Mayweather’s new deal is by far the biggest in the sport of boxing (specific financial details are contractually confidential). Mayweather is the PPV king and averages over 1 million PPV buys per event, which is the highest PPV buy average of any boxer in history. At this record-setting PPV performance level, if all six fights contemplated by this deal occur, it will be the richest individual athlete deal in all of sports.
They clearly understand just how big of a draw Mayweather is for the sport, and they understand how important it is to keep him fighting on pay-per-view.
Despite his age and stint in jail last year, Money is still an icon of the sport and one of the most notable sports stars in the world. His charisma and mass appeal have shown to be invaluable for boxing, and there is nobody who can replace him as the pound-for-pound king at the moment—at least not in the hearts and minds of his faithful fans.
Mayweather knows how to work the fans and keep them interested; he knows how to market himself as a professional athlete and a businessman at the same time. And given the incredible amount of public support and interest that Mayweather received for his fight against Guerrero, there's little doubt that he's still the biggest draw in the sport today.
Regardless of whether you like him or not.
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