Even since Floyd Mayweather, Jr. followed his dad and uncles into the boxing ring, he has been a natural performer. He went 84-6 as an amateur before winning a bronze medal in the 1996 Olympics.
Since turning professional, he has won all 42 of his fights, 26 by knockout. He started out as a Super Featherweight and has gone up in weight class as far as Super Welterweight. He is now back in the welterweight division.
Mayweather, Jr. is 34-years old now. He has held 11 belts, which includes his current reign as WBC Welterweight Champion. He has been retired for 21 months in the past, but his flare in the ring has often drawn millions of fans to see his execution of skills as much as the flamboyant image he emits.
Yet, for all of his glitter, the other side of reality tarnishes Mayweather. There are blemishes that will always keep him from truly being the best fighter ever, as he so claims.
It isn't his personal life, because that has nothing to do with the sport of boxing. Mayweather, Jr. and his father disagree on how hard of a life he had growing up, but he did have three professional boxers in his family to look up to and learn from. Both of his uncles won titles, and he is still trained by one.
The biggest dud of his career is how he has spent over three years ducking Manny Pacquiao, an eight-division champion who most think is the best boxer on the planet for several years. Mayweather, who has been named "Fighter of the Year" three times, sometimes refers to himself as "Money."
Perhaps "Chump Change" is more apt, since he not only refuses to fight Pacquiao, he refuses to answers questions to why he is running from a confrontation fight fans desire. He even backed out of a $50 million purse to fight Pacquiao over 18 months ago.
Excuses ranged from blood test planning to Mayweather's claim he was not thinking about boxing because he had a match 60 days prior to a second negotiations attempt. His top advisers went as far as to claim no negotiations ever took place.
The other moniker he likes to carry is "Pretty Boy." But he looked like an ugly child when he defeated Victor Ortiz in a fourth-round knock out last weekend. Ortiz was in the middle of apologizing to Mayweather, Jr. for an inadvertent headbutt, but the referee called for time to resume.
Mayweather hit Ortiz with a left hook that was the beginning of the end for Ortiz. Most fight pundits viewed it as a cheap shot that had just followed a successful flurry by Ortiz before the fighters heads collided.
While some will agree with that philosophy, Larry Merchant did not. A veteran of boxing for over 50 years, the 80-year old termed Mayweather's punches as illegal and outside the spirit of the fight game.
Mayweather then went on a expletive-filled tirade directed at Merchant, calling for HBO to fire the broadcaster. His confrontation of an elderly man who helped men like him enjoy the paydays they now earn showed a lack of class that is not seen in MMA, now the most popular fight game to many fans.
Merchant thinks the real reason for the outburst was simple. “What happened? I think Floyd Mayweather knew that the next question was going to be about why he won’t fight Pacquiao. That’s still the question that will linger long after this fight.”
Not only does winning a title fight in this manner not help the sport of boxing, watching one of their biggest box office draws act like a child who spits at their elders does nothing but promote the MMA to fight fans sick of buffoons being paid well despite acting classless.
Not only has Floyd Mayweather, Jr. besmirched any image he attempted to build over the years by refusing to fight a man most think will hand him his first defeat, his actions towards Merchant will rightfully bury him in the category of quickly forgotten boxers.