With “The Fight of the Century” just days away, there’s been a lot of talk this week about legacy. What if Floyd Mayweather beats Manny Pacquiao? What if Floyd Mayweather loses? How would that alter our perception of him? Would he be the greatest boxer of all time? Would he be the most overrated? Or at least the most exposed?
That debate can rage in bars for eternity. Something else, regardless of Saturday’s result, cannot.
Floyd Mayweather has beaten women. A lot of them. This is not debatable. This is fact.
“I think it’s been a dominant storyline (this week),” SI.com’s Greg Bishop said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “It’s something that I think you see every day on TV. It’s something that he gets asked about constantly. It’s something that I think people have earned the right to ask him about based on the incidents that have happened. I think it’s been really, really dominant. In fact, I see a lot of stuff saying nobody ever holds a seat to the fire, and I would disagree with that. I think boxing writers have been writing about Floyd and his issues with domestic violence for years. And I think in particularly for this fight it’s been a real dominant part of the conversation – and rightly so.”
Yes, while some media outlets and personalities have been fawning over Mayweather and heaping endless praise and adulation upon him, others have not. In fact, for some outlets, it’s been just the opposite.
“I think there’s a lot of stuff that’s very critical of him,” Bishop said. “I have a cover piece in the magazine this week, and it’s largely about the people around him and how he’s kind of made this cocoon of people who will only tell him yes, who will never say, ‘Hey, maybe it’s a bad idea to compare Ray Rice’s situation to not being a big deal.’ Or maybe you shouldn’t say this. Yesterday we met with him and one of the things he said was, ‘You know how women are,’ and he meant it in response to something about his kids and not being able to see them. But it’s just the kind of thing that you shouldn’t say. I think people this week have written about him and his legacy and how this fight plays into it, and I personally think there’s a place for all that. But I think the dominant piece of conversation about him has been the incidents of domestic violence. It’s definitely been a real force as the week’s unfolded.”
Bishop, who is in Las Vegas for the fight, has spent a lot of time with Mayweather in recent weeks. Away from cameras. Away from the spotlight. In a place where Mayweather is simply Floyd, not Money.
“That’s one of the things I addressed in the cover piece,” Bishop said. “Where I think Floyd is right now, he’s at a point where he’s created this persona of the ‘Money Mayweather’ deal and he’s really fortified it with these reality shows and these crazy antics. The way I’ve seen him this week and the last couple weeks that I’ve been around the gym, I think he feels a little trapped by it. I think he wants to move on, and I think he really wants something that he can’t buy, which is to be recognized among the greatest fighters of all time, to be on the Mount Rushmore of boxing. But people like Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard, I think that’s something that has to come in the ring, and it has to come in a way that maybe we can separate what he’s done in the ring and trouble he’s had outside of it. And I get that there are people that won’t ever be able to separate that and don’t think it should be separated, but I think at this point in his career, that’s what he’s really hoping for and trying to achieve.”