Floyd Mayweather Getting NO Respect

By Tom Donelson
Updated: March 10, 2005

NEW YORK, NY—There are fighters whose talents are unquestionable but whatever reason can’t attract a crowd when they fight. Take Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather. This fighter is as talented as any fighter today but he has yet to highlight his own big PPV show. Everyone feels that Mayweather is the better fighter compared to Arturo Gatti but it is Gatti who sells the ticket. The force behind the proposed Mayweather-Gatti PPV was Gatti’s popularity and the fact that Gatti owns a piece of the junior welterweight championship. My point is that at this stage of Mayweather career, he should be a major star but he is not. The recent collapse of the Gatti-Mayweather fight demonstrate Mayweather dilemma, namely whom can Mayweather fight to get a title shot and a big PPV. Let say that Ricky Hatton upset Koysta Tszyu. Hatton is the bigger draw and he can easily fill out an arena in England. So Mayweather is not guarantee that he would get the lion share of that purse and again, it will be Hatton that fills the seats not Mayweather. So Hatton will be in the driver seat in any negotiations with Mayweather just as Gatti is now.

Vivian Harris? Well, Mayweather could gain a title and maybe some leverage when it came to pondering bigger fights. However, a Vivian Harris- Mayweather fight is nothing more than a Boxing after Dark on HBO. No PPV for that one; Mayweather does not have enough star power to carry the ratings. Contrast to Oscar De La Hoya, who could sell out a PPV fighting the local janitor. De La Hoya is a star, Mayweather is not.

There are a lot of reasons. Mayweather is not a dynamic personality or as pleasing, as let say, Oscar De La Hoya. Mayweather problems with the law don’t help but then Mike Tyson’s own problems actually added to his mystique. What Mayweather has is talent in abundance. What he doesn’t have is that IT that separates the superstar and the rest. It is that quality that say, “WOW, I have to fork out $50 to see that guy fight!” Which is why the Gatti-Mayweather fiasco is puzzling. Gatti is a fan favorite and as long as he holds a piece of the title, he has leverage when come to negotiating with any fighter in the junior welterweight. That includes the recognized champ, Kostya Tszyu. Mayweather doesn’t have the leverage or a even a title at this weight division.

While Mayweather-Gatti fight appears to rushing quickly to the ash heap of history, Jose Luis Castillo has quietly positioned himself as the best lightweight in the world. A raging Bull in the ring, it is Castillo and not the matador in front of him that usually ends on his feet. Like his mentor, the great Julio Cesar Chavez, Castillo rips vicious left hooks to the head and body. He does not just take the fight out of you, he grabs your soul.

Castillo has been cleaning up the lightweight division and the only person who has beaten him since 1998 was Floyd Mayweather in two very close fights. (The first fight, in particular, could have gone Castillo way and Castillo has fought Mayweather tougher than anyone.) Soon, he will face Diego Corrales with the winner being the mythical and undisputed lightweight champion.

Castillo secret is the same as Chavez was; a relentless attack that just never quit. He is one of those swarming fighters who get stronger as the fight progresses and his last match with Julio Diaz was Castillo at his best. While the fight was competitive in the first half of the fight, the second half of the fight was different. Diaz simply overpowered the game Diaz as Diaz’s legs were essentially gone. Those vicious left hooks did their job as Diaz could no longer move effectively and became an easier target for Castillo thunderous barrage. Castillo grounded his opponent down. The raging bull destroyed yet another matador.