John Boyd Orr’s famous quote when ‘Empires won by conquest have always fallen either by revolt within or by defeat by a rival’ seems to be a forewarning for the situation Floyd Mayweather may soon find himself in.
Although Mayweather still sits proudly atop the Pound for Pound rankings in boxing, his position as the sports premier Pay-Per-View attraction may soon be in serious jeopardy if rival Canelo Alvarez follows through with his threat of challenging Mayweather for his sacred fight date of ‘Cinco De Mayo’.
The Mexican bank holiday has been rechristened the ‘Cinco De Mayweather’ in recent years, and it is Mayweather alone who has had the divine right to reap the rich commercial benefits of performing on a calendar date so synonymous with big boxing events.
However, if Canelo’s vision becomes reality then Mayweather’s empire could come crumbling down before him. A Canelo vs Miguel Cotto fight would steal the thunder from Floyd Mayweather on the ‘Cinco De Mayo’, and it would be an embarrassing blow if Mayweather was bundled away from his fight date by two fighters he has beaten before. Yet it is a very realistic possibility.
The Mexican and Puerto Rican fans represent a huge percentage of the market in boxing, and they would far rather pay to watch an entertaining and competitive prizefight between Cotto and Canelo, rather than empty their pockets for another placid Floyd Mayweather contest. That is a fact.
To complicate matters further, Floyd Mayweather also has to contend with internal conflict in his camp. Mayweather dropped the bombshell this week that he may be about to break up from his trusted CEO, Leonard Ellerbe. When the story broke, I didn’t believe a word of it. Until, I realised that the comments came from Floyd Mayweather himself in an interview with ‘Fight Hype’, which is pretty much the only underground website Mayweather seems willing to talk to.
“Leonard, I think we’re just getting to a point where we’re outgrowing each other. I think I just see things my way and I think he sees things in another way,” Floyd stated to fighthype.com.
He then went onto state, “For example, this time around when I went out and fought, my WBC and WBA titles in both weight classes were on the line and I didn’t approve of that at all. Also, my daughter was sitting in the front row and her mother wasn’t sitting next to her, so the ticket arrangements were totally wrong. People just outgrow one another, just like when people get a divorce. They’re no longer on the same page mentally.”
Somewhat miraculously, Fight Hype always seem to get exclusives with ‘The Money Team’ and the website mostly panders to the party line- that is why it is hard to take these comments out of context. Even if Floyd Mayweather was misquoted, the fact that he even spoke to fight hype about Leonard Ellerbe hints at the fissures in the relationship. On the surface, it seems that Floyd Mayweather and Ellerbe have an unbreakable bond.
However, if these comments are to be believed, then the man who turned the Mayweather brand into such a well oiled machine is just about to abandon the ship.
Floyd Mayweather’s built his empire from his conquests in combat, but history tells us that every empire is eventually reduced to rubble.
If what Floyd Mayweather built is to be brought down, will it be by a rival or internal revolt- or both?
Follow me on Twitter: @F1ghtingTalk
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