Several years after walking away from boxing, five-weight former champion Floyd Mayweather remains his king.
‘Money’ will continue to make history this weekend when he fights his former sparring partner Don Moore in an exhibition bout on the helipad of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, some 700 feet above sea level.
The 45-year-old grandad remains a key player in boxing capable of charging $100,000 per ticket for his latest fight and raking in millions from his two previous exhibition bouts against YouTuber Logan Paul and Japanese kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa.
Mayweather is still able to do these types of things because no one has stepped up to fill the void he left when he retired five years ago.
He quit after his 49th win, against Andre Berto in 2015, but was lured back for a one-off crossover bout with Conor McGregor two years later, which he won.
However ridiculous people thought the bout was, it remains the second highest gate in Las Vegas boxing history.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is undoubtedly the biggest professional boxing star right now, but he’s never been able to fill the shoes of ‘The Best Ever.’
At the weekend, Canelo was beaten for the second time in his career, falling to a unanimous decision defeat against WBA light-heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol.
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While staying unbeaten isn’t everything it certainly helps someone like Mayweather stake his claim as the greatest of all time, with plenty of fans buying into his perfect 50-0 record.
The fact Mayweather schooled Canelo over 12 rounds when they fought makes it hard for certain boxing fans to accept the Mexican as the heir to Mayweather, especially as he continues to fight – albeit against lesser opposition.
As Mayweather exited the sport, a new and exciting era of heavyweight boxing began with Britain’s Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua at the forefront.
‘The Gypsy King’ recently retired following a WBC mandatory title defense against Dillian Whyte in April, leaving millions of pounds on the table and plenty of unanswered questions.
Fury could’ve been the man to replace Mayweather as the king of boxing but instead, he seems more interested in chasing a big payday in a crossover fight with Francis Ngannou.
Meanwhile, Joshua has suffered two bad defeats that have somewhat derailed his hype train. ‘AJ’ managed to avenge his shock loss to Andy Ruiz and will need a similar result when he takes on Oleksandr Usyk for the second time later this year.
The British heavyweight’s certainly appeared capable of replacing Mayweather as the king of boxing but until now they have seemed unwilling or unable to do so.
The only other fighters capable of reaching Mayweather levels are Errol Spence and Terence Crawford who refuse to fight each other.
A distinct lack of stars in boxing has allowed Mayweather’s post-fight career to flourish and opened up a whole new wacky world of exhibition bouts.
After 15 years in retirement Mike Tyson, who was in his fifties, made his return to the ring against Roy Jones Jr. in 2020 – fighting to a draw.
The fight was the best-selling of the year and paved the way for the career of Jake Paul, who appeared on the undercard and has become one of the biggest stars in boxing despite the fact he’s never actually fought anyone with a background in the sport .
Since turning pro, Paul has amassed a 5-0 record, a ton of hype, and money as he’s boxed a fellow internet celebrity, an NBA player, and two former MMA champions.
It might sound outlandish to fans, but the hype for a ‘Problem Child’ fight is far greater than 99 per cent on boxers. With no stars in sight, YouTube boxing, crossover fights, and freak shows could well be the new normal.