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Floyd Mayweather Jr: The Man You Love To Hate

Submitted by on May 3, 2010 – 8:35 am10 Comments

After watching Floyd Mayweather Jr. completely dismantle “Sugar” Shane Mosley this past Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, NV, “Money” has proven much more than the fact that he has the skills to pay the bills. He proved that he is hands down the biggest name in boxing today.

But here’s the odd thing. He hasn’t become a huge name by knocking out all of his opponents. On the contrary, he has often been criticized for not having the most exciting fights. It’s rare that you see a true ring tactician without massive knockout power take center stage in boxing. He doesn’t have the backing of a country either. Rather, Mayweather often gets lambasted for his arrogance by Americans who don’t quite understand his persona. But therein lies exactly why Mayweather is where he is today. He’s done something that other fighters haven’t thought to do in order to compliment their skills – create a marketable character.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the best villain in the sport. He’s the fighter that people pay to see lose. His pre-fight persona is one that alienates him from people and draws major criticism from mainstream media. He’s the boxer you love to hate. If this were the WWE, he would be the top heel the company would have to offer. And the reason why the character works? He has the skill level to back it all up.

For the past few years, Mayweather has slid comfortably into the role of the quintessential villain. He understands that controversy puts butts in seats and sells pay-per-views. And since most of his opponents are the “good guys”—Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Shane Mosley to name a few—he understands that in order to get casual fans interested, he has to make you want to see him lose.

He’ll throw money at you, torment your lifestyle and talk trash as soon as the pre-fight hype begins. He’ll make you sick by flaunting his financial status every chance he gets. You genuinely feel bad for his opponent and want to see him get hurt. That is the beauty of what Mayweather does outside of the ring.

If you look at the build up to Mayweather vs Mosley you’ll see a Mayweather that utilized the platform of HBO’s 24/7 to further promote his bad guy role. Mosley was your typical nice guy who just so happens to box. In each and every episode Mayweather would berate Mosley and incense not only his opponent, but people who watch boxing.

“I hope somebody shuts him up,” was the prevailing thought cascading throughout the sport. It made people who weren’t interested in boxing ready to spend their money just to see if someone could finally shut the mouth of “Money.”

But alas, Mayweather won again with a virtuoso performance that proved he is the best the sport has to offer. But what the general public doesn’t get to see is the Floyd Mayweather the media talks to after the fight. They don’t get to see the gracious champion with a heart of gold. He loves his family over anything else and cuts the villain role short to reveal a man who simply knows how to market himself like no other.

It’s a side very few get to see. But when you do, it helps you appreciate his presence in the sport that much more. But rest assured, if Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao manage to get in the ring for their highly anticipated superfight, the villain will be back.

And you’ll love to hate him all over again.

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