(Photo credit: Chris Farina, Top Rank)
In the 1995 film, "The Usual Suspects", Roger “Verbal” Kint tells the story of the mythical underworld boss whose legend has him as the best villain ever created. However, Kint is convinced that the man known mystically as Keyser Soze exists and tells tales of his power to Customs Agent, David Kujan.
The famous tagline taken away from the movie is where Kint looks Kujan in the eye and tells him, “The greatest trick the Devil played is when he convinced the world he didn’t exist.”
Floyd Mayweather walked away with a reported $180 million from last Saturday’s dominant unanimous decision victory over Manny Pacquaio. After playing the best heel routine in combat sports history, Floyd has continued to laugh all the way to the bank and back home.
In professional wrestling the heel is a wrestler who is villain, who is in the position of being an antagonist. Typically the heel is matched against their polar opposites who are heroic characters.
To say that Floyd Mayweather isn’t the ultimate polarizing figure in global sports and pop culture would be a fallacy as he has played the role for almost 20 years to perfection.
His famous, and costly, $750,000 split with promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank was the smartest move in boxing history. Mayweather transformed himself from “Pretty Boy” to “Money” and promoted his own life as the marketing ploy.
Legendary were his purchases of luxury vehicles, jewelry and airplanes. The proliferation of social media as a top time waster allowed him to provide his baubles as fodder for mass consumption. Giveaways and contest offers over pictures of him counting millions on Instagram satiated interest even more for his brand of entertainment.
Mayweather understands that boxing is a chess match and defense wins the fight. His brand of defense has proven impregnable thus far and Pacquiao was no different than the other 47 opponents that lost to him prior to May 2nd.
The main complaint against the win was that Mayweather ran and didn’t attempt to knock Pacquaio out which was what the crowd wanted; a definitive win from either man in the form of a KO.
Mayweather’s last KO was a controversial one over Victor Ortiz in 2011, where in the fourth round, after being broken up by the referee, Mayweather took advantage of Ortiz’ hands being down. Widely called a sucker punch by many, it re-established Mayweather as the consummate bad guy when regurgitating back the referee’s words to the media, “protect yourself at all times.”
In "The Usual Suspects" is a lawyer named Kobayashi who is always a step ahead in strategy. He protects Keyser Soze by acting as his voice and coordinator. In this case, Al Haymon fits the mold to what can only now be confirmed as the best business duo in boxing history.
Beyond stalling the “fight of the century" until the fervor was at an all time high, Haymon waited until Mayweather was on the last two bouts of his Showtime contract to produce the pairing.
If Pacquiao had won, it would have set up an epic rematch. If the fight had resulted in a draw it would have set up an equally advantageous match-up to prove who really is the best before Mayweather hangs up the gloves.
Mayweather famously said to The Shadow League that “life is about timing and inches” and Haymon should be credited with timing the Pacquiao fight and keeping his fighter patient for the windfall pay date. Mayweather recently said that he and Haymon prepared for this moment regardless of if it was going to be Canelo Alvarez or Manny Pacquiao.
The Mayweather Promotions machine pumps reality lived at the highest levels of luxury. Perfection is drilled as the way to attain such comfort and the brand is built on Mayweather maintaining his record. With the biggest threat to that legacy now unanimously addressed, it is a safe bet that he will indeed retire undefeated.
Why the masses are crying at a lackluster action-filled bout ‘don’t know sh*t about boxing’ and cant appreciate the art of not getting hit and Ring Generalmanship. The real winner will always be the tandem of Mayweather and Haymon who like Kint, later revealed to be Soze, and Kobayashi convinced the world the devil didn’t exist until he took their money the same way he always did.
In legendary fashion.