(Main image photo credit- Esther Lin, Showtime)
Floyd “Money” Mayweather finished his career Saturday night with a unanimous decision over Andre Berto at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
In front of a crowd of 13,395 standing fans who, in the last 30 seconds of the fight, holding their camera phones documented the end of a 19-year pro career; 18 of those spent as a champion.
Mayweather earned another $32 million and with an upside from television his 2015 earnings can potentially exceed $300 million. He made approximately $250 million this past May when he fought and defeated Manny Pacquaio in a pay-per-view event that destroyed records but left many feeling cheated.
With this retiring win, Mayweather ties former Heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano at 49 wins and zero losses. But before he even entered the ring, clamors from the boxing world arose for Mayweather to achieve 50 wins. And with the MGM opening a new 20,000-seat arena in May, some people believe the retirement is a rouse for a 2016 "come back" that would essentially coincide and christen the new venue.
The famous 2013 Showtime Sports six-fight deal that took Mayweather from HBO is considered a resounding success by the numbers and confirmed to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports by Stephen Espinoza, the executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports. However, he is sure this is his last fight.
“We discussed (an extension) multiple times, well before he announced this would be his last one,” Espinoza said. “When he signed his deal (with Showtime), he said, ‘Six fights, 30 months and I’m done.’ If you go back, he started saying about four fights ago, ‘Four more fights.’ Then it was, ‘Three more and I’m done. One more and that’s it.’
“I was skeptical as anyone six or seven weeks ago, but he sounds pretty definitive to me. And I can tell you behind the scenes, he’s never really responded or considered an opening to talk about future fights.”
The number 49 when researched has many meanings and interpretations.
As a square of 7, German mystic and theologian Boehme sees it as “the Paradise.”
Buddha remained near the tree named "Bo" for 49 days.
Numerology suggests that 49 means the hidden power to uncover un-rightfulness, change to new order, transformation and one who rebels against the old and brings in the new and wonderful forces.
All of these can be applied to the Mayweather legacy, especially the latter, and summarize this chapter of his life. Mayweather changed the game of boxing, redefined the business model, established and broke PPV records and became the champ that no one could defeat. He modernized the Ali strategy and became both beloved and hated, never fearful of voicing his opinion or doing what he felt he wanted to. He refused compromise, confident that his direction and vision would prevail.
Twice a year he made boxing a can't miss event, fans tuning in to see him win, with many watching simply to see him lose. Say what you want, Floyd was the biggest name in boxing over the last decade and now boxing will be searching for the next big name to market as the new face of boxing.
And what becomes of Floyd? With a stable of fighters, a marketable name, a bank account the size of a small country and the ability to draw an audience, I’m sure the next chapter will be the best chapter.
Props to you, champ!
(Photo credit: Idris Erba, Mayweather Promotions)