When it comes to the world of boxing, few names carry the weight and resonance of Floyd Mayweather. And, while the world may have moved on from Mayweather’s reign, he certainly hasn’t left the spotlight. The latest news buzzing in the boxing circuit is that Mayweather is in talks for an exhibition fight against Mikey Garcia on December 9th on Showtime PPV. But what adds spice to this already tantalizing prospect? It’s the date, which coincides with another major event: the Regis Prograis vs. Devin Haney fight on DAZN Pay-per-view.
This scheduling decision leaves fans with a rather unpleasant conundrum. Given the substantial ticket prices for each event, it’s implausible for many to purchase both. The clash in scheduling is particularly detrimental for the Haney-Prograis card, which might be eclipsed by the magnanimity of Mayweather’s event.
The trajectory of boxing’s future is being molded by talents like 24-year-old Devin, who stands on the precipice of stardom. By choosing the same date as Haney’s pivotal event, Mayweather might inadvertently divert a large viewership, potentially hindering the younger boxer’s rise to prominence.
Furthermore, Mayweather’s undercard isn’t just a filler; it comprises bouts like Keith Thurman vs. Eimantas Stanionis and Danny Garcia vs. Erislandy Lara. Each of these fighters, still relatively active, brings their own gravitas to the event.
Yet, behind this sporting facade, there appears to be a commercial motive. Chris Algieri highlights Mayweather’s intent to market his new venture, ‘Good Money Whiskey’, using this event as a platform. It’s noteworthy that Mayweather has previously intertwined his business endeavors with his boxing showcases, most notably around the time of the Conor McGregor bout in 2017, as stated by Paulie Malignaggi.
Such intersections of business and sport raise pertinent questions. Is Mayweather’s impending event merely an extravagant marketing strategy? Or is it a genuine endeavor in the realm of boxing? Algieri opines, “Anytime he has something to sell, he steps back in the ring in an exhibition against some no-hoper and makes however much money. But listen, it’s free marketing. He’s paying himself. Floyd’s a business. He’s not a businessman. He is a business.
The inclusion of Mikey Garcia, the former four-division world champion who retired a mere two years ago at 35, further intensifies the enigma. Given Garcia’s record, wherein his best years weren’t marked by frequent fights, the strategic rationale behind Mayweather’s decision remains elusive.
Algieri’s observations offer some clarity, suggesting that despite the evolving dynamics of boxing, Mayweather’s unparalleled brand equity will likely draw a significant viewership. This, in turn, might overshadow emerging talents. Malignaggi concurs, stressing that while Mayweather’s astuteness in brand proliferation is commendable, it’s paramount to ensure the sport’s legacy by championing its future torchbearers.
The strain such a scheduling clash imposes on boxing aficionados is undeniable. Malignaggi articulates this sentiment profoundly: “First off, I don’t like that it’s against the Haney-Prograis fight because I think a Haney-Prograis fight could be a good fight for boxing. It’s a nice fight, and it’s a fight boxing fans are looking forward to. So I don’t like when those fights start to compete against one another, especially somebody like Floyd, who’s kind of already out of the business. Now he’s going to put a show together. We’re talking about Thurman and [Danny Garcia possibly being the co-feature, which, again, is two still relevant guys. Maybe they’re a little bit on the other side of their prime. They’re still relevant, and all of a sudden, now you’re forcing fight fans to split up.”
Delving deeper, there’s another layer to Mayweather’s decision to launch ‘Good Money Whiskey’. With both Mayweather and Conor McGregor venturing into the whiskey domain, one can’t help but draw parallels. This brings forth the question: Is Mayweather’s brand strategy, encapsulated by the ethos of money, overshadowing the essence of the sport?
Malignaggi elucidates“Haney is a young fighter and could be a star in boxing. He could be a guy who people start to pay attention to a little bit, and Prograis, who’s been a good world champion in his own right. So it’s a good fight, and you’re kind of still taking way because you’re trying to still keep that camera and the light on you, which I get it. I get the whole ego thing, I get the whole money thing. I get it, but you could have probably picked a different day. There are people that come after us that are still going to try to apply their trade and have and live their dreams through the sport, and we want to give them that platform to still be able to do it.”
One compelled to reflect upon Mayweather’s decision to stage his event on December 9th. As a stalwart of the sport, Mayweather undeniably has the acumen to monetize his brand. However, the overarching narrative underscores a deeper contemplation: the delicate balance between personal brand amplification and the sanctity of the sport.