Mayweather vs Pacquiao and Mike Tyson: What if Floyd loses?
Fans of concurrent RING Magazine/lineal welterweight and junior middleweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (47-0, 26 KO) will boast 'forty-seven opponents have tried and failed' to defeat the legendary 'Money May.'
However, although Mayweather sports a perfect 47-0 record, he has triumphed over only 45 men because he won rematches over two of them.
"Forty-five have tried and failed..."
So what if WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, Floyd's next opponent, succeeds where 45 failed?
How would a Mayweather loss impact the fighter and the Mayweather vs Pacquiao rivalry?
The answer may depend on how the loss is incurred.
Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao, believes a Mayweather loss would actually enhance Floyd's marketability and fan base.
Arum recently told Mlive.com - "I think it will make him more human and maybe increase his marketability and popularity."
"I always thought that idea -- now, you don't want to lose -- but the fact that he would lose was not the death kind-of-thing that he thought it was, that he thinks it is."
"I mean, all the great ones lost."
Perhaps Arum is on to something?
Given the ridiculous level of buzz for Mayweather vs Pacquiao, the latter's knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 did little to dent Pac-Man's reputation and legacy among fans. The fact the public knows Manny can be knocked out at welterweight arguably makes next's month's battle a bit more interesting.
Moreover, Pac-Man responded remarkably well to the loss and may have earned more fans as a result.
Pacquiao's brutal one-punch knockout loss to Marquez and the subsequent elevated demand for Mayweather vs Pacquiao shows us that a Mayweather loss to Manny may not zap Floyd's marketability just as Pacquiao's loss to JMM didn't detrail the 'Pac-Man Express.'
Perhaps the best example of a fighter who grew in stature after defeat is Mike Tyson whose aura of invincibility was shattered in 1990 by Buster Douglas.
There's no doubt Tyson vs Douglas 2, had it happened within a year of the their first bout, would have been the highest-grossing fight in history to that point.
Following a three year hiatus from boxing in 1992, Tyson would return in 1995 and earn his highest purse ($25 Million) to that moment for his comeback fight against 'nobody' Peter McNeeley.
In all fairness, Tyson's three year hiatus from boxing due to the rape conviction generated added curiosity and intrigue not unlike the six year wait for Mayweather vs Pacquiao. But, nevertheless, Mike had grown in stature after the loss to Douglas.
Now, let's fast-forward to 1996. Iron Mike is knocked out by Evander Holyfield yet their rematch in 1997 became the highest grossing bout in history to that point because Tyson's marketability was still very strong.
If Manny hands Floyd his first defeat, don't be surprised if Floyd retains his stock or becomes even a little bigger, especially if a rematch is signed.
In boxing, there's something oddly enticing about a goliath-like figure with an aura of invincibility tasting defeat for the first or, even, second time.
If that fighter shows the inclination to bounce back and overcome adversity, he can sometimes become a more endearing, more attractive figure.
Of course, if Floyd offers little or no resistance to Manny and is starched in the first three rounds, Mayweather's subsequent stock and marketability may 'take it on the chin.'
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