Floyd Mayweather: Last fight a massive success versus final outing for most boxing starsWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Last night fight legend Floyd Mayweather Jr defeated Andre Berto in what the former considers his final bout.
Many are still criticizing Floyd for selecting an opponent who was presumably limited. In fact, some are saying Floyd has left the sport on a whimper.
Is that so?
While Mayweather vs Berto may have been Floyd's most boring fight to date, Mayweather tied Rocky Marciano's 49-0 record and earned $32 Million in the process.
Moreover, the 38 year old icon looked as sharp as ever.
Compared to the exit of most boxing legends, Floyd left the game in "perfect" fashion.
Boxing history is replete with aging stars staying in the fight game too long and taking beatings in the process. Moreover, the sport has also seen its fair share of legends who left the game earning pennies for their farewell bouts.
While Oscar De La Hoya's farewell garnered a lot of attention and yielded handsome purse sums, he was beaten pillar to post by Manny Pacquiao and was forced to quit on his stool.
Muhammad Ali, perhaps the greatest of all heavyweights, ended his career being virtually shutout by Trevor Berbick, then an unknown contender/prospect who didn't deserve to be in the same ring. Slow, pudgy and showing clear signs of Parkinson's Disease, that version of Ali shouldn't have been allowed in a boxing gym let alone participate in a professional prizefight.
And how about Mike Tyson quitting on his stool against a journeyman in his farewell bout?
Does anyone even remember Julio Cesar Chavez's last bout? He was TKO'd by a fella named Grover Wiley (29-6-1) in a bout that failed to make mainstream headlines.
Even Sugar Ray Robinson, the greatest of all fighters, truly left the sport on a whimper. At 44, he dropped a wide decision to an unknown named Joey Archer in a non-title contest and was floored for a nine-count in the process. By this time, the great Robinson, a mere shell of his former self, was earning pennies compared to hay day.
Shall I continue with more examples, including Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns, Pernell Whitaker, Ricky Hatton, Joe Frazier and Evander Holyfield?
How many boxing greats have exited the sport as champions and winners of their final bout, and with a purse comparable to what they garnered in their prime?
Answer: Practically none.
Rocky Marciano surprisingly and abruptly retired after his sixth title defense and Lennox Lewis called it quits after surviving Vitali Klitschko. Marvelous Marvin Hagler retired after his high-profile, controversial loss to Sugar Ray Leonard while Joe Calzaghe ended his career by defeating a shopwarn, badly faded Roy Jones Jr in a relatively lucrative, high-profile affair. (We'll let Joe slide even though Jones was way over the hill)
... The aforementioned stars retired on top and amassed strong paychecks in their final bouts but Marciano, Lewis, Hagler and Calzaghe are clearly the exception to the rule.
If Floyd Mayweather's final bout was against Berto, he left boxing as an undefeated champion, the sport's top pound-for-pound fighter and the highest paid athlete in the world.
How many legends even came close?
Compare Floyd's exit to virtually every other boxing great in the entire history of the sport....