The Ghosts of Boxing Past, Boxing Present and Boxing Future Visit Mr. Mayweather
In the classic story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future visit Ebenezer Scrooge to show him the error of his ways, and to convince him to reform himself and be a better, happier person. That story was great… for the mid 19th century, but it’s time for an update on the classic, an update that boxing aficionados and fans could appreciate. How about, A Christmas Carol: The Floyd Mayweather Edition. The ghosts of Boxing Past, Boxing Present and Boxing Future visit Mr. Mayweather in an attempt to initiate some change within him. Let’s see how it all shakes out…
A Christmas Carol: The Floyd Mayweather Edition
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is one of the best boxers of his generation. Sitting on a 41-0 record with 25 knockouts, worldwide fame, fortune that he loves to showcase, and some of the finest pure boxing skills ever unleashed in the ring, he should have it all. But he doesn’t.
Piling legal troubles and growing discontent in the boxing community only serve to make Mayweather more disenchanted and separated from the public. “Bah, humbug,” he mutters, as he rides his Segway scooter around his multi-million dollar mansion, piles of court papers and cash mounting on the tables.
The Ghost of Boxing Past Visits Mr. Mayweather
But maybe someone, something, out there could show Mayweather Jr. the dubious direction that he’s heading in. He should be going back to his roots. Born with the middle name Joy, he has instead taken on the persona of Money. Money can’t buy happiness, and it may have stripped the Joy from Mr. Mayweather as well.
So he is visited by the Ghost of Boxing Past, a Sugary sweet apparition if there ever was, Ray Robinson. “Floyd,” says the Ghost of Boxing Past, “I’m here to show you how boxing used to be, how the great fighters of old times made themselves legendary.”
Mayweather reluctantly pays attention as a string of video clips play in front of him, highlights of Ray Robinson himself, of Henry Armstrong, of Muhammad Ali, of Sugar Ray Leonard. For these fighters, it wasn’t about hoarding away money or protecting an undefeated record, it was about taking on all comers and asserting themselves as the best. Sure, there were setbacks. For every big win, there was a loss that came along with it… Ali losing to Joe Frazier, Leonard losing to Roberto Duran, Robinson losing to Jake LaMotta, and many, many more. But these losses, the opponents they came against and the inspired comebacks they created only served to make the fighters better, and more appreciated.
Undefeated records can either be the domain of the legendary, or the untested, and the only way to become the former instead of the latter is to face the stiffest challengers, obstacles and consequences aside. “Only then,” the Ghost of Boxing tells Mr. Mayweather, “Will you truly be appreciated, and will you truly earn your place alongside the best boxers of all-time.”
The Ghost of Boxing Present Visits Mr. Mayweather
After contemplating what he had just witnessed, Floyd Mayweather is then visited by another mystic figure, the Ghost of Boxing Present, a Golden child in the sport if there ever was one, Oscar De La Hoya. “Floyd,” Oscar begins, “Winning over the public and going down in history isn’t just about selling pay-per-views for big bucks, even if that’s what I did the best. It’s about being cheered for, respected and remembered by the fans for what you did in those fights, not for how many people you got to buy them. Take it from me, Floyd, I know. Let me show you what support and appreciation could have done for you.”
Mayweather and the Ghost of Boxing Present then proceed to go on a whirlwind tour of the globe. In the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao is a congressman and a demigod, and can do no wrong. In England, Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe and David Haye sell out massive soccer stadiums for fights against even overmatched foes, because of their legions of fans and supporters. In Germany, the Klitschko brothers do the same, and in Canada, fighters like Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal are adored. “Let’s not even go to Mexico,” the Ghost of Boxing Present says, “The love that fighters like Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, and even, yes, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., receive would just be too much for you to witness!”
“But I’m better than every one of those fighters!” Mayweather protests.
“Maybe you are, but without the love of the people, you’ll never be viewed that way.” With that, the Ghost of Boxing Present disappears.
The Ghost of Boxing Future Visits Mr. Mayweather
Mayweather is now completely taken aback, trying to piece together everything that he has just seen. How could all of this be, he wonders to himself. I’m Money Mayweather, I’m the greatest fighter, I sell the most pay-per-views, it should all be about me…
And then, slowly coming into his field of view is yet another mysterious being, the Ghost of Boxing Future. It looks like some sort of insatiable beast, steadily moving forward and eating away its competition one piece, one square, at a time. Is it Spiderman… Batman… or what other creature stirring in the night? “Pacman,” the Ghost of Boxing Future says as he walks forward and reveals himself to be none other than Manny Pacquiao.
“For you see, Floyd, when fans of boxing look back on this era in twenty or thirty years, it’s not you who will be remembered, it’s me!” Pacquiao joyfully exclaims. “I won them over with pure excitement and enthusiasm while I faced all comers and became the pound for pound best in the sport. From there, I kept adding more fans to my personal kingdom with my kind, humble nature. I didn’t really try to, that’s just what happened, and I love each and every person that chose to tune in and watch me perform. Even though my own accomplishments could be questioned, they are instead lauded, and I’m forever remembered as the fighter you wouldn’t dare meet!”
“This can’t be… I could have beaten you… I was the best for a decade!… You fought a string of guys that I beat first… and those drug tests, you wouldn’t take those drug tests… and I deserved more of the money, because I sell more fights… and catch-weight fights, really? I mean c’mon… and… and…” And then Mr. Mayweather awakens in his bed, a cold sweat dripping down his face, a Segway parked by the side of the mattress.
I cannot let it end like this, Mr. Mayweather decides. And so Floyd Mayweather once again becomes the Pretty Boy instead of the Money grabber, he wins over fans with his Joy, instead of convincing them to buy his fights only for the hope of seeing him lose.
Talking aloud, to nobody in particular, Mr. Mayweather gets louder and louder as he continues, eventually reaching a full shout, “I’m getting this fight made… I need to be the one that fans remember as the best of his time, not Manny Pacquiao. I’m better than he is and I’ll prove it! Bob Arum, Top Rank, Golden Boy and everyone else be damned! I’ll meet Pacquiao in the ring and the rest will take care of itself!”
And so it was that the Ghosts of Boxing Past, Present and Future convinced Mr. Mayweather of what he needed to do. If he wanted to be the Greatest, he had only to make the fight against Manny Pacquiao happen. If he wanted to be beloved, he had only to turn off the Money act and go back to being Floyd, Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. Whether it would be enough or not, nobody knew. Not even Mr. Mayweather. But he was going to find out for himself, and nothing would get in his way.