‘He Has Brought Down His Brand’
Floyd Mayweather Jr. confused the combat community earlier this week when he revealed his announced RIZIN bout opposite kickboxing sensation Tenshin Nasukawa was actually never happening. Instead, “Money” was planning on a quick exhibition match opposite “Ninja Boy” for a boat load of cash.
Now that the dust has settled and the confusion has crept away, fight fans can take a step back and figure out what the hell happened here. One combat enthusiast, current Bellator fighter and MMA commentator Chael Sonnen, believes that Mayweather’s mishandling of the RIZIN situation has actually hurt his overall stock.
“Huge miss here by Floyd Mayweather,” Sonnen said on a recent edition of Ariel and the Bad Guy (transcription via MMA Fighting). “He has brought down his brand. Very normal trajectory of a fighter’s career: you start out fighting at the YMCA, you move on to the dog park, you get into a coliseum, on your way out you go back to the YMCA, and then you finish up at the dog park. That is what this appeared to be for Floyd from jump street.”
Mayweather, 41, remains undefeated in his professional boxing career and is easily one of the best to ever do it. The last time we saw him inside of the boxing ring he was beating up UFC superstar Conor McGregor for a ridiculous amount of money.
Despite that lucrative cash grab, Sonnen believes Mayweather’s legendary spending habits are leading “Money” back into the combat fold.
“The only thing more embellished than Floyd Mayweather’s pay-per-view buys is Floyd Mayweather’s net worth,” said Sonnen. “But his spending habits are real. We know he has to fight again but the fact that he would go and offer his services in a stunt fight over in Japan under “yet to be specified rules,” this is very bad for the brand. And for him to try to unwind that and the come back to America. Look, it’s tough and Floyd stubbed his toe on this one.”
Mayweather, who is officially retired from the world of boxing, has continued to tease fight fans of a comeback. Not only has the undefeated pugilist hinted at an Octagon appearance, but he’s been linked to a boxing superfight with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
While most of the rumors involving Mayweather are lofty superfights never likely to happen, his pairing with Nasukawa was even more confusion, especially considering the timing of it.
“It was a tremendous mistake,” Sonnen said. “The retirement just so you can use that to market the comeback. You can never have the comeback if you don’t have the retirement. Floyd knows this, Floyd tries to copy this, but Ariel, the one miss that he had, the ingredient that has to be there if you’re going to pull a stunt like this . . . it has to be at a time when people all come out saying, ‘Why?! Why would you retire? You’re so good! You have more left!’ When you retire at a time when people are looking at you going, ‘You should retire,’ you can’t get that feel, you can’t get that buzz back.
“This is what happened to Floyd. When Floyd went in there and boxed Conor, what was happening was the greatest of a generation took on an amateur, and when it took 30 minutes to get the amateur out of there, it was easier for the boxing world to go, ‘well yeah, but he was retired anyway.’”
For now, Mayweather will not be returning to the boxing ring. But once enough cash is thrown on the table there’s no telling what “Money” will end up doing.