A New Low: Mayweather and Schaefer Manufacture Controversy
- Updated: May 2, 2014
In the sordid history of boxing promotional ploys, this one takes the cake…
Floyd Mayweather Jr. (45-0, 26 KOs), facing a promotion for his Saturday fight with Marcos Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs) that has largely failed to get off the ground in a meaningful way, recently resorted to posting a photo of an alleged sonogram from his ex-girlfriend, which he claims was later aborted and prompted his breakup with said female. This salacious, and ghastly, revelation quickly made all the rounds on the mainstream gossip blogs and certainly piqued interest in Mayweather. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, Mayweather’s cohort in crime, ran with the story and was telling every journalist in ear shot that he was “worried” for his fighter and whether he was in the right state of mind to pull of a victory. Only problem… this whole charade, in my opinion, is likely a concocted effort by both men to sell a fight that the general public largely does not care about. A mismatch that is selling like a mismatch… so why not spice it up with a little chatter about the merits of Roe v. Wade? Boxing’s mercurial showmen have struck a new low in selling product…
There’s plenty of reason to believe this whole episode is more fraudulent than the honesty of a Swiss banker — oops, sorry, Rich. Earlier in the week, Mayweather quickly attempted to tag himself into the whole Donald Sterling debacle by claiming that he intended to buy the Los Angeles Clippers – a claim so dubious that it was met with passing mention by the media. When that failed to gain traction, Mayweather’s camp leaked several stories to TMZ claiming that he felt betrayed by his former friend, rapper Nelly, for now dating his ex-girlfriend — a wannabe glamour model who does not mind being bandied about in the tabloid press. The story got some heat, but not in the way that would make people want to see Mayweather effortlessly dance around Maidana for 12 rounds.
Thus, we’re now at the next level of “Holy S, this PPV is gonna do about the same numbers as the Robert Guerrero fight” where Mayweather is claiming that he’s pro-life and that his ex decided to abort his children without his consent. Unfortunately, some in the boxing press have covered this as a real event. All one needs to know about it’s dubious nature is the fact that Schaefer has been quick to try to tell sell whether Mayweather is in the right state of mind and whether Maidana now has a chance to swing the improbable upset. Schaefer is not worried and I would estimate that he was behind much of this circus. Schaefer is a strong promoter who recognizes the value of new media and its ability to manufacture an event, especially when the event you have going on in Vegas is being met with tepid anticipation.
Ultimately, the whole ordeal is probably a farce and a poor one at that. We live in a culture where very few things shock us, anymore. Posting the photo of a, now, aborted child can still manage to get some attention, but it’s undoubtedly in poor taste and indicative of the growing side show which follows boxing. We no longer sell fights on their merit and expected excitement, but rather on such things as “side pieces” and “legit beefs”. Hence, boxing is rarely taken seriously anymore save for a few weekends every year. Using abortion to sell a PPV is not one way to restore that respectability.