Floyd Mayweather: Has 'Money' obsession ruined his boxing legacy?

Floyd Mayweather is set to fight another social media star but are the exhibition fights beginning to ruin his legacy in the sport as one of the greatest?

Floyd Mayweather will return to the ring this weekend and face 'Dangerous' Don Moore in his latest exhibition fight.

The 45-year-old said he won't be taking Moore lightly, claiming he is a 'smart' fighter.

"I've known Don for a long time and I know that he's a very smart fighter who I can't take lightly," Mayweather said this week, per the Mirror.

"I believe that he's coming to prove something in this fight. On top of this fight being at a one-of-a-kind venue, you're going to see a guy coming in to take his shot at the best ever.

"I promise you've never seen a boxing event like this. I'm going to continue to break barriers on 14 May. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event and I'm a once-in-a-lifetime fighter.

"There's no one else in the sport who could headline an event this over the top. I'm going to give the fans what they paid for."

Exhibition specialist?

YouTuber Logan Paul goes the distance with Floyd Mayweather

The former five-division world champion retired with a record of 50-0 in 2017 - his final professional bout being against UFC superstar Conor McGregor. The crossover fight is the second biggest generating bout of all-time, generating more than $300million. Mayweather would win via TKO in round 10.

With standout wins over Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, there is no denying Mayweather is the greatest boxer of his generation. Some even argue about whether he is the best ever (TBE) - a nickname Mayweather gave himself.

After facing McGregor, Mayweather started the new wave of exhibition fights, beginning with a fight against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in 2018 to celebrate the New Year in Japan.

The scheduled three-round exhibition freak show ended inside the opening round and Mayweather won via TKO, leaving a 20-year-old Nasukawa in floods of tears in the aftermath of the contest. It was all smiles for Floyd who reportedly earned $9million for the event.

In 2020, Mayweather confirmed his return to the ring, this time against YouTube sensation Logan Paul.

The build-up was much more publicised with Mayweather punching Jake Paul - Logan's brother - during a promotional event after he stole the 44-year-old's cap.

In June 2021, they squared off in an eight-round exhibition at a catchweight of 190lbs and would go the distance. Despite Mayweather landing more punches (43) than Paul (28), he was unable to knock the social media star out - the only way of a possible result in the bout. It was therefore declared as a draw.

The purse Mayweather got paid for fighting Paul is unknown but American broadcaster Showtime confirmed the event delivered more than one million pay-per-view sales. Around $50million is the reported purse, according to mainstream media reports.

Mayweather's legacy tainted?

Conor McGregor facing off with Floyd Mayweather Jr ahead of their fight in 2017

Nobody can ever take away his record-breaking achievements as a professional nor can they argue about not knowing about his love for money given that's his nickname.

Have exhibition fights ruined his legacy at all? For boxing purists, they will detest what he is doing but there is still an audience for Mayweather.

While boxing fans may have switched off, Mayweather's ability to create a new set of fans from the YouTube world has allowed him to continue making millions without even training for them.

His most recent exhibition bout against Logan Paul had certain fans even predicting an upset due to the size and reach advantage of Paul - something Mayweather would have laughed his way to the bank with.

His latest bout is against a fighter who campaigned at featherweight as a pro boxer and has been inactive since 2016.

The boxing fraternity is a mixed bag when it comes to Mayweather. Some question his integrity for the sport while others believe he is only following in the footsteps of previous boxers such as Muhammad Ali, who had an absurd crossover bout against Antonio Inoki in 1976.

The fact of the matter is, boxing's biggest stars have always been involved in the most lucrative, ludicrous events and Mayweather won't be the last.

Boxing needs a new Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather

Only now can you appreciate the greatness of Mayweather. The welterweight division has never been as weak when you look at the current landscape. Take away Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford, there is a lack of elite operators in the 147lb division.

To make things worse, it may be 2023 by the time Spence and Crawford finally fight each other. Yordenis Ugas - who is in a unification battle against Spence this year - is the other champion at welterweight but to consider him as an elite fighter wouldn't be true.

Yes, he defeated Manny Pacquiao but it was a Pacquiao who was 42 years old, had two years of inactivity and was focusing on becoming the Philippines president.

Vergil Ortiz Jr., Conor Benn and Jaron Ennis are some of the names hoping to challenge for world honours within the next couple of years. Time will tell as to whether they can spearhead a new era of glamour in the welterweight division.

The sport is crying out for a new Floyd Mayweather and with no disrespect intended, it looks unlikely that any of the names above will get anywhere near the heights of Mayweather.

Then again, Mayweather was a once-in-a-generation fighter.

Read more: From Pacquiao to Canelo - ranking Floyd Mayweather's five greatest wins

Latest news