Floyd Mayweather and the Politics of Just Enough

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Some of us told you this would happen. Sure, we were humbled when he took apart Shane Mosley and did so with the relative ease of a kid microwaving ants with a magnifying glass. And then, and here I admit to something, he fooled me. He made me believe that this was what he wanted. He wanted Pacquiao. And we wanted him to. And now, sadly, the fight has fallen apart. Depending on who you believe either Floyd deliberately submarined the negotiations and then sent Leonard Ellerbee out to say they never even happened, or they never even happened.

Bottom line: this fight won’t happen. Floyd fought 2 fights and is retiring again if you believe him. Taking a 2 year break from the sport. Meanwhile, Pacquiao is fighting Antonio Margarito in a Bob Arum-promoted sham. This is what none of us who are real boxing fans want. But we’re gonna get it.

This is about more than Floyd Mayweather Jr. I have realized something. It took me 18 years to realize it. And listen very carefully. To everyone involved, from athletes to management, this is a business. Nothing more. Nothing less. And worse everyone involved quite clearly holds fans in either naked contempt or grudging tolerance. It’s true. We all know it. And on a certain level we understand it.

But because no one wants to admit it, because no one wants to say that being the best takes a back seat to being able to claim that you’re being the best, we get “just enough”. We get Floyd Mayweather fighting Shane Mosley so he can hold on to his P4P trophy in the eyes of some. We get Pacquiao fighting Clottey because “no other fight could be made.” We get LeBron telling us that he’s “taking his talents to South Beach”. Instead of greatness stretching itself to its limits, we get “just enough”. Just enough to tantalize, to tease, to make us wonder what they could be.

Look to the young kids who might read TSF, and might still be wondering if sports is a life for you: Do not do “just enough”. Strive. Be better. Spend more time in the gym, and with your teammates. But be a citizen of your sport as well. Realize you have peers. Treat them with the respect they deserve.

22 Responses to “Floyd Mayweather and the Politics of Just Enough”

  1. Rev Levern Tillery says:

    I was really looking forward to that fight yet I think that Floyd is one of the best, and i find myself supporting him in whatever he plans or plans not to do.
    Rev LG Tillery

  2. Garrett Rogers says:

    Fantastic! I couldn’t have said it any better my self. Too many athletes will give “just enough” for us to put them on a pedestal, even though they can and should go above and beyond that.

  3. sankofa says:

    Have you seen this before? Long before the concept of the Matrix movie came about, Science Fiction writers postulated the idea that future societies would become so leasurely that we would have 3 or 4 day work week and be free to partake off recreational activites. These activities includes more sex, more drugs and more sports/entertanment to keep the population docile and compliant.

    Two movies that stand out were roller ball and running man. Where athlete/entertainers are pitted against each other in a virtual game of death, all the while egged on by a complient population that ingest the pablum that the elite shovels at them.

    Sports is business long past the period where it became a test of athletic endeavours, strength and will. It ceased to be purely about that since teams were organized and leagues were formed. The media inculcates in our minds, the elites version of what a athlete should be instead of what a real flesh and blood person should be and do. The complient public are fed the pablum because it is soma to a life of dreariness and lack and allows them to live vicariously through these entertainment moments only to be caught up when these athletes do inane things like die, move to a different city or chose not to take one for the good of the team or the benefit of the public.

    Sports/entertainment are escapism from the reality of Afghanistan, the BP oil spills, New Orleans not being rebuilt, the degrading of the climate and the environment proper, poverty in the developing world and much, much more serious reality thaty is too depressing for us to take home every day. So we live vicariiously through our favourite teams and players, only forgetting that while they enjoy our adulations, many have decided that the burden of being someones hope can be a heavy load to carry. Or maybe we are caught up in a tug of war betweeen those who seek to controle peoples lives and those who seek to control their own lives. Eather way the voyuer is usually the one left holding the unfulrfiled dream.

  4. KevDog says:

    Now you begin to realize why I’m such a Kobe Bryant Fan, a Clifford Brown fan, a Billie Holiday fan, a Toni Morrison fan. The best continually trying to get better.

    I knew way back when he started with that blood testing BS that Floyd was gonna punk out. He’s afraid of Paq and can’t admit it.

  5. TC says:

    Well said. Like Charles Barkley said, he’s not a role model. Parents are role models. We are role models to the youngsters in our lives and who know us, and not some image that a company wants them to know. Athletes are entertainers….and like KevDog said, those who BRING it, every day, guys like Kobe, Michael, Ron Artest, Rasheed Wallace, and honestly, many other guys in various leagues who aren’t as athletically gifted as some of the aforementioned, deserve our respect.

    I’ll never understand (well, actually, I do), why athletes in the US are booed by their home crowds. This will not encourage them to play harder or do better. It simply does not happen in Britain, regardless of how dopey the athlete has been.

    Sad to see Floyd pussy out of this. He’s a hell of a fighter and you know if someone commits to something challenging in their life-I mean REALLY commits-it can drive them to new levels of performance. But apparently Floyd is happy enough with good enough. It reminds me of the Chris Rock bit when Chris talks about how there will never a cure found for cancer. He says there will never be a cure-there will simply be enough progress made to live with cancer. He points out Jerry Lewis’ telethon and how that’s made an awful lot of money over the years but still, no cure. Now, how is that? If researchers and the large drug companies REALLY wanted to find a cure for cancer, they could. But obviously they know they’re sitting on a cash cow and so we get overpriced, often flawed medicine. Anyway, great column as always Mizz.

  6. Okori Wadsworth says:

    @TC: I wrote this column man. Not Mizz.

  7. KevDog says:

    Hate to hijack the thread, but Al Goodman, of “The Moments” and “Ray, Goodman and Brown,” passed away today.

  8. TC says:

    Okori…my bad…I’m sorry. Kudos intended for Mizz to you instead.

  9. sankofa says:

    I am constantly surprised at the venom Floyd Mayweather gets from seemingly rational people. I say seemingly because if you look at his body of work and to think that Floyd Mayweather is truly scared of Pacqueo indicates to me that either you have never been in combat sports or profess to but don’t overstand combat sports…or sports in general.

    I back Floyd on the simple basis that I will never allow any a crooked Khazar like Bob Arum and a house Pinoy like Pacqueo dictate to me how to best handle my business. In following this drama from last year and beyond, I notice Mayweather has been consistent in what he says. Arum, the man who famously said, yesterday I lied, today I am telling the truth is part of a lying stealing brotherhood, called boxing promoters. It’s on record that a lot of people despise his ass.

    Don’t let the anti-Floyd media and your own biasness color your views on questioning Mayweather’s manhood and integrity. I am not saying he is not lying or not lying, but I will be loathed to join the kick the nigger Floyd bandwagon that was started by the media with Arum and his ilk as the trumpeters.

    I posted earlier about our misplaced need to live vicariously though these entertainers. We need the balance in our lives to either let it go or learn to see the shitstim for what it is…machine that chews up and spits out people who refuse to be a fodder for the machine.

  10. Okori Wadsworth says:

    First of all, ‘Kofa, I hope you understand that I respect you. I honestly do.

    But I have too much respect for both Pacquiao and Mayweather to call either one of them by any kind of racial slurs.

    Here’s the point of this: Do you believe that Floyd Mayweather could have made this fight? That he could have said something to the effect of “Make the fight. I can kick his ass.” I don’t. It’s clear that you do. Reasonable people disagree.

  11. sankofa says:

    Last year Mayweather did say “Make the fight. I can kick his ass.” and conceided to every non Boxing sanctioned terms in the contract. When he mentioned drug testing, whether a ruse or not, the Pacqueo camp jumped bad and made it seem that Mayweather called out his mother. If you are a bad cat make take the test and shut Mayweather up. Don’t make bogus claimes that keep changing daily:

    (1) I am superstitious of needles (2) too close to the fight, I will be sapped (3) Mayweather will not dictate to me (4) What he is asking +is outside the sanctioned body’s mandate (5) Mayweather is scared etc.


    The fact is Mayweather was not the FIRST to question a little guy knocking out bigger cats like George Foreman did. Fact is Pacqueo’s trainer had been connected in the past for steroids. Fact is Arum is on record as hating Mayweather for…leaving his ass and calling him out for dealing with the boxers under him like Don King does.

    Fact is the media feeds the perception that Floyd Mayweather is scared of Pacqueo and continues to allow Arum to take centre stage in demonizing Mayweather, thus influencing boxing fans to further dump on Mayweather.

    This is why I called him that name. Pacqueo is not stupid, but he is like most entertainer/athletes who willingly sell their body and soul to those who will get them the most fame and money while putting them on the block. He is a slave to Arum, just as Floyd is a slave to his bad boy persona, but at least he owns his image.

    The Pinoy comment may have been mislabelled, but that is what I am saying he is a house slave, like many of us in entertainment and outside, that are not true to themselves and allow others to dictate how they must live their public or private lives.

    If my tone is strong is just because I am just a little perturbed the way people kill Floyd Mayweather for this fight not happening but give Bob Arum and by extension a free pass with the assistance of the media. I guess in this simplistic world, some one has to wear the “black” hat.

  12. Big Man says:

    Gotta co-sign Sankofa.
    Floyd agreed to fight a long time ago, just demanded blood testing. Manny’s camp balked. Some folks said Manny should have held his ground and that Floyd was being unreasonable.
    Bottom line, if Manny wasn’t worried about “just enough” he would have taken the tests then whipped Floyd’s butt. To me, refusing to take the blood tests is a sign that there is a problem, or at least there was.
    I don’t blame Floyd. When his career is over, and the his life span shortened, all he’ll have to fall back on is the money he earned, and the money he can still earn off his legacy. “Fans” will have moved on tot he next human gladiator, and they won’t be spending big money on Floyd or his life. So he should make decisions based on what’s best for him, not what’s best for fans.

  13. sankofa says:

    @Big man

    We recently lost Lorenzo Wright to what maybe foul play and most fans act like “Lorenzo who?”. We lost Jack Tatum to complications from diabetes and haters literally piss on his grave for one hit that today mis defines his legacy. Floyd Mayweather is accused of ducking tough fighters or not fighting enough, but Evander Holyfield and Roy Jones stayed in the game pass their due date and are vilified for taking up space.

    Sugar Ray Leonard and countless others slur their speech and suffer from minor to major neurological, disorder. Ex NFL players, college players today can barely walk, pick up their children or think with the holes in their brains earned from repeated head on collisions.

    I could go on, but this is why I call them performing animals, because they are treated as disposable commodities and discarded by a fickle public. They are never looked at as flesh and blood, but action figures that is suppose to take a bullet and get back up and if they flip the script…off with their heads!

    Entertainers/Athletes are prostitutes. Some like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordon still thing they can sell ass like the young bloods. The young bloods think they will never be a broken done old ho’ and others like the Miami three want to set up shop in their own boudoir and get slagged for cutting out the pimps and for being discriminating in choosing a safe John.

  14. KevDog says:

    Damn Sankofa.

    That’s some serious shit. You make a compelling argument.

  15. MODI says:

    compelling indeed… that last paragraph was poetic!

    Having said all that, I’m still convinced that — while interesting and insightful — we are engaging in wasteful philosophizing. This fight will happen. Maybe not this year — but it will happen.

  16. Okori Wadsworth says:


    Whassup man? It’s my old debate partner on MMA over at SOMM.

    Look at this point i’m not sure. Bridges have been napalmed. Cats have been called liars. I don’t think anybody there trusts anyone at Mayweather\Golden Boy. (Floyd’s promoted sort of, kind of, by GBP)

  17. TC says:

    ditto what KevDog said. That was some elegiac, poetic writing.

  18. Big Man says:

    Yeah, I liked that last bit about the hoes. I made that point to someone, not just about sports but about the employee/employer relationship in general not to long ago. They thought I was crazy.
    Young people never believe they are old, and it takes old people the longest time to recognize they can’t do what they did when they were young.

  19. Floyd Mayweather says:

    This is Floyd Gayweather…man you guys even got me doing it. This is Floyd Mayweather. I don’t need any fans, manager, promoter or anybody else speaking for me. I can speak for myself. I am the greatest fighter to ever stand in the rings and I do not have to prove anything to anybody. I have my perfect record in tack and I will fight to keep it that way because I am a fighter. Yes I may look like a coward ducking Manny but I am a fighter and ducking punches is one of my best assets. I admit to using lies like accusing Manny of steroids and insisting on Olympic drug testing to avoid fighting Manny but like I said I am the greatest fighter in the world and I will do what it takes to keep that designation because you know I am a fighter.
    For now I really don’t need the money that fighting Manny will bring but if that does change I know Manny will retire soon and go into politics so I can wait for that to happen and I will go back to fighting for money again because you know I am not only a fighter but I am a smart fighter. I am I really am! So all you fans that want to see my head knocked off by Manny you can wait until the chicken flies, I will never let that happen because I am a smart fighter. Speaking about chickens I know you people have labeled me KFC but you people that do that don’t even really know me. If you did you would know that I am not from Kentucky and I don’t eat KFC because I still have a lot of the money I won from the easy fights I have had. So in closing leave me alone and stop pushing me to fight Manny. If you keep pushing I will fight you and I know I will still keep my perfect record because I can beat you people up. I am the greatest fighter in the world and will protect that till I don’t have to deal with fighting Manny anymore.

  20. MODI says:

    It seems that Sankofa just made a submission for the TSF comment hall of fame!

    Big Man, what did Charles Barkely say at the end of his career during the strike-shortened season when teams had to play three games on back-to-back-to-back nights… “Three games in three nights? I can’t even have sex with my wife three nights in a row!”

    Okori, I hear you, but I still think that 50 million dollars is enough to repair a bridge and I’m sticking with that. No one knows the details, but Arum clearly keeps fucking up by handling this shit in the press when it should be behind closed doors. That didn’t help the first time. Then he has this public deadline. Then he publically brings Ross Greenburg into it. Knowing his strained relationship with Mayweather, if he had any sense, he would be handling this shit way differently.

  21. Okori Wadsworth says:

    @Sankofa: I will submit your last comment to the TSF commenting Hall of Fame.

    @MODI: Possible. And tomorrow night, MODI, I hope you’re watching Marquez-Diaz.

  22. mapoui says:

    I wave no flag in sports or politics for i know the ho’houses they are!

    I love athletic excellence though and the drama that some sports events can sometimes produce these days.

    every now and then a personlity like Tony Dungy can so attract me I follow him wherever he goes and the results were always good.

    the actual genuine competive quality of sports has finally been been just about gutted by the money changers, as they have gutted the quality of arts like popular music for eg.

    it is a stunning realisation when it hits you, the negative difference between popular music up the nineties and what passes for the same currently.

    I love me my Rihanna however, but not for her voice and artistic prowess, which are less than average.

    its the money changers who have homogenised the music at a level more plain than pasturized milk.

    they murdered Jimi Hendrix because he wanted out of relationship with one of them…a murder for the ages, one for which they gods will never forgive them.

    Sankofa is magnificent above, like the old days with Marvin and the river of class that was then…sweet but precise, right, accurate, solid enough to work with.

    as I said, heaven must be like that excellence and its overall happy effects.

    Mayweather is excellent…has been from the start. and he is smart!

    Pacquiao is very suspicious, enough to make a smart man cautious, deep into Khazar conections as he is…house slave indeed!