There is no pain, you are receding
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.
When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
But I have become comfortably numb.
-- Pink Floyd, "Comfortably Numb"
Floyd is a great boxer, arguably the sport's biggest and most viable star attraction, fought in some memorable bouts (most of which he dominated), won a billion titles in a billion weight classes, frustrated and annoyed some, and was respect by anyone with a brain (sorry, ultimate Floyd haters).
And for the third time since 2006, he's announced his retirement. He retired when he beat Baldomir, he retired when he beat Oscar, he's now retired after beating Hatton, cancelling a September rematch with de la Hoya. That last part is apparently why I'm supposed to take this one seriously. It didn't come as such a rash decision, which ignores that it essentially popped out of nowhere.
Forgive me if I don't break out the rocking chair and a case of beer, sit on the porch and share Floyd stories.
I don't buy it. Sorry. See you next year, Floyd, for a rescheduled rematch with de la Hoya.
Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer says he'll announce a "big fight" for Oscar next week. This is so surprising to everyone that Schaefer can just pull a "big fight" out of the hat within a week? Unless they really do tap Winky Wright -- which is a huge mistake if Oscar wants to go out of the sport on top, because Wright is likely to shut him down -- who is Oscar going to fight?
Cotto's busy. Margarito's busy. Vernon Forrest, should he win tomorrow, could be a possibility, I guess. All of a sudden, both Forrest and Wright, the delusional Oscar chasers, have been given new life in their quest to secure the biggest possible fight for either one of them.
Who else is there? Arum is not going to sacrifice the consistent cha-ching sound that JC Chavez, Jr.'s, PPVs echo in the Latino community. Plus, Schaefer is promising a "big fight" -- of course, his definition of "big fight" could be different from mine.
But back to Floyd. Listen, I know fans of real combat sports hate comparisons to pro wrestling, but a lot of the time, the comparisons are appropriate.
Does it sound so silly to foresee this scenario?
Floyd scraps the rematch and retires. Oscar fights and wins in September. Oscar insults Floyd, challenges him. Floyd returns. Floyd and Oscar fight again in 2009.
Would that knock your socks off, or would it just seem like typical promotional stunt sort of stuff?
Here's the thing...
Whether they'll ever admit it or not, the prospect of Floyd-Oscar II right now was not setting the public afire. Given the promotional money they were supposedly planning to spend, the purses for both fighters, having to pay guys on the undercard, all the other stuff on the side, this was going to be an enormously expensive fight to stage, more expensive than the first one. They wanted to blitz a hard promotional tour to try to convince people that this fight was worth seeing, that Oscar had any shot, and that Floyd wasn't ignoring better, younger, more deserving fighters than Oscar de la Hoya.
They were going to try to convince people that this was more than an exhibition for a couple of guys who are worth a boatload of cash, and whose first fight broke the records.
This fight wasn't going to come close to equalling the first one. The fact is, we saw an OK fight the first time they hooked up. Lots of people flat-out thought it stunk. Since then, Floyd obliterated Ricky Hatton, which was applauded with restraint, since Hatton is no welterweight. And Oscar has had one fight, a yawner of a win over Steve Forbes. Plus he's received further backlash after that goofy cross-dressing mess, whether anyone believes in it or not.
Oscar has never been as beloved as some people like to make him out to be. Floyd has only been "Money" Mayweather for two fights.
What I'm saying is, I think the timing for a rematch was horrible, I don't think the public interest was near where Floyd and Golden Boy would have wanted it to be, and it just didn't make a lot of sense. Seriously, were you anxiously anticipating Floyd-Oscar II? Was anyone?
If Floyd really wants to retire, then God bless, great career, see you in Canastota, you meant plenty to the sport, and all that jazz. There are certainly many great reasons for him to hang 'em up. There's not a whole lot more for him to personally accomplish (whether or not I want to see Floyd fight Cotto doesn't mean I think he NEEDS to for his legacy, though it'll always be a, "Yeah, but...). It's a dangerous sport, even for someone that doesn't get hit very often. He's had numerous injuries that have piled up over the years, as all fighters accumulate. And he doesn't need the money. In a world where Evander Holyfield is broke, yet another story of a destitute ex-champion, Mayweather has made his money, found OTHER ways to make money, and could live comfortably the rest of his life with just what he has now.
But I'm not buying it. I'm just not. It's not meant as disrespect to Floyd or his career, it's just that we've heard this before, and I think everything about it is suspect.
We'll see, but don't be so quick to write career eulogies for the Pretty Boy.
Other Floyd articles:
ESPN's Kieran Mulvaney: What could have been?
ESPN's Dan Rafael
Boxing Scene's Troy Ondrizek: Good for boxing?
Ring Report's Tim Starks
Yahoo!'s Kevin Iole
Boxing Confidential's Michael Marley
East Side Boxing's Yero Moody
Doghouse Boxing's Coyote Duran