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He spits venom at his opponents, wears custom made $3000 suits, boasts about his expensive bling that cost millions of dollars, drives the most costly luxury cars, carries a backpack with thousands of dollars and makes it rain when ever he damn well pleases.
During the past year, boxing has made a meteoric comeback and has moved from the obit pages of local sport sections to the front pages and “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr. has had as much to do with that as anyone.
And on Saturday, Dec. 8, in his adopted home of Las Vegas, he makes his fifth consecutive pay per view appearance against undefeated Brit Ricky Hatton to close out a boxing calendar that has been nothing short of spectacular.
This on the heels of his epic record setting confrontation with “The Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya in May, when he was partly responsible for creating the most financially successful event in the history of boxing.
A smooth faced 30-year-old brash superstar with an undefeated record and the undaunted crown of pound for best across his slender waist is now perch as the man in boxing who makes cash registers ring.
Mayweather will not be just representing the urban hip hop culture when he collides with brawling Hatton who brings the support of a country with him to Las Vegas, but he will also be representing America in a fight that took all of 30 minutes to sell out the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Over the past seven months much more has been revealed about this clean-living ultra talented boxing phenom that we didn’t recognize before.
Such as his sour split with his father Floyd Sr. and bonding love for his formally addicted mother Denise, and his touching love affair that he has for his children.
A star among stars, Mayweather has transcended the sport of boxing with his appearance on the highly acclaimed television show “Dancing With The Stars,” but a loss to Hatton could dim the lights on that too.
And there is a chance that it could happen against Hatton who is more of wrestler/puncher than he is a craft boxer like Mayweather.
Mayweather has managed to solve similar riddles before such as his bouts with Arturo Gatti and Carlos Baldimir and his wearing down a hard punching Zab Judah.
Hatton is known as hook-and- hold Hatton because he bum rushes his opponents and then assaults them with wicked left and right combinations to the body and head.
The problem that he will have with Mayweather is that he is facing a fighter whose hands are just as quick as his feet and one who in his past mega fights have demonstrated that he can hurt you with his snappy quick shots enough to make you crumble.
Few have ever questioned Mayweather’s skills in the square circle, but many promoters and television executives have doubted his economical power as a pay per view attraction.
However after garnering 350,000 pay per view buys numbers against Zab Judah, and then passing the two million plateau in pay-per-view buys when he met and defeated boxing’s darling Oscar De La Hoya in the largest grossing fight in boxing history people are beginning to pay attention.
Critics argued that it was De La Hoya’s vast appeal that made the May fight a mega success, but as Mayweather said: it takes two to tangle and he certainly deserves much of the credit for that bout which grossed more than $100 million.
Now he’s back in the ring this week for a mega fight against Hatton who, while quite popular in his native Manchester, has been a dud at the box office over here.
So right off the bat, eliminate that Mayweather needed Hatton for this fight to be a financial success; what was essential was that Mayweather followed suit with the rest of the sport of boxing and agreed to a fight that was competitive.
And make no mistake about it, with Mayweather at 38-0 and Ricky Hatton at 43-0 facing each other at the prime of their careers, this is major.
This bout comes on the heels of other intriguing match-ups such as Mayweather/De La Hoya, Paul Williams against Antonio Margarito, and Miguel Cotto versus Shane Mosley and recently Ricardo Mayorga versus Fernando Vargas.
And, of course, next month Roy Jones Jr. will challenge Felix Trinidad.
Promoters such as Bob Arum’s Top Rank and De La Hoya’s Golden Boy were forced to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
In the meanwhile, others such as Kathy Duva’s Main Events and Don King’s Don King Production have been innovative in creating matches that the public desires to see.
Mayweather has been his own force. He created his own Mayweather Promotions Company, which is run by long time friend/advisor Leonard Ellerbie. He also is being advised by Al Haymon, thus making his company the only urban team in the industry.
His uncle Roger Mayweather trains him and he has a tremendous supporting cast in Las Vegas that also includes bevy of relatives and friends.
Many may be taken aback by his brashness and the fact he carries around wads of hundred dollar bills, but no one can doubt his talent and commitment to the sport that he’s making famous.
As he’s explained to his entourage during a segment of HBO’s 24/7, “I make cake, I make money.” And boxing is thriving because of it!