Boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. is starting to develop a new reputation around the sport, and it's not a good one.
The undefeated boxing champion has been accused of "ducking" top fighters on more than one occasion recently. And in order to prove he isn't afraid of putting his undefeated professional record on the line in a big-time fight, Mayweather must schedule a bout against a top-flight boxer.
The most notable instance in which Mayweather's heart was called out came last week when Mayweather's former buddy, rapper 50 Cent, took to ESPN, claiming that Money ducked Manny Pacquiao not because he was scared, but because of what else, money.
Not long after 50 Cent's comments, junior middleweight champion Saul Alvarez called out Mayweather (via ESPN.com's Dan Rafael):
Mayweather has no word to support what he says. The contract was already within the terms and just was missing the signature. He said yes, but nothing happened at the end. Floyd never signed anything. I'm tired of being accessible to fight him, since he never was real in what he was talking. The truth is he does not want to fight me. I will continue doing my own history.
Floyd is a perfect 43-0 inside the boxing ring for his pro career, but he's yet to fight Pacquiao, and his decision not to has led to a wealth of criticism, and rightfully so.
Mayweather has accumulated millions of dollars over the course of his boxing career, provoking the question most everyone is asking: If you're the best, why not prove it? It shouldn't matter how much the opposing fighter is making, it should be about legitimizing a boxing legacy.
If Mayweather is worried more about his wallet than his legacy, then it makes sense to navigate through and around the big-time bouts. Win more fights, keep the record unblemished and add to the bank account. Otherwise, Money is risking one of the sport's most remarkable legacies, by opting to leave vital questions unanswered.
Although many experts believe Floyd, using his superior defense and movement, would beat Pacquiao in a 12-round mega fight, how can we ever know for sure?
Mayweather may be content to let his record speak for itself, but it doesn't tell the entire story when it comes to his dominance. The bottom line is that Money hasn't proven he can beat the sport's best. That's why, at age 36, he must make a fight with one of boxing's top-flight fighters—and soon.
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