Now that Floyd Mayweather has started to think about his legacy, he knows that no matter what the ultimate result of his fight with Canelo Alvarez is, he wins in the end.
In the event Mayweather outlasts Alvarez and wins the decision, he looks great. He will have taken out an undefeated challenger who's 13 years his junior.
This isn't a Robert Guerrero scenario, where everybody can see through the hype that Mayweather is worlds above his opponent. Alvarez is one of the best in his weight class and is in the prime of his career.
If Mayweather can win, he will have gotten one of the biggest victories of his career.
Not to mention that fat payout (h/t ESPN's Dan Rafael).
Even in a loss to Alvarez, Mayweather will be able to somewhat disprove what has been one of the biggest knocks on his career: He's ducked some of his toughest potential opponents in the past. Now he can say, "You think I duck guys? Well here you go. I fought one of the best junior middleweights in the world when I was 36. I wasn't afraid to lose then."
It's not going to silence all of the critics, but it's a good start.
Would Mayweather's legacy diminish with a loss to Alvarez?
Part of the problem for Mayweather is down to just having a much weaker pool of talent around him. Boxing isn't as popular as it was in the 1960s thorough the early '90s. Fans are turning away, and potential stars are turning to mixed martial arts or a team sport like football and basketball.
There is no doubt that Mayweather's camp has scheduled some easier opponents in order to pad that record. That's no different than any other fighter before him. You don't win as many fights and titles as Money May by being a paper champion.
Some might wonder why at 36 years old, Mayweather would decide to take a fight like this. He's got an undefeated record. Hasn't he done enough to prove himself?
That's kinda the point. Money May has done so much already in his career that nothing he does from here on out will have a huge effect. His longevity has demonstrated just how classy a fighter he is in the ring. He can go and lose his next 10 fights and still remain one of the best of his era.
When people think about the careers of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Evander Holyfield, Thomas Hearns and Mike Tyson, they don't immediately jump to how they end. Fans think about those boxers being in their prime, and they'll do the same with Mayweather.
No sane boxing fan will be using a loss to Alvarez as a stick to beat over the head of Money May. There's no shame in losing to a guy who's over a decade younger than you and one of the best in the world.
We should all know by now that Mayweather is too smart to put himself in a position where he's not going to win somehow.