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In 2006, Floyd Mayweather was hyped to face Zab Judah.
Both were still highly-respectable fighters. They were considered the best boxing had to offer until one of them suffered an embarrassing defeat.
Judah lost to Carlos Baldomir in January 2006.
The fight with Mayweather went on as scheduled during April of that year, but the money suffered as a result.
Mayweather's $6-million guarantee went down to $5 million and Judah's $3 million went down to $1 million.
The profits suffered, but Mayweather fought and won.
A memorable interview with Brian Kenny shows Kenny criticizing Mayweather for fighting Judah first instead of Baldomir.
Baldomir is an unheralded opponent, but the Judah victory allows Kenny to accuse Mayweather of dodging the fight to face a losing Judah.
Mayweather would go on to fight Baldomir and win, yet he was still criticized for not facing a top welterweight opponent.
Mayweather defeated De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton the following year and retired.
Critics point out that an undefeated Miguel Cotto and a tough Antonio Margarito were still left for Mayweather to defeat.
In Mayweather's absence, Manny Pacquiao defeated De La Hoya and Rick Hatton in sensational fashion. Mayweather returned to the ring almost two years later to dominate Juan Manuel Marquez, a Pacquiao rival.
Mayweather knew his opponent would draw comparisons to Pacquiao.
Mayweather knew the calls for a fight between himself and Pacquiao would grow deafening upon his return.
He came back anyway.
Is it the money?
That could be part of the reason, but Mayweather has enough money to not want to risk his undefeated record. What's really messing with Mayweather is that he's not respected as much as he perceives he should be.
More often than not, Mayweather can be heard in interviews talking about how he can't win no matter how many opponents he defeats.
He claims there will always be something wrong with his opponent.
The opponent is never considered good enough, whether they are too small, too old or, in the case of his latest opponent, too young and inexperienced.
Mayweather may face Pacquiao next year, betting that a victory against the pound-for-pound king will net him the massive critical acclaim he's always argued that his legacy deserves.
For now, Mayweather returns to face a young opponent in Victor Ortiz. Pacquiao and Khan are heavily rumored to be next in 2012.
This type of opposition, combined with his age, may spell disaster.
If he can beat all of them and retire without being lured back into the ring to face further rising stars, then more power to him.
The only problem is that so few boxing stars have been able to resist the temptation.
Roy Jones and Larry Holmes come immediately to mind. Will Mayweather join them in their decision to stay too long?
Unfortunately, he more likely than not will.