Another Kind of “Legacy” for Floyd and Manny
Let’s have the two greatest boxers in the game today set an example by showing the type of altruism that is both inspiring and necessary…
News reports have Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather each turning over 100 percent of their take from the weigh-in receipts to a charity of their choice. The 10,000 seat venue for the weigh-in is already sold out. Each ticket cost 10 dollars. That means 100,000 dollars in total receipts for an event that is usually free to the public. (The weigh-in will be televised Friday evening.) Manny will donate his half of the receipts, about fifty thousand, to the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Research. (Manny has been one of the sport’s most charitable champions ever.) Floyd is contributing his share to the Susan B. Komen for the Cure Foundation that raises funds for the treatment and research of breast cancer. I applaud both men for their contributions but each expects to earn over 100 million dollars for a fight that will be the greatest financial bonanza the sport has ever seen.
In all fairness I don’t know if Floyd or Manny are considering additional contributions from their windfall. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if just 1 or 2 percent from every pay-per-view boxing match earning over 25 million dollars (250 thousand minimum) would go towards helping the sport in some way? Charity begins at home and a boxing fund set up with this seed money could go towards research into brain trauma caused by boxing, or retraining and educating retired professional boxers who often have no marketable skills after they retire, or helping to alleviate their physical and financial suffering. It’s certainly better than having that money go into the pockets of the corrupt and self-serving “sanctioning organizations” who charge up to 3 percent of each boxer’s gross earnings for the “privilege” of fighting for an organization’s tin and plastic belt. For far too long these absurd quasi-official organizations have polluted and confused boxing’s schizoid landscape with hundreds of undeserving “champions” (about 100 at last count). They have done virtually nothing to help the sport except to line their pockets with lucrative sanctioning fees. I hope that Manny and Floyd refuse to give them the millions they will require in sanctioning fees for this fight. If the sport cannot rid itself of these leeches it is time to cap their fees to just cover the cost of hotel and airfare for their officials and it should come out of the promoters share, not the boxers’. Without their usual fees these organizations would quickly disappear. Just imagine if Manny and Floyd were to contribute just one percent of their earnings for this fight (about two million dollars) to a legitimate charity that would actually benefit the sport.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather has been very good for the sport. He often talks about his “legacy”. But whatever the outcome of this tremendous event taking place Saturday evening, there is another legacy beyond boxing that in the long run can impact far more people in their very own sport. Let’s have the two greatest boxers in the game today set an example by showing the type of altruism that is both inspiring and necessary. The gods of boxing will smile down upon them.
Boxing historian Mike Silver is the author of the The Arc of Boxing: The Rise and Decline of the Sweet Science (McFarland Publishers, 2008).