Another Kind of “Legacy” for Floyd and Manny

By Mike Silver on April 30, 2015
Another Kind of “Legacy” for Floyd and Manny
What if the two fighters were to contribute just one percent of their earnings for this fight?

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).

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  1. Joe Masterleo 05:19pm, 05/01/2015

    Sport is life in microcosm.  And nowhere is this more in evidence than in prime-time sports, particularly boxing.  Why?  It mirrors a trend in the American economy, whereby the rich are getting richer, and the ‘have nots’ are becoming more impoverished.  A man’s true wealth is the good that he does in this world for those less fortunate.  While on the one hand, gifting the weigh-in money is indeed a charitable gesture on behalf of both fighters.  On the other, it’s a mere pittance in proportion to the muti-gazillions each stands to make—the equivalent of the average person tossing pocket change to a panhandler.  It can also degrade those who receive it, harden those who dispense it, and/or soothe the latter’s conscience in to believing they have made a true heroic sacrifice.  Real charity is measured, not by the abundance of what a person gives, but by what they have left after giving.  Charity also begins at home.  That said, why don’t two of the most heralded boxers of our time invest in efforts to clean up the scandalous aspects of the sport that each has so richly gained from?

  2. Kid Blast 04:44pm, 05/01/2015

    Thanks Bill. I appreciate that but as you are my broker and fellow-capitalist, I would expect nothing less.

    Actually, I do get to vote for inductees. I view it as quite an honor and one that I take very seriously..

  3. Dollarbond 04:41pm, 05/01/2015

    Ted, great points.  Do you get to vote on new inductees to the boxing Hall of Fame?

  4. Kid Blast 04:27pm, 05/01/2015

    Leigh, I’ll regift it for $10. LOL

  5. Mike Silver 03:06pm, 05/01/2015

    Thanks for the comments guys. Leigh: Not anymore. “The Arc of Boxing” kindle edition is only $ 9.99. Also, my book is now out in paperback at $ 22.50, or less on the secondary market. So no more excuses!

  6. jesse 07:52am, 05/01/2015

    Great piece! couldn’t agree more.  Thanks Mike

  7. Kid Blast 07:47am, 05/01/2015

    I should add that as for the unfairness in boxing, no one has been more of a reformer than yours truly, but I also acknowledge the hypocrisy of accepting the “kudos” that come from writing about it. If we really believed that boxing is so unfair, we should stop following it. It’s a love -hate thing or, as Robert puts it, a guilty pleasure. My love for it out balances my hate but not by much.

    That is all

  8. Kid Blast 07:37am, 05/01/2015

    Mike, unfortunately that’s the way things work in our kind of socio-economic society. Some. like Gates and Buffet (and Teddy Atlas), give back. But for the most part, that kind of thing is not ingrained in “capitalism.” There is a “you earn it. you keep it” mentality and boxing is perhaps the greatest example of this. The underbelly of Boxing has never been known for its moral fiber or charitable propensities. And the structure and contractual relationships in the sport also make it difficult to address this problem   The RBF and Ring 10 in NYC are among several that do, in fact, do something and wouldn’t it be great if some of the proceeds went to organizations like them? But don’t hold your breath. All we can do is write about it and hope for the best. Nicely done,

  9. Bobby Franklin 04:38am, 05/01/2015

    Mike, What you have written so eloquently about is long overdue. For years a few people have been making a fortune off of boxing while the vast majority of participants end up with nothing and often worse. Talk about helping fighters in need comes up every once in a while, usually after a tragedy, but nothing is ever done about. These insane sanctioning fees (bribery) that are paid don’t help the people who have been hurt by the sport.
    Boxing has its own “One Percent”, those very few who make it big, but when they do they really cash in. The promoters and TV people make a fortune as well. It is time they took some responsibility for those who end up with nothing.
    I hope your article is read by all boxing people, and that your message gets across. It is long past time that those in boxing, those who have become staggeringly rich from it, step up and help those in need.
    Thank you for writing this, and I hope your words get something started.

  10. Leigh 01:09am, 05/01/2015

    I don’t know about legacy ,but you need a fight purse to buy the book the arc of boxing Jesus it cost a friggin fortune .

  11. Dranreb Datsboygym 11:03pm, 04/30/2015

    IF PACQUIAO beat FLOYD convincingly…enough for MANNY to surpassed the greatness legendary status both of ALI and SUGAR RAY ROBINSON respectively…PACQUIAO is set to break his BOXING history record as the first ever 4TH LINEAL world title belt champ he will become the first ever 5TH LINEAL WORLD CHAMPION IN 8TH DIVISIONs and 13 world title belts championships that has no other HUMAN BEING on this planet EARTH did before…also, PACQUIAO is destined to become the ASIAs first ever UNDISPUTED WORLD CHAMP!!!  first active world champ to become a POLITICIAN mannyS RECORDS WAS SO DIFFICULT TO ACCOMPLISHED UNLESS YOURE AN alien….or unless your KEVIN IOLE whose character was soooo ENVIOUS in regards of what the PAC has achieved.

  12. Eric 06:08pm, 04/30/2015

    “Charity begins at home.” I wish more Americans felt this way. Seems like a great deal of Americans would rather help people thousands of miles away instead of helping people right here in America.

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