Floyd Mayweather and Boxing’s Millennial Generation

By Cheekay Brandon on December 30, 2013
Floyd Mayweather and Boxing’s Millennial Generation
No fighter has spun our era, this epoch in their favor better than Floyd Mayweather Jr.

One might argue, in fact, that boxing’s individualistic nature and history of colorful characters were a sitting duck for millennial influence…

In the spring of 2011, a news story broke about how Rutgers University paid Jersey Shore star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi $2000 more for a campus visit than they were paying Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison for her 2011 commencement address. That a celebrity commands more for a public speaking event than a literary figure shouldn’t surprise anyone, and wasn’t the detail that made it newsworthy. What stood out was that Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi isn’t famous for a hit record, or because of her acting, or even because she’s particularly attractive. The source of her fame—the hit reality television show ‘Jersey Shore’—is televised debauchery, public displays of post-adolescent irresponsibility. Many see her as a beneficiary (or victim) of the “famous for being famous” phenomenon, supposedly an epidemic among young people born between 1980 and 1996, the so-called “millennial generation.” 

Polizzi might be applauded for turning her five minutes of fame into a lucrative career. We can’t pretend to know her personally, and should view her success as the result of a savvy young person seizing an opportunity. She is, however, synonymous with the mechanism driving the fame machine of many young people today, the product of an allegedly hyper-narcissistic, attention-starved and delusional generation. What sounds like a standard older-folks pile-on actually has evidence to support it, and manifests in many arenas: the professional world, relationships, and popular culture. 

Always a microcosm for society, the sports world has been forever changed by millennial culture. A generation obsessed with attention loves to make soap operas out of sports figures like never before. While Michael Jordan’s surly personality was transparent to those who studied him closely, he played in an era when faults were relatively easy to mask. Lebron James, on the other hand, has a public persona that has consistently swung on a popularity pendulum between beloved and villain, the public’s addiction to narratives partly the culprit.

Boxing is no different. One might argue, in fact, that boxing’s individualistic nature and history of colorful characters were a sitting duck for millennial influence. 

Imagine, will you, Muhammad Ali with a Twitter account, able to post a new poem every week. 

Imagine Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns or Roberto Duran caustically taunting opponents on YouTube.

Picture “Iron” Mike Tyson’s Instagram account: the snapshot photos of him at his mansion parties, posing in front of every one of his cars (100 in number, says the folklore).

If you are wincing at the thoughts (and most of you probably are), remember that all of the above would absolutely be the case if the times were rearranged. This is because the attention-mongering ethic of millennials is lucrative business. With several million Twitter followers, Muhammad Ali’s fights would be in even greater demand. A soft drink company could sponsor Roberto Duran’s YouTube rants. A luxury automobile company would pay young Mike Tyson to feature their automobile in his next Instagram photo. And while boxing has always been a business, no fighter (or athlete) has made mastered this epoch, spun it in their favor better than Floyd Mayweather Jr. 

While Floyd Mayweather Jr. was technically born on the tail end of Generation X (1977), his understanding of millennial culture is the engine behind his rise to best compensated boxer in the history of the sport. While his ascent to mogul status has been well documented, everything changes when you reflect on his decisions through the prism of millennial culture. Mayweather has only been a megastar for six or seven years, during the time when Facebook and Twitter were born and raised. In 2006, Mayweather had none of the following of Oscar De La Hoya or other boxing stars. He lacked any of the essential superstar elements: (a) presence in the heavyweight division, (b) knockout power (c) membership in a nationalistic ethnic or geographic group.

Even more troubling for his star potential was the fact that Mayweather was widely understood to be a sensitive, perceptive, overall nice guy who could talk smack before fights but was always gracious and friendly with opponents after fights. It’s safe to say that prior to 2006, Mayweather had far more friends than enemies in boxing. 

With intentions on moving up in weight (which almost always diminishes punching power), and no ways to switch ethnic groups overnight, Mayweather took on the villain role. Gone was the “Pretty Boy” Floyd moniker, replaced by the smug “Money” Mayweather. And everyone fell for it—for over half a decade, the boxing community has hissed and fussed and called him names, nitpicked his opponents, criticized his antics. Mayweather responded with victory after victory, laughing all the way to the bank.

And other fighters were watching. The twitter accounts exploded, the reality TV style videos propagated. The strategy grew a tail, and the attention mongering grew exponentially. Fighters like Paulie Malignaggi, a good fighter, used his Italian-ness, Brooklyn-ness, fashion flair and witty persona to build the celebrity of a great fighter (despite being one of the most technical, least powerful punchers in all of boxing).

The millennial era has created a need for a more attentive, more responsible boxing scholar. The puzzling response to Adrien Broner’s December 2013 loss to Marcos Maidana, for example, exposed a titanic gap in understanding between the public and the millennial-era fighter. I’m not sure who profits from this gap more—like professional wrestling, ignorance is bliss, and believing everything you read and hear (in this case, Broner’s deplorable internet behavior) makes the sport more entertaining. And while no fighter likes being defeated, Adrien Broner’s promotion team must revel in the fact that his loss caused such euphoria—Broner’s millennial-era antics worked in creating a bankable star, even in defeat.

In the end, boxing writers and fans can feel however they want—if they can’t resist the urge to loathe a fighter based on their social media behavior and manufactured attention mongering, good for them. But to those of us who understand the times in which we are embedded, a different approach is more prudent: focus on the sport and let the antics, for the most part, occupy a different neural niche. The antics can make us shudder or smile, but they are so essential to fame building that we can almost never separate fact from fiction, genuine from contrived. 

Such a perspective doesn’t make us morally bankrupt, but rather, familiar with the age we’re in, when the ability to attract attention is essential to creating wealth, fame, and superstardom. And this fact of millennial-era life applies to the talentless, the gifted but unproven, and legends just the same.


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  1. Ted 11:12am, 01/01/2014

    Yes, hot Jersey Shore blondes were great indeed. Those were the days. We would go to that diner with the initials and have breakfast to rid ourselves of the hangovers. Great way to break up the NYC week of work. thankfully, there were no gum chewing, disgusting, fat, snookies to make me vomit—or if there were, I can’t remember them.

    If she is the NEW, then I am indeed Old School.

  2. peter 08:16am, 01/01/2014

    @ Ted—Wow! ...“THE JERSEY SHORE IN MANASQUAN…PLEASANT MEMORIES OF THE OSPREY…” Yes, indeed! You bring back a very pleasant memory—picking up a very hot blonde and bringing her home for the night…And the not so hot memory was another night—me meeting Jimmy Gillio’s older brother outside on the street and being challenged to a street fight 4 years after I beat his brother in the ring.

  3. Pete The Sneak 06:22pm, 12/31/2013

    Irish Frankie, fortunately for me, the only pre-requisite for passing summer school in the South Bronx, NY at the time was that we just show up everyday. I always had perfect attendance…LOL..Happy New year to all!!..Peace.

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 04:38pm, 12/31/2013

    Pete the Sneak-Looks like you were one of the ones who stayed in your seat in Summer School and wasn’t roaming the halls like me…probably turned your work in on time too…anyway great incite once again!

  5. Cheekay Brandon 09:35am, 12/31/2013

    Pete-

    Utmost respect. I definitely understand that angle.

     

  6. Pete The Sneak 09:31am, 12/31/2013

    “I thought the Maidana-Broner fight was a great opportunity to talk about redemption, the power of technical adjustments, the benefit of being a veteran, the naivete involved with leaping weight classes, how handspeed translates from 135-147, the lost art of body punching, etc.”

    Cheekay, if the above (extremely sensible and astute thought) would have happened immediately after the Broner fight, then I would have been the one not only puzzled, but shocked…LOL..Again, I don’t disagree with the premise of your write up (which I may remind everyone again is about Floyd, Jr.), it’s just your being surprised that adult, hard core boxing fans would delve to such low depths in regards to their negative commentary about Broner that I am questioning. Boxing, aside from being physical is an extremely emotional sport. Broner (due to his Millennial-era social media mastery) provokes this sort of response worldwide. I think it’s more of you (Cheekay Brandon) being able to be professional enough to keep your own boxing emotions in check better than most when it comes to these type things and stick to the subject at hand. For that I say, Respect!...But not every adult, hard core Boxing fan is like that, as has clearly been proven…Peace.

  7. Ted 09:13am, 12/31/2013

    Yes, I know it is.

    SNOOKIE IS PROFUNDO DISGUSTO BUT PROBABLY HAS A DECENT BANK ACCOUNT.I USED TO HANG AT THE JERSEY SHORE IN MANASQUAN AND SHE DEFILES MY PLEASANT MEMORIES OF THE OSPREY AND SHAPELY TANNED CHICKS. PITY THAT.

    BieBER IS HIGH CAMP. AND FLOYD USING HIM (AND BIEBER USING FLOYD) IS WHAT THIS ARTICLE IS ALL ABOUT.

  8. Cheekay Brandon 09:03am, 12/31/2013

    Ted-

    Always appreciate your insight.

    To this point, quickly (regarding Broner’s over-the-top behavior)-
    “It will help him with his bank account but will not get him any intrinsic respect.”

    Yes. And this is a fundamental characteristic of millennials: apparently “intrinsic respect” doesn’t mean very much to them. 

    I would recommend that you watch an episode of ‘Jersey Shore’ for reference, but I have too much respect for you. The entire phenomenon is built around celebrating over-the-top behavior. Like I said, this really is the way it works.

  9. Cheekay Brandon 08:57am, 12/31/2013

    CG-

    Aha! Now we’re getting somewhere! If we just disagree on how to address it, I’m fine with that.

    Because, in my opinion,  “raging against” Broner only worsens “the problem.”

    I take the dismissive approach: he’s an annoying kid. If he was better at his job, I’d pay him more attention. He fights flat-footed, and skipped weight classes too soon.  All the other stuff is pandering to get me to care about someone that I shouldn’t.

    Same for Bieber. Same for Cyrus. Same for “Snooki”

    (I must say: the Bieber comparison is the best one, because both Bieber and Broner are actually good at something. Bieber can actually sing; Broner can actually box. Neither, however, are famous for their ability to sing or box, but instead because of their ability to attention-monger)

  10. Ted 08:50am, 12/31/2013

    I think Broner’s behavior is atypical. What is generational is the attempt to gain publicity by any means necessary using new communicative techniques. Miley’s tongue is borderline ok; Broner on the toilet seat is not. And while making himself a villain may fit someone’s new business model, it should be done with more finesse and less disgusting behavior.  This kid went over the top. It will help him with his bank account but will not get him any intrinsic respect.

    Still, you either embrace change, resist change, or ignore it. Broner has engaged the first but in a way that makes me ignore him.

  11. Clarence George 08:40am, 12/31/2013

    Agree, CB, that Broner’s egregious behavior is at least to some extent generational (as well as cultural).  All the more reason to, as Dylan Thomas put it, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

  12. Cheekay Brandon 08:33am, 12/31/2013

    CG-

    “I disagree, Cheekay, with “understanding does entail accepting.”  No, it doesn’t; anyway, it shouldn’t.  Maybe a guy beats up women because he saw his father beat his mother.  I understand…but I sure as hell don’t accept.”

    Well, let’s both acknowledge that we’re talking about something far getter now, but I’ll bite on your analogy:

    Understanding the connection between exposure to exposure to domestic violence and domestic abuse later in life does not excuse a domestic abuser.  You do, however, have to accept that the connection is true, because it *is* true. 

    Again: that Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus behave like Adrien Broner doesn’t make Adrien Broner (or any of them) any less annoying. But we should accept that this behavior is generational, is the product of the times, and is effective (in all of their cases).

  13. Cheekay Brandon 08:25am, 12/31/2013

    Dear Mr. Schmidt-

    Your response vindicates the entire process, thank you very much.  I have no problem with disagreement. I think the issues have been in the “getting,” of my point, which isn’t a black/white one (people seem to think that I am defending Broner, or even like him. Neither are close to true).

    I’ve been beating this drum for years: nothing is going to change in boxing until hype is attributed to the right fighters. We *all* (me included) love a good story. I never denied that, will never deny it (also note that I write book reviews for boxing.com, in large part because I love reading about these stories).

    The problem is that this generation has spun that need for stories into a gimmick, and its working. The best way to undermine it? Stop talking about the gimmicks, or at least don’t make them the *entire* focus of our boxing opinions.

  14. Clarence George 08:17am, 12/31/2013

    I disagree, Cheekay, with “understanding does entail accepting.”  No, it doesn’t; anyway, it shouldn’t.  Maybe a guy beats up women because he saw his father beat his mother.  I understand…but I sure as hell don’t accept. 

  15. Mike Schmidt 08:15am, 12/31/2013

    Cheekay I was very clear to mention- I “get” the article. I think it is so finely drawn that it has drawn some in fine fashion in the wrong way.  But I do thank you in response- I get it!! I have to accept the Broner media times, the Snookee’s, the Honey booboo or baby or whatever the fuck it is or was, for it clearly takes place- ill behaviour begot of financial reward- the fact that it takes place clearly one has to accept it- the actual behaviour - nahhh I don’t accept that- the kid is a jerk, and an overrated one at that -( shame on The Ring Mag putting him on the front page with the hype “future of boxing??” thing. Angel Garcia had every right to be pissed on that one) and I will have more on that on my soon coming PostCard from San Antonio and I clearly, as per posts in the past, have no like of either HBO or Showtime when they showcase this type of thing- shame on them when there are so many talented class acts out there to move ahead- and let us not kid ourselves on that level either- none of these guys are worth spit in present day boxing economies without the big HBO, Showtime build up ( at least in an American context).- By the by- look at the Kitchgee brothers over in Europe- huge dinero, and nothing but class acts- well spoken, highly educated, multilingual. Keep em coming Sir- and as some joker named Stephen King often says- writing is a tough business- you will get folks killing you with criticism - they read your article!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Cheekay Brandon 08:07am, 12/31/2013

    Magoon-

    Cute-

    Now we’ve descended into outright lying:

    “Fans shouldn’t object to Broner’s bad behavior because he’s a product of his time and because he uses social media to get across what a shithead he is? “


    Lol—well, no, I actually said nothing of the sort.  Scroll up and read for reference.


    There are two ironies here: (a) I’ve been more critical of Broner the *boxer* than most and (b) I dislike the behavior as much as the next man. That his behavior is “the product of the times” doesn’t make it *okay*. It does make it what it is, though—engineered and little else. The difference between me (and apparently 90% of the boxing world) is that I have the (magical) ability to form my opinions based on the actual sport.

    : - )

  17. Cheekay Brandon 08:06am, 12/31/2013

    Pete-

    Thanks for that.

    I think your still missing something very basic-

    I’m not puzzled at Broner’s tactics are working. As you alluded to, that I wrote this piece underscores that I’m the opposite of puzzled.

    What puzzles me is the extent to which his tactics have bamboozled *grown ups* and boxing aficionados who, in my opinion, should know better.  Further, I’m puzzled by the extent to which Broner’s hair brushing and rapping have influenced the way that we (aficionados) discuss his *boxing*. 
    (again: check my past work on this site—I’ve been one of the most vocal critics of his technical skills).

    I thought the Maidana-Broner fight was a great opportunity to talk about redemption, the power of technical adjustments, the benefit of being a veteran, the naivete involved with leaping weight classes, how handspeed translates from 135-147, the lost art of body punching, etc.

    I got very little of that. I got soap opera talk, racial commentary, social critique, again, from people who are intelligent enough to know better.

    That *is* puzzling.

     


    To this: “But they have not “mastered the social media nor have demonstrated the petulant millinneal behavior’’ to the heights to which Broner has done. And as a result, thus the overwhelming attention and mostly joyous commentary from boxing fans world wide. If you’ve mastered and manipulated the social media thing to the extent and the manner in which Broner has, don’t you think he’ll get more play and negative feedback on his loss as a result of it? It works both ways. So again, your puzzlement as to why all the mostly negative Broner commentary confuses me, when you yourself make it obviously clear that he is a master of putting himself out there in the most absurd, obnoxious and disrespectful behavior possible. But I digress, as you said, everyone can feel how they want….Peace.

  18. Cheekay Brandon 07:56am, 12/31/2013

    Mr. Schmidt-

    Completely respect and appreciate your perspective. I’m not a fan of the times either. Not being fan of the times doesn’t, however, mean that we shouldn’t try to understand them.

    I think that is what are people are missing: understanding is not excusing. But understanding does entail accepting.

  19. Cheekay Brandon 07:50am, 12/31/2013

    Cute-

    Now we’ve descended into outright lying:

    “Fans shouldn’t object to Broner’s bad behavior because he’s a product of his time and because he uses social media to get across what a shithead he is? “

    Lol—well, no, I actually said nothing of the sort.  Scroll up and read for reference.

    There are two ironies here: (a) I’ve been more critical of Broner the *boxer* than most and (b) I dislike the behavior as much as the next man. That his behavior is “the product of the times” doesn’t make it *okay*. It does make it what it is, though—engineered and little else. The difference between me (and apparently 90% of the boxing world) is that I have the (magical) ability to form my opinions based on the actual sport. 

    : - )

    But like I said—“good for you.”

  20. Mike Schmidt 07:39am, 12/31/2013

    Better said than I in oh so many ways Jim Crue and don’t even get me started on these stupid stare down weigh in things- face to face, throat to throat, head to head. We had a fighter down in Panama that walked up like he was going to do the stare down and then dismissively waived his hand at the ring announcer and walked away- for that I still laugh!!!!  And none of this is to be disparaging of Cheekay’s article- I get it Sir- I just don’t particularly like the time’s we are living, as to certain social contexts, and in as it relates to reward of ill behaviour- and I see it everyday- no thank you’s for helpful efforts over the call of duty, nobody holding a door open for anybody, people butting into lines, trash reality T.V shows that have little or no talent base, a segment of rappers ( SEGMENT- there was an excellent radio show out of New York a while back where some main stream rappers where very critical of some of there counterparts lyrics and behaviour) who portray gun fights, shootings, rape in grand fashion.. we could go on and on.

  21. Magoon 07:30am, 12/31/2013

    I don’t understand what’s troubling Mr. Brandon. Fans shouldn’t object to Broner’s bad behavior because he’s a product of his time and because he uses social media to get across what a shithead he is? There are other boxers of the same generation, most of whom have Twitter accounts of their own, who don’t dishonor themselves or the sport. Mr. Brandon also argues that we should focus exclusively on Broner as boxer. Why? Bill Tilden was one of the greatest tennis players of all time, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be influenced by his interest in underage boys. And Broner isn’t one of the great boxers of all time ... or of his time ... or of any time. At least Roberto Duran, who could occasionally behave like a creep, was among the truly great. Broner doesn’t have that buffer. He doesn’t have anything except for Mr. Brandon’s undeserved and misguided (however well-intentioned) efforts on his behalf.

  22. Mike Schmidt 07:28am, 12/31/2013

    In the end result it is a slippery slope to equate the measure of one’s quality by the dinero they earn, or in the Broner case, the dinero earned clearly does not equate to the quality performed. For most ringside that night the overwhelming consensus was that if he had been in the ring with his counterpart WBA Welter belt holder, Thurman, he probably would have been stretched inside of four rounds. Ant there is a boxer, gents, that deserves attention and is doing his talking in the ring big time. No twitter tweeting for Keith Thurman. Adios

  23. Jim Crue 07:28am, 12/31/2013

    The fact that these people, fighters and entertainers, with their “shock” behavior get so much attention says something about society and I guess it says I’m old because all of it makes me ill. From the pre fight tussles and name calling to Michael Buffer who now is required to introduce the fighter BEFORE they enter the ring and then we have to listen to his BS when he introduces them again. I turn the sound off so I don’t have to listen to his “Get ready to rumble” crap. It’s not a rumble it’s boxing.
    The great Ray Robinson and most of the others when boxing was a major sport complimented their opponent to build the gate not degrade him. When Mickey Mantle hit a home run he ran the bases with his head down so as not to embarrass the pitcher.
    Ali stared the trash talk BS and showing off which he learned from the 1950’s wrestler Gorgeous George and it’s gotten much worse. As much as I liked Ali his behavior was boring and ignorant. Now it’s at an entirely different level.
    I don’t resist change but do not embrace it either. Some things are better left alone

  24. Pete The Sneak 07:18am, 12/31/2013

    Cheekay, all good points as to the other fighters you listed not getting the play Broner received on his loss. No doubt. But they have not “mastered the social media nor have demonstrated the petulant millinneal behavior’’ to the heights to which Broner has done. And as a result, thus the overwhelming attention and mostly joyous commentary from boxing fans world wide. If you’ve mastered and manipulated the social media thing to the extent and the manner in which Broner has, don’t you think he’ll get more play and negative feedback on his loss as a result of it? It works both ways. So again, your puzzlement as to why all the mostly negative Broner commentary confuses me, when you yourself make it obviously clear that he is a master of putting himself out there in the most absurd, obnoxious and disrespectful behavior possible. But I digress, as you said, everyone can feel how they want….Peace.

  25. Mike Schmidt 07:07am, 12/31/2013

    Perhaps as well Broner needs to act this way because his talent is not as advertised. As Paulli succinctly put it, he is not a top of the level Welter, (not a Manny, not a Floyd, not a Bradley) he is just below that, and there is nothing wrong with that, but he is not top end. He lost to a guy in Chino, as lovely and as inspiring a punch out that it was, who in turn had his hands full amongst others, by Khan.

  26. Mike Schmidt 06:59am, 12/31/2013

    It is hard to separate the in ring fighter from the out of ring fighter and it rarely is done. Would we choose to forget Ali’s wartime stance ( whether one agrees or disagrees), would we separate and ignore Joe Louis’s war time efforts, Mancini and Alex Arguello outside the ring class etc etc. No, I’ am afraid young Broner got to own the hate on and happiness of many in loss. And his in ring antics during and post fight in total lack of class and respect of opponents is an entirely other item. I would say this as well. The fight itself was a great promotion and atmosphere by Jesse J. and company ( truly class acts and good guys) but lets not get carried away on where Broner is on the star appeal food chain- a) This was originally supposed to be a pay-per-view at MGM and got busted b) The undercard was stellar, absolutely stellar, and yet, with all the supporting cast, it was 11,200 fans and a lot of that was “papered” ringside and about. “... the ability to attract attention is ESSENTIAL to creating wealth, fame, and superstardom.” ( hmmm perhaps in the sporting world more so- I would lay some good money down that most people would not have a clue if I chimed off the names of the back end of this years Forbes 500) I guess the point for this guy is HOW you attract attention. Look at a guy like NBA leading scorer Kevin Durant- class act- hell the kid peddles his bike to work!!! Guys like Boom Boom and Alexis, guys like Golovkin, Ward, earn there’s in a more socially, sporting, and class way. Broner’s coming in over weight in a title fight and paying his way to go ahead on it, his after fight antics in the ring, his being a father to various children ( don’t know how many he has) and then letting the soft porn thing out, his disrespect of a huge number of people suffering deep financial stress by the play shitting money down the terlet….well I think Paulli Mag. had it about right…“the guy created this thing and now he has to own it.” By the by, he gets his ass handed to him by Chino and now suddenly we get to here the “he stepped up in weight to fast” from various world wide posts. He steps down to 140 , based on what I saw ringside, and fights Danny Garcia and he is going to get thumped again. Also, and somebody posted on this- what other item is of importance on his out of ring antics- his summer long “Band Camp” rap tour saw him bloat up in weight- the guy looked 175- hard on the body, hard to condition, and just not very responsible- If this kid does not change his tune in a hurry he will be a very fast flaming star if not already. One other note- he took a severe beating in this fight- it was astounding the shots he took, body and head- he is a tough fucking kid but this is the kind of beating that can set a fighter back substantially. I would hazard he took more shots in one fight than Floyd has in the bulk of his career ( save and accept a few highlighters, Zab, Cotto, etc etc)

  27. Cheekay Brandon 06:52am, 12/31/2013

    “Its human nature to root for the good guy and boo for the bad guy. Nothing puzzling about that.”

    Lol.

    Oh dear.

    Not only is this false (hundreds of years of literature and drama have toyed with this very concept), one could also argue that its human nature to question why we believe some people are “good” and some people are “bad.” 

    But again: you can feel however you want to. And “good for you.”

     

  28. Cheekay Brandon 06:48am, 12/31/2013

    Pete-

    Let’s list a handful of fighters more accomplished than Adrien Broner that lost in the last 6 months: Lamont Petersen, Devon Alexander, Chad Dawson, Juan Manuel Marquez, several others (several of them lost with a *month* of Broner).

    All are better fighters. All are more accomplished.  Very few were discussed here or elsewhere.  Boxing fans had detailed opinions on almost none of them. And few of those losses made anyone’s day.

    Why?  Because of Broner’s mastery of social media, his petulant millennial behavior on display.  Its also made him *wealthier* than most of the fighters we mentioned (especially considering stage of career; Broner is making more at 23 than Mayweather was). Its not a Broner thing, it’s a generational thing: from Bieber, to Miley Cyrus, to Broner: all are nearly the same age, all have mastered shock behavior to lucrative financial ends.  I find that puzzling (and fascinating).  You can feel however you want; like I said in the piece, “good for them.”

  29. Rick 06:33am, 12/31/2013

    It’s human nature to root for the good guy and boo for the bad guy. Nothing puzzling about that. Makes no difference if you were born in 1985 or 1925. And you claim that people are supporting Mayweather or Broner or whoever by just making an offhand comment or watching a 24/7 or whatever but I imagine the majority of boxing fans, myself included, have never nor will ever contribute where it counts. Monetarily.

  30. Pete The Sneak 06:30am, 12/31/2013

    Cheekay, was totally loving this article until you again mentioned your puzzlement over fans being overjoyed by Broner’s beatdown…. like Rick & The Tache I too am puzzled as to your puzzlement ..Makes me no never mind if he makes a bundle of money on my being happy he got his millennial-era ass kicked, such is sports. But when a guy who goes out of his way to portray himself a true A-Hole, in and out of the sport and then that self-made, millennial-era A-Hole gets his ass handed to him, you honestly think the majority of fans will separate that behavior and just concentrate on the sport and not celebrate this big mouth A-Hole’s ass whooping? As Rick said, that’s going against human nature…As to why Broner is being spoken of more in this thread than your title article, that being Mayweather? It’s because Broner just lost. Yes, it’s still big news. Did he (Broner) overshadow FMJ in this instance? Yes, he did. Did he succeed in getting everyone’s attention and getting paid? Absolutely! Props to Broner for using the tools of the Millennial Generation to build himself up like an A-Hole and make himself relevant and paid. We get it!  But when he gets his ass handed to him in the ring and the majority of fans are happy the self made A-Hole has been shut up (at least for now), what is so puzzling about that? I don’t know, maybe I’m the one who needs to learn more about human nature…Oh well, Happy New Year to all!!...Peace.

  31. Cheekay Brandon 04:31am, 12/31/2013

    As to this:
    “Also I’d be willing to bet that most all of the people that had you so shocked and disappointed in over their comments on Robert’s piece about Broner’s loss are far from millennials.”

    Not even sure what you’re talking about, and Robert’s piece was hardly the only place where people were giddy over the Broner loss.

    I’d also like to highlight a checkmate: most of the responses here have focused on Broner, which proves the central point—his antics have made him more popular, more present in discussions, and wealthier than he deserves (the piece focuses far more on Mayweather than Broner).

    Have a safe and Happy New Year, everyone-

  32. Cheekay Brandon 04:15am, 12/31/2013

    Rick-

    Like I said:

    “In the end, boxing writers and fans can feel however they want—if they can’t resist the urge to loathe a fighter based on their social media behavior and manufactured attention mongering, good for them.”

    I honestly feel that way.  You cry when Broner wins, are euphoric when he loses. That seems to work for you, and Team Broner appreciates your support.

    Me, on the other hand, don’t find him to be a particularly interesting fighter. He has poor footwork and lateral movement, and isn’t nearly quick enough to be that inactive. And skipping a weight class the way he did was poor management.  That interests me more.

    And I’d love to learn a few things about “human nature” whenever you time to spare. 

    In the meantime, have a safe and Happy New Year

  33. Rick 11:08pm, 12/30/2013

    Also I’d be willing to bet that most all of the people that had you so shocked and disappointed in over their comments on Robert’s piece about Broner’s loss are far from millennials. Many of which happen to be your colleagues. I find your response the only one that’s puzzling. It’s as if you don’t have a clue about human nature.

  34. Rick 11:00pm, 12/30/2013

    The only one that seems puzzled by the response to Broner’s loss is yourself. It’s really very simple. The guy acts like an ass inside and outside the ring. I’ve yet to watch any of his escapades on the internet but I’ve still seen and heard more than enough to despise the cretin. His total lack of sportsmanship alone will have me rooting against him every time, not some video of him screwin a hooker.

  35. raxman 10:59pm, 12/30/2013

    nice job cheekay. i’ve got some fascinating points to make. i want to add and embellish your argument and throw down with my old mate clarence g - i even intend to work golovkin in to the debate and analyse the comparison between the triple beat no one adulation and the hip hop heel that is money may….. but its already 17.30 december 31st down here in oz. and the carlton draught is on tap f-f-f-flowing- its the jab that is setting up the smooth as silk dalwhinnie scotch that will take me out of this year.
    happy new year my boxing brethren, happy new year

  36. Cheekay Brandon 02:52pm, 12/30/2013

    To Fight Film Collector-

    Thank you. Very compelling insight.

    Alvarez benefits from his demographic; there are no fight fans more loyal, with as clear expectations as Mexican fight fans: fight like a warrior, and win while doing it.  I think he still runs the show, especially if the wheels fall of the Chavez Jr. train (which it very well might).  Broner is different—his popularity is more tied directly to millennial culture.  Like I’ve always said, he’s a lot more reality television than anything else.  His image took a blow, but he will earn several more paychecks off of it (with more 0s than his accomplishments have earned).

    Your Floyd point was spot on—he ran a *very* high-risk, high reward model.  Brilliantly, Floyd used the money to build money; he used his wealth as a gimmick to build more wealth.  Don’t know how you feel about him as a person or fighter, but he’s pulled it off perfectly.  I think the difference with Floyd is that he’s begun to win the fight enthusiasts over, as his career approaches its close.

  37. Cheekay Brandon 02:42pm, 12/30/2013

    Clarence George-
    To this:
    “As for the broader Internet argument…Maidana is of the same era as is his erstwhile opponent, but he didn’t waste his time online engaging in depraved and vulgar behavior. He went to the gym instead, and we all know what happened on December 14.”

    (a) And Maidana almost certainly earned less money, is less visible, and is less likely to command big money for a fight not including Floyd Mayweather.  That’s the point. You being upset enough to watch him fight again (which you will) rewards the behavior. If we felt as strongly about Andre Ward’s uppercut as we did Adrien Broner’s behavior, we wouldn’t have to deal with this “problem.”

    (b) Maidana might simply have won because he’s a better fighter. Strong-arming a connection between the victory and the behavior is where we start to sound archaic.  I’ve heard more people talk about Broner’s tweets than the fact that he arrogantly hopped weight classes far quicker than he should have.

  38. The Fight Film Collector 01:26pm, 12/30/2013

    Excellent insights indeed, Mr. Brandon.  And a great end of year subject.  I’d like to add that social media is very much a here and now experience.  Short term thinking and short term living.  Mr. Mayweather has exploited social media to its fullest and lowest common denominator, and all of it banking on the concept that an undefeated record (officially anyway) has profound meaning.  If he’s right, then a single loss will also have profound meaning.  It will be interesting to see how two other social media darlings, Canelo Alvarez and Adrian Broner, will fare having suffered their first losses after a wave of media hype.  Which will accept the loss like a man, as part of life?  Which will continue to search for manhood through the praise of others?

  39. Clarence George 01:02pm, 12/30/2013

    “And while no fighter likes being defeated, Adrien Broner’s promotion team must revel in the fact that his loss caused such euphoria—Broner’s millennial-era antics worked in creating a bankable star, even in defeat.”

    All respect in the world for CB, but I don’t know about that.  It would take one helluva beverage chef to make the lemon that was Maidana’s chastisement of Broner into anything remotely resembling lemonade…never mind a whiskey sour.

    As for the broader Internet argument…Maidana is of the same era as is his erstwhile opponent, but he didn’t waste his time online engaging in depraved and vulgar behavior.  He went to the gym instead, and we all know what happened on December 14.  Hmmm, there’s an Aesopian fable there somewhere.

    Mind you, I don’t want my boxers to be Little Lord Fauntleroys (as much as I admire Gene Tunney).  After all, who’s my favorite boxer?  Why, Tony Galento!  No one would describe him as genteel, Lord knows, but he was at heart a gentleman, eventually apologizing to Joe Louis for his appalling (if characteristically entertaining) behavior prior to their championship bout.  Moreover, he never called anyone’s mother a bitch or dry-humped an opponent in the ring.  What an idea!

    No, Broner can hide behind The Times They Are a-Changin’ argument all he wants…but he’d be a guttersnipe in any era.

  40. The Tache 12:23pm, 12/30/2013

    Why do you find the response to Broner losing puzzling?  Due to the way he presents himself it can’t be a surprise that most people wanted Maidana to win. Regardless of if his low class image is on purpose or not, if people think you’re a twat then they will want you to lose. Also, if you are going to play the pantomine villan role it helps if you can back up the talk. At least Mayweather can do that while he polarises opinion.

  41. nicolas 11:57am, 12/30/2013

    We are in the age of the internet. While it has had its benefits, it has had its negatives. I am in my 50’s now, and I know a guy my age, who claims that he has 20 million followers on Facebook. to say the least, I take that with a grain of salt. He only recently got a computer, and has not been on the internet for long.

  42. peter 11:20am, 12/30/2013

    Thank you for this thought-provoking article. Ray Charles, the great singer, once said, “I never wanted to be famous, I just wanted to be the best.” Somehow, that quote fits this article’s main theme. Media manipulation is just that—media manipulation. In time, “Snookie” will go down as a silly cartoon character and “Money” will perhaps go down as a great, but neither have the significance, respect, or will reach the heights of an Ali—media manipulation, or not. And I’m not even an Ali fan.

  43. Ted 09:36am, 12/30/2013

    Outstanding last paragraph

    We can resist change or we can embrace it, but in the end change will change

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