Is Floyd Mayweather tempting The Curse of Rocky Marciano in a potential bout with Conor McGregor?
By now many of you are aware that Conor McGregor is in Las Vegas this week to hash things out with the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding his UFC 202 pre-fight press conference bottle and can throwing incident. From there reports are that he then plans on sitting down with Floyd Mayweather and his team to discuss a potential bout, followed by a meeting with the UFC.
Putting the insane monetary figures aside for a moment, the biggest thing at stake for Floyd Mayweather in a bout with McGregor is his legacy. Currently, Mayweather sits at a flawless record of 49-0. Only one man in boxing is on par with Floyd in that regard – Rocky Marciano.
While many have gone undefeated for long periods of time before suffering their first loss, Julio Cesar Chavez was 87-0 before a draw with Pernell Whitaker and 89-0-1 before a loss to Frankie Randall, no one other than Floyd and Rocky have retired undefeated to lay claim to the greatest record of all-time. With one more win, Floyd will sit alone at 50-0, and the greatest record of all-time.
Something we’ve seen quite often in sports is the idea of curses. Baseball had one of the most famous curses with The Curse of the Bambino, which plagued the Botson Red Sox from 1918 all the way until 2004.
Boxing has its own curse, The Curse of Rocky Marciano. Many have come within a fight of tying or besting Marciano’s clean sheet of 49-0 in their careers. Some have had a draw or two in the mix, but nevertheless, racking up that 49th or 50th win against zero losses has proven to be quite elusive.
Consider the following victims:
Larry Holmes: Perhaps the biggest victim, Holmes was 48-0 and had 20 successful title defenses under his belt when he went up against Michael Spinks. Holmes lost a unanimous decision to Spinks, losing his titles and his shot at matching Marciano.
Paul Spadafora: Lost to John Perez after his 48th win.
Dariusz Michalczewski: Was 48-0 when he lost to Julio Cesar Gonzalez.
Chris John: John had 48 wins against no losses when he was stopped by Simpiwe Vetyeka.
Roy Jones Jr. gets an honorable mention as he was 49-1 before suffering his first real loss to Antonio Tarver. Jones’ lone blemish before that came from a questionable disqualification against Montell Griffin where he landed two shots after Griffin took a knee.
So here we are with Floyd Mayweather sitting at a perfect 49-0. While most believe that Floyd wouldn’t have a problem outboxing McGregor on his way to the 50th win of his career, it’s the fact that it’s a fight that has very little upside for Mayweather that makes the Curse so intriguing.
Yes, there is heavy monetary upside to this fight for both sides. But Mayweather is very aware of his legacy and has every intention of going down in history as the greatest boxer of all-time. An unblemished record would pretty much solidify that.
When you’re talking about a sport where a single punch can change the outcome of a fight, and in some cases history, you have to wonder if this is the best move for Floyd from a legacy standpoint.
He’s facing a guy with a napalm-like left hand that has just about flattened everyone in his respective divisions. Sure we’re talking about heavier gloves in boxing, but precision does matter, and Conor is as accurate as they come.
A win by Floyd and many will say that’s what he was suppose to do. And possibly say that while he’s 50-0, the 50th win coming against a non-boxer could lessen the impact of the moment a bit. But in the event Floyd were to lose, his legacy and his whole persona may never be able to recover.
So is Floyd Mayweather tempting The Curse of Rocky Marciano in his search for a fight with Conor McGregor?