Mayweather legacy a numbers game: Holyfield

September 11, 2015

Should Floyd Mayweather Jr end his boxing career on Saturday as planned, his legacy will be underpinned by the extraordinary numbers he has brought to the sport, says former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.

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Mayweather has said that his welterweight title defense against fellow American Andre Berto will be his final fight and should he win, as is widely expected, he would match the 49-0 record of former heavyweight great Rocky Marciano.

“Mayweather has made more money than anybody else in the game of boxing,” Holyfield, who has been crowned world heavyweight champion a record five times, told Reuters.

“He’s brought the game up in a way that no other fighter ever has. He took boxing and turned it to a whole other level, whether people believe it or not.

“I don’t think we ever thought a welterweight or a middleweight would make more money than a heavyweight but that is what this man has done.”

Mayweather, 38, topped the Forbes list of the world’s 100 highest-paid celebrities in June with an estimated $300 million in earnings over the previous 12 months.

Holyfield, who had a career record of 44-10-2 with one no contest when he finally retired in June 2014, expressed mixed feelings over Mayweather’s legacy as a fighter.

“He is undefeated, which speaks for itself,” said the 52-year-old American, who was nicknamed ‘The Real Deal’ for his own exploits in the ring. “He can fight. He’s everything that a lot of people may not give him credit for.

“But he has done things his own way, which has been good but has been bad too. When you talk about being the undisputed champion, he has never been an undisputed champion, but he claimed to be it.”

 

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