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Where Does Boxing Go After Mayweather?

At the age of 40, after a 21-year career and a 50-0 record, Floyd Mayweather, the greatest prizefighter of his era, has walked away. He peddled the most lucrative act in the history of not only boxing, and not only sports, but entertainment.

When Mayweather fought Manny Pacquiao in 2015, he earned over $200 million for hardly breaking a sweat. The audience who witnessed those 36 minutes had the star power of the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, ESPYS and White House Correspondents’ Association dinner — combined. Some seats at the MGM Grand sold for $350,000 a pop. The fight obliterated records for gate and pay-per-view numbers. And why not? Mayweather had proven himself the most exciting fighter in the history of boxing — that is, until he stepped into the ring. After the opening bell sounded and the crowd had its chance to lean in toward the “Fight of the Century,” most recoiled before the first round was over, as though reacting to the stench of a spoiled carton of milk. Despite the ensuing bitterness and buyer’s remorse, only two years later, against Conor McGregor last month in Las Vegas, Mayweather was able to both earn and generate nearly as much money — although final estimates have yet to be released — fighting an opponent who had never boxed professionally. …

This post is from Features – FiveThirtyEight. Click here to read the full text

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