Mayweather Holds Legacy in His Gloves

Mayweather Holds Legacy in His Gloves

It was professional wrestler and, some would say, sage philosopher Ric Flair who famously said, "To be the man, you've got to beat the man." Throughout his 17-year career, Floyd Mayweather Jr. -- a pro wrestling aficionado who no doubt would appreciate the sentiment -- has had little trouble defeating every opponent placed in front of him in his 43 professional bouts.

Implied in that statement, however, is that to be the man, you also have to act like it. In Mayweather's case, that means living up to the expectations that come with being the best pound-for-pound boxer and one of the world's richest athletes. If we're honest with ourselves, we know that Mayweather hasn't completely held up his end of the bargain since ascending the throne as the face of the sport in 2007 by defeating Oscar De La Hoya in boxing's richest fight.

But despite the damage done to his watered-down legacy through deceivingly soft matchmaking, long periods of inactivity and his refusal to sign off on a superfight with Manny Pacquiao -- yawning through a three-year window of viability while the health of the sport hung in the balance -- Tuesday's news regarding Mayweather's future is huge. Gigantic even. And it could go a long way toward ultimately reshaping how he'll be remembered.

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