Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Open letter to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Dear Floyd,

Compliments of the new season Floyd and I hope you will enjoy your birthday next month, a week after I celebrate mine. We are preparing for soccer World Cup in my country at the moment. The objective of my letter is to remind you that you have set yourself a goal of emanating the likes of Ray Robinson right there in the very upper echelon of this game.

This serves as a reminder that although you are an all-time great, there is still some business to taken care of to meet those prior lofty promises and expectations. Secondly, I would like to touch on your activities that normally do not appear in the media.

Floyd, if anyone can close the show best, it is you. Time is running out even for the best conditioned athlete like you to cement your status and achieve or at least come very close to your prior boasts. If you do not do it, you will always feel the need to chase or prove something. When you are alone, you will always have that lingering feeling that you left something incomplete. You do not need to do it for the world, for the press or for your family; you need to do it for yourself. When you achieve it, you will be able to pat yourself on the shoulder and feel truly self-actualized. No amount of money in the whole world wide can buy that feeling.

I remember watching you destroy Arturo Gatti in such a manner that I have not seen before and have not seen since. After the fight, you cried and punched through the ceiling with your fists. That fight was more than a fight to you; it was your arrival into the bigger picture, your crowning moment against an establishment, your reward for prior hard work. It was your life and you pulled that ceiling down. It is time to stop trying pulling that ceiling Floyd because you have already done that.

You have built your professional image along certain lines for branding purposes and you have achieved a lot from business point of view. Floyd, you featured in the biggest pay-per- view fight in history and your comeback fight still is on top 5 of the richest PPV fights outside heavyweight division. Some blamed you when you left Bob Arum some years ago due to “slave wages” and look where you are from boxing business point of view. Excellent job indeed, you are not Money for nothing.

But certain things can be done up to certain point. Enjoy the fruits of your labor and close the show. There is no need for extended bravado and posturing anymore, no need to pull that ceiling because you already took it down, no need to prove that you are a man because you are. Do what will stand the test of time and be meaningful when the lights go off and you are all by yourself. Time is running out and even the best of the best cannot duck father time. You promised us that boxing won’t retire you and we look upon you to walk the talk in a near future. Also, it will not hurt you to start opening up a little and let the world peek at the real Floyd Mayweather. It will be good for business after boxing.

In my opinion, you have 18 months to 2 years to engage in 2 or 3 career-defining fights before going to that area that will not be within your control. We have enough fighters past and present who stay way too long to fill truck-loads. Even the greatest of the greatest fell into the trap. This is another area you can show leadership Floyd. If anyone can do it, it is you. It will be a pity to see you at 40 still plying the trade for one reason or the other.

In closing, I want to appreciate all your humanitarian activities that you do not boast of, all the people that you help without asking anything in return and for being such a dedicated sportsman. Now it is time to do something for Floyd Mayweather Jr. Close your career with a bang. You deserve it.

It is a pity that I heard you are not into alcohol; otherwise I would ship the best South African wine for your birthday on 24th February.


Klaas Mabetlela

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