Most Boxers nowadays want to follow the Floyd Mayweather route and retire undefeated. Who can blame them? Mayweather is the Pay-per-view King of Boxing, he is nicknamed the MONEY for a reason. Even when he is retired, people still ask him, when he will return to the ring once more, that is how big his name is in the sport.
Just to gauge how big his name is, we compare his last fight against an MMA fighter who is just making his Boxing debut and him coming out of retirement and the fight of Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin. The fight of Mayweather vs Mcgregor became the second highest pay-per-view buy rate in history. The fight of Canelo vs Golovkin was for a legit belt and both are the clear top pound for pound boxers generated less.
The reason people want to watch Mayweather is that fans want to see him lose, he has never been beaten and has only gotten into trouble in the ring a few times. His lowlights are just getting clipped by Mosley, Judah, Maidana, and some others but he has never even been knocked down.
Although the Pretty Boy Floyd was a different Floyd that we see today. Pretty Boy Floyd was a vicious puncher who could crack and destroy boxers since he was known to be a power puncher at that time. After years of fighting his knuckles were getting weaker, and he became a more defense-oriented boxer.
Now a lot of boxing champions want to stay undefeated as long as they can, since once they get their first loss. The aura of invincibility disappears and people are less likely to tune in to their fight which is a wrong mindset to have. It is killing the sport.
Fans tune in to see the best fight against the best. That is what’s boxing is all about. Most people agree that Muhammad Ali is the greatest heavyweight boxer to ever grace the sport yet he has had losses in his career. He simply fought the best despite being the underdog.
When he knocked out Sonny Liston and George Foreman, he was willing to lose his undefeated but yet defied the odds time and time again. He became the greatest boxer. If we only base off the undefeated, Rocky Marciano should have been the greatest.
Another reason what is killing boxing is the too many belts for a sport. There are too many champions in each division and champions are not willing to face other champions in fear of losing their belt. This is why many tune in UFC simply because they only have one belt per division and that is the undisputed champion.
In a few years, MMA might take over boxing as the major combat sport in terms of popularity. The best boxers right now just pick the easy fights in order to have less risk of losing. Lower competition means lower entertainment.