“Dear Floyd,” the letter begins. “You did it. You made it to the 49–0 mark, a milestone that you like to say only the great Rocky Marciano reached but that was actually achieved by others, including my idol Julio César Chávez – but who’s counting? And now you’re retiring. Again.
“This time you say it’s for real. You’re serious about hanging up the gloves. On to bigger and better things. So I’m writing to you today to wish you a fond farewell. Truth be told, I’m not unhappy to see you retire. Neither are a lot of boxing fans. Scratch that. MOST boxing fans. Why? Because the fight game will be a better one without you in it.”
“Let’s face it: You were boring. Just take a look at your most recent performance, your last hurrah in the ring, a 12-round decision against Andre Berto. How to describe it? A bust? A disaster? A snooze fest? An affair so one-sided that on one judge’s card Berto didn’t win a single round? Everyone in boxing knew Berto didn’t have a chance.
“I think more people watched Family Guy reruns that night than tuned in to that pay-per-view bout. But I didn’t mind shelling out $75 for the HD broadcast. In fact it’s been a great investment. When my kids have trouble falling asleep, I don’t have to read to them anymore. I just play them your Berto fight. They don’t make it past round three.”
“Another reason boxing is better off without you: You were afraid. Afraid of taking chances. Afraid of risk,” he wrote.
“A perfect example is your greatest ‘triumph,’ the long-awaited record-breakingfight between you and Manny Pacquiao. Nearly 4.5m buys! More than $400 million in revenue! Headlines worldwide! How can that be bad for boxing? Because you lied. You promised action and entertainment and a battle for the ages, and you delivered none of the above. The problem is, that’s precisely how you want it. You should have fought Pacquiao five years ago, not five months ago. That, however, would have been too dangerous. Too risky.”