When Floyd Mayweather entered WWE in 2008 he did so as a babyface with the crowd right behind him in his feud with the Big Show, a man who dwarfed him in size and experience in the wrestling ring. It did not take long though for the WWE universe to turn on the boxer who was full of attitude during his spell with the corporation.
The next challenge in Mayweather’s career is to take on the star of the UFC world Conor McGregor in a boxing match next month. The American boxing Champion is coming out of retirement for the fight where he is the -600 favorite in the online betting on Mayweather vs McGregor contest. Despite not being in a boxing ring for almost two years, many pundits expect Money to be too sharp for the former UFC world champion who has never fought a professional boxing match before in his career.
Mayweather was first seen in the WWE at the No Way Out pay-per-view, during which Big Show gave the boxer a free hit. The Welterweight boxer took full advantage and broke The Big Show’s nose with one punch before fleeing with his entourage.
The rivalry between the two men brewed up for a number of weeks and at Wrestlemania XXIV they finally met in a no-disqualification contest. Inevitably there was interference which played in Mayweather’s favor. One of his team jumped in the ring with a steel chair which distracted the giant athlete, allowing the man nicknamed Money to strike his opponent from behind with a chair himself. The final blow came when Mayweather punched Big Show with a pair of knuckle dusters. The latter failed to make the referee’s count of 10 so the unbeaten boxer was declared the winner.
Playing the bad guy in the WWE was something which came naturally to Mayweather. He knew exactly how to upset the crowd and he looked to enjoy doing so. The stage does not get any bigger than Wrestlemania in the wrestling world and he would have embraced being part of the huge event.
When Mayweather retired following his 49th professional victory over Andre Berto in September 2015 he did so with one of the most impressive records in the history of the sport. Wins over Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Saul Alvarez, Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao ensured he ended his career as one of the most successful pound-for-pound boxers in history. He was able to win world titles at five weight divisions during his 19-year professional career and he never tasted defeat.
Mayweather now has his own promotional company so we are unlikely to see him in the boxing ring again after his McGregor bout which would bring up his record up to 50-0 if successful. That therefore leaves the door open for a return to WWE some time.
Mike Tyson, Joe Frazier and Evander Holyfield have all featured as part of WWE storylines over the years and it would be no surprise to see the biggest name in boxing today come back for a slice of the pie again. Wrestlemania 34 will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana, in April 2018. If Mayweather wanted to be part of the show, he would not need to appear until February 2018 at the earliest to do some promotional work around the event. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that McGregor may also want to have a taste of the WWE, which could see the duo meet in a rematch in a no-disqualification match at Wrestlemania which really would put the eyes of the world on the WWE.