Inside PBC Boxing: Top fighters discuss money vs legacy

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PBC stars discuss what’s more important to them in their careers: money or legacy?

Shawn Porter sat down with fellow top fighters for the “Champions Only” segment on Inside PBC Boxing, and one of the topics they discussed was what was more important for them in their boxing careers: money or legacy?

Porter chats with Mikey Garcia, Caleb Plant, Leo Santa Cruz, and Deontay Wilder. It might seem like a standard little TV chat segment, but as the discussion goes on, things get kind of interesting, and there’s plenty to parse.

Here’s what they had to say.

Mikey Garcia: “It changes. For me at this stage of my career, I’m going after legacy. I’m going after the best opponent, the best name. Something that will leave a mark in my career. The money will be there already. But every fighter has different mentalities and different reasons for choosing their opponents.”

Caleb Plant: “I think I’m in a special situation where we just all seen the Caleb Truax-Peter Quillin fight — that doesn’t happen often, but one of those guys will be the next in line. Right now for me it’s just about staying busy, but I’m for legacy. Money doesn’t make you a legend, legacy does, and legends never die. That’s what I’m after.”

Deontay Wilder: “(My) signing (with PBC) was about betting on myself, it’s about setting legacy. Throughout my career I’ve set examples of fighting the best. I’ve took lower risks and high rewards, so we already know where I stand in the situation.”

(Editor’s Note: I’m pretty sure he meant “high risks and low rewards,” but, well.)

Leo Santa Cruz: “For me it’s going after the legacy and the fights that are the easiest that can be made. Sometimes there’s times when you want to fight fighters and the fights can’t get made, so whatever the promoter and the manager can give you, that’s what I’m here for.”

Mikey Garcia: “It changes for every fighter at different stages of your career, maybe guys are going in a different direction. When a lot of fighters are up-and-coming, they want to be champion. Once they’re champion, then they want to establish a legacy. Maybe some fighters toward the end of their career, they start looking for the biggest fights available. It’s not always gonna happen like that, because sometimes the fights you want to get are not easy to get done because of the managers and promoters. So you have to be flexible, also. … A lot of people think I took that fight (with Errol Spence Jr) just for the payday, for the purse. But I’ll be honest with you, I had an offer for very, very similar money, just right underneath it. And it would’ve been an easy fight for me. I didn’t do that. It was for another promoter, it was for a different promoter. But I didn’t do (the Spence fight) for the money. I did it because of legacy.”

Caleb Plant: “For the most part, you just gotta fight whoever is out there. Usually it’s the toughest guy to take the belt from the champ. … After I win the belt, I may want the next-biggest fight out there or an even bigger fight, but it may not happen. So I may have to take a fight that makes more sense financially. It takes two to tango, we all know that. This is not a one-man band.”

Deontay Wilder: “I’m always gonna look after my legacy. That’s what’s meaningful to me in my profession is my legacy. The money is definitely there. If you build your legacy, the money shall come. I abide by those principles. As long as you continue to be the best and beat the best, the money comes along with it. The money’s a part of the sport. One thing about it, people love to see great fights and they’ll pay anything to see it. So as long as you’re fighting the best, the money’s right there. A lot of guys worry about money before fighting the best, which I understand, but I also think that goes with what situation a fighter’s in. We all come from different places around the world, and we all have a different mindset.”

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