The sad tale of world class champion prize fighters is well documented, from prideful heavyweight champion Joe Louis being relegated to a doorman in Las Vegas, Muhammad Ali fighting long after he had the ability to defend himself in the ring and left as a trembling shadow of ‘The Greatest of All Time’ and Mike Tyson, who went from being the youngest heavyweight champion in the world with all the money and fame before fading to opponent status, broke and bewildered.
Floyd Mayweather was keenly aware of all of those rags to riches and back to rags stories, and he vowed that none of that would happen to him.
The kid nick named ‘Pretty Boy’ with the blazing fast combinations, robbed of the chance to win Olympic Gold, from the fighting Mayweather family of Grand Rapids, Michigan closed the book on his historical career by eclipsing the 49-0 record of Rocky Marciano and becoming the first billionaire athlete on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Two days after ‘Money’ Mayweather defeated Conor McGregor at T- Mobile Arena, he was still the talk of the sports world.
Pundits debated his 50-0 record, whether or not it was legitimate because he stopped a non-boxer UFC superstar McGregor in his boxing debut.
While no one gave the Irishman a chance to beat arguably the greatest boxer during modern history, they could not wait to see it and thus plucked down $100 for the pay per view telecast, or thousands more to see it in person, be it at a movie theatre, a bar or strip club, they paid to see what wee all agree was nothing more than a spectacle.
My former amateur Teamsters Local 630 boxing stable mate Wilson Brown declared that Mayweather was pulling his punches and essentially carried McGregor to the anticipated 10th round TKO.
“They disguised it well, but that was a fixed fight. I saw lots of pulled shots. Floyd showed no killer instinct. He could have murdered that guy. He did not want to hurt him,” Brown said.
Another pal Fred Hawthorne, who was in Vegas to cover the fight was privileged to follow Mayweather around afterwards, says that Mayweather boasted it was the greatest heist ever. “Mayweather was bragging how easy it was and that’s why he wore the ski mask during his ring walk.”
They both might be accurate, just as pen point as Mayweather was with his fists in his professional debut victory over Roberto Apodaca in 1996.
Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum knew from the gate that he had something special, evidenced by Mayweather’s first title two years later in 1998 when he out classed the veteran Genaro Hernández to win the WBC featherweight strap.
Four years after dominating that weight class, he took on the rugged and highly respected champion Jose Luis Castillo for the WBC lightweight title and won a disputed decision.
In 2006, it was the stylish southpaw Zab Judah, then stubborn vet Carlos Balidomir, the year following was his first real mega fight when he toppled Mexican star and Olympic Gold medalist Oscar De La Hoya by split decision to take the WBC super welterweight belt.
Future hall of famer’s ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto and current superstar Canelo Alvarez were all fights that no one can argue were fixed.
Add the flailing Ricky Hatton to the list along with buzz saw Manny Pacquiao.
Oh, by the way something startling happened to each of the aforementioned fighters after the met their fate with Mayweather. Save for Alvarez, they all got worse as their career’s progressed. Not soon after, De La Hoya was drugging and wearing fishnet panty hose.
While other fighters kept focusing on titles, Mayweather zeroed in on the money and he beat Arum at his own game. Remember Arum said that Mayweather would soon be broke after leaving him.
Mayweather did something that only had previously been done by Don King, he out witted the cable networks. Joining forces with the financial wizard Al Haymon he raised the money line to a new orbit and the rest is history.
Mayweather has not been without his severe shortcomings, most notably domestic violence, the last incident in which he hit his ex-girlfriend in front of two of their children at 5 a.m. in 2010, resulted in a 90-day prison sentence.
Over a five-month span in 2001 and 2002 he pleaded guilty to two counts of battery domestic violence, but only received 48 hours of community service and two days of house arrest. Three other charges — stalking, obstruction of a police officer, and violation of a protective order — were dismissed.
There is no amount of goodwill through the Floyd Mayweather Foundation that can erase such shame.
However, the one ill of our capitalistic society that does regretfully over shadow such tragedies in fame and fortune.
After making $250 million from his fight with Pacquiao in 2015, his career earnings before the McGregor fight was around $700 million.
He is expected to clear $350 million when all the accounts are settled from heist and thus Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather will have become the most financially successful athlete in the history of the world.
No bad for a kid who was fitted for his first pair of boxing gloves at age 7 by his father and trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr., and then trained by his uncle, Roger Mayweather.
A high school drop out by 1996 he had already had won three Golden Gloves tournaments.
He added an Olympic bronze medal in 1996.
Only five fighters ever won world titles in at least five different weight divisions.
And while he may not admit it, 50-0 was the cherry on top of billionaire dollar ice cream sundae, an accomplishment by any measure defies all logic and reason.