With just days remaining until Floyd Mayweather receives arguably the stiffest test of his pro career, viewers of HBOs 24/7 arent surprised, if theyve followed the fighter in the last few years, that Floyd is being Floyd.
That means Mayweather comes off as brash, braggy, ultra-confident, frequently contradictive, and compelling.
Shane thinking about the fight, Im thinking about the check, Mayweather says, while laying on his bed, before promising to take care of Mosley, and then going into another room to make sure his stack of cash is still just as high as it was.
Of course, a sap like me plays right into Floyds hands, as he pushes all my buttons, with his sad fixation on cash, and his apparent belief that money is the be-all end-all, that having the most money is the most meaningful metric of a human beings worth. And then...Mayweather spins me round, and surprises me with a defense of Jack Mosley, who was slammed in the last installment of the show by son Shane.
As I picked up on a few weeks back in a conference call, family fractiousness is indeed pinging around in Mosleys head, along with the continuing questions stemming from his lawsuit against PED manufacturer/dealer Victor Conte, who sold Mosley steroids, EPO and a steroid masking agent in 2003. The fighter in the last chapter said he dumped his dad as trainer because dad was thinking excessively about matters outside of boxing. He questioned his fathers dedication, in fact, and basically threw him under the bus. The father dusted himself off, and refused to indulge in a counterpunch at his son. It was a curious moment, and intriguing subplot as we head into the May 1st showdown.
You know what I really didnt like when I watched the last show, how Shane really disrespected Jack Mosley, Mayweather said. That wasnt right, Shane. I love my father and I like Jack Mosley. And all of sudden, hes at the end of his career, hes having his biggest payday, and then he want to give the money to someone else? Oh man, he wrong. Im keeping money in the family either with my daddy or my uncle but its staying with the family. Of course, we all know that this show functions as an informercial, so we dont delve into the IRS, and if Floyd considers them family, and how much hell have to carve off to Uncle Sam, but anyway...All in all, if Mosley watches 24/7, or if info on the show is passed to him, the slap at him and his treatment of his dad could indeed sting, and score a psychological point for Floyd.
Floyds occasional forays into introspection keep me hanging on. Im from a family of hustlers, my father was a hustler, so the only thing I always know is cash, he admits. I see my dad pull out huge knots of money. You going to do what you see. One can better understand and perhaps shrug off your reaction of repugnance when a man lets his guard down, and shares the origin, the sad origin, of a bad habit or aggravating tendency.
Mosley, meanwhile, emerges as a far more down to earth, salt of the earth type. He apparently has a solid and upbeat relationship with trainer Naazim Richardson, who is seen with his omnipresent towel, which hes apt to swing at anyone and everyone in the Mosley camp. He uses the towel to hone defensive instincts. Team Mosley seems to feel that offense, defense, all elements of the 38-year-olds game are fine tuned, and in play to hand Mayweather his first loss.
The goal is to beat Mayweather, everything else doesnt even matter, Mosley says. Not piles of cash, not bragging rights to bolster a legacy as an all-time great, we understand, in opposition to Mayweathers stated reason for extistence.
Another contrast is played up; Mayweathers seven man security team is seen, and he explains their presence with the spate of violent acts which felled boxers recently. Mosley, meanwhile, has one man watching over him, one Elliot Ness, an ex con who says hes been shot and stabbed, but was transformed when he embraced the Muslim lifestyle.
At the Mosley dinner table, Manny Pacquiaos name comes up. Richardson says he loves Pacquiaos ring work, but his singing, he says with a chuckle, is something less than stellar. The vibe is family; we see that Richardsons relatives are Mosley sparring partners, and the whole squad comes off as light, but on message. There is no posse jockeying, members of the team trying to suck up to the boss.
Trainer Roger Mayweather is battling diabetes, we are told. He gets daily shots from a nurse. Floyd said hes noticed the health woe, and it worries him. Lot of stuff on Uncle Rogers plate; Roger has an assault charge, with a stiff sentence, hanging over his head. He stands accused of assaulting a former client of his, a female fighter. To their credit, 24/7 hasnt ducked this matter. Seniors battle with sarcoidosis, a disease which inflames organs, is touched on. Floyd admits he lays awake at night thinking about his fathers frailty. Again, his humanness peeks through, and we are left to identify with Good Floyd. Not to worry, Bad Floyd will soon return, and we will again be at odds with his worldview.
Health woes, and matters of faith, are touched on. Richardson had a stroke a few years back, and he admits that the experience has awakened him. We see a prayer session with Mosley and teammates, and they discuss whats important in life.
Im embarrassed at being part of your brotherhood, Richardson says, as he takes a dig at Mayweathers bragging and money flashing.
Bad Floyd then makes a comeback. Shane he say the stupidest things I ever heard. He say he dont fight for money. He say he dont fight for money. Hes 40 years old but he dont fight for money. Well brother, Im 33 years old, I dont fight for legacy, I dont fight for none of that, I fight for that check, Im in the check cashing business, is Mayweathers crass, but perhaps commendably forthright reply.
Mosley says he thinks Mayweather doesnt even believe all the money talk, he thinks its part of Mayweathers PR campaign, his effort at hype and psychological warfare. So, he says, he tries to ignore it, and focus on the fight.
The bell sounds Saturday. All theories, and subplots, and family matters fall away. Will, skill, strength, speed, smarts, stamina are then the only things that matter. Who possesses most of those attributes, he will laugh last.
Who wins the WBO Middleweight title fight Dec. 19th?