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Floyd MayweatherNo one is asking you to follow in Pacquiao's foot-steps. That'd be impossible, as Manny seems to be a once in an era sort of icon. But if you lose the gambling, the partying, all that, and get back to what you do best, box, then we think your legacy will be substantial. As of today, we are not so sure of that…(Hogan Photos)Dear Floyd Mayweather:

Hope you had a fine birthday on Thursday.



Hope you don't mind me saying, that's sort of old for a boxer. Even an ultra special one like you.

Hey, I'm 41, I mean no offense. But I'm in a business, where in theory at least, I get better as I get older. Makes sense..with age often comes wisdom, or at least, accrued experience and knowledge.

But as I get older, Floyd, I realize that the adage “with age comes wisdom” is flawed. That isn't the case much of the time. I know too many elders who by virtue of their years, should be rivaling Confucius with their wisdom. Yet they cling to antiquated notions, dispelled myths, tired ways. It saddens me when I see this nation and its citizens pursuing paths that bring them farther away from peace, serenity, happiness, and instead see people seeking to enrich themselves by acquiring, and earning their way to the promised land.

Hey, I'm no commie, Floyd. I see the bright side to the capitalist system, but as currently practiced, with the kingpins on Wall Street calling the shots in DC, our nation has by and large gone off the rails. We bail out the racketeers who boldly, without thought of the welfare of any but themselves, engineered schemes to enrich their bottom lines with a zealousness for excess that rivals Charlie Sheen. And though the crews at Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, Citi etc all engaged in book-keeping tricks which should land their shifty showrunners in prison, all have gotten off scot-free, and continue to engage in their systematic campaign to pillage, plunder, cheat and loot every dollar bill that isn't nailed down. Yes, the smart ones in those outfits knew damn well that they were selling oregano to dopey buyers, but shrugged off the shifty deals with a shrug of the shoulders, a reference to “caveat emptor” and a quote from Ayn Rand. Even if their conduct doesn't meet the definition of felony, at the very least, their ethical and moral boundaries have been proven to be wickedly off kilter, or absent.

Oops, sorry for the digression Floyd. I do have a point to my rant…and it does involve you.

I've been following your arc for years now. And I have to say, by this point in your life, I figured that you would have “got it.” I would have figured that you would have wised up. Floyd, you may well be the most talented pugilist of this, and maybe a few other generations. (I use the word “pugilist” deliberately, as in my mind, there is a clear difference between a “pugilist,” who engages in combat in a manner which the term “sweet science” is applicable, and “fighter,” who brings a whole different set of traits, mostly of character, to the table.”) But Floyd, on a daily basis, you fritter away your claim to greatness.

I'm not sure what you did for your birthday on Thursday, but judging by your social media output, I'm guessing it involved no boxing, or training. There was probably gambling involved, though, and I must put it out there, this gambling jones of yours worries me.

Hey, you might be saying aloud right now, I don't need you to worry about me, Woods. I got my stacks, Jack. What you got?

Well, I have some insight into human nature, especially in the area of addiction. I had a much misspent youth, when I went down paths in search of happiness, and serenity and fun, paths which proved to be hardcore dead ends. And to be frank, I see in you–and forgive me if I misread you and your situation, I am admittedly taking stock from afar–some really, really troubling behavior.

I'm not even talking about the brushes with the law, the fights with the security guards and the mother of your kids. Those are well documented, if slightly glossed over by enablers and fightwrite media who don't want to rock the boat of access.

I'm referring to the gambling.

Many of us became aware of your fondness for rolling the dice when in April 2010's Mayweather-Mosley 24/7, we saw you referring to winning $30,000 betting on basketball.

Back in December 2009, you admitted that you'd lost, as well.

“Two weeks ago I won like a million (dollars),” said Mayweather to Joe Buck on his HBO show, “that was across a week of games, Monday night, Sunday, and Thursday. I didn’t lose a million (this week), but I lost a couple hundred thousand.”

Lately, you've taken to putting snapshots of his winning tickets on Twitter. Your followers see your winning ticket from the Feb. 10 Mavericks-Nuggets game, on which you won $45,000-plus, after wagering $50Gs.

“Why would I ever show a losing ticket when I'm 41-0,” you wrote after a follower asked you about those bets that you lost.

Now, what you do on your own time is your business. Of course, you are a public figure, so your conduct is fair game for folks like me to assess and comment upon. Especially considering you are the man who purports to be the greatest of all time.  Remember when you said, “In my era, it's totally different. It's pay per view now, so things change. It's out with the old and in with the new. Like I said, Muhammad Ali is one hell of a fighter. But Floyd Mayweather is the best. Sugar Ray Robinson is one hell of a fighter. But Floyd Mayweather is the best.”

That may be so. I don't personally think so, but Floyd, you'd better make your case for your fabulousness if you spent more time boxing, and less time bragging about your gambling prowess.

Floyd, it may be cool in the circles you run in, but the “I'm an ace gambler, look at the piles of loot I won because I guessed which basketball team would win their game” thing really doesn't resonate with most of us. I'm not Dr. Drew, but having spent a fair amount of time delving into the nature of addiction, whether it be to drugs, booze, food, or gambling on basketball games, it looks like maybe you are trying to fill a void, and flood your brain with happiness chemicals thru gambling. I get it…it's a thrill when you win. But the pleasure is short lived, and you are on a never-ending treadmill following that high. You fool no one, except perhaps some impressionable kids who are entranced by your blingy existence, and your boasts that you never lose gambling. Everyone does. Everyone. You are a special boxer, Floyd, but in the gambling realm you are one of a billion. You win some big, and you lose more, but you just don't brag about the bum picks.

That bragging, and that throwing money up in public places and watching the ham 'n eggers dive for bills, and the flashing of the wads of bills, and the birthday cake in the form of a stack of greenbacks, it all makes me sad. You could be doing what you do best, and try to bolster your legacy by making that Manny Pacquiao fight happen, but instead you are posturing, and trying to make an impression on people with your supposed fortune. While Pacquiao sends a message with his service, as a Congressman in the Philippines and his desire to lift up the impoverished in his nation, you advertise your net worth. And the kids eat that up. Just like they eat up the lifestyle of the Wall Streeters who brought our country to the economic brink, and then needed taxpayer money to get bailed out, so they can rinse and repeat, and start up the whole greedy exercise again.

Floyd, you could be an antidote. There is still time. Ditch the easy thrills of the gambling and nightlife. This country is in a major league state of unease. You might have heard about the issues in Wisconsin. The Governor there wants to abolish the right of public sector union members to bargain as a collective. He says his state's budget is in the dumps, and that teachers, cops, firefighters should sacrifice for the cause. He suggested this right after he handed WI corporations a sweet tax break, despite the fact that 2/3 of them pay no taxes. It is time for leaders, in all walks of life, to fight for regular folks. Floyd, I'm not asking you to run for Governor, or Congress. But I see you, and what you could be, and I get bummed out.

I realize this could all come off as a self righteous rant. But as I said before, I've been no angel. I think I sort of get where you are coming from, believe it or not. But I also get where you are capable of going, and root for you to get there. Put the kibosh on the gambling, and the partying with the posse, and the silly nickname; that stuff is fun, but what it feeds you is false. Those are momentary thrills, lacking in substance. You are capable of much, much more.

Good luck.


Michael Woods

FOLLOW Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069

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