ESPN Mag Writer: “Floyd Is Dime-Store Psychologist's Dream”

524362 228681957241119 100002979485966 387388 588191363 nESPN The Magazine senior writer Tim Keown wrote a terrific feature on Floyd Mayweather which is in the latest issue of the Mag, out on newsstands now. It is the one with Floyd on the cover.

Part of ESPN since 1999, and the author of six books, Keown was kind enough to shed some light on the process of writing the story, and share a few juicy tidbits on the boxer, in this Q 'n A.

Please support journalism by going out and purchasing the magazine, if you don't mind. Some folks think that the previous request comes off as a sad plea, but I don't agree. The industry gave away the milk for free for too long, and I try to educate or re-educate the people today who don't realize that when they lap up “free” content, they are slowly helping the industry slide towards a lower standard. Buying the products helps convince bean counters from hacking off head count, at most places and in most businesses, so thanks for your support. (Disclosure note: In addition to TSS, I also do work for ESPN The Magazine, and, for the record.)

Q) Can you tell TSS readers what sort of access you received to Floyd, how long you were around him?

A) I spent two days with Floyd. He is nocturnal, so a day for Floyd begins around 4 p.m. with a workout at his gym, and the first day I spent about four hours there. The second day was the focus of the story, and I had unlimited access to him from the beginning of his 4 p.m. workout to the end of the photo shoot at his house — almost 4 a.m. His terrific publicist, Kelly Swanson, made sure I was able to go to dinner with Floyd, 50 Cent and his crew. At a time when access to major sports stars is getting harder to get, Floyd is unprecedented. He loves the attention.

Q) Was he what you expected? Did you come in with a preconceived notion of the man?

A) I did a cover story on Floyd before his 2007 fight with De La Hoya, so I knew the routine. This time, though, my access took me more places, allowing a fuller view of the man and his world. Floyd's in a different place now than he was then; in 2007 he was trying to prove that he could make it on his own, and this time he was eager to show how well that gamble paid off.

Q) Did you find yourself, as I do, psychoanalyzing Floyd, trying to figure out the roots of his behavior?

A) Oh, yes. He's a dime-store psychologist's dream. There's so much wrapped up in his background — his tempestuous relationship with his father, his constant need for affirmation, his ridiculous work ethic. He's really a guy who went into the family business and is determined to prove himself both financially and athletically.

Q) Based on the extra insight you have of him, can you hazard a guess if he will truly push to make a fight with Pacquaio happen? If no, why not, do you think?

A) When I was with him, I left thinking it would happen, but I have to admit his latest comments — that he wouldn't risk fighting Pac because of the steroid thing — caught me off-guard. Agree with him or not, Floyd's argument concerning the money split makes sense if you put yourself in Floyd's place. If he can make $80-100 million fighting Cotto and another non-Pacquaio, then he doesn't really need the fight for anything other than legacy. And that means more to the fans than it does to him. To him, being undefeated is the legacy. That said, I think it will happen. I don't have concrete reasons for it, but I think the pressure will eventually force both guys to make it happen. Wishful thinking, maybe.

Q) Is there any juicy stuff left on the cutting room floor you can share?

A) Not really. There's so much excess in his life that it's hard to exaggerate. There was a moment in the car when we were sitting at a red light and Floyd turned to 50 Cent and said, casually, “This is the intersection where Tupac got shot.” “Surreal” is an overused word, but in this case I think it fits.

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(Disclosure note: In addition to TSS, Woods also does work for ESPN The Magazine, and

Comment on this article


-deepwater :

floyd is nuts. he plays like he grew up poor and his dad left him. umm......floyd never had to work a day in his life. his daddy did teach him everything he knew and thats where floyds skills come from. his daddy took him to all the tournaments and taught him the craft. to watch a grown man treat his dady like that is sad. lil floyd likes 50's magic stick more then his own daddy. but hey two peas in a pod. 50 cent the rat fink government witness believes he is a street gangster. so these two can buy each other jewelry and coach bags and play with stacks of money but they are only fooling themselves

-Radam G :

Wow! That copy got my head spinning. Nonetheless, boksing Mayweathers are full of syet. They're so frighten of Da Manny that they will also tell you that Filipinos have steroids that make the grim reaper commit suicide everytime that it comes near one of our a$$es. I know, I KNOW! This is one above Uncle Roger's fantasy claims about Filipino "A-side meth" that allegedly gives us Pinoys the powers to walk through bullets. "Bullets be bouncing' off dey a$$ [sic]," Uncle Roger says and pretends to believe. Something is definitely wrong with this Mayweather unc. NYET! He's just full of bullspit and the s word that rhymes with spit and love messing with scribes and talking heads and those fanboys, who "don't know sh*t 'bout boksin,'" in the uncle's own words. But for all you vulnerable Pac-haters, fire me a text. I'll fix your ___ ___ a$$es up with some A-side meth and some Grim Reaper Clear Cream. That Pinoy steroid cream is so awesome that it will make the grim reaper run away from your arse and commit suicide. WTF! Hehehehehe! Muthasuckas believe all types of weird, made-up combat jive about Asians. [I wish that typhoons, volcanoes and tsunamis would be like and believe as the May groupies and flunkies.] Death be bouncing off our a$$es and killing itself. The grim reaper becomes hari kari like a mutha-samurai and chop its own syet off. Yup! Hahahaha! You can buy some Grim Reaper Clear Cream from Radam G for 187. Your choice of what type of murder -- I mean pay: dollars, pesos, gold coins, yens, euros or blood diamonds. Hehehehe! Dumb, frighten, fantasy and ___ ____ ___ cohabitat. And they tickle my bones. Hehehehe! Hahahaha! Holla!