FLOYD IS FREE
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. walked out of the Clark County Detention Center early Friday morning wrapped in silence. If there is one thing that is sure about his future that silence won’t last long.
Boxing’s biggest name and its highest grossing fighter served 60 days of an 90-day sentence for misdemeanor domestic battery in a 98 square foot cell that is smaller than the maid’s bathroom in his sprawling Las Vegas mansion. He was released nearly a month early for good behavior but before you make too much of that just how much trouble can a guy get into when he’s in solitary confinement?
That solitude ended the moment Mayweather walked out the door into a wall of television lights before he slipped silently behind the wheel of his blue Bentley, 20 of his nearest and dearest at his side. Sporting a Fu manchu and wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, Mayweather looked considerably fitter than his doctor, Robert Voy, testified under oath was possible during a court hearing asking Mayweather be released immediately because he didn’t like the detention center’s water or cuisine.
Voy testified Mayweather’s career was threatened by being in jail. Las Vegas justice of the peace Melissa Saragosa said “That’s the idea’’ and let the sentence stand. Judging from a photograph Mayweather sent out via Twitter not long after he was released, Voy may have had a point. The way Mayweather looked he may turn his back on boxing to take up bodybuilding. I have no idea what was in the water at the Clark County Detention Center but where can I get some? Much has changed since Mayweather disappeared behind bars. His nemesis, Manny Pacquiao, had his welterweight title stolen from him by three blind ringside judges only miles from Mayweather’s jail cell. A young upstart hoping to challenge him, Amir Khan, was knocked cold by little known Danny Garcia, taking away from Mayweather one of his fistic options for his return to boxing.
And his dear friend 50 Cent started a promotional company called TMT (The Money Team) during his absence, a company in which Mayweather figures to play a prominent role. Although Golden Boy Promotions has represented Mayweather’s interests in his last six fights it has never had a promotional contract with him and so it seems obvious he will try to do with 50 what Evander Holyfield failed miserably at with another rapper back in the day, M.C. Hammer.
Hammer had Holyfield and still went broke in boxing. 50 has Mayweather and reportedly Mayweather has a stable of young fighters ready to be promoted by TMT that includes Yuriorkis Gamboa, Andre Dirrell, Zab Judah, Andre Berto and, most importantly, Money Mayweather himself. If Mayweather thought two months in jail was tough let him try a few months really running a promotional company. Yet his decision to go it alone is similar to what Golden Boy’s founder, Oscar De La Hoya, did when he broke away from the clutches of his long-time promoter, Bob Arum.
Arum was furious at De La Hoya and it has colored his thinking about doing business with him ever since, although it hasn’t seemed to affect De La Hoya’s business as one of boxing’s biggest promoters. Yet despite Golden Boy’s success many in boxing believe it is the reason Mayweather and Pacquiao have failed to agree to what would be the largest grossing boxing match in the sport’s history.
Whatever the truth of that, the fact Mayweather seems ready to go out on his own with a company that at the moment holds a promoter’s license only in New York (although one is pending in Las Vegas) won’t help any negotiations for a Pacquiao fight because Arum dislikes Mayweather only slightly less than he detests De La Hoya. The fact Pacquiao is now damaged goods after losing to Tim Bradley seems likely to further weaken the case for making that fight any time soon. Mayweather has yet to make known his boxing intentions. After winning a far more difficult struggle with Miguel Cotto than he anticipated, Mayweather hinted that he would fight again before the year is out but after two months behind bars he might well opt to wait until next year before resuming training.
If he does not fight again until next May, which has become a popular date for him, it would be the third time he’d taken a year off between fights. The wisdom of that remains in doubt because at 35 long layoffs can be counterproductive, especially for a counter puncher who relies on timing, speed and defense to win. Suggest that to Mayweather and he scoffs but then suggest a lot of things to Mayweather and he scoffs. It’s part of his charm.
For all the uncertainty swirling around him as he stepped into freedom for the first time in 60 days, some things remained familiar. Mayweather was still undefeated anywhere but in a court room and he was already more than $30,000 short, the price he allegedly paid to purchase an alligator handbag for his finance, Shantel Jackson. Who knew you could spend $30,000 on a handbag? And who would want to? That was only one of a number of items Mayweather bought from jail for his future bride’s birthday. Apparently the detention center’s water may have stunk but the internet service worked well.
So Money Mayweather is back on the streets. How soon before he’s back in boxing is anyone’s guess but if he keeps buying $30,000 handbags it won’t be that long.