I’ve torn into Floyd Mayweather before. In 2010, I wrote: No one probing Floyd Mayweather Jr. on HBO’s “24-7” will detect any human growth hormone. Or any human growth. Or perhaps any human at all.
There wasn’t much talk about Mayweather’s character then, but there’s a more mainstream audience than usual for Mayweather’s Saturday showdown with Manny Pacquiao, –, and that’s why there’s been a sudden surge in comments about Mayweather’s unsavory side.
His 2012 incarceration for beating up his daughter’s mother isn’t the only such blemish on his past, and a lot of news and talk shows have picked up on it.
I was already all over that in 2009, when I named Mayweather the winner of my annual Sonny Liston Award, which I presented as follows:
NAMING MAYWEATHER THE 2009 SONNY LISTON AWARD WINNER
After knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round to win the heavyweight championship in September 1962, Sonny Liston flew from Chicago to Philadelphia, where he had been living for several years. Even at 2 a.m. he was looking forward to a mob scene (so to speak) at the airport.
There was no one.
It was one of the few times that the man Muhammad Ali called “that big, ugly bear,” the monster with the baleful scowl and the mob management, was a sympathetic character. Sonny was a great boxer and a person of average intelligence, but he knew nothing about the public.
For demonstrating a similar lack of understanding in recent weeks and months; well, throughout his career, really, Floyd Mayweather wins the 2009 Sonny Liston Award for Public Relations.
Mayweather is a talented dancer, but he has a tin ear for P.R. Here’s a guy who’s good looking, fairly intelligent and the most talented all-around boxer since Sugar Ray Leonard, yet Mayweather has about as many fans as the WNBA. He has admirers, yes. But have you ever heard any boxing pal say, “I just love Floyd Mayweather Jr.”
Even the admirers would like to slap the guy, but when he’s daring you to slap him and it can’t be done, he can be a breathtakingly beautiful boxer whom you would think is supremely confident he can outpoint Manny Pacquiao.
Unfortunately, his family’s stress on the drug-testing end of his negotiations for a 2010 fight with Pacquiao has jeopardized the promotion and is unseemly at best. Worse, it conveys the impression that Mayweather is not sure he can handle the fighter who beat Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton more impressively than he did and beat Miguel Cotto more impressively than he would have.
Floyd may have had a mystique before, but now he has relinquished it.