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Mayweather Sr. Used Infant Floyd as Human Shield; Fan’s Take
HBO's Portrait of a Fighter video on Floyd Mayweather Jr. worked as solid promotion for the May 5 Mayweather pay-per-view bout with Miguel Cotto. It also served to remind newcomers and those who may have forgotten about one of the most tragic moments in the young life of the 5-division world titlist.
Back when Floyd Jr. was a one-year-old toddler, his father, Floyd Sr., used him as a human shield in an effort to avoid being shot in a dispute.
In that incident, Mayweather Sr.'s brother-in-law (little Floyd's uncle) would pull a gun on the boxer in a fight over an unresolved debt. Sr., fearing the worst, made the weakest of all possible moves and grabbed his son, using him as a human shield to ensure his own safety.
The brother-in-law would wind up shooting Mayweather Sr. in the thigh in order to avoid his young nephew.
It was in this world that Floyd Mayweather Jr. was born and it was from these moments that the fighter's drive for money and greatness grew.
In the HBO-produced video, Mayweather would talk about being from a family of seven living in a one-bedroom apartment with no hot water. The talented fighter, at 16 years of age, would find himself the man of the house and the sole bread winner.
With a father in prison and the burden of poverty and violence weighing heavy on his shoulders, the young man turned to boxing and became proficient. Whereas most young men would've collapsed under the pressure and would've given in to the temptation to take the easy road of crime, Mayweather turned his struggle inward and dedicated his energies to mastering his craft.
Now, as a multi-division world champ and a millionaire several times over, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has become one of the most divisive, controversial figures to ever compete in the squared circle. He has also been plagued with some of his own personal and serious familial issues.
Some of the "Money Mayweather" image has to be an extension of his true self, but most of it is likely well-crafted hype and publicity. After all, Mayweather is simply doing what he learned to do at a very young age— Look for the money and the freedom it represents for him and his family.
Love him or hate him, the future hall of famer is not likely to change anytime soon because there was always a mission behind the money madness. As Mayweather said in the HBO video, "I did it all for my family to have a better life."
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Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. He is also a contributor to Fox Sports. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
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