Floyd Mayweather and 50 Cent, once inseparably close friends, are worlds apart these days. Things soured between the two when TMT Promotions, a potential joint venture set up by 50 Cent to be a boxing promotional company, fell apart. Harsh words were publicly fired off from both sides, and rumors percolated about what was really playing out behind the scenes.
Mayweather and 50 Cent though were more than close friends, they always considered themselves to be brothers. That's why, as far as 50 Cent is concerned, all of the back and forth and the supposed feuding is hardly a blip on the radar.
"I've said before, Floyd is like my brother. I still feel the same way," 50 Cent told me in a recent one-on-one interview. "There's no hard feelings."
According to 50 Cent, he didn't set up TMT Promotions -- short for The Money Team, the nickname that Mayweather and 50 Cent had for themselves and their entourage -- to get into boxing for himself. Rather, it was an effort to establish an income stream for Mayweather beyond fighting.
"It was really developing what would be his retirement plan," he said.
While Mayweather was serving his jail sentence this summer, 50 Cent invested $1.5 million of his own money to sign a core group of fighters -- Yuriorkis Gamboa, Andre Dirrell, Billy Dib and Celestino Caballero -- and get TMT Promotions off and running. According to him, this was an idea that Mayweather had fully supported. However, when Mayweather was released from jail, he no longer wanted to pursue the venture.
"He just changed his mind," 50 Cent said.
"When he decided he didn't want to invest, it was a disappointment only because he's following the regimen of other successful fighters that had no income away from boxing," he said. "And he's 36 years old. He's got to actually think about his future."
50 Cent moved on and formed SMS Promotions, which is named for his line of headphones, SMS Audio, instead. Still, he'd welcome Mayweather back to the fold all the same. "He could come around later and financially bring me his half and I would still partner with him," he says.
It's no secret that Mayweather lives an extravagant lifestyle, and he readily makes that apparent to anybody who'd care to pay attention. The six and seven-figure betting slips, the jewelry and the cars, the private jets -- it doesn't take a financial planner to realize that he could be heading towards serious trouble if his spending habits don't change after his career is over and done with.
"You can't sustain the lifestyle he's living right now. It's impossible," 50 Cent said.
According to 50 Cent, Mayweather has intended to retire after each of his recent fights. But when he spends himself into a corner, he signs the dotted line again for another fight to get that influx of cash.
Considering that Mayweather earned an average of $42.5 million for his last two fights, making him the world's top paid athlete according to Forbes, he should be quite comfortable. But there's no pressure on him to change his ways, and $85 million can apparently go quite quickly when stories surface that you lose $3 million sport bets (Mayweather has denied those reports).
"He retires until he spends his money. Then he comes back because he has to come back," 50 Cent says. "It's fight, get the money, spend the money, fight. Fight, get the money, spend the money, fight.
"But god forbid something ever happened to him where he's injured, he could be in a car accident... and then you're not in a good financial space at that point."
50 Cent believes that Mayweather's boxing career is likely approaching its end, and that the time to get moving on life outside of the squared circle is now. "He said himself, out of his mouth, he's got two or three more [fights] left in him," 50 Cent said, also wondering whether or not the tough fight that Mayweather had against Miguel Cotto in May led him to consider wrapping things up.
"I'm telling him that OK, well you have to put [your future] together around what you're passionate about," 50 Cent said. "I don't know if everyone is aware of this, but he stopped going to school after the sixth grade. So, at that point, the thing that he would be around that he would be completely knowledgeable about and passionate about is boxing."
This is just one side of the story though. How do we know that 50 Cent hasn't really just been selfishly looking out for his own best interests, and building off Mayweather's name and reputation in boxing to generate interest in his new promotional company?
While Mayweather is indeed the bigger name in boxing, 50 Cent is still the bigger name overall, and of course has been spectacularly successful in his own right.
"I'm the one person who's close to him that doesn't need anything from him," he said. According to him, everybody else goes along for the ride. "[Floyd]'s familiar with keeping everyone around him codependent. So nobody actually tries to help."
Floyd Mayweather is still at the top of the world. He's undefeated in the ring, he earns over $40 million per fight whenever he pleases, and he has his jail sentence behind him. But he won't be at that pinnacle forever, and for 50 Cent, it's easy to foresee a dramatic change in Mayweather's circumstances coming up ahead.
The two men, friends and brothers, haven't directly spoken in several months. 50 Cent says that what's most upsetting isn't TMT or SMS Promotions or anything else, but that he didn't get a call when Floyd's son broke his arm. He was concerned that he was badly hurt and he would have reached out if he had heard from Mayweather. But he never did.
"In time, he'll call. That's it," 50 Cent said. But if he could say anything to Mayweather right now, what would it be?
"Just think about your future man," he said.
"When you're at that point when you find yourself hitting rock bottom... well hopefully he comes to his senses before it gets to that point."
Jake Emen runs the boxing news website ProBoxing-Fans.com, where you can find breaking news stories, interviews, rankings and more. You can also follow Jake and ProBoxing-Fans.com on Twitter, @ProBoxingFans.