LAS VEGAS – Floyd Mayweather's close friend 50 Cent believes the boxing superstar's impending jail stint will be the catalyst for him to reach new levels of greatness.
On June 1, Mayweather starts an 87-day term at Clark County Detention Center for domestic violence and harassment stemming from a 2010 incident involving his ex-girlfriend Josie Harris. But his controversial rapper friend is certain he will emerge from prison wiser and more determined to dominate the sport.
Ahead of Mayweather's clash with Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, 50 Cent (real name Curtis Jackson) insisted he is not concerned about jail time interfering with his pal's career. Whether it teaches Mayweather to refrain from assaulting a woman remains to be seen.
"It can be a therapeutic kind of thing for him," 50 Cent said of jail time. "It can clear his mind and he will come back from it even better. Spending one day in jail is two days too long.
"You deprive a man of his liberty and it is such a powerful thing. It is a test of character and resilience. But here is the thing about Floyd, he has all the character that you could ever want. He knows how to fight in life. His whole life is a fight and I'm not just talking about boxing. He has come through that. That's why he is the greatest."
50 Cent has been a regular companion and confidant to Mayweather since the pair became close allies two years ago. He has been present ringside for Mayweather's last two fights, attends many of his training sessions and stays at the boxer's luxury Las Vegas mansion for extended periods.
Mayweather even had 50 Cent by his side in Indianapolis during Super Bowl week, causing a huge traffic jam downtown when their promotional bus cruised through the congested streets.
"That was a lot of fun," 50 Cent said. "Floyd wanted to show the world what he was about and that he had an important fight coming up. The people loved it. They were chasing us through the streets and wanted a piece of the Money team."
Mayweather is adamant that his jail term will not distract him from the serious business of facing Cotto, who looked strong in avenging his 2008 loss to Antonio Margarito last December. The Margarito defeat is the only blemish on his record apart from a comprehensive loss to Manny Pacquiao in November 2009.
Mayweather was facing a potential 34 years in prison before accepting a plea bargain. Harris said Mayweather assaulted her and threatened her children, and the fighter was charged with grand larceny for the theft of her cell phone.
"It is what it is," Mayweather said of jail. "You take it, you do it and you move on. When you come out your life is there for you, the people you love and care about, your family and your friends."
Mayweather said his friendship with 50 Cent has helped add clarity to his life and that the rapper is a powerful force in keeping him motivated.
"He is someone who knows what it is like," Mayweather said. "He knows what it is to have hardship in your life and to find a way to get through that and become great. He knows how to be successful and how to deal with that. And he knows what it is like to have a target on your back and have people who want to speak bad about you and cut you down and try to make you doubt yourself.
"That is why he is my friend, and that is why he is the kind of person you want to have around you in life and when you are walking into a ring to fight another man."
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