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Floyd Mayweather Jr. plagued by claims of troubling behavior toward women

Kevin Iole
Yahoo Sports
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Shantel Jackson, (R) ex-fiancee of boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., reads a statement with her attorney Gloria Allred looking on. (Getty)

Covering Floyd Mayweather since his amateur days in 1995 has meant being conversant in boxing at the highest levels. It's also meant become well-versed in court proceedings.

Mayweather has been flawless in the ring since losing a terrible decision in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, but woman after woman in his personal life have said he is flawed in the way he deals with them.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. works out in preparation for his fight against Marcos Maidana. (Getty)

Floyd Mayweather Jr. works out in preparation for his fight against Marcos Maidana. (Getty)

The latest woman to make allegations against Mayweather, who on Sept. 13 defends the WBC welterweight and super welterweight titles against Marcos Maidana in a Showtime pay-per-view bout at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, is Shantel Jackson, his former fiancée.

No criminal charges have been filed against Mayweather, but Jackson filed a civil suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday alleging assault, battery, false imprisonment, defamation, conversion, invasion of privacy and other charges against the man considered the best fighter in the world.

Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, declined comment. Mayweather could not be reached.

It is yet another troubling case brought against Mayweather, who in 2012 served time in Las Vegas' Clark County Detention Center after pleading guilty to reduced domestic violence charges.

In that case, he was accused of beating Josie Harris, the mother of three of his four children, while his son watched. He was charged with felony domestic violence, but it was later reduced to a misdemeanor.

He has also been previously accused of domestic violence by Melissa Brim, the mother of his other child. It's disturbing, at the minimum, that his name keeps coming up in these types of suits.

Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Jackson, released a statement to Yahoo Sports which is chilling in nature.

It's important to remember that Mayweather has not been charged criminally, and Jackson's lawsuit and Allred's written statement are simply allegations and not facts.

The fact that Mayweather has been in this situation before, however, is deeply troubling. It's clearly despicable behavior, if true, and could end his boxing career if the allegations are upheld by a jury.

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Mayweather and Shantel Jackson. (Getty)

Mayweather and Shantel Jackson. (Getty)

In her statement about the lawsuit, Allred wrote, "… shortly after Mayweather's release from jail in August of 2012, he and Ms. Jackson had an argument. The lawsuit further alleges that during the argument, he assaulted her. Approximately one week later, Mayweather asked Ms. Jackson for her forgiveness and promised that he would never assault her again.

"Difficulties continued to exist in the relationship between Ms. Jackson and Mr. Mayweather. In February 2013, Ms. Jackson told Mr. Mayweather that she would leave him unless he agreed to attend counseling with her regarding their relationship. Mr. Mayweather promised to do so, but did not attend any counseling sessions."

Allred wrote that on April 19, 2013, Jackson agreed to give it one final shot with Mayweather and returned to Las Vegas from Los Angeles on a private jet the boxer sent for her.

"Soon after she returned to Las Vegas, it became clear that Mayweather had not turned over a new leaf," Allred wrote in the statement. "Our lawsuit alleges that within a few days after the plaintiff's return to Las Vegas, the arguments began anew, and Ms. Jackson told Mayweather that she would leave him. The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Meyweather [sic] assaulted her and took her jewelry away from her.

"Ms. Jackson was terrified for her safety, and humiliated by Mayweather's conduct.

"For a period of time after Ms. Jackson's personal property was taken, Mr. Mayweather kept her virtually a prisoner in his home. He maintained surveillance. She could only leave the house if she was accompanied by one of his employees."

Mayweather's defenders will point to the timing of Jackson's lawsuit as evidence that it's without merit. Unquestionably, Allred, one of the sharpest attorneys in the country, was aware that Mayweather has a fight coming up.

Filing nine days before the fight, and only a handful of days before media around the world descend upon Las Vegas to cover the match, guarantees plenty of exposure for the suit.

It's a tactic that Josie Harris used last year, when she reached out to Martin Rogers of Yahoo Sports and told a similar tale.

In the May 2013 story on Yahoo Sports following a lengthy interview with Rogers regarding the September 2010 incident that sent Mayweather to jail, Harris said, "Did [Mayweather] beat me to a pulp? No, but I had bruises on my body and contusions and [a] concussion because the hits were to the back of my head. I believe it was planned to do that … because the bruises don't show … "

Mayweather has adamantly denied harming Harris in that incident and made the point that if a high-level professional boxer such as he had hit her, there would be photographic evidence. He regularly asked, "Where are the pictures?" whenever he was asked about what happened with Harris.

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Mayweather promotes his upcoming fight. (Getty)

Mayweather promotes his upcoming fight. (Getty)

Mayweather almost certainly won't talk about the suit because rarely do rich defendants in civil lawsuits talk. It's not smart business, and be sure that Mayweather has plenty of very smart people in his employ.

Also, if Mayweather speaks and in any way admits the charges, not only would it cost him in his court case, but it would also mean that the Nevada Athletic Commission would take action against him.

No doubt, the five members of that commission – chairman Francisco Aguilar and commissioners Skip Avansino, Pat Lundvall, Bill Brady and Anthony Marnell – are hopeful it never gets to that. They wouldn't want to yank Mayweather's license because they know how economically lucrative his fights are to the economy. But they did it to former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and, if they have to, they'll do it to Mayweather.

Jackson's lawsuit likely will be settled after some wrangling between Allred and Mayweather's attorneys out of earshot of the public, and money will change hands.

It doesn't mean, of course, that the charges aren't true, just as the filing of the suit doesn't mean they are true.

Boxing writers who have covered Mayweather for any length of time have made far too many trips to court and interviewed far too many anguished women and outraged attorneys, however.

That has long ago gotten old.

Mayweather has a lot of explaining to do.

 

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