COMMENTARY | Wednesday morning two worlds of controversy collided when five-division world champ Floyd "Money" Mayweather appeared on The Howard Stern Show on SiriusXM. What resulted was a forty-two minute interview where the two touched on Mayweather's troubled past, his philosophy on life, his sex life, his extravagant betting, and his plans for the future. Conducted immediately after a personal appearance the night before at a strip club and in the midst of a three-appearance public appearance schedule that will bring him about $100,000, Mayweather, coffee in hand, took on any and all subjects.
Through it all, Mayweather passed on several opportunities to bash perceived enemies and boast about his own abilities. Calm and introspective, he came across more like a confident, proud man than the arrogant, eternally-infantile villain portrayed during the build-up to his bouts.
However, despite the parts of the interview talking about his troubled childhood and tumultuous relationship with his father, Floyd Sr., the most reveling segment of the in-depth conversation was a seemingly innocuous bit about Mayweather's Olympic bronze medal.
"You don't even like that bronze," Stern asked. "You don't like looking at it, right, because you perceive that as a loss?
Mayweather answered quickly. "I don't know who got it; I think my grandma has it."
"Really, why? What's wrong with a bronze?"
"I'm not impressed with it," Mayweather answered. "I was born to be a winner. Actually, you can pull it [the fight] on the internet. The referee raised my hand at the end when they called the decision, so I really won the fight. I fought the Bulgarian-I was 19 and he was 29."
When pressed on why he lost if even the ref thought he won, Mayweather brought up the computerized scoring system used in the bout as well as the rather vague "politics."
Pushed as a child, perhaps beyond the bounds of what could be considered healthy, Mayweather took what could've been called abuse and turned it into something positive. Whereas many youth in his situation would've rebelled upon adulthood, striking back at the discipline forced on him, Mayweather moved forward and turned the push to succeed into a drive for excellence.
The hours upon hours in the gym and the years of practice that it takes to learn the old school tricks of the trade were fueled by this drive. Mayweather is unique in this era in the sense that he knows things other fighters don't and has been fighting like a cagey old pro from almost the first time he executed his craft at the professional level.
Those who know the game know that there are no accidents to excellence.
Mayweather earned every bit of his success in the ring and his genius-level ring IQ is the result of an almost super-human ability to push himself in the gym.
When pressed by Stern to, perhaps, point fingers and blame his father for his excruciatingly rough childhood, Mayweather refused to go there.
"The only thing I did was work hard and fight my heart out to get to where I am today," Mayweather told the shock jock.
And, as for when the end will come for his long, successful career, Mayweather was more direct.
"I've been in the game, as of right now, seventeen years," Mayweather said. "Twenty-four more months and I'm finished."
"How does a fighter know when to quit?" Stern asked.
"Well, you gotta ask somebody who got their [expletive] kicked that question."
It seems that, at this point, Mayweather is sure of where he's been and sure of where he's going. Love him or hate him and regardless of how much money he has, this level of self-determination is a marvelous accomplishment for a young man, who could've fallen easily into the abyss.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and is the author of Notes from the Boxing Underground. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
Source: The Howard Stern Show, SiriusXM
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