COMMENTARY | In one of the oddest behind-the-scenes situations in recent boxing history, a story of power plays and attempted hostile takeovers is starting to emerge from the inner sanctum of Team Mayweather.
Ben Thompson of Fighthype.com is reporting that while Floyd Mayweather was serving his sentence for domestic battery at the Clark County Detention Center, forces inside the fighter's close circle of associates were trying to remove long-time adviser Al Haymon from the team and take full control of Mayweather's career.
Evidence also suggests that rapper 50 Cent was, at least to some degree, in on the attempted takeover.
In a hand-written note sent to an incarcerated Mayweather, Team Mayweather associate, Tommy Summers, suggested that Haymon is making improper side deals with Golden Boy Promotions and HBO, essentially diverting millions of dollars from the fighter.
He went on to urge Mayweather to leave Haymon, promising that an independent Mayweather could make between $500 million and $1 billion before retirement. Summers, who closed the letter with a request for Mayweather to rip it up after reading, would also litter the correspondence with implications that he could move into a trusted, higher up position in the organization, presumably at, or near, the spot Haymon currently occupies in the fighter's management team.
Put together with the rest of the goings on during Mayweather's jail sentence, this letter paints a clearer picture of what was actually happening behind the scenes while the fighter was doing his time.
On 50 Cent's end, Thompson, who is referencing an anonymous source with first-hand knowledge of the situation, says that the rapper leveraged Mayweather's name and the implication that the five division world champ would be part of 50 Cent's upstart TMT Promotions to sign a stable of world class fighters while Mayweather was incarcerated.
However, Mayweather had no intention of being part of TMT Promotions and, upon his release, he asserted his independence, making the fighters in 50 Cent's stable question their deals and essentially tearing apart the foundation of the fledgling promotional company before it could even get off the ground.
It was shortly after Mayweather's release that reports started circulating about friction between the two good friends. Suddenly, rumors were being leaked to the press about 50 Cent moving on to work with Manny Pacquiao in some capacity. A photo even appeared, showing Pacquiao, 50 Cent, and Tommy Summers posing together in an office setting.
Recently, others rumors started surfacing that a guaranteed bout with Floyd Mayweather was part of Pacquiao's contract extension agreement with Top Rank and that 50 Cent sat in on the meeting to discuss the terms.
But rumors are just rumors and, frankly, all of this maneuvering is confusing to most everyone trying to make sense of the situation.
One thing is clear, though. Mayweather is in full control of his business dealings and, when it comes to his career, he has assembled a management team that he fully trusts. And why not? Mayweather is the highest paid athlete in sports and, by all accounts, has not fallen victim to some of the underhanded tricks often used to separate fighters from their hard-earned money.
"Clearly this was an attempt to gain control over Floyd's business," said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. "Someone tried to take advantage of the kindness, friendship and loyalty that he extended in hopes of piggybacking and personally capitalizing on his success, but if anyone knows anything about Floyd, they know that the divide and conquer strategy will never work with him."
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico, and a close follower of the sport for more than 30 years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The BoxingTribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
Ben Thompson, 50 CENT, TOMMY SUMMERS, AND THEIR FAILED ATTEMPT TO BREAK UP FLOYD MAYWEATHER AND AL HAYMON, Fighthype.com
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