A Las Vegas judge made the only decision she could possibly make when she ordered superstar boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. to serve the remainder of an 87-day jail sentence he was given after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.
Judge Melissa Saragosa denied an emergency request from Mayweather's attorneys to let him serve the remainder the sentence on house arrest, saying he was not being treated inhumanely. Mayweather's attorneys argued he was dehydrated, not eating well and unable to exercise.
Saragosa, though, ruled otherwise on Wednesday.
While the physical training areas and times provided to [Mayweather] may not be consistent with his prior regimen, he is indeed provided sufficient space and time for physical activity if he so chooses.
She needed to send a message that domestic violence would not be tolerated and that Mayweather, despite his celebrity and great wealth, couldn't buy his way out of a problem. He was accused in 2010 of a variety of felony charges, which carried a maximum sentence of 34 years, for attacking the mother of his three his children and threatening one of his sons.
Mayweather pleaded to reduced charges, he said, to avoid forcing his son to testify.
Domestic violence charges are serious business not to be taken lightly. Had Mayweather been able to essentially buy his way out of jail, how many other victims of similar crime would not come forward for fear their abuser would not be punished?
However, this is no day to celebrate. It's never so when a guy in the prime of his life and with so much to offer is, instead, carted off to jail or forced to remain in jail.
Mayweather is not a highly educated man, but he is very smart and has a generous spirit. He shares his wealth freely with needy people around the country, particularly in Las Vegas, where he lives, and Grand Rapids, Mich., where he was born and raised.
But he also has a short temper and is frequently unable to control it, which has gotten him into trouble with the women he has had relationships with, security guards in the community where he lives and fans who encounter him in public.
Wright is one of the most powerful and respected criminal defense lawyers in Nevada, but his argument on behalf of Mayweather pleading for an early release was almost comical.
On Monday, only 11 days into the sentence, Mayweather requested permission to serve the remainder of his time on house arrest. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Mayweather physician Dr. Robert Voy was concerned about Mayweather's appearance because of a lack of food and water. He determined Mayweather is eating less than 800 calories per day.
Wright argued that keeping Mayweather in isolation amounted to inhumane treatment.
He is being unfairly, disproportionately punished, and there are remedies for it. I'm not asking to change the rules for Floyd Mayweather. The rules are right in the statute and available to act fairly for everyone. And that's all he is asking.
But Clark County prosecutor Lisa Luzaich argued that the state had already accommodated Mayweather several times and said he's only dehydrated because he prefers bottled water to the tap water available in his cell.
They just keep chipping away, chipping away, chipping away. The defendant's problem is that he doesn't get to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it. Well, it's jail. Where did he think he was going? The Four Seasons?
The jail sentence wasn't intended as a three-month vacation for Mayweather, though he clearly deserves the same rights and benefits as the other inmates.
There were many cheers among Mayweather detractors on Wednesday, but this was nothing to cheer about.
The judge did her job and now Mayweather must, properly, do his time.
Hopefully, the stint in jail will cause him to be more reflective and less prone to the angry outbursts that have gotten him into trouble in the past. Mayweather can be an asset to the community when he's properly engaged. For his sake, hope that he uses the time remaining in his sentence to reflect on his shortcomings and effect positive change in his life.
That would be the only good to come of this situation.