LAS VEGAS – It’s 2:47 a.m. Thursday morning, maybe 66 hours from the richest fight of his career, and Floyd Mayweather is bouncing around the Girl Collection gentlemen’s club here.
All around him music booms and women dance and singles flitter through the air. Mayweather greets friends and checks in with management. This is his club. He bought it and opened it a few months back. It’s become a home away from home, including or even especially, during the grind of his final training camp, even here on fight week.
Some would wonder if hanging out in a gentlemen’s club into the wee hours of the morning is the best way to prepare for a fast approaching fight, but Mayweather laughs that off. He is, as a matter of point, 49-0 in his career heading into Saturday’s bout with Conor McGregor.
There is no one else on earth who knows more about not just what it takes to win, but to never lose.
“Nobody can beat me,” Mayweather says over the din of the club. “Nobody can beat me.”
He points to his black T-shirt with “TBE” (The Best Ever) emblazoned across it.
“I’m shredded under here.”
He’s been here all week, every night into every morning. And he promises to be back Thursday and, yes, even Friday, too, staying until maybe 5 a.m. on Saturday. The fight should begin about 9 p.m. local time that day.
“Of course I’ll be here on Friday,” Mayweather said. “Come back and see me.”
He later pulls out his cell phone and shows video of a recent sparring session and some speed work, one more impressive than the next. He doesn’t drink and he doesn’t smoke, so why wouldn’t he come to the club? He trains late in the evening at his nearby Mayweather Boxing Club and then comes to unwind here in an industrial area just west of the Vegas Strip.
Otherwise, he says, he’d be home, sitting around and watching television – “The First 48,” “Lockup,” maybe “Forensic Files.” He’d much rather spend the time here, among the people. Soon Rick Ross’ “Trap, Trap, Trap” comes on, and Mayweather bobs and weaves and sings along. It’s fast approaching 4 a.m.
“I sleep nine or 10 hours,” Mayweather said. “I sleep as long as I want to and then I get up and start my day. I let my body rest. I’m going to be in bed at five. So I’ll wake up at 1:30.”
“He’s so cool, isn’t he, at the strip club a couple days before the fight?” McGregor said earlier Wednesday when asked about Girl Collection, which Mayweather featured on the “All Access” Showtime series to hype the fight. “Who gives a bollocks, mate? I’d say the place stinks. Looking at it on ‘All Access,’ it stinks.
“No disrespect to the people who are in there,” McGregor noted.
The club is actually fairly high end. It isn’t huge, 7,000 square feet with just one stage, maybe a dozen tables and a 10-seat bar. There are various VIP and party rooms, though, and the plan is to expand the footprint.
Mayweather said he conceptualized it five years ago while serving a three-month stint in the nearby Clark County Detention Center for a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. Due to his celebrity, Mayweather was placed in solitary confinement. With 23 hours a day alone in a cell to think, he wound up drawing up how this club would work.
He pulls out his phone again and shows the notes that he sent to his lawyer, who typed them up. It contains details all the way down to the menu – everything from spinach dip to filet mignon. Mayweather said his expertise is born from first-hand knowledge. He couldn’t count all the clubs he’d been to around the world. He saw this as not just a place to hang out, but a savvy investment into an extremely lucrative business, especially here in Vegas.
“Women will always be in style,” Mayweather said. “A regular club, you have to keep renovating it and doing it over to bring people back. A strip club can stay the same forever. Men will always come because they are attracted to women.
“Everybody drinks,” he continued. “If you have music, liquor and pretty women, you’ve got a party.”
Officially, this is a “gentlemen’s club,” which in Las Vegas means only partial nudity. Mayweather prefers it that way.
“What the women do is sell you a fantasy,” Mayweather said. “You don’t see everything. I’m in the liquor business. They sell you a fantasy and I sell you liquor.”
That includes bottles of exclusive Louis XIII cognac that go for $10,000 up in the VIP Black balcony. That’s usually Mayweather’s favorite perch, unless it’s rented out (it fetched $30,000 for fight night, he said). He soon rattles off various business concepts – how to keep the $2,700 bottles of Patron Platinum moving, where to position the ATMs and how he designed the fixtures. He’s particularly proud of the security team. He’s planning a reality TV show to market the club and the brand. His long-term plan is to franchise.
He doesn’t drink, but he certainly knows a lot about it. He doesn’t smoke marijuana either, but he said he’s about to open a legal marijuana dispensary in Las Vegas.
“I think that’s the reason I had a long career, I don’t drink liquor and I’ve never engaged in drugs,” Mayweather, 40, said.
He leans back and takes in the scene. He’s made hundreds of millions in the fight game, which has resulted in a slew of businesses and investments. “I made $4.5 million in the last 48 hours,” he claims. Yet this is clearly one of his favorites. “We’ve got a great atmosphere,” Mayweather said. He talks for a stretch with one of the dancers, but when she’s called up on stage, he sends her quickly.
“You can’t be hanging out with the girls in the club because that will cause a problem,” Mayweather said.
This is business, after all. So, too, is the boxing match, expected to be both his last and the most lucrative in the sport’s history. McGregor spent much of Wednesday talking smack, predicting knockouts and beat-downs. Mayweather shrugs. He doesn’t care.
Inside his new business, with the energy serving as a rejuvenating force, he appears to have not a care in the world. He just laughs when the topic of the fight is brought up. He just brushes aside any questions about whether it really, truly would be a good idea to be in here until 4 or 5 a.m. the day of the bout.
“We’ll see,” Floyd Mayweather said. “We’ll see.”
Then he sits and smiles some more as the hours tick off.