Floyd Mayweather Jr. needs to own hypocrisy, treat his fighters like he treats himself

Kevin Iole
Yahoo Sports
Floyd Mayweather speaks to referee Kenny Bayless after claiming Marcos Maidana bit him. (AP)
Floyd Mayweather speaks to referee Kenny Bayless after claiming Marcos Maidana bit him. (AP)

LAS VEGAS – The five members of the Nevada Athletic Commission would be well advised to do a search of the Internet and read Floyd Mayweather's own words from May 1, 2012, as they question him Tuesday.

Chairman Francisco Aguilar ordered Mayweather, not only the world's best pound-for-pound boxer but the owner of the Nevada-licensed Mayweather Promotions, to appear in front of the commission Tuesday to answer for several questionable scenes in Showtime's "All Access" series used to promote his Sept. 13 rematch against Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand Garden.

In one scene, Mayweather refers to his gym as the doghouse and says, "The rules are, you fight until whoever quits." Later, he smilingly adds, "Guys fight to the death. It's not right, but it's dog-house rules."

It's all in a day's promotion, tough talk designed to sell a fight.

But Mayweather's words of 2012 are particularly telling and should be considered as well.

Mayweather was talking with a group of reporters, inside the VIP lounge at the MGM Grand, a few days before he was to fight Miguel Cotto.

Tim Dahlberg, the longtime sports columnist for the Associated Press, asked Mayweather about fighting Manny Pacquiao. No one could have predicted what would have followed.

Mayweather went on an extended rant, discussing his health. He said no one cares about his health more than he does and he insinuated that Pacquiao was using performance-enhancing drugs.

Pacquiao had filed a defamation suit against Mayweather that was settled. Though terms weren't revealed, sources have said Mayweather made a very large financial payment to Pacquiao to have the claim dismissed.

But at that time, the suit was in effect. When Mayweather was asked if he was saying Pacquiao was on PEDs, he said it is "basic common sense."

Later, he talked about the risks involved in boxing.

"This is how this world is, writers are saying, 'Floyd is scared,' " Mayweather said. "No, Floyd cares about his family. Floyd is smart. At the end of the day, Floyd is smart. My health is important. My health is more important than money. They can take all the money and my health is more important. If they say, 'Floyd, you can live a healthy life like you is right now, or you got to walk with a limp, and walk all bent over, but you can have a lot of money for the rest of your life,' I'd say, 'Take it all back.

"You see what happened when [Shane Mosley] was doing it. What happened to fighters when he was juicing? He was running through fighters. Then all of a sudden, guess what? I spoke on it and when I spoke on it, everybody was like, 'Ah, Floyd's just scared.' Then, when you took it off of him and put him in front of me, what did he do? Got killed."

Floyd Mayweather shows off his belts after beating Marcos Maidana on Sept. 13. (AP)
Floyd Mayweather shows off his belts after beating Marcos Maidana on Sept. 13. (AP)

Boxing is a dangerous enough sport when played on an even keel, but it's horrendous when a fighter cheats, as far, far, far too many of them do these days.

But Mayweather's words, which were so poignant at the time, ring a bit hollow today.

During the "All Access" show, a boxer was injured during sparring and was staggering on unsteady legs around the ring.

Did Mayweather stop the session so the young boxer could be given medical help?


Instead, he was mocking the injured fighter, pretending to be punch drunk himself and staggering around the ring as everyone laughed.

Did Mayweather as the proprietor of the gym ensure that the sparring matches were fairly matched?


Did Mayweather follow the rules the commission is there to enforce?


In one scene, Sharif Rahman, the 18-year-old son of ex-heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman, is shown being badly beaten by an older, more experienced fighter, Donovan Cameron. Later, Hasim Rahman Jr. demands revenge and the two fight. Rahman Jr. is a heavyweight and Cameron fights around 154 pounds. They proceed to fight a 31-minute round, assuming Showtime didn't edit the tape.

As a boxer, Mayweather's responsibilities are far less than they are as a promoter.

It certainly wasn't the most egregious thing a promoter has done, or ever will do, and he shouldn't be facing a serious punishment.

But the commission has to get through to Mayweather that as a promoter, he in no way, shape or form can condone such activities as went on in his gym that day.

In 2005, a young boxer named Martin Sanchez died from head injuries he suffered in a fight with Rustam Nagaev in a ballroom at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas.

I was ringside that night, seated against the apron. Sanchez was knocked down by a right hand and rolled underneath the bottom rope. He would have fallen off the apron and onto the floor, but Dave Cokin, a longtime Las Vegas radio personality, and myself caught him and stopped him from falling.

Sanchez rolled back underneath the ropes and took a knee in a corner as referee Kenny Bayless counted. Sanchez was clear-headed enough to look directly at Bayless as Bayless counted. When he reached 10, then and only then did Sanchez pop up. He'd had enough. As he left the ring, he turned and pointed at Cokin and I as if to thank us for saving him from hitting the floor.

Floyd Mayweather sold 925,000 pay-per-views against Marcos Maidana, a source confirmed to Yahoo Sports.
Floyd Mayweather sold 925,000 pay-per-views against Marcos Maidana, a source confirmed to Yahoo Sports.

He looked perfectly fine, except that he was not.

He had a subdural hematoma, which is a bleed on the brain. He collapsed in the locker room a while later and was rushed to the hospital. He died the following morning.

It's that type of thing that makes commissions test the fighters so thoroughly. And no one should ever mock an injured fighter whose brain has been damaged enough that he's staggering around the ring.

Mayweather and the guys in that gym are lucky nothing tragic happened.

The point, though, is that it could if such things aren't taken seriously.

Mostly likely, Mayweather was simply mugging for the camera and trying to look like the big man when he was in the ring during that sparring session.

He doesn't deserve a terribly harsh punishment, but he deserves to be reprimanded and needs to understand why his actions were so wrong.

And given his support of random blood and urine testing, the best thing the commission could do Tuesday is to fine Mayweather and order the company to pay a prescribed amount that would be designated for use to randomly test other fighters.

That would make the best of a bad, and embarrassing, situation.

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