Almost a year ago to the day, Floyd Mayweather Jr. drove through the most downtrodden area of Las Vegas, hopped onto the back of a truck and handed out food and drink to the city's homeless.
On Friday, minutes after posting $3,000 bail, Mayweather emerged from the Clark County Detention Center, hopped into the back of a luxury car and sped off, leaving behind a small pack of reporters and photographers who wanted an answer to the unanswerable.
Why would a man with so much to lose sit in front of his computer, turn on his webcam and broadcast a hateful, racist, homophobic tirade to the world? Why would the most physically gifted boxer in the world, a man to whom so much has been given, go not once, but twice, in the middle of the night to the home of the mother of three of his four children and wind up getting himself arrested on charges of grand larceny as part of a domestic violence case?
No one can answer that, likely including Mayweather himself.
Mayweather spent a few hours in jail Friday, beaming for his police mug shot as if he were at an amusement park with his children rather than in the middle of a place no one wants to be.
Mayweather is the epitome of calm and grace in the ring, a wise and patient boxer who rarely makes the wrong move and is always completely in control.
It's outside of the ring where he seems to lose control. He's no stranger to the court system in Nevada and he's no stranger to domestic violence charges. Both of the women who have borne him children, Melissa Brim and Josie Harris, have accused him of assaulting them.
He was acquitted of felony domestic battery against Harris in 2005 when she recanted her prior allegations and called Mayweather "a teddy bear." He had two misdemeanor battery convictions involving Brim.
Police were at Harris' home in Las Vegas twice early Thursday. At 3 a.m., police escorted Mayweather off Harris' property after she phoned them and said Mayweather "let himself in," according to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The paper reported that Harris said Mayweather was angry that she was dating another man. She told police he said to her he would "have me and my guy friend taken care of."
Mayweather returned at around 5 in the morning, Harris told police, let in after knocking by his son. Harris told police that Mayweather hit her in the head, pulled her hair and tried to break her arm. She was taken to Southern Hills Hospital, where she was treated and released for what were termed minor injuries.
The incident may forever cause corporate America to keep him beyond arm's length, but it will have no other tangible impact upon his boxing career. If he stays out of jail, he'll remain the world's most in-demand, highly paid boxer.
Mike Tyson made nearly $100 million in his first three fights after being released from an Indiana prison in 1995 after serving three years on a rape conviction. If anything, the conviction served to make Tyson even more notorious and he became a bigger draw than ever. Four of the five highest-grossing fights in boxing history involved Tyson and each of them occurred after he was released from prison.
From a business standpoint, a jail sentence wouldn't be the worst thing that happened to Mayweather. Upon his release, there would be a media circus like never before and his first fight back would likely set records, regardless of his opponent.
There is, however, one clear difference between Tyson, the one-time heavyweight champion, and Mayweather, the 41-0 welterweight. Tyson was just 28 when he was released from prison, while Mayweather is 33 now. The last thing a boxer loses is his power and Tyson clearly retained his power when he returned to the ring.
Mayweather, though, is a different type of boxer. He relies on speed, defense and timing, and those deteriorate with age. Those skills decline even more rapidly when a fighter is inactive.
Mayweather is a long way away, however, from a jail sentence. He has retained Richard Wright, one of Las Vegas' sharpest defense attorneys, who will make certain Mayweather gets elite representation. Be very certain that Wright will not allow police to railroad Mayweather.
Plus, to gain a conviction, the police will need cooperation from Harris, who isn't the strongest witness. Her 2005 recanting of her prior allegations and her subsequent description at trial of Mayweather as a "teddy bear" will be prime fodder for Wright.
Whether Mayweather is guilty of a crime is for a jury to decide. Clearly, however, he's guilty of extremely poor judgment. There can be no rational explanation for going to Harris' home in the middle of the night, considering the history between them and considering that his young children were sleeping.
If there was an issue with the children's care, Mayweather more than had the means to deal with it. And the time to deal with it properly is during the day, not at 3 or 5 a.m.
Mayweather isn't a guy you'd likely want your daughter to meet. His history would suggest that, at best, it would be a stormy relationship.
Never think for a moment, though, that this signifies the end of his boxing career. His reputation as a man, as a decent person, is taking a beating here.
His earning potential is probably greater than ever. People are going to want to pay to see him get his comeuppance.
You'd better get used to him then, because Floyd Joy Mayweather Jr. isn't going anywhere anytime soon.