The fight between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is scheduled for May 2nd in Las Vegas, so both of these fighters have been of great interest as of late. Mayweather has been getting a lot of flack recently for his history of domestic violence. With his fight against Pacquiao coming up, the lives of the two fighters have been highlighted. The topic of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s violent past has especially come to the forefront and is causing controversy as some feel that his former behavior should not matter and others feel that that it should.
The champion boxer has had three previous incidents with violence against women over the years. The one incident that seems to linger in the minds of some is the one involving the mother of three of his kids. This incident occurred back in 2011. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. plead guilty to a domestic violence charge and two counts of harassment. He had to serve two months in jail for these offenses.
Some people have expressed displeasure that Mayweather is so celebrated in the media because of his upcoming fight and his undefeated streak. These individuals feel that his public image wipes away his violent past in the minds of some as if they are ignoring his past nature because of his celebrity status. Stephen A. Smith, who is an ESPN anchor and has long been a supporter of Floyd Mayweather, Jr., feels that these people need to get over it, grow up and focus on what makes him relevant rather than his past misdeeds. In an interview with Fan Sided, he mentioned that the court dealt with Mayweather’s actions already and he has been judged and served his time already, so people need to move on and let the man have some peace. He added that this type of situation is reality and people need to grow up and own that reality in that it is what it is and we cannot change it.
What led to the ESPN anchor’s defense of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. was the fact that journalists are now, prior to possibly the fight of his career, accusing him of making light of his violent past and the abuse of women, It has also been stated that Mayweather has been given a free pass in regards to his violent past because of his popular image and influence and skill in his sport. Many consider this to be at odds with the punishment handed to the Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice over domestic violence. The media deems Floyd Mayweather Jr’s free pass unfair as compared with the treatment of Rice.
Mayweather told ESPN that if he had really committed such violent acts than the pictures would have been all over the internet depicting the violence, but there was nothing according to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. The champion boxer swears that he is innocent despite his guilty plea and the testimony of the victim, who is the mother of three of his four kids. The courts saw the situation differently than Mayweather did and convicted him, as they did on four other previous occasions. Floyd Mayweather, Jr.’s son Koraun even testified that he saw his father abuse his mother and called him a coward, so this did not help Mayweather’s case in the slightest.
The press really had a field day when Mayweather’s case was adjourned until June so that he could fight Miguel Cotto in May of that year. Many felt that Mayweather was receiving special treatment while others were having to face serious consequences for their violent actions. When Mayweather was asked to respond to the charge that he was given special treatment, he said that it is up to God and only God to judge. He also said that he did not want fans to have to miss the fight because it was going to be unbelievable and something that people should not miss. ESPN commentator, Keith Olbermann, encouraged people to boycott the event and said that he would not give Mayweather any money so why should anyone else. He also said that he would not watch, support, promote, or report on Mayweather’s fight. His plan is to boycott the fight and he urged others to do the same.
Regardless of the controversy surrounding Floyd Mayweather, Jr.’s past and all that oppose him, millions of people will be viewing the fight whether they have a ringside seat or watch it on pay-per-view. Many view this as something that cannot be missed. The Fight of the Century, as it is being labeled according to Bleacher Report, is rapidly approaching and the anticipation is building around the world. The fight is expected to be one of the most heavily bet on boxing matches ever as Pacquiao and Mayweather fight against each other in the welterweight championship and both are in it to win it.
By Heather Granruth