|Floyd Mayweather Jr.: The Heart behind the Money
By Blake Chavez, Doghouse Boxing (Aug 13, 2015)
Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr.
|And the Academy Award for Best Actor goes to…
Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
“Money” has purposely deceived millions—and he’s done so countless times over the course of his spectacular career. In fact, Mayweather is notorious for his convincing portrayal of himself as “the bad guy” in boxing, and if he had his way, he’d continue that charade and the world would be more than happy to continue hating him in ignorant bliss.
But do allow me to attempt to illustrate the ineffable heart behind the money, because I believe that it’s time for the world to glimpse a compellingly human dimension of the real Mayweather. Perhaps some may gain an appreciation for the enigma prior to his retirement. (We will miss him dearly when he's gone—believe that.) And so I seek to provide you with a sight seldom seen behind his curtain of millions that may encourage you to view Mayweather in an entirely different light. It isn’t the intention of this article nor its author to extol the virtues of a man so many love to hate—rather, I seek to offer a sampling of unbiased facts so as to further inform the opinions (and perhaps open the minds) of a judgmental majority amidst the widely-publicized image of Floyd depicting a coarse man caught in a constant slew of controversy.
Mayweather is a complex man. There are doubtlessly many dimensions and contradictions within Floyd’s character that are not exempt from his faults and shortcomings, but his innate concern for his fellow man is a notable dimension indeed. He has a dignity and a sincerity about him which hardly stands as common knowledge. He purposely sequesters these qualities and finally allows the humble and charitable side of himself to emerge far from the public eye.
Being hungry and homeless tends to strip any semblance of pride away from a human being. It forces one to second-guess everything, to evaluate the ugly reality of one’s inescapable situation. It also causes one to deeply ponder the nasty, dismissive looks society deigns to hurl should said society even bother to acknowledge such an existence at all. Most people pretend that the homeless are invisible and henceforth live with themselves by pretending not to notice the abyss of unfairness around them.
Even as he enjoys life at the pinnacle of unimaginable luxury, Floyd Mayweather sees these invisible people and puts food into their mouths and priceless hope into their hearts. And regardless of his outrageous public persona as a thoughtless hedonist, Mayweather possesses the giving spirit of a man who has tasted hard times. He isn’t content to putz around his comfortable mansion and idly consume the greasy fare from Fatburger. Floyd instead chooses to go out into the harsh weather (be it boiling or freezing) and gets the job done in the loneliest, ugliest sections of Las Vegas.
As he personally feeds untold thousands, there are no lights and no cameras to witness his selfless actions.“People should not have to live this way,” Mayweather has said. “We give turkeys away every year during Thanksgiving, but what about the rest of the year? We will continue to hand out food as long as there are people out there that need to eat.”The homeless over on Owens Avenue and North Main Street in Las Vegas know Floyd well; he and his team regularly passes out sandwiches, fruit, chips, and bottles of water when the Vegas heat hits the triple digits.
Doubtlessly Mayweather is a walking paradox, a man whose actions for months on end can be those of a crude, politically incorrect jackass. Behind the scenes, however, he’s also very occupied with donating millions of dollars to several charities. Floyd has spent millions of dollars directly assisting the less fortunate as he steps up to the proverbial plate to support the noble causes of breast cancer awareness while personally coordinating and directly participating in the mass distribution of meals to the hungry in Las Vegas. One night, Floyd may be carelessly dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars in a strip club, but the next day, he’s a champion of the underserved, funneling warm winter coats to Las Vegas school children in need and taking it upon himself to pay the entirety of a young heart patient’s medical bills.
At Christmas, Floyd manifests himself as Santa Claus to thousands of poverty-stricken children when he passes out innumerable toys to those less fortunate, and not a Thanksgiving goes by without Floyd leading a turkey giveaway to a host of families down on their luck. And this is merely a brief (but oft-ignored) overview of Mayweather’s generosity. The man doesn’t seek publicity for these acts and often donates immense sums of money beneath the public’s radar.
Floyd Mayweather has engaged in so many charitable acts that it would literally take several pages to list. For our purposes, I will list the highlights of his clandestine generosity in the most efficient manner possible: in addition to having created his own non-profit organization which focuses on education, youth boxing, and community outreach, Floyd donated over one hundred thousand dollars to the Michigan Golden Gloves and established an annual event in his name at the Ottawa Hills High School so as to raise funds for the school’s basketball team. He also made notable contributions to the Rainbow Dreams Academy, a charter school which offers free enrollment to underserved children, and has donated to charitable organizations such as the Susan G. Komen Research and Support Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and Las Vegas’ Three Square Food Bank.
As to the present moment, it is likely that Floyd’s career will span another two fights at the most. He is obligated to perform in another fight for Showtime and will thenceforth be interested in fighting one more bout so as to eclipse Rocky Marciano's undefeated record of forty-nine.
And how will Mayweather’s prowess be remembered when the curtain falls? Misinformed (and purposely incurred) scorn aside, I believe the annals of boxing will reverberate that Floyd was The Best Ever. And the reasons are obvious.
Since he was a teenager in the Olympics, Floyd has lost only a minuscule number of rounds, and in those very few rounds he lost, it was often too close to be called. This comprises twenty years of elite performance. The undisputed superstar Mohammad Ali squandered rounds as well as fights aplenty. The record reads similarly for Leonard, Hearns, Hagler, and Duran: all were well-acquainted with loss, which remains an altogether foreign sensation to Mayweather and his impenetrable technique.
Oscar crushed Gatti, and Floyd beat the living shit out of Gatti, before leaping to the next weight division and defeating Oscar. Manny Pacquiao triumphed over of a long list of all-time greats, yet Floyd hardly became winded putting down the PacMan, and his destruction of Diego Corrales was nothing short of a masterpiece. All the man does is win. Win. Win. Win. Win.
The only man in boxing history who even comes close to Floyd is Sugar Ray Robinson. Robinson didn’t lose many rounds in his prime; however, he did lose fights, and he also took much punishment over the course of his career, whereas Floyd has rarely even been hit solid. (Which is, to me, what fundamentally ranks Floyd tactically higher as a fighter as well.) He’s perhaps suffered a couple of small nosebleeds, and had a little bit of swelling after a fight or two, but after twenty years of fighting the best, Mayweather has hardly suffered for it in the long-term. This is the main indicator to most experts that he is indeed The Best Ever. He did it his way and survived with all his marbles intact. Very little damage to his brain, if any. He should be OK.
Now, Oscar... who knows how his system will react as the years go by. A roided-up Vargas was taxing his ass for most of their fight. Oscar ate a ton of hard shots. He also ate many servings of leather from Shane Mosely, and Mosely has admitted to being on the secret sauce, so we know Oscar absorbed some major damage from both of those guys, and he fought Shane not once, but twice. Not to mention the savage beating Oscar swallowed from PacMan. (where the hell was Oscar's dad, his brother, or his friend Richard Schaeffer when he desperately needed someone to jump in and stop that mauling many rounds earlier?) Ike, Tito, and B-Hop left a few mementos for Oscar to worry about too no doubt. Hell, even middleweight Felix Sturm rocked him all night. So who is to say Oscar won't get a bit woozy as the world turns?
So Floyd had to put on the black hat to get paid. He evaluated the situation and delved into a social experiment that has paid-off tremendously. It was sheer brilliance on Floyd's part. He suffered the slings and arrows of the media and the haters whilst setting cash-money-in-pocket records that future fighters can only dream of achieving. So he played the part. And he played it so very well. So folks, when you try to figure out Floyd, be careful to figure in that big wink he shot your way when you weren't looking. He got us. He's gotten all of us at one time or another. He's a natural born actor. And, in my book, any man who spends time with his kids like he does can't be all bad.
It was mentioned to Floyd that if more people understood his true character it was quite possible that he would become a beloved figure as well as a respected fighter. Mayweather responded, “You might be right, but that’s not what it’s about. I don’t go talk to kids and I don’t go feed the homeless because I want someone to know about it… I want to do it because I know there’s a need and I have a chance to do right. I don’t care who knows or doesn’t know. As long as I help the kids and people who need help, that’s really what matters. I don’t care too much about what anyone else thinks or has to say, to be honest with you. I’m happy with who I am. That’s the important thing.”
Blake Chavez answers all of his emails--- firstname.lastname@example.org
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