Is Floyd Mayweather Jr. Destined To Be Another Tragic Statistic?
By Joseph “The Mad Boxing Genius” Torres (Sept 14, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
Boxing has been the outlet for many young fighters to escape the hardships and dangers of their environment. If it weren’t for boxing, many of the fighters we hold so dear to our hearts like Oscar De La Hoya, George Foreman and Manny Pacquiao would have been just another face in the crowd and possibly a problem to society. However, every coin has two sides and despite all the good that can come from professional boxing, just as many unpleasant scenarios can derive from it.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been on a bumpy road as of late. His history of legal and personal problems from domestic violence, financial despair, family disputes and his displeasure with critics is looking like he could fall victim to the negative side of the boxing coin.

After his racist rant on pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao via video post, he was arrested for grand larceny and domestic abuse on his ex-girlfriend not too soon after.

Will Floyd Mayweather Jr. become another tragic statistic that can come from boxing success?

Many fighters are failures at success. Meaning, they cannot deal with the pressures of success or uphold the responsibilities that come with it. Many fighters will develop this untouchable mind frame and do what they please. Others will subconsciously find a way to throw it all away. Either or, it’s a waste of an opportunity.

Floyd shares common traits with many great fighters that have fallen prey to the dark side of success and I’m not talking about boxing skills. Right at the top of the list is the inability to control one’s self.

What made Mike Tyson such a top draw way after his prime was his unstable mentality. Whether it was paranoia, anger or insecurity, there was always a chance that Mike Tyson’s fury would be unleashed at any given moment, even during a professional bout. Who could forget the ear biting incident in 1997? How about the riot that nearly broke out during his bout with Francois Botha back in 1999? Do we really need to go into his antics outside of the ring?

Floyd Mayweather Jr. possesses all of these same traits and is following in the footsteps of men like Mike Tyson and Johnny Tapia – men who can’t control the demons that lie inside of them.

Floyd is all about control when it comes to his profession. He wins fights on mental strength, pace and intelligence. However, when he’s not in the ring, even if it is professionally related, he’s a different kind of person.

His insecurities have had a hard impact on his career. Despite being praised as one of the purest boxers to ever lace up the gloves, his outbursts on interviewers like Brian Kenny, Max Kellerman and R.A The Rugged Man whenever questioned about his reluctance to fight certain elite fighters have not made him a media darling.

His paranoia is also very real. In most recent times, several boxing experts were vocal about their opinion on what Floyd must do to “shut the critics up”. If he wanted worldwide acceptance he needed to fight Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao and the pressure was relentless. This immediately put him on the defence. Believing a victory over one or both men would be an exercise in futility, he was convinced that the media would find a way to dismiss any victory by calling Mosley too old and Pacquiao too small. It’s ingrained in his head that he can get a fair shake no matter what he does.

All of the criticism toward him, coupled with the praise that his counterpart Manny Pacquiao receives (Winner of the “Fighter of the Decade” award) has fuelled the anger of the uber-talented Mayweather. Not to say that his professional displeasures are the cause all his personal dilemma’s, but it’s hard to discount its effects on his personal self discipline when he himself is all about control but cannot control what is said or thought about him. Unfortunately, this affect’s him where it counts most, his personal life.

Maybe Floyd is a failure at success too. Success brings many good things to an individual but much like the proverbial coin, it has two sides. With success comes a lot of pressure, pressure that he may not be equipped to handle. Maybe his professional problems are spilling over into his personal life much like it did with Mike Tyson.

He’s had several encounters with the law since 2002 from violent acts to his financial issues with the IRS. You hope he can control himself but his flashy ways by “making it rain” in nightclubs to wagering on basketball games doesn’t reflect a man of discipline.

The real problem here is that he’s not making new mistakes which we are all entitled to do. He’s making old mistakes and that show’s he’s not learning from them. He’s not growing from them.

And now with his current legal problems, he could be facing 5 years in prison for grand larceny. If convicted, that will signal the end of a career that some may say is unrealized potential.

I was once told that real tragedy is when a person holds the key to their own destruction. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a talented, intelligent and charismatic man - capable of living a life free of drama and creating much more success in his future. But, as of now, he’s heading down the unforgiving road that so many great fighters who’ve come before him are on.

Boxing has not only been good to “Money May” but it’s been good for him. It’s been his outlet. What happens though when his career is truly over and the spotlight is no longer on him? If his career ends today, will he be remembered the way he wants to be remembered? Will his life after boxing reflect more like George Foreman or Mike Tyson?

Both those men had hard upbringings and anger and personal issues. However one is still struggling with his inner peace and is bankrupt. The other is living a life without regret and is in a good place.

Which side will Floyd fall on? Whether you love him or hate him, he’s a significant part of a sport we all love with a passion. On that alone, we should all hope that he’s a Foreman fan.

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