"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney.
All children dream. They dream big, they dream often, they dream without limits. But what if a child is not given the proper environment to pursue and nurture their dreams? Often times these are the children who slip through the cracks of society, who end up as a crime statistic, or worse... dead.
Some children aren't afforded the proper environment to allow their dreams to flourish. Such is the case with
Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr.
Mayweather Jr. grew up as a child who was not afforded the proper rights every human deserves. His childhood was anything but a dream... if anything, it was a living nightmare. With such a brutal start to life, having the courage to make his dream a reality was truly next to impossible.
In many ways his early start makes for one of the greatest inspirational stories ever told. From crap in a bucket to the cream of the sporting world, Mayweather had dreams, but he had to work much harder than any person should have had too. If anyone deserves where he is in life, Mayweather is that man.
MAYWEATHER THE EARLY YEARS:
It's well documented that
Mayweather Jr's family life growing up was extremely complicated. We have many rappers in this world rapping about a hard-knock life... but Mayweather has the actual street creds here. His father, mellow and composed these days, had a violent temper back in the day. Floyd Mayweather Sr. was no stranger to danger. In 1978, while holding his baby son (Floyd Jr.) as a human shield, he was shot in the leg during a dispute with the brother of Floyd Jr's mother, Tony Sinclair.
Quoted in the LA Times, Mayweather Sr. on the incident stated:
"If you're going to kill me, you're going to kill the baby, too," he told Sinclair. "(Floyd Jr.'s) Mother said, 'Give me the baby.' She was pulling the baby out of my arms so her brother could shoot me.
But I wasn't going to put that baby down. I didn't want to die. It wasn't about putting my son in the line of fire. I knew [Sinclair] wouldn't shoot the baby. So he took the gun off my face, lowered it to my leg and bam!"
In '07, regarding his relationship with his father when he was younger, Floyd Jr. told Tim Smith of the New York Daily: "I don't remember him ever taking me anywhere or doing anything that a father would do with a son, going to the park or to the movies or to get ice cream. I always thought that he liked his daughter (Floyd's older stepsister) better than he liked me because she never got whippings and I got whippings all the time."
In '12, Floyd Jr. quoted in the LA Times, stated: "My dad used me as a shield to a gun; I never had a stable home. My mom did drugs. My dad tried to live his career through me. Then he went to prison (in 1993 for selling drugs - cocaine).
Once I got old enough to pay my own bills, I let him know I didn't need him anymore. … The main thing I learned was to believe in yourself. You have to. Because no one else will."
That same year, Mayweather was quoted by Kevin Mitchell (Guardian), stating: "My father would beat me for anything I did, even if I hadn't done anything. I used to pray for the day I could become an adult and get away from it. I got tired of getting beat."
These days, thankfully time has healed some brutal wounds. In many ways, one must agree that the courage and heart that Mayweather Jr. has shown in forgiving his father and forging a bond with him is very impressive. Not sure many of us reading this could forgive such a father. In Floyd Sr's defense, these days he walks and talks like a man who deserves redemption, and it's amazing that Floyd Jr. recognized this and both are now making up for lost time accumulated from the broken days of yesteryear.
In recent times, Mayweather has been more gracious in speaking of his father. Quoted by CNN, he stated: "My dad brings everything. It all started with my father. What's been installed in me from the beginning is the less you get hit, the longer you last in the sport. My father was right."
As he preps for his May 2nd battle against Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Sr. (alongside uncle Roger Mayweather) is helping him with his training.
On the surface,
the wounds have healed. If there remains hurt, neither Father or Son or sharing it openly in the public these days.
Perhaps to reach the pinnacle in the brutal world of boxing... Mayweather Jr. needed his life to be tough as nails.
Out of a nightmare emerged a dream.
Floyd is living proof that dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
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