More "Money", More Problems: Floyd Mayweather's Issues Will Make Him Fight Manny

Tony BriscoeCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2011

What should he do? Should he admit he's made mistakes? Should he admit ducking Pacquiao will hurt his legacy? Should he listen to his friend, 50 Cent? It's 50 Cent! Should he accept his role as the villain? Should he be who we want him to be?

By now, you have probably realized I'm referring to boxer Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. But what you probably don't know is why he will do what everyone tells him he should do—fight Manny Pacquiao.

If you haven't seen the Floyd Mayweather Jr. "Wanted" posters or the Floyd Mayweather Jr. "America's Most Wanted" episodes, I regret to inform you that the boxing star has a rap sheet longer than Jesse James. He's facing up to more than 34 years in jail for domestic violence charges, not to mention numerous other lawsuits he's faced in the past several months (see a timeline of his most recent legal spats).

With as much trouble as Mayweather's been bringing, Allstate might want to consider hiring him as the new mayhem guy. Taking this into consideration, I think it's safe to say that Mayweather Jr.'s lawyer has been hard at work, and he's not doing it for peanuts. No, I'm sure that each of these cases has cost him a nice-sized portion of his earnings from his bout against Shane Mosley.

That said, I'm sure the pay-per-view king won't throw in the towel quite yet, not with a potential $30 million fight dangling in front of him. The combination of the financial strain of the enormous paychecks he's writing his lawyer, plus the opportunity to get a cut of the richest boxing match in history, will be too tempting for "Money" to pass up.

If you don't believe me, let's look back through history to see how many professional athletes returned to sports after dealing with legal matters. Michael Vick came back after dog fighting, Gilbert Arenas came back after he brought a gun into an NBA locker room and Barry Bonds returned despite the BALCO scandal. They may have come back for the money, to maintain their lavish lifestyles, but a part of me believes they returned because the sport they love is therapeutic.

When Michael Vick is on a football field and leads the Eagles offense down the field, few seem to remember the skeletons in his closet. The same thing applies to Mayweather Jr.; when he's in the ring, he's out of trouble, and fans tend to become very compassionate.

If Mayweather Jr. fights Pacquiao, which I believe he will do at year's end, he too can make amends with the frustrated boxing fan base. Perhaps then we'll be able to remove the ventilator from the sport, and boxing will be able to breathe on its own.