Boxing: Floyd Mayweather Deserves Contempt

Dean FentonCorrespondent IJuly 12, 2011

LAS VEGAS - MAY 01: Floyd Mayweather Jr. in action against Shane Mosley during their welterweight fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather Jr. defeated Mosley by unanimous decison.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Floyd Mayweather is clearly the greatest fighter of his generation and probably in the top 10 of all-time greats. There is no questioning his superiority as a boxer, and even a loss to Ortiz or Pacquiao would not significantly tarnish the legacy he will enjoy in the boxing world.

As a person, though, Floyd deserves contempt. He demonstrates repeatedly the behavior of a person who lacks basic values. He's the poster child for everything that is wrong with overpaid, over-privileged athletes.

Part of what makes Mayweather's actions interesting is that his fans are unable to separate his greatness inside the ring from his moronic behavior outside the ring. They act as if criticizing his stupid activities takes away from his talents in the ring. That isn't really the case—fans can appreciate him in the ring while being disgusted with his behavior outside the ring.

Today, TMZ has posted photos of Floyd Mayweather lighting a one-hundred dollar bill on fire. It's the behavior of a child. "Look at me, look how rich I am."

Warren Buffet could buy Floyd Mayweather 50 times over. You don't see Buffet out burning money. Why? Because he isn't a narcissist whose only goal in life is to be the center of attention.

Yes, it is Floyd's money and he is free to do whatever he chooses with it. That doesn't make him any less of an idiot to burn it for the cameras.

Fans of boxing have long dealt with the crushingly stupid actions of its greatest talent.

Last year, Floyd chose to upload a video of a racist, homophobic rant to the Internet. He chose to do this. He wasn't forced to, and it wasn't taped without his knowledge. He made a conscious decision to make these comments public.

His motivation was the same as always—to keep the attention focused on him. There are three- year-olds with more impulse control and maturity than boxing's greatest talent.

As an aside, my favorite part of the rant was when he said about Pacquiao, "He can't speak no English." For crying out loud, if you are going to criticize Pacquiao's English, at least have enough intelligence to avoid a double-negative.

This is a man who believes that the rules of normal society don't apply to him because he is a wealthy, successful athlete. A US District Court judge ordered Mayweather to go forward with a deposition in the Pacquiao lawsuit as scheduled. Floyd did not show up.

It doesn't matter who you are, when a federal judge tells you to give a deposition, you do it.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 28:   Floyd Mayweather at a press conferece about his upcoming fight against Victor Ortiz on June 28, 2011 at the Hudson Theatre in New York City.  (Photo by Daniel Barry/Getty Images)
Daniel Barry/Getty Images

Not Floyd, though. He makes his own rules. 

Pacquiao is suing Mayweather because, according to Pacquiao, Mayweather accused him of steroid use without evidence. The courts will ultimately determine the truth, unless Mayweather settles, but this much is clear: In an attempt to build himself up, Mayweather chose to call into question the integrity of one of the sport's biggest drawing cards.

An army of sycophants surround Floyd telling him that whatever he does is great. An army of proxies troll the Internet defending the indefensible actions of their hero. There is a single letter difference between class and crass. Neither Floyd nor his defenders show any knowledge of the distinction.

When you look at the man in the ring, he is beyond comparison. When you look at the actions of the man outside the ring, he is contemptible. It's time for boxing fans, even fans of Mayweather, to show revulsion for his actions rather than continuing to excuse his destructive, childish behavior.