"Money" Mayweather is a character, or so Floyd Mayweather, Jr. would like you to believe.
In recent interviews, Mayweather—as well as those closest to him—have gone out of their way to make clear the distinct and purposeful difference between the Mayweather we observe in public and the private man known only to his closest confidantes.
CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe, as well as Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, have both gone into detail in describing the "marketing genius" that goes into the creation of the "Money" Mayweather character. According to both Ellerbe and Schaefer, "Money" is nothing but a marketing creation, built to capitalize on the showmanship of Muhammad Ali and the swagger and "street-cred" that has propelled the hip-hop scene.
Bottom line: Whether or not you are fan of Mayweather the fighter, you'll still be sucked in by the dynamic personality.
By venue gate and pay-per-view numbers, "Money" has been a smashing success.
Spending the first half of his career as a highly regarded yet non-draw, Mayweather ditched the Olympic/ "Pretty Boy" moniker for the bad boy of all bad boys personae, "Money."
And while he's transformed into arguably the most polarizing and hated athlete in sports, Mayweather has succeeded in his goal of becoming the "cash-cow" of boxing. Dating back to his 2007 bout with Oscar De La Hoya, which set a pay-per-view record of 2.4 million buys, three of his last four fights have topped the one-million-buy mark, and his recent fight with Victor Ortiz will do no less than 1.3 million.
For Mayweather, monetary value rules all, so it makes perfect sense when he defends the actions that have caused him such public grief—the constant proclaiming of his greatness and tirades on future opponents—as simply fight-promotion material.
This is what makes the recent attacks against Oscar De La Hoya so troubling.
Recently, former pound-for-pound champion and current president of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, revealed struggles with drugs, alcohol and infidelity, further confirming that leaked cross-dressing photos of himself were indeed accurate.
Shortly after being released from rehab, where De La Hoya said he "reached rock bottom," the six-time world champion made his way around the national media circuit, delving into details of his struggles and his ongoing attempts at a stabilization of life.
Since that time, Mayweather has used every opportunity to dig into De La Hoya with taunts of the latter's personal struggles, recently posting the aforementioned photos of De La Hoya to his own Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Using the Mayweather and DJ Quik ideology of "If it don't make dollars, it don't make sense," the question must be asked: What monetary value is to be gained by vigorously tearing at the deep personal wounds of De La Hoya? What need is there to play mental warfare with a fighter long retired?
This unnecessary and seemingly cruel behavior that Mayweather has displayed, along with the club cash burning incident, would seemingly suggest that Floyd Mayweather, the Man, is losing touch with reality, as "Money" Mayweather consumes more and more of his life.
The real shame of all of this, as anyone who truly knows him will say, is that Floyd Mayweather is truly a genuinely nice person. When two-time junior lightweight champion Genearo Hernandez passed away in June of this year, it was Mayweather—unbeknown to most—who covered the cost of the funeral. This wasn't because he was extraordinarily close to Hernandez, but because he felt it was the right thing to do.
Floyd is also very active in charitable acts and founded the Floyd Mayweather Foundation in 2007, as a way to help underprivileged children in his adopted home, Las Vegas.
Fueled by a desire to reach national acclaim, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. created a flashy, arrogant and polarizing character to incite and demand the attention of the world.
You have our attention, Floyd, but it appears "Money" is in control.
Follow Bobby B. on Twitter @BobbyB_sports
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