All Access: Why Floyd Loves The Haters
By Sean Crose
“I’ve slept with the baddest bitches. I’ve drove the fliest cars. I’ve got some of the fliest properties.”
Meet Floyd Mayweather – yet again. Watching the first episode of All Access: Mayweather vs Maidana, you can’t help but feel Floyd is as great a producer as he is a fighter. For the episode gives fans the exact reactions Floyd wants them to have.
Those who love the man – the flash, the braggadocio, the lifestyle – will undoubtedly love the show. Why? Because there’s bling, babes and boasting galore. Those who find the man distasteful, however, will find the program distasteful, too. For everything that’s off putting about the world’s richest athlete is right up there for the world to see.
What Floyd seems to know, perhaps better than anyone, is that no attention is bad attention. Controversy sells in sports. There’s simply guys – and even some women – who people love to hate. Ironically enough, those same individuals also tend to have exceedingly loyal followings.
Oh, and they generate interest, buzz and lots of cash.
Yet Mayweather is unique. Jack Johnson was controversial because of the color of his skin. Jack Dempsey was controversial because of the violence he brought to the world of sports. Muhammad Ali was controversial because of his religion and politics.
Floyd is controversial because he’s gaudy.
“The flash and the cash,” the show’s narrator maintains, “obscure Mayweather’s real virtues…his unstinting devotion to hard work.” This is indeed true. Yet it’s true because Mayweather himself presents the flash and the cash before everything else.
He calls himself Money, after all. And those around him, those who are a part of his universe? They’re the Money Team. Not the Hard Work Team. The Money Team. Any lack of focus on Floyd’s strong suits at this point are the responsibility of Floyd and Floyd alone.
Still, it’s worth wondering whether or not Mayweather would be as financially successful as he is if he didn’t showcase the flash and cash. He doesn’t have the most exciting style, after all. It’s an amazing style, perhaps one of the greatest of all time, but it’s not exciting.
Yet Floyd isn’t stuck wondering when his next payday is going to arrive, like Guillermo Rigondeaux is. Rigondeaux, who actually has a higher knockout percentage than Floyd has (61.54 to 57.78, according to BoxRec), is reportedly treated like a pariah by HBO. Mayweather, on the other hand, gets nothing but love, love, love from rival network Showtime.
Not that the love isn’t well deserved. Besides the fact that he’s proven to be a huge earner, it’s worth noting that Floyd doesn’t come across as being abusive, the way, say, an Adrien Broner does. There was a time when it could be argued the man showed a mean-spirited side. That time seems to be over, though. Perhaps it was prison. Or perhaps it was just the natural process of maturity.
“God could have chose anyone else,” Floyd says as episode one of All Access winds down, “and I’m glad that I’m one of the chosen ones.” This may sound like arrogance, but I think the man is being sincere when he says it. “Chosen” may be the wrong word to use, but the guy really sounds as if he feels blessed, rather than superior.
It’s doubtful, though, that Floyd really cares whether or not people take his words the wrong way. That’s the one thing his defenders never seem to grasp…that Floyd not only takes a lot of heat, but invites a lot of heat, as well. For the heat makes him famous. It also makes him wealthy. So don’t get worked up when Floyd is criticized, Mayweather fans.
He wouldn’t have it any other way.