By Ivan G Goldman
After many communications between me and a group of nerds at their secret Silicon Valley startup they finally agreed to launch me through the fifth dimension to visit Floyd Mayweather in the year 2044.
I found the ex-champ at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip, where he’d been working as a greeter for the last twenty years. He looked in top shape. It was hard to believe he was almost 67 years old.
Knowing he might be wary of me, I brought him a peace offering – one notarized liter of bottled water I found on the black market. I know it doesn’t sound like much of a gift in the year 2014, but in 2044 the standard price for a liter of top-grade drinking water in Nevada was 450 Chinese dollars – the only negotiable currency on three continents.
“Thanks, man,” he said, accepting the present. “I’ll save this for some kind of occasion. What can I do for you?”
I explained that I came from the year 2014 and that fans had lots of questions about how he was getting along. I asked him how he was doing financially.
“Not so good after that last Super Bowl,” he said. “I took the four points and went with Rio De Janeiro over Green Bay. Damn expansion teams. I oughta know better by now. Hey, what do you think of the Celtics’ chances against Dallas Wednesday night? I’d have to give up two and a half points.”
I reminded Floyd that I came from 2014, before most of those players had even been born.
As he held the door open for a stoned group of PTA members from Colorado I asked him about his lifestyle these days.
“Can’t complain,” he replied. “Caesars lets me sleep in the basement and I have a lifetime free pass to the buffet. Every summer the Hall of Fame flies me to Canastota and I talk shop with everybody – you know, Sergio Martinez, Pernell Whitaker, all the guys.”
I asked about Bernard Hopkins. Surely he made it into the Hall, didn’t he?
“You gotta be retired,” Floyd explained. “B-Hop’s still ranked near the top in two weight divisions. Some people say he could be slowing down any time though.”
I was aghast. Wasn’t Hopkins 79 years old in 2044?
“Yeah,” Mayweather said, “but on the planet he’s from, 79 is the new 29.”
You mean he’s really an alien?
“After one of his fights somebody took a swab from the spit bucket, and they traced his DNA to another galaxy. Nobody was much surprised.”
I’d talked to a few fight guys on the way to Caesars so I asked Mayweather about the rumor that he was in the midst of negotiating for one last contest.
“Oh, I know which fight you’re talking about. Listen, I don’t need that fight.”
Well, I said, the way I heard it, Floyd was demanding something larger than a standard 20-foot ring.
“I want it a little bigger, yeah, but one by one we settled all the other issues.”
He refused to either confirm or deny that he was seeking a 200-foot ring. “It doesn’t matter anyway he said. “I don’t think President Pacquiao really wants the fight. Not even after I gave in on the blood thing.”
But I thought the blood tests were all agreed to, I said.
“Sure, but I also wanted all his blood drained and replaced a day before the fight. He claimed I was just looking for excuses. Anyway, like I said, I let him have his way. He can use his own blood.” Very generous, I agreed.
I asked him when negotiations on a Pacquiao fight got started again.
“Oh, they never really ended,” he said. “Although some of the negotiators died of old age right at the table. Also one guy started screaming he couldn’t take it anymore and ran in front of a bus.”
I asked him what he thought were the chances of the fight ever taking place.
“Well, you know, if it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen. Everything happens for a reason. It is what it is.”
I looked around but couldn’t find a bus.
Sick Justice: Inside the American Gulag, by New York Times best-selling author Ivan G. Goldman, was released in 2013 by Potomac Books, a University of Nebraska Press imprint. It can be purchased here.