By Hans Olson
The saga of Floyd Mayweather continues.
On Wednesday, Mayweather was sentenced to 90 days in jail. This comes after he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of domestic violence, along with no-contest to two harassment charges.
It’s been reported that Floyd will start serving the 90-day sentence on January 6, 2012.
That it got to this point is unfortunate. So too are the actions of Floyd, actions that cannot be defended by even the most liberal of rationalizations. The facts as we know them, are that Floyd plead guilty to pulling the hair, punching, and twisting the arm of his ex-girlfriend Josie Harris in September 2010. The fact that two of their children witnessed this is equally alarming, and saddening.
It’s not the first time that Floyd has had issues involving females and violence. In 2002, Floyd was convicted of misdemeanor battery. This stemmed from a skirmish in a Las Vegas nightclub with two women.
There had also been another dispute in 2005 with Harris.
So, certainly…as a repeat offender, Floyd Mayweather deserves the punishment he received.
To be clear, I don’t condone these actions, nor do I defend Floyd for having done what he plead guilty to doing.
That being said, I’m somewhat uncomfortable with the joy many have shown in seeing Floyd’s sentencing. As fans of a sport—and a violent one at that—fans and observers need to take a long hard look in the mirror before they kick the man when he’s down. You don’t have to like Floyd for knocking out Victor Ortiz with a controversial shot. You don’t have to like Floyd’s “24/7” persona, one where he flaunts his wealth to cartoonish heights. You don’t have to like Floyd’s trash talking, his confidence that borders on the egotistical, or his seeming lack of professional responsibility during interviews.
There are many things you don’t have to like about Floyd Mayweather. There needs to be some perspective though. There are a lot of things you can admire about Floyd Mayweather. One of the more charitable figures in boxing, Floyd has given back to the community many times over. Along with the work his charity does, instances of Floyd’s generosity include having provided funding for the National Golden Gloves for an entire calendar year, in addition to paying for funeral costs of Genaro Hernandez and Joe Frazier. Mayweather’s Lawyer, Karen Winckler, also noted that Floyd has promised to donate $100,000 to breast cancer research by the end of the year.
Certainly, many of Floyd’s detractors will point out that those actions are just PR moves, which to a degree most charitable donations are. However, he doesn’t HAVE to do those things, so regardless of intent, they must be acknowledged.
Floyd Mayweather is the best fighter in the world, and regardless of a 90 day sentence or a 9 year sentence, Floyd could still—and will—step into a ring and dominate.
That a Pacquiao fight or a May 5th date being lost isn’t of importance here. It’s of a man’s life going forward, and the way in which he can improve on these character faults. The faults that are real, not the ones used to sell a fight. It’s a danger to view them as one and the same.
Those closest to Floyd will have the biggest role in where his personal life goes from here on out. Much of this could be overblown…Floyd could be just a victim of his own fame. Regardless of what brought it on, it’s what calls it off. Charles Bukowski once said “If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence.”
Floyd is about to find out who his real friends are.
As for everyone else…
Legal issues aren’t prizefights. Stop acting as if they are.
Boxing Insider’s Hans Olson can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @hansolson