By Sean Crose
It’s dangerous out there, folks. It seems you can’t even eat a burger, or shake a man’s hand, for that matter, without things quickly spiraling out of control. It’s a strange weekend for fight fans around the globe, all right, with filmed footage of some of boxing’s biggest stars being involved in the most unsportsmanlike of affairs making its way across every corner of the internet.
First, there was the already well documented issue of Floyd Mayweather’s late night snack. The guy, it appears, was relaxing at his favorite burger joint in Vegas when a rapper named T.I. started giving him sass. As if things weren’t uncomfortable enough, T.I. then reportedly decided to take a swing at the pound for pound king. Can’t a guy eat in peace?
Anyway, chaos ensued, chairs were thrown and an employee of the burger joint ended up getting hurt. The whole thing seems to have stemmed over an incident where T.I.s wife or girlfriend took pictures with Mayweather’s daughter, or was being friendly with Mayweather himself, or…oh, who really cares? You’re adults people! Act like it. Oh, and T.I. – it’s probably not smart to take a swing at a man who’s accumulated a fortune by hitting people for a living.
Yet Vegas hasn’t been the only spot where trouble’s been a’ brewing. Across the pond in jolly old England, Carl Froch and George Groves sat down for an interview with Sky Sports. In case you don’t know, the two lads don’t care much for each other – as in they seem to really, really want to inflict some serious damage when they meet in the ring for the second time next weekend.
The interview appears to have been uncomfortable, too. Nothing, however, could prepare fans for how the whole thing would end. “Would you like to shake my hand?” Froch asked Groves sarcastically when things were wrapping up. “Love to shake your hand,” Groves replied.
Rising up from his seat, Groves held his hand out while Froch dramatically wiped his on his jeans. Then after standing up himself, Froch engaged his adversary in a handshake. Only Groves wouldn’t let go. It got to the point where Froch had to balance himself by placing his free hand flat against the table top which separated the two men.
Not one to be publicly demeaned, however, Froch pulled the hand Groves held, as well as Groves himself, forward. Grove’s entire body almost went over the table. It was quite the sight to see, no matter what continent you reside in. Groves ended up composing himself, then sat back down and stared at Froch like he wanted to kill him. Froch stared right back, eyes ablaze, before offering a slight, thoroughly evil looking grin.
Let’s just say it hasn’t been a good weekend for good publicity in the fight world. Yet it should also be noted that such incidents do indeed draw eyes to the sport. And when people are looking at boxers, they’re thinking about boxing.
So, are such explosions of uncouth – and even criminal – behavior good or bad for the sweet science? The truth is, it depends on the incident. As far as Froch and Groves go, they were acting like kids and pretty much not harming anyone. While it’s true that grownups shouldn’t act that way, no one is any worse for wear. Plus the whole thing made for interesting viewing.
The Mayweather incident, however, is another story entirely. Floyd may be a professional boxer, but he still shouldn’t have to be punched at outside of the ring, no matter what the reason is. Seriously – the guy’s a private citizen and T.I. needs to obey the rule of law. Besides, an innocent bystander got hurt and more people could have, as well. There’s no need for such nonsense. So no, the chaos in Vegas was not good for boxing. Or for much of anything else.
Oh well, at least the incident between Froch and Groves didn’t go down at a burger joint.