By Ivan G. Goldman
I set my DVR to record HBO’s new set of 24/7 episodes on Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto along with the stuff that’s focused exclusively on Mayweather. It’s all part of the network’s undisguised bid to drum up viewers for its outrageously priced pay-per-view card Saturday night. But I recorded this only out of a sense of duty.
And after a few days I did start watching some of it — about two minutes’ worth. Then I paused the screen, got up and washed the dishes even though it wasn’t my turn. I also cleaned the toilets. With Mayweather’s face still on the screen I went outside and cleared the leaves out of the gutters. I came back inside, turned off the set and tried once again to read James Joyce’s Ulysses, a project I’ve been dodging ever since forever. That lasted three or four minutes.
It’s even more days later and the programs still sit in my box unwatched, taking up electronic space and nagging me into fits of regret. Because after all, maybe there’s something in them that I need to know. Half the fans complain I don’t know half as much as they do, and I can’t afford to let these malcontents widen their edge. But just how much Mayweather is a man supposed to take? When does it end?
When Floyd’s in the ring I watch with tremendous interest, just like the rest of us. He’s one of the best damn fighters we’ll ever see. And watching Floyd train is always interesting and impressive. But when the guy’s in street clothes? Whole other story. And as for that intriguing training footage, it just gets smothered inside the fullness of the hideous Mayweather programming wasteland.
We’ve seen it and seen it again, watched Floyd bragging as he counts currency, throwing it around the bed, talking about it endlessly, tossing it at people so he can witness them stooping to pick it up. We’ve seen him ride his ridiculous motorized thingy around his mansion and heard him hurling disgusting unearned insults at everybody, especially the one guy who truly frightens him, and I don’t need to name him. We remember the famous rant when Floyd drove his father out of the gym (Actually, that might have been justice at work. I get the feeling Floyd Senior was a less than perfect dad).
Why do we have to watch this particular family turmoil over and over? It’s voyeurism on steroids. And speaking of steroids, that lawsuit from Manny Pacquiao is still alive out there. As is the 90 day sentence Floyd begins serving June 1 for one of his woman-beating episodes.
Watching Floyd interviewed after a fight is no picnic either. All that rudeness to Larry Merchant. Let me tell you, Merchant’s a smart guy who does in fact know a lot about boxing and makes plenty of sense when Bernard Hopkins isn’t driving him nuts.
Like too many celebrities, Floyd can’t get enough attention but wants to edit its content to make him look like Time magazine’s Person of the Century. He somehow got aced out by Albert Einstein, but heck, it’s never too early to make your case for the next century. I shouldn’t give away ideas like that. Did I ever tell you about the time Tonight Show thieves rejected one of my jokes and then turned around and used it? No? Well . . . Holy crap, I’m beginning to sound just like Mayweather. Cancel that last part.
Personally, I’ve also seen enough of Floyd Senior, Roger and various Floyd Junior flunkies trying to fill HBO’s never-ending demand for more promotional programming. They’ve done their bit, okay? They’ve already said what they have to say. Years ago Stanley Kubrick directed a movie of Anthony Burgess’s Clockwork Orange in which the nasty delinquent at its center was made to watch hours and hours of terrible acts on film with his eyelids held open by metal clamps. Does that remind you of something? All this Mayweather programming is like Geraldo in every room. It’s . . . . Excuse me, I’ve got to go iron the sheets.
Ivan G. Goldman’s latest novel Isaac: A Modern Fable came out in April 2012 from Permanent Press. Information HERE