By Ivan G. Goldman
The very same week that Baltimore Raven running back Ray Rice was kicked off the team and possibly out of the NFL for life because he knocked his fiancée (now his wife) unconscious, convicted woman-beater Floyd Mayweather defends his titles against Marcos Maidana.
Fortunately for Mayweather, he answers to no league or team owner. If he can find a venue and a TV network to provide him an infrastructure, the show goes on, and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and Showtime are eager to answer these requirements. Mayweather is also fortunate no video cameras were around to record his physical attacks on women. His trail of offenses stretches from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Las Vegas.
A camera caught Rice knocking out his fiancée in an elevator and then dragging her into the lobby like she was a rolled-up carpet. The event garnered so much recent attention that Mayweather has been able to pretty much slip his rap sheet under the radar.
Only last Thursday Mayweather was served notice that ex-girlfriend Shantel Jackson was suing him in Los Angeles for what she alleges were many episodes of physical abuse beginning shortly after he finished serving sixty days for physically abusing previous girlfriend Josie Harris. His children and part of his entourage witnessed the ugly scene with Harris. The children described it in detail in depositions and Mayweather pleaded guilty.
At least one of the children told police he saw Mayweather hitting and also kicking his mother. According to the statements, Mayweather wanted to throw her and her boyfriend out of the house.
Jackson alleges the usual arm-twisting, punching, and home imprisonment that previous girlfriends described. She also alleges Floyd threatened to shoot her toe off. Jackson’s allegations are particularly interesting because Jackson once appeared on camera to claim Mayweather hadn’t done a thing to Harris. She and Mayweather sidekick Leonard Ellerbe both appeared on Showtime’s reality programming infomercial before Mayweather’s bout with Robert Guerrero in May 2013, and both denied any wrongdoing on Floyd’s part.
Ellerbe’s lament was accompanied by sad music. Neither Jackson nor Ellerbe were present when Floyd slapped around Harris and imprisoned his children in the house so they wouldn’t sic the cops on him. Jackson and Ellerbe weren’t asked to explain why he pleaded guilty. The show, an official network presentation, made Bernie Madoff look ethical.
The executive producer was none other than Mayweather himself. Apparently as part of the network’s six-fight contract with Floyd he gets final cut on all those pre-fight network shows. Viewers who had no access to other sources of information would think he’s the nicest, kindest guy in six states.
Meanwhile, those who dream of loudmouth pound-for-pound best Mayweather getting knocked on his butt at last will have to pay plenty for the privilege of watching that possibility when Maidana gets his rematch Saturday night.
The price of the show sets a new high or equals the previous PPV boxing high, depending on your cable carrier. The various companies offering it tend to disguise or camouflage their prices. You have to get deep into a website to find anything specific. Time-Warner’s 11.5 million cable subscribers can buy the high-def broadcast for $74.99 — plus tax, of course. That ties all previous records.
If you’re among the 4.7 million Verizon FIOS subscribers, prepare to fork over $77.99 plus tax. That’s a new high, but you won’t see the company boasting about the fact that its super-gouging has blazed a new, even more expensive trail. The event will also be available in theaters for about $25.
In the arena itself the cheapest seats sell for $350. I’ve personally inspected those seats from up top. They make the ring look about the size of a cigar box, and many of them have no view of the TV monitors.
This particular event is not expected to set any PPV records, but Maidana is a serious opponent. He showed Floyd no respect when they battled in May but ran out of gas and got sloppy while Mayweather stayed cool and threw his usual precise shots. The undercard is unlikely to attract potential viewers. Pay-per-view in general is having a tough time because viewers drop their cable subscriptions as alternatives such as Netflix expand their reach.
Mayweather, a 37-year-old welterweight in against a brutal Argentine who can punch, knows many fans buy his fights hoping he will lose. Odds change moment to moment, but at last check Mayweather was -800 and Maidana +500 – bet $800 to win $100 on Mayweather, bet $100 to win $500 on Maidana.
New York Times best-selling author Ivan G. Goldman’s Sick Justice: Inside the American Gulag was released in 2013 by Potomac Books. Watch for The Debtor Class: A Novel from Permanent Press in spring, 2015. More Information Here