By Sean Crose
Floyd “Money” Mayweather may be known as the world’s most famous boxer, but right now he’s attracting a lot of news outside the ring.
As has been endlessly reported, Mayweather seems to have been a witness, via FaceTime, to a horrific murder-suicide earlier this week.
Gossip website TMZ, which has been all over the sordid scenario, has now reported that Mayweather “finally sat down with the LAPD for a 2-hour interview Wednesday.” For those in-the-know, the LAPD had made it clear it wanted to speak with Mayweather about the whole horrible affair.
If TMZ is to be believed, Mayweather claimed he “tried talking his good friend, rapper Earl Hayes, out of killing himself.” According to what TMZ calls “law enforcement sources,” Mayweather’s story was clear: “Hayes said he was going to shoot himself and Mayweather pleaded with him … to no avail.”
According to the report, Mayweather also made it clear that he did not, as some had indicated, work Hayes into a frenzy regarding the rumored infidelity of Stephanie Moseley, Hayes’ wife and eventual murder victim.
The entire affair is completely troubling. Yet TMZ has even more to report on Mayweather.
The web site also claims that Mayweather has been “Sued Over Head-On Collision . . . After Bieber Rescued His Kids.” According to TMZ, “Mayweather is being sued over a frightening head-on collision involving his kids — and [Canadian pop singer] Justin Bieber — even though the boxer was on a red carpet when the accident went down.”
What’s more, the car in question was said to have been driven by none other than J’Leon Love.
“Now, we’ve learned,” TMZ claims, “… the other driver says he was seriously injured in the wreck and is suing Floyd … claiming the man behind the wheel of Floyd’s car was driving like a complete maniac that day.”
For the record, Justin Bieber reportedly showed up after the fact and saw to the Mayweather youngsters.
While there’s little doubt Mayweather relishes being in the spotlight, one has to wonder if he’s had his fill of such headlines.
While Joe Louis did his part in World War II, Muhammad Ali became a spokesperson for civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam War, and Vitali Klitschko has become Mayor of his war-torn native Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev, Mayweather has simply become fodder for some truly ugly gossip.
Truth be told, it’s not entirely his fault, either.
Nor is Mayweather completely alone is his media notoriety. Jack Dempsey was the stuff of gossip pages back in the 1920s. So was Mike Tyson in the late 1980s to early ’90s. People like gossiping about celebrities. And, make no mistake about it, top athletes are celebrities in American culture.
At the very least, all this noise – some of it truly horrible, some of it ridiculous – has led attention away from a previous topic of much conversation, Mayweather’s “inevitable” ring meeting with boxer, politician and basketball player-coach Manny Pacquiao.
All of this leads to a larger point, however, and that’s this:
Floyd Mayweather has now transcended the sport of boxing.
In this, he’s one of a select few athletes whose names rings a bell to those who aren’t even interested in sports of any kind. He may not be as well-known as Ali or Mike Tyson were, but Mayweather is now about as close to a household name–in America at least–as one can get without actually being a household name.
He’s right up there with Tom Brady and LeBron James. Believe it. There are few in the American sports world who are as famous as Mayweather is.
Whether he can compete on a world-wide level with names like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, however, is a question for another day.
Some may say all attention is good attention when it comes to boxing. When that attention is related to a murder-suicide, however, I think most of us (even the most die-hard fans) would disagree.