By Scoop Malinowski
Since the Mayweather vs McGregor fight has become official a couple of months ago, Floyd Mayweather has become a new, different person. The self-centered, megalomaniac obsessed with money and winning is now a kinder, gentler, more mature man.
“Hey everybody. I want to say thanks for having me on this call and I want to thank you guys for writing about me for the last 21 years and keeping me relevant. Without the writers and the people that support this event and throughout my whole career I wouldn’t be where I’m at. So I just want to say, to every writer that’s on this phone, to every blogger that’s on this phone, I just want to say thank you. I appreciate you, Mayweather Promotions appreciates you, SHOWTIME appreciates you, CBS appreciates you, MGM Grand appreciates you, Swanson Communications appreciates you, my team and my family and my, everybody appreciates the stories and all the bloggers, the sports writers and everyone. We just want to say thank you and now we can get on with the questions.”
Mayweather is $25,000,000 in the hole to the IRS. He’s at the end of his professional boxing career. He wants to continue to be a tycoon, which means he needs to generate huge cash flow to support all his endeavors, interests, expenses and his outrageously luxurious lifestyle. He also is planning ahead for his four kids and their futures.
“My real estate portfolio is truly amazing. The real estate, that’s very, very huge. That’s a huge part of my life,” Floyd said on Thursday’s conference call. “My children are going to college so that’s going to take up a lot of my time because education is extremely important in my home. I want my kids to do something that I wasn’t able to do. I want them to be able to go college, and then the businesses that I leave for them, I want them to be able to take those businesses and take them to the next level. If I took a business and made 100 million, I want them to take it to the next level to make 400 or 500 million. So it’s all about giving back. I’ve built different businesses and got businesses started so my children’s children can takeover someday.”
Floyd surely knows his negative, arrogant, immature personality was repulsive and contrary to being successful post-boxing. He also knows that to be loved by the masses he has to be respectful and carry himself like all great champions do, like Holyfield, Foreman, Leonard, Tyson, etc.
Mayweather is evolving and growing into a different person. Whether it’s age, maturity, concerns about the future, and or the giant IRS debt, or a combination of all these stimulants, the Mayweather metamorphosis is in progress and it’s interesting and inspiring to see.
As for the fight itself against the 29-year-old McGregor, the 40-year old Mayweather is no longer obsessed with ego and winning or 50-0: “It’s all about excitement, it’s all about giving everybody excitement, my fans as well as his fans, that’s what it really is about.”
Mayweather even said he doesn’t really care about the outcome, or disappointing his fans and supporters, one of which supposedly wagered $880,000 on Floyd to win. He also decided to use 8 ounce gloves instead of 10 ounce gloves, a concession that will favor the harder punching McGregor. “I’m not really worried about the outcome. I’m worried more about excitement. Conor said he’s used to fighting in 4 ounce gloves. If you go to my social media page, you’ll see where I put out the extra work. I want to make him feel comfortable as possible. I’m not going to have any
excuses. I don’t want him to have any excuses.”
Coming from the man who used to manipulate every aspect of a fight to his own advantage, this is very strange news. It almost sounds as if Mayweather is setting himself up to lose. Because, deep down, he wants and needs to lose. For an array of reasons. Winning every fight in his career has made him an object of scorn to many. He does not have nearly the respect and adoration of champions like Mike Tyson, Manny Pacquiao, Evander Holyfield, etc., who all lost many times and showed human vulnerability.
Could it be possible, Floyd suddenly now wants to lose? To feel humility and to handle and accept defeat with grace and class?
Wladimir Klitschko said after he lost to Anthony Joshua earlier this year that the respect and support he got from the public and media after the fight made him feel like he actually won the fight.
Mike Tyson was a notorious villain before he lost to Lennox Lewis in 2002 but the grace and class he showed losing that fight changed his entire life and how the public viewed him. Back then Tyson was a broke scoundrel, today he is a positive figure in the world with an amusing, positive image. He’s also very successful in entertainment, performing in movies, TV, writing books and doing live one man show performances.
Jack Dempsey said in his book “Flame of Pure Fire” that “losing (to Gene Tunney) was the making of me.”
So it would seem the time has come for Floyd Mayweather to embrace losing. Because losing with grace and humility can sometimes be more rewarding than winning.
Blessings do come in strange disguises. And Floyd Mayweather losing to Conor McGregor next week could become the greatest blessing of his entire career.
Scoop’s book “Muhammad Ali: Portrait of a Champion” is available at amazon for $9.99.