Money, they say, can't buy you happiness and in the case of Floyd Mayweather, it can't buy you class either.
Pretty Boy Floyd ends his 21-month hiatus from the sport tonight, as he takes on Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas but in terms of contrversy and, well, arrogance, it's been a typical Floyd week.
You'll remember that in the lead-up to his last fight, against Ricky Hatton in December 2007, Mayweather was brash and plain rude and despite a long absence from the sport, he's not changed his ways.
See what you make of these comments that he made this week:
"If you're rich, you're a rich n-----. If you're poor, you're a poor n-----. At the end of the day, they still look at me as a n-----."
"But I wouldn't change my life for nothing in the world. There's nothing like being young, black and rich. But there are certain things you think about. If Floyd Mayweather was white, I'd be the biggest athlete in America. The biggest, the biggest. I know that for a fact."
A fact? Ha.
The truth is that Mayweather isn't even the biggest star in his own sport, nor does he deserve to be. Sure, he fought in the biggest grossing fight in history against Oscar De La Hoya but it was the Golden Boy that really attracted the cash for that fight. And while the hype surrounding Mayweather's clash with Hatton was unequalled (in my opinion) in this part of the world, the truth is that we were sucked in by the genial Mancunian and not Money Mayweather.
While race may be an issue for some people, it never has been for me and I don't believe that it is for most boxing fans. We've loved fighters like Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard. We gravitate towards great personalities, fighters who give us brilliant fights and fighters who go up against the best in the world. Floyd does none of this. As I've said already he's rude and any drama in his fights have been provided by the opponents, such as Hatton or Zab Judah.
The real issue for me however, for the self-proclaimed 'would-be-greatest-athlete-in-the-world', is that he doesn't fight the best. Ever. Hatton - a B-Level fighter with an A+ fanbase. Judah - average. De La Hoya, Gatti, Sharmba Mitchell - washed up, one and all. For someone who has reigned in the 130lb - 145lb region for the past decade, the names of people like Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley (arguably) and Manny Pacquiao are all notbale absentees from his CV. Indeed, Pacquaio is a the antithesis to Mayweather. Where Money's avoided fighters, Manny has taken on all-comers...except Floyd. He's also a modest and charitable man, while he's also given us plenty of action in the squared-circle. They are direct opposites and the comparison is not good for Money. The mere claim that he could in any way be a bigger athlete than the likes of Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or any one of about fifty athletes in various sports is laughable.
Money is an ironic nickname for Floyd. As outlined by Kevin Mitchell, he's facing a stack of unpaid bills and pretty poor ticket sales for tonight's clash. Mayweather's 2007 may have been the most profitable year for any boxer in the sport's history, but it looks like all that money burned a really large hole in his pocket. Another bill's been added to the list after Floyd weighed in over the limit for the fight yesterday, a mistake that will cost him $600,000. To pay these bills, he needs the fans on boards, but I'm willing to bet his pay-per-view sales tonight won't be overly impressive because, as I've said, he just doesn't attract fans of the sport. I'll tune in, but I'm not expecting a classic.
It's just another Floyd fight against a weak opponent (Marquez is a blown up featherweight fighting, essentially, in the welterweight division) and despite Mayweather's claims, it's not half as good as he'd want us to believe. Consider me one fan who sees through the hype.