By John F. McKenna (McJack)
WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO’s) has the opportunity to turn things around when he emerges from the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas where he will serve a 90 day sentence for domestic violence beginning on January 6, 2012.
Floyd along with Sugar Ray Leonard is arguably the most gifted fighter of the modern era. Even his critics concede the only reason he is not currently considered the best Pound for Pound fighter in the world are his long absences from the ring. Over the last several years Floyd has fought on average once every 18 months. Even with the infrequency of his fights “Money” Mayweather appears as sharp as a razor during his ring appearances.
Floyd’s fights are always a huge event and the 2.4 million Pay Per View (PPV) buys for his fight with Oscar De La Hoya is the all time top PPV fight. Mayweather has demonstrated time and again that he is not only a great boxer in the ring, but also a master at self promotion and at manipulating the media to his own advantage.
Floyd has a hard core following of fans who hang on his every word at the press conferences designed to hype his fights. Mayweather has cultivated his “bad boy” image to the extent that it is sometimes difficult to discern who the real Floyd Mayweather is. His frequent scrapes with the law however demonstrate that his “bad boy” persona is not all show.
Floyd’s time in jail could be used as a time for self reflection. The usual entourage of hangers on will not be around during his time away. Mayweather will turn 35 in February 2012. Mayweather can utilize the remainder of his career to be a positive influence not only in the ring but in the community as well.
As a boxing writer I was amazed over the last few weeks at how many young people who came up to me wanting to talk about Floyd Mayweather Jr. His influence crosses racial lines. Young people who are otherwise not into boxing are interested in Mayweather and what he says and does. Whether he cares to acknowledge it or not Floyd is a role model. His charitable work goes almost unnoticed.
Mayweather is in the unique position that he can have a major impact and influence on young people.
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