Boxing: Jail is not a problem – it will make me just like Malcolm X, says Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather Jnr insists on his innocence ahead of his impending prison sentence

He used to be known as Pretty Boy but now Floyd Mayweather Jnr wishes to be called Money – no doubt because it is a commodity he loves above everything else, apart from himself. Boxing's supreme craftsman, eight times an undefeated champion in five different weight classes, returns to the ring in Las Vegas next Saturday in the biggest fight of the year, against the Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto.

Mayweather's considerable fortune will be enriched by some $30 million (£18.4m) but he will have plenty of time to count his cash for just over three weeks later he enters a Nevada jail to serve a 90- day sentence for assaulting a former girlfriend, Josie Harris, and threatening to harm two of their children. He was also ordered to pay a $2,500 fine and complete 100 hours of community service after agreeing to a plea deal. Mayweather was said to have hit Miss Harris, twisted her arm and threatened to make her "disappear".

Remaining on file are various unresolved charges of assault, battery and coercion laid by people who claim to have been punched by Mayweather. He has also been involved in a dispute with his father Floyd Snr, a former fighter, famouslybrawling with him in the gym. The wounds of their relationship are deep-seated, tracing back to when Floyd Snr held up his baby son as a shield during a gangland shoot-out in the late 1970s.

Mayweather's mother was also ravaged by drug addiction and he says of his father, who trained him for a time, "Of course my dad was a drug dealer, a hustler, you know my background. But it's not so abnormal, most young black people go through the same in life."

However, the prospect of incarceration does not faze him. Insisting on his innocence, he said from Las Vegas last week: "Am I guilty? Absolutely not. I took the plea. Sometimes they put us in a no-win situation. I had no choice but I don't worry about going to jail. Better men than me have been there. I'm prettysure Martin Luther King's been there, and Malcolm X. I have taken the good with the good so I'll accept the bad with the bad. It's just an obstacle that's put in your way. I can get through anything. I know the truth and I am not worried."

Not since Muhammad Ali has there been a fighter as much a law unto himself as 35-year-old Mayweather who, like Ali, has the ability to match his arrogance. He even proclaims himself as the greatest boxer of all time. "Muhammad Ali was one hell of a fighter but Floyd Mayweather is the best."

Mayweather may have been accused of many lapses into notoriety but as a boxer he is unblemished and ruthless in his dedication. He moves back up to light-middleweight to fight for the WBA Diamond Belt held by Cotto, 31, himself a three-weight world champion with only two losses in 37 fights. Cotto has the pedigree to scupper what would be the richest fight in history – Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao – if it ever happens, which Floyd Jnr doubts. But he could be a little leg-weary by the time the supreme master of back-foot boxing has manoeuvred him around the ring for a dozen rounds or less. For all his bling, bullshine and braggadocio, his is a class act.

"Everyone is entitled to judge a person as they want, but I've got a good heart and all I've ever done is dedicate myself to boxing. Because I am not getting up off the canvas eight times like Rocky with a busted eye, it doesn't mean I am not an all-time great or that I am not the best fighterto go down in history.

"Like I have always said – there is no remedy on how to beat Floyd Mayweather. It's like a difficult maths problem that no one can solve. I was born a winner and I'll die a winner."

Mayweather v Cotto is live on BoxNation (Sky channel 456/Virgin 546) on Saturday: www.boxnation.tv

Roll of dishonour: Boxing's jailbird champs

Mike Tyson World heavyweight champion, sentenced to six years in prison in 1992 for rape.

Sonny Liston World heavyweight champion, sentenced to five years in 1950 for armed robbery and eight months in 1957 for assaulting a police officer.

Bernard Hopkins World light-heavyweight champion, sentenced to four and half years in early 1980s for armed robbery.

Rocky Graziano World middleweight champion, briefly jailed in 1930s for probation violations and going AWOL from the army.

Jack Johnson First black world heavyweight champion, given one-year sentence in 1913 for 'transporting women across the state line for immoral purposes'.

Alan Hubbard

News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
scienceHad asteroid hit earlier or later in history, the creatures might have survived, say scientists
News
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
scienceBumping fists rather than shaking hands could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, it is claimed
Voices
voices
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Credit Controller - Enfield

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Credit Controller - Enfield (North London / Hertfor...

year 5 teacher

£21000 - £32000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to wo...

Supply Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to have a b...

Supply Teacher - Chelmsford

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We urgently require Primar...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried