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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key Stage 1

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee