Bunce on Boxing: Time behind bars will raise profile of Mayweather fight


On Friday Floyd Mayweather, boxing's best and richest fighter, will go to prison for 90 days following a deal he did with prosecutors in Las Vegas last month.

The temporary incarceration will, in theory, put an end to promoter Bob Arum's advanced plan to build a temporary, 45,000-seater stadium in Las Vegas for the long overdue Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight on 5 May.

The Pacquiao and Mayweather fight is expected to generate $500m (£323m) for the city during fight weekend, which will be spread between the pockets of Mayweather, Pacquiao and the casino executives. Mayweather, meanwhile, has promised $100,000 to "breast cancer research" and no doubt he will buy 10,000 turkeys for the city's poor next Thanksgiving.

Mayweather's legal team reached a compromise with prosecutors in Las Vegas after a plea deal was constructed to guarantee that Mayweather would avoid a felony conviction.Instead, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor, battery and harassment of his ex-girlfriend, Josie Harris. He was sentenced to the 90 days and avoided "multiple" years in prison.

"He will spend 65 days in custody," said Clark County's Mary Ann Price. "He will get 22 days of 'good-time credit' in addition to three other days of credit for time served." Mayweather will be released on 11 March and that is probably a month too late for Arum and the rest of the Vegas boys to sell the fight. Probably, but not definitely.

The sentence will raise the profile of the fight, which was first discussed in 2007, and there is every chance that incarceration will leave Mayweather with fewer options and therefore could force him and his people to the negotiating table.

However, Mayweather does still have the WBC's welterweight belt, a title he won with a glorious, legal sucker punch back in September, and he will still have it when he walks away from prison in March. The WBC's top banana – it is the best description of the man, trust me – is Jose Sulaiman and he has come to his main cash cow's defence.

"Beating a lady is highly critical," said Sulaiman. "But it is not a major sin or crime. We [the WBC] should not touch his belt because we want him to fight Pacquiao, which is the fight that the world wants." The WBC, it should be pointed out, does have the power to strip a felon or even drop a felon from its rankings.

The last figure being discussed for Mayweather against Pacquiao was $35m each for their time in the ring for a fight that has been tarnished by time, dodgy decisions, Pacquiao's dip in form, Mayweather's sucker punch and now Mayweather's incarceration. It will, when it inevitably happens, break the financial record set by Mayweather when he narrowly beat Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.

The pathetic donation to breast cancer research is an insult because he has 'let it rain' with more; letting it 'rain' in Floyd's tiny world means showering idiots in clubs with $100 bills. Not all sporting idols can be Bobby Charlton but Mayweather simply takes the piss.

Mayweather was once used as a human shield in a dire shoot-out at a crack house by his father; it never worked and Floyd Snr was shot in the leg and soon out of his son's life and serving proper time for drug offences. It was not a great start and the kid is doing everything possible to make sure that it is not a great end. A stadium fight in Vegas with fight revenues alone topping $250m will not change a thing.