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Floyd Mayweather, Jr. needs to meet his Jimmy Young
Undefeated in the ring, several defeats outside of it
Now is the perfect time for Floyd to have his Puerto Rico experience
Thirty-five years ago this month, the late Jimmy Young committed a murder in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It wasn't one that was done in the darkness of the night, nor did it take place in a quiet town that took everyone by surprise. It was done under the lights and it was witnessed by thousands of people, but instead of him being captured via a manhunt or being hauled off to jail, he was lauded for his work. Not by the people who watched this take place, but by the person he murdered. Years later, and even into today, the man he killed credits for beating the hell out of him. Literally.
The victim was a man of stature (6'4 208 lbs) and a body that was harder than the side of a brick building. One of his hands was bigger than a sledgehammer, and he had the look of a man who could make heaven lock the gates at night so the angels were safe. In other words, to describe him as surly would be like saying Rex Grossman reminds me of Peyton Manning. This guy would've made Goliath call for backup. But here he was, in Puerto Rico, getting ready to go at it with a lesser man...or so he thought.
When the dust settled, not only had Jimmy knocked this man down and beaten him unanimously, it turns out he looked into his soul, removed it, and gave way for a rebirth. After losing that night, this mean SOB, suffering from exhaustion and heatstroke collapsed in his dressing room and began calling out to God. He believed he was near death and needed help, but not from a doctor. He wanted a higher source. So he turned to the one his soul so often fought on a daily basis. This same man who found great joy in viciously beating people up and hated everyone was begging for a chance to change his life. He felt like he was being asked by God, on the spot, to change his ways. And he did. Right there. He stopped fighting. He stopped running. He became a born-again Christian. He dedicated his life to God. He became an ordained minister. He said Jimmy knocked the devil out of him. Translation: He saved my life.
Fast forward to March 2012. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is beginning to prepare for a fight on May 5, 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. As is the case with all Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fights, this one will be HBO PPV. This one will have a 24/7 series leading up to the fight. This one will have all of the fanfare you expect from Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and his cronies. The drama between he and his dad, the inevitable stacks of money up against his ear (as if he were talking to someone on a phone made out of money), his unblemished record in the ring, and the talk of pending cases; one of which will land him in a jail cell for a time during the summer.
And that's where the story begins. His inability to win outside the ring.
In recent months, Floyd has found himself in all sorts of trouble with the law. His most serious offense comes from having pled guilty to assaulting his ex-fiancee in front of their children. On December 21, 2011, a judge sentenced him to 90 days in jail. He reached a deal with prosecutors where he pled guilty to misdemeanor battery in exchange for the prosecutors dropping the felony battery charge. He also pled no contest to two counts of misdemeanor harrasment after he threatened his own children. In addition to the aforementioned, he must complete 100 hours of community service, a 12-month domestic violence program, and pay a fine of $2,500. Keep in mind that this is on the heels of a pending defamation of character suit filed against him by Manny Pacquaio for falsely accusing Pacquaio of using steroids. Mayweather has come under fire for other run-ins with security guards in and around his home, however, those cases have been dropped. While those cases cannot be brought up in a court of law as evidence of anything past or present, it still won't be forgotten by the masses, nor will it be excused. In reality, it leaves all of us to wonder how many different ways can one man get himself involved in so many bad things.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr., much like the man Jimmy Young took out, does not strike you as personable. In fact, he comes across as arrogant, ghetto, and classless. Unfortunately, his appearances on talk shows, postfight interviews, and the HBO hit series 24/7, which he helped create, does nothing but add another gallon of fuel to that fire. Nor does his open hatred for his father who, whether he knows it or not, he has become just by the mere fact that he will be leaving his kids and doing time in the pokey; albeit not nearly as long as Floyd Mayweather, Sr. His comments regarding Jeremy Lin certainly didn't make him look any less arrogant and/or classless. For a man who has such a knack for getting out of the way of punches in a boxing ring, it is utterly amazing how he can't get out of his own way outside of one (a la LeBron James). If there were ever two athletes who should have a PR person with them, even when ordering take-out, it's LeBron James and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. But I digress.
Floyd is at a point in his life where what he does outside the ring has begun to affect him inside the ropes. For all of his supporters who point to his unblemished record and his performance in his last few fights, his detractors will point to his age (35), his unwillingness to meet Manny Pacquaio half way, or get somewhere close to it, and the fact that his stay in jail, while short, is still 90 days in which he won't be fighting. And who's to say he'll want to fight, or will be allowed to fight by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, once his sentence is complete? But that's for another day and time. Right now, let me finish telling you about Jimmy Young.
That gentleman he fought back in March 1977 is named George Foreman. Yes, he shares the same name as the guy who has his name on the grills, but I can assure that they are not the same person. Not even close. The George Foreman you see today is a much happier individual. He's approachable. He's content. He's no longer mad at the world. He has a smile that stretches from Oakland, CA to Puerto Rico. That same Puerto Rico where he was killed that night. And when he takes his last breath, his next of kin will receive two death certificates. One will read March 1977 and the other will be on whatever day the NEW George Foreman died.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will be fighting Miguel Cotto on May 5, 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. That will be his last fight before he goes to jail. Whether he does all 90 days or does 45 days, which some believe will happen, he will be locked up either way. But before he goes, he has the same chance George Foreman had. Floyd makes his home in Las Vegas, which is a long way from Puerto Rico, but Miguel Cotto, who is Puerto Rican, is coming to Las Vegas to make this fight happen. It may not be such a bad thing if Miguel turned into Jimmy Young that night and murdered Floyd Mayweather, Jr.; especially if Floyd can come out of his Puerto Rico experience a changed man. Just like Big George.