Is Floyd Mayweather a “Coward?”

By Johnathan Lee Iverson on December 20, 2014
Is Floyd Mayweather a “Coward?”
I have decided to retract my support of any and all things Mayweather, until further notice.

We need our idols to remain pristine if only for the sake of the game, our indulgences, our entertainment, or our distorted sense of self-worth…

Sorry Manny Pacquiao fans, this will not be red meat for you to fill your digestive tracts with even more disdain for the pound-for-pound kingpin. There will certainly be articles and commentary to whet your appetite in the coming months, as the two fighters, their handlers, and respective networks decide to stop with the excuses once and for all and get the much anticipated match up done or not.

The question posed here is of a far more delicate and I would argue more significant matter than any fight Floyd Mayweather might ever have. The silence is deafening and the public hypocrisy, namely that of the sports press is egregious; and I like so many others am just as guilty. I’d like to believe myself to be a sober minded individual with an honest intellect, but the truth is, such an aspiration is a conscientious effort that requires renewed personal engagement again and again. It requires me to unchain myself from the prejudices and beliefs, so deeply etched into my very soul, that to break free of them and think em>scientifically, without passion or prejudgment would likely incur a measure of great discomfort.

We love our idols. We love them with a blind devotion that permits us to deny their humanity, for better or for worse. We erect them to the status of gods, not the true and living God who requires of us, but gods in our own image, who we, require of.

We need Manny Pacquiao to be an icon without peer to the Filipino people — not a womanizing-gambler. We need Muhammad Ali to be “The Greatest of All Time,” the Louisville Lip, who defied the US Government — not the womanizing, author of some of the most brutal and racially charged diatribes in sports history. We need Sugar Ray Leonard to be boxing’s first $100 million dollar man — not a drug addict. We need Floyd Mayweather Jr. to be the most dominate brand in sports — not a batterer of women. We need our idols to remain pristine if only for the sake of the game, our indulgences, our entertainment, or our distorted sense of self-worth.

No sport is without its very human gods. Truly, “all have sinned and fallen short…” Yet, professional sports exposes in us, a most distorted duality. It is perhaps the only arena where power and privilege are firmly ensconced by a public, which craves its amusements. Whose superhuman participants are almost always immediately pardoned of any and all transgressions, often via an accommodating judicial system, that Joe the bus driver or Jill the single mother of two could never enjoy. And yet, the same lot of us who profess to love justice and fairness; who take to message boards to issue our disdain for what we perceive to be miscarriages of the judicial process or affirm the long arm of the law, no matter how brutal, over the lives of everyday people whose minor offenses warrant their long incarcerations or worse, are at best, indifferent to our gods and their multiple DUI’s, assaults, rapes, and misbehaviors that cause the loss of life. It’s all good, so as long as they get to the coliseum on time and keep winning.

And win Floyd Mayweather has done. Love him or hate him only the most seriously deluded denies his pugilistic greatness. Dig deep into the treasure trove of “the good ‘ole days” if you dare, picking out names of greats of years past and Floyd Mayweather would stand among, if not above, the elite of any era. Equally significant, maybe even more so is his Barnumesque IQ for crafting his brand. His ability to turn every single fight into an event is unprecedented. The numbers speak for themselves. He commands the largest paychecks in sports and his PPV numbers and revenue set records. He is the sport of boxing until further notice. 

However, to Koraun Mayweather, “he is a coward.” These aren’t the words of one of Floyd’s many detractors. These are the words of his son, a son recounting to USA Today Sports the most traumatic night of his young life, the alleged attack on his mother, Josie Harris in 2010 by his father, Floyd Mayweather Jr. According to Harris this was one of six alleged attacks at the hands of Floyd Mayweather, father of three of her children. The latest attack would send the champ to prison for a 90-day sentence. Such allegations are not new, but are in fact well documented for those who have followed Mayweather’s career. Obviously, he denies the allegations, calling them just that, “allegations” or his more famous rebuttal, “where’s the pictures?” This despite, according to USA Today Sports, the Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas, NV said Harris did indeed suffer bruises to the face, scalp, and forearm, as well as a head injury. This despite a restraining order filed by Harris on September 14, 2010. It is one thing to question the accusations of an ex-lover or two. It is another thing entirely when one’s child corroborates every punch, push, hair pull, kick and scream. Such was the case for Ray Robinson Jr. who witnessed his mother’s alleged beatings at the hands of none other than the immortal Sugar Ray Robinson. Asked what kind of father he was, Jr. replied: “Horrible.” Ironically, along with Robinson’s many accolades and feats he was awarded a Father of the Year honor in 1952. 

How we love our idols? How protective we are of our gods? It is not my place to determine guilt or innocence, no matter how obvious, even overwhelming the evidence may be. In a just world, that would be the responsibility of courts of law that could ignore power and privilege. In a sports world which boast some of the most prolific and unabashed talking heads, one would think those same supposedly bold voices that pontificate about everything from stats to race relations would display the same gravitas in at least seriously addressing Mayweather’s alleged history of violence toward women. I suppose the good ‘ole boys wish not to suffer the same fate of Ms. Rachel Nichols of CNN, whose program happened to be cancelled mere weeks after she dared to act like a journalist and confront his Moneyness about the allegations leading up to his second encounter with Marcos Maidana. 

When all is said and done we are the cowards. We are the enablers, who by way of our unbridled need to be entertained feed the monster and validate the behavior of our gods — good, bad, and ugly. Is talent that magical? Is one’s genius so extraordinary that they are absolved from all accountability? Do we have no expectations save for the ability of our gods to provide us great water cooler conversation? Are we some of the same people chanting, “Hands Up,” “I Can’t Breathe,” demanding accountability (and rightfully so) from officers of the law whose annual salaries barely add up to a night out at Fat Burger for The Money Team, yet, find nothing odd about the fact that we are likely supporting individuals whose wives, girlfriends, or children will have to call those same police officers to keep your favorite god from ending her life?

I believe in mercy. I believe in second chances. But, I also believe there must be repentance, even for gods — particularly when the lives of others are affected by our actions. And no, I do not believe we can separate the person from the professional, so as long as the professional funds the person. Furthermore, the person will always take precedent over the professional. President Bill Clinton and heavyweight great Mike Tyson proved that. Yes, we all have flaws. Yes, many of us wrestle with some terrific demons. The backstory of many of those whom we cheer, including Floyd Mayweather Jr. is evidence of how remarkable many are to have come from where they’ve come from and achieve so much. However, that doesn’t excuse us from at least making the effort to raise the standard of what we will or will not accept.

Though the fan in me may rage, and rage it does, as I am a devoted fan of the sweet science and absolutely love its greatest practitioner, I have decided to set down my rose colored glasses, save my pay-per-view funds and retract my support of any and all things Mayweather, until further notice.

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  1. RupertD 05:19am, 01/06/2015

    Is Floyd Mayweather a Coward? The answer in simple English is YES!!!

  2. Jethro's Flute 04:30pm, 12/28/2014

    Also, Mayweather is a wife-beating prick.

  3. Jethro's Flute 04:29pm, 12/28/2014

    “concerning Ali, if you call standing up for the oppressed black peoples of America during the jim crow era racial brutal diatribe you are the coward and should stop writing.”

    How did fighting in Zaire under a brutal dictatorship help the black people of America?

    Also, how did meeting up with the KKK help those people? Ali met that organisation shortly before heading out to Manila for his third match with Joe Frazier. The KKK and Ali had identical views on race.

  4. robb 12:39am, 12/28/2014

    concerning Ali, if you call standing up for the oppressed black peoples of America during the jim crow era racial brutal diatribe you are the coward and should stop writing. concerning Floyd, he called pacman out and as usual wants to fight in May but all of a sudden Arum who had Pacquiao fight mostly on May 2nd, Hatton on May 5th ect, has now declared May for Mexicans only! Pacquiao doesn’t want to fight Aaron doesn’t want the fight and all you jealous cowards will blame Floyd in public while breathing a sigh of relief in private that your God Pacquiao has been spared the lash

  5. Rupert 05:28pm, 12/26/2014

    How do we allow Floyd Mayweather jr to lie like a rug and insult the Fan’s intelligence for a long time and let him amazed this ill gotten wealth by lying to us? Who are to Blame for this? Is he worth 30 million dollars for his Boring fights? Why is ” Showtime ” allowing themselves to shed millions in negative enterprise with the joker? Pathetic!

  6. Rupert 05:14pm, 12/26/2014

    Is Floyd MayweatherJr a Coward? YES is the most realistic answer and if that intention is to retire undefeated by avoiding to fight contenders suggested by all in the Boxing World then therefore Floyd Mayweather jr is avoiding the fighters that will most likely to beat him so therefore he is a Coward.

  7. Rupert 04:59pm, 12/26/2014

    Anyone with normal brain, answer to the question, Is Floyd Mayweather jr a Coward? Probably putting it midely
    the answer is…..He seems to be ” Afraid to fight Manny ” for five and a half years now so therefore he is a ” Coward “.

  8. raxman 09:21pm, 12/22/2014

    google alerts working well here - whole lot of skim reading pac fan/Floyd haters jumped on this one
    digressing from the issues raised in this very well written article I’d like to address the whole TBE thing that seems to fire up so many. could Floyd really believe he is the best ever? or could this just be about the $ like so much is with Floyd.
    when Floyd fought under the pretty boy moniker he was a very good fighter who didn’t sell - marketing gurus were employed and it was decided that Floyd would try to tap into the hip hop market - Money Mayweather was born. you look at what would be required for a rap persona - arrogance, obsession with riches, and ostentatious acts. Floyd even started hanging around with rap stars. whether or not Floyd has since turned into the act I don’t know but you only need to look at his early interviews to know he wasn’t always the braggart of recent years. I feel the TBE thing follows a similar line of thinking.
    In recent fights Floyd has stopped putting down his opponents - he’s actually been downright respectful - so how is he going to draw viewers if he isn’t creating a bitter rivalry with his opponent? by creating a bitter rivalry with the fans - how? by calling himself the best ever.
    I for one don’t like falling into a marketing manipulation.
    having said all that, perhaps he does believe it - perhaps for him The Best Ever isn’t just about being the best boxer but the best boxer who’s had the most fiscal success - its hard to argue that he isn’t the most successful boxer from a $ point of view

  9. Eric 08:18am, 12/22/2014

    You gotta love these Floyd or Manny threads. Comments are golden. Lot of man crushes on Pac-Man. Floyd vs. Manny taint happening, ever.

  10. noli d. rosete 12:59am, 12/22/2014

    ..floyd mayweather afraid to fight Manny Pacman Pacquiao because pacman has had speed and power and is the fastest,strongest boxer ever had..mayweather is boring boxer like child playing mud while Pacquiao is most thrilling boxer, his fists like thunder..therefore floyd mayweather is COWARD boxer to fight Manny..afraid to stain his clean record without loss..

  11. Alex 09:10am, 12/21/2014

    I think that Floyd is the most overrated fighter in boxing history. He is one of the most boring boxers I have ever seen. When he is in the ring, he looks like he is playing PATTY CAKES.  He is “TBE” only in his own mind. On top of that, he ducks opponents! He should not be called a champ, but a CHUMP!

  12. The Barker 08:51am, 12/21/2014

    The writers on this site are too good for so many of you not to actually read what they wrote.

  13. bikermike 08:37am, 12/21/2014

    The question will always be there….....wdf hasn’t pbf fought pacman..Why not five yrs ago or so ?? 
    Pacman is well into the ‘back nine’ of his career, and now we hear that pbf is considering a match up ??

    pbf is a good fighter…or certainly was a good fighter….but he didn’t fight pacman….....why ??

  14. Edegar Learsi 07:11am, 12/21/2014

    I would continue with FLOYDCOTT as well until he fights Pacquiao, Margarito and Paul Williams.

  15. Barry 02:49am, 12/21/2014

    Here is a very interesting piece from Roy Jones Jr.

  16. Barry 10:15pm, 12/20/2014

    Nicolas.. everyone to their own opinion, i personally would have at least two thirds of the fighters i listed beating Floyd Mayweather. in fact of the 30 all time great fighters i listed, i have 18 of them beating Floyd Mayweather. Also their records stack-up far better than Floyd’s record, The opponents they beat, stack-up better than Floyd’s opponents. But it’s just a personal opinion.

  17. Pete The Sneak 08:29pm, 12/20/2014

    @The Barker…Thanks for bringing some semblance to this thread…The Pac Tards were taking it to the level in which the author first warned about in the beginning of his write up…. Johnathan Lee said ” Sorry Manny Pacquiao fans, this will not be red meat for you to fill your digestive tracts with even more disdain for the pound-for-pound kingpin.”...Pac tards, did you at least read the article, or did you just happen to see FMJ’s name in the title and just decided to add your warped two cents to justify your idolatrous adoration of Manny? Keep in mind, I am a huge Pac man fan myself, but come on man, how bout commenting on the actual article itself before you post?...Peace.

  18. tony 08:18pm, 12/20/2014

    Why ask the readers if Floyd is a coward?
    Ask Mayweather’s son, he knows best!

  19. The Barker 07:57pm, 12/20/2014

    How illiterate are some of you? The article has nothing to do with Mayweather’s all time standing. You Pac fans are like warped zombies on a mission. The writer is addressing the fighter’a much publicized behavior outside the ring, which is criminal. He, unlike many of you refuses to continuing supporting a man, who though a great fighter, is essentially a batterer of women.

  20. Dranreb Datsboygym 07:45pm, 12/20/2014

    Johnathan Lee Iverson is a FLOYDUCKs payroll list of many american boxing writers who is only for the TBA The Best Assholes money…im not shocked to see this kinda garbe article from american boxing writer…birds of the same feather flocks together!!!

  21. wilbert 07:28pm, 12/20/2014

    He is afraid of getting knocked out by the man he despises. Coward + Pride = Floyd, a new word in dictionary

  22. Manuel Naval 07:23pm, 12/20/2014

    Are you tring tl push d tbe coward to fight
    The pacman. Orjust trying to insist we should
    understand coward floydie about his traumatic
    Attitude with the name’Pacquiao’?. Sorry, ur iidol
    don’t deserved any accolade such tbe, p4p champ.
    Instead, he is a disgraced to all black amiricans for
    being the best ever black coward!
    Nothing personal, just sayibg the real fact.

  23. Rom 06:27pm, 12/20/2014

    Had floyd been in the era of sugar ray leonard and tommy hearns,  his name would not even deserve a second look to be considered TBE.

  24. azo_101 04:42pm, 12/20/2014

    wow…great words and accolades for “TBE”. I don’t think i could compare your   TBE with Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. If your basing his greatness because of his “0”, well, I hope TBE could surpass JCS Sr. record before he received his first loss. Was it 50+ fights? well, TBE is near 50, and still ducking fighters who are threat to his “0”. A black fighter with white balls. That’s how he will be remembered and you better tell that to the Marines.

  25. billabong 04:10pm, 12/20/2014

    This writer has some issues. what a depressing read. well and truly over dramatized.

  26. nicolas 02:42pm, 12/20/2014

    To say that Floyd is the best ever is like saying because Wladimir Klitschko has been a champion for nearly 9 years he is the best heavyweight ever, though there are some who really believe that. I would have him however as the best Jr Lightweight champion ever.  I think of the fighters that Barry listed, I would have him beating perhaps nearly two thirds.

  27. Barry 01:00pm, 12/20/2014

    A very well written piece which is very enjoyable read. if only my English was as good as yours. Floyd Mayweather is without doubt a very complex character. Floyd is No1 in the last decade in the sport of boxing, i am a great admirer of his skills. Yet having followed the sport for over 50yrs, it needles me to hear and read “Floyd is the best Ever” Floyd is good, but far from the best ever. Floyd is the current WBC Welterweight Champion. boxing fans have to ask, “would Floyd beat Hearns, Robinson, Leonard, Griffith, Armstrong, Rodriguez,  Napoles, Curry, Whitaker or Trinidad at 147lbs ? Floyd is a former Light-Welterweight Champion, is Floyd better than, Perkins, Loi, Locche, Chavez, Taylor, DeLaHoya or Pryor ? At Lightweight would Floyd have beaten: Leonard, Gans, Nelson, Canzoneri, Ike Williams, Carter, Duran or Arguello?  At Super-Featherweight Floyd would have had, Ross, Elorde, Camacho, Gomez & Nelson to beat.. Of Course Floyd or any other champion could never have fought and beaten, all the above listed fighters. But for Floyd to call himself “The Best Ever” like he does today, he would need to beat more than an old DeLaHoya, an even older Mosley and a Miguel Cotto all on points..Floyd is a marketing genius, who has had his share of luck along the way.

  28. nicolas 11:23am, 12/20/2014

    One has to remember that when Robinson was fighting, he had really the good graces of Walter WInchell. Had it not been for Winchell, I think that Robinson could have been pulled through the mud. As it was, he somewhat in later life got his comeuppance. Also his image, even in the documentary that had aired on HBO has been tarnished. As for Ali, I was dumbstruck as I think that many were when they saw the picture of his grandson. He was attending a state high school championship football game along with Snoop Dog, and was shocked to see that his grandson, and I believe one other would not be seen as black but for white. Ali’s son in law is caucasian. I guess Muhammed as had certainly to change his views. There is even a wonderful picture that I found of Ali with his grandson, it is very touching, considering this was a man who opposed interracial relations at one time, though there are rumors that he did not really always practice what he preached. Perhaps this is why when Ali went to Ireland recently, to see where a great grandfather came from, it was no joke as he even earlier acknowledged in an interview once that he had Irish blood. It was very touching to see these images from a man who once championed racial segregation. Ali showed that in time we can all change for the better.

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