Mayweather has 'got to get his life in order,' HBO executive says
Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s Friday arrest on a felony theft charge coming a week after he launched a racially charged, expletive-filled video attack on Manny Pacquiao are indications the unbeaten boxer has difficulty handling life away from his sport, say two of the most prominent businessmen in his career.
"He's got to get his life in order," HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg told The Times Friday after learning of Mayweather's arrest in Las Vegas on suspicion of grand larceny connected to the theft of his ex-girlfriend's cellphone, according to reports.
"This gives me pause. I've known Floyd for many years, and we've showcased him several times on [HBO's reality series] "24/7," with people engaged by his personality. Now people are repelled by his personality. I hope he can learn from these terrible mistakes. Someone has to do an intervention with him."
Mayweather, 33, has produced several compelling HBO pay-per-view events in the last four years, including the most lucrative bout of all time against Oscar De La Hoya in 2006, and the May 1 victory over Shane Mosley that generated 1.4 million buys. Sources close to Mayweather say he's earned more than $60 million in two bouts since last September.
But on the heels of Mayweather's video rant against Pacquiao, in which he accused the Filipino superstar of using performance-enhancing drugs, dismissed him as a future sushi chef and made other slurs, Greenburg said he felt compelled "to speak out. There's no place for that kind of behavior or that racist diatribe. I hope it never happens again, and that he's learned his lesson."
Mayweather did apologize, but on Thursday, his ex-girlfriend told Las Vegas police she was the victim of domestic violence committed by the boxer, and later reportedly filed a restraining order against him after being treated at a hospital for what police said were "minor injuries."
The Associated Press reported the woman's restraining order request read: “Please order Floyd Mayweather to not try and contact me. Floyd has threatened to have other people do harm to me as well and if [there] is a way I can be protected from that please help me."
The woman and Mayweather have been together for more than 10 years and have three children together.
The boxer's lawyer, Richard Wright, told AP that Mayweather is accused of taking an iPhone from the woman, Josie Harris.
“He did not commit any grand larceny,” Wright told the Associated Press. “Josie can't find her iPhone. We're attempting to find it or replace it. We'll cooperate in the investigation. We expect to get the matter resolved.”
Harris made a police complaint and sought a family court protection order Thursday alleging Mayweather pulled her hair, punched her in the head and twisted her arm while she screamed for their children, who range in age from 7 to almost 11, to call 911.
Richard Schaefer, the Golden Boy Promotions chief executive who has co-promoted Mayweather bouts since 2006, said elite athletes such as Mayweather can become a "target," urging reporters to "cut Floyd some slack," and "not engage in a witch hunt." But Schaefer added the boxer's trouble reveals "the price of fame."
"The spotlight is a glorious light at times, but it can be a hard light too," Schaefer said.
Schaefer was asked if Mayweather is showing that he can't handle life outside the routine of anticipating a fight. He currently has no bout scheduled and failed to agree to fight Pacquiao in a second round of failed talks during the summer.
"For many, their athletic environment is a kingdom, a real place to find refuge from outside influences -- their safe haven," Schaefer said. "The same is true for Floyd. He's a gym rat. Maybe he needs to get back in there and fight again so we can all enjoy his amazing talents."
-- Lance Pugmire