Floyd Money Mayweather Jr. has never been shy about speaking his mind, and in the new HBO Sports show Speaking Out, Mayweather Jr. sits down with celebrity sociologist Michael Eric Dyson to discuss several subjects from his life to his career as an undefeated professional boxer.
The show, which aired on this past weekend, was recently uploaded to YouTube. In the show, Mayweather Jr. talks about boxing, what motivates him, his relationship with his father, and his pending jail sentence.
We go through a lot, especially myself. I'm judged already because I'm a fighter, so if anything happens that has something to do with contact or someone getting hit, they're automatically going to say, 'It's him,' says Mayweather about the plea bargain he made in a court case involving an assault charge from his wife. Can't nothing get to me. Even with my incident coming up in June with me, having to do time, I don't worry about that. It comes with the territory.
Mayweather Jr.'s optimism is evident through most of the show, even when being asked about his pending jail sentence. I'm pretty sure Martin Luther King Jr. has been to jail. I'm pretty sure Malcolm X has been to jail, says Mayweather. And there are many more that have been to jail. You take the good with the good and the bad with the bad. It's just an obstacle that's been in your way. I can get through anything.
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Dyson, as an interviewer, caters to Mayweather's ego through most of the show. At one point in the episode, Dyson references Jay-Z in 99 Problems lyrics, And I heard Son do you know why I'm stopping you for? / Cause I'm young and I'm black and my hat's real low / Do I look like a mind reader sir, I don't know / Am I under arrest or should I guess some mo? Dyson asks Mayweather if he experiences resentment as a young, black man who's flashy and always making it rain in public.
I don't think that anyone will ever understand me, says Mayweather. No one will ever understand my pain.
Why? asks Dyson.
I beat all the odds, says Mayweather.
Dyson brings the conversation back to race later in the interview and asks again if Mayweather experiences resentment because he's young, good looking, articulate, intelligent and confident. Dyson asks, Why is it that black athletes, when they choose to speak directly about issues of race, are almost silenced or at least seen negatively? Mayweather says that he thinks athletes are expected to sit back after being paid and be thankful.
At one point, Dyson begins to compare Mayweather to Muhammad Ali. Mayweather is quick to say that Ali accomplished a lot of great things and even speculates about the type of conversation he would have with Ali. He imagines the two men would argue about who accomplished more in their boxing careers.
The boxing conversation eventually makes its way to Manny Pacquiao, one of the best active pound-for-pound fighters, and why Mayweather hasn't decided to face him. Mayweather says he called Pacquiao and told him he wanted to make the fight, and that he'd give him $40 million up front. Pacquiao rejected the deal and suggested that the fight should be split 50-50.
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