There’s a scene from “HBO 24/7: Mayweather-Mosley” where a single sentence from the trash talking Floyd Mayweather encapsulated the pound for pound king of boxing’s motivation.
“Shane Mosley said I fight for money. You f*cking dummy, I’m a prizefighter! That’s what I’m supposed to be fighting for, a prize, duh!”
It’s no secret that Mayweather’s incentive to put his health on the line inside of the squared circle is the almighty dollar. You’ll never hear Mayweather suggest that he fights for the thrill of it all. Instead, he treats his art as a business. A business that has seen him rake in record breaking purses, sign lucrative contracts and has topped the Forbes list for highest paid athlete in both 2012 and 2013.
This conversation with “Money” isn’t about who he’s going to fight next (“I don’t know yet,” he says with a hint of sarcasm) or another inquiry as to why he and Manny Pacquiao haven’t been able to get on the same page for a super fight (“He had his chance and he blew it”). Nor is it about the alleged $10 million he bet on the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl (“We laughed about that, absolutely not true”) or the whereabouts of Ray J (“I never kicked him out of TMT”). Honestly, all of those questions yield the same answers that are prefaced with “Like I said before.” But when you talk about money, Mayweather indulges.
For Mayweather it’s about business, big business. It is about how to sustain when so many of his pugilistic peers have fallen upon financial hard times once they hang up the gloves. It’s about investing in those around you and making sure your whole team flourishes. It’s about The Money Team.
When you look at the career arc of some of the most prominent fighters in the sport, many careers end with a whimper and the overlapping narrative tells a cautionary tale of financial strife. It’s become an epidemic where fighters spend like there is no tomorrow until tomorrow actually shows up.
But Mayweather isn’t one of those fighters.
“What we try to teach here with The Money Team is success. Not fame, success,” Mayweather says over the phone, with an extra emphasis on success. “A lot of people out there have a famous face but nothing in their bank account. Just because you walk the red carpet does not mean that you are successful.”