'Left-Hook Lounge': Vivek Wallace's Mailbag feat. Mayweather Jr./Sr., Pacquiao/VisionQwest, Oscar De la Hoya, Froch/Ward, & More!!!
Derrick H. (Las Vegas, NV): I thought the rift between Floyd Mayweather jr. and his Father was very troubling and almost couldn't believe that HBO even aired it. In your estimation, is the relationship between the two really this flammable or was this just extra hype?
Article posted on 29.08.2011
Vivek W. (ESB): Short answer to your question in one word is "both". When I look at Floyd Mayweather jr. and his Father, I see a certain level of entertainment, but beyond that, I see a certain level of many other things, starting with both pain and pride. Like the Mayweather's, life now days may come with a certain level of leisure and fun for many of us, but all it takes is a quick trip down memory lane to remember that it wasn't always this way. For these two, it's a similar identity to many of us, but far more extreme in both positive and negative levels. What America, (or should I say the world), was able to witness up close on HBO's 24/7 was the remnants of a dysfunctional family that was able to make it far enough in life to actually conceal their true level of dysfunction (to a small degree).
Sure you've heard the adage, "you can take man out of the jungle, but you can't take the jungle out of man". Well, we are what and who we always were, there just comes a point where life circumstances help us mask it a little easier. Lets just say the Mayweather's have reached that "point".
The biggest mistake society can make is to see abnormalities in a person and condemn character without ever stopping to ask themselves what TRULY separates the accuser (you) from the person you've accused. To narrow it all down, those who find the Mayweathers to be "abnormal" or "dysfunctional" have to realize that this is a family who came from a different path than most of us. We've heard Floyd Mayweather jr. talk about "always seeing [his] Dad with a wod of cash" as a child, and many can also recount the stories of Floyd jr. talking about his Father's imprisonment due to drug trafficking which gave him the ability to carry those "wods of cash". For those who don't get it, bottom line, a past that encompassed big drug connections and little normalcy has culminated to a dysfunctional relationship between two alpha-males who have a lot of pride, yet carry that pain from the past associated with them every day.
I'm no ones psychologist, but being well studied in the area and having a major emphasis on it from family members who are, let me go clinical for a moment: Has anyone stopped to ask themselves whether or not Floyd Jr. felt any level of abandonment from a man he looked up to who was suddenly no longer there when he needed him the most, failing to understand that man was suddenly absent only because he did what he felt he needed to do at the time to support him (the child) and their family? Secondly, has anyone asked themselves how Floyd Sr. may have felt to realize that he was in prison as a result of doing what he felt was his best option to support his family, then be released, only to see his pride and joy at the time (lil' Floyd) now a grown man who had lost respect for him, not realizing his Dad had only "abandoned" him because he did what he felt he needed to do to provide for him?
This rift we see between the two goes back decades, and when you have two proud men like this who want to win at all things in life at nearly all cost, it leaves little ground for true reconciliation. Honestly, it's sad, because tomorrow isn't promised and one thing I can tell you is that they do genuinely love one another. They just don't know how to put the past behind and simply move forward. No doubt, what we saw was real, but it should also be duly noted that 24/7 is Floyd Mayweather jr.'s creation, and as the master-editor-at-large, (pun intended), there's nothing that we see presented that he didn't want us to view. You haven't seen one segment of him looking winded in camp, or taking shots he isn't supposed to take. You know why? Because he tells the crew when he wants the camera off.
That being said, yes, it was kept in the final cut to show both the blunt reality and some shock value, but at the end of the day, he just earned another (at least) 20,000+ viewers who'll pay $65 dollars at home to help him earn another $50M+ to pay for his; all because they want to see this "disrespectful son" get his ass whipped by someone not too old like his Dad to actually do it. Will it work? Well.....you'll pay to watch like everyone else reading because he pissed you off just enough to make you officially part of that additional 20,000 subscribers......perhaps we can talk about it the morning after! (Looks like the Jokes on you!) No, this isn't a totally fake sport, but trust me, when it's time to perform, Floyd is more "Dusty Rhodes" than he is "Pete from the Streets"! Marketing 101, my people. Cut quotes, take notes.....
Alex N. (London, UK): Carl Froch recently stated in so many words that he isn't too happy with Andre Ward working with Victor Conte and he wants steroid testing leading up to the bout. What are your thoughts on his request, being that you supported Mayweather's request for the same testing against Pacquiao?
Vivek W. (ESB): I have no issues with Froch feeling this way, but I would direct the same verbiage towards him that I directed towards Pascal and Berto. Why ask when the contract is signed, rather than before? That suggest only one of two things to me: Either (A) you want to get under the skin of the opponent as the big day draws near; or (B) you're giving fight fans something to think about if you do in fact drop the decision and gain the "L" on that given night. After all the crap Conte encountered as a backlash on the heels of other athletes linked to him, he'd have to be one crazy mutha-you-know-what to do anything remotely ignorant at this point. Nonito Donaire, Berto, and a few others have all been linked to him recently, not to mention an inquiry by yours truly at one point (Manny Pacquiao), even though he was smart enough to keep any extra attention away from his name, instead sticking with who he knew best (Ariza).
All that considered, I just can't find the logic in asking for a test or even bringing it up at this point, which comes well after the fight is signed, the promotion is over, and training is under way. I don't support everything that Mayweather does, but consider this: It has to be one way or the other. We can all agree collectively that these men have no right to bring this matter up AFTER negotiations are complete, yet many also try to find issue with him for asking for it up front, rather than trying to make it an excuse in the end. Sound business strategy and he apparently plans to stick to his guns. I have to commend him on that, because so far, he has been the only one smart enough to do it the right way. Not the wrong way, which comes in the aftermath when you've been defeated and have no other way to take away from another man's accomplishment.
Carlos A. (Miami Lakes, FL): Floyd Mayweather jr. belittled his Dad's accomplishments as a trainer, stating that Oscar, Hatton, and others left him, however, Oscar came out publicly and denied that was the case. Oscar has never seemed to be a big fan of the Mayweathers. How did you read the fact that he actually took up for Floyd Sr., given that they did seem a little at odds when they split?
Vivek W. (ESB): I also found Oscar's statement a bit intriguing. Personally, at first it made me question whether rumors of his potential return are in fact true. If so, I guess it's safe to say that we know who'll get the nod when camp commences. Honestly, aside from this small possibility, I have no earthly idea why Oscar would make such a statement, (admitting that Mayweather walked away from him rather than the opposite), other than the chance of it being true.
When you think back to that affair, remember, Oscar wanted the services of Floyd Snr., he just wasn't going to do it at the level of wages (estimated near $2M) that Mayweather had requested, which may have been for the best. Think about it......we see and hear all this drama about the Mayweather's not liking one another, but truthfully, how easy would it be to train a man to take a person out of the world that you helped bring in? At the end of the day, the split was mutual if anything. Oscar may in fact be considering a return, and Floyd Snr. may be the man for him if it happens, but in this case, I think we're all better off dropping agenda's or suspected motives and simply taking his word for what he said it is.......absolute truth!
Jason U. (Ft. Bragg, NC): You recently made a statement that touched on Pacquiao's lawsuit against Floyd Mayweather jr. and how it could play a role in the recent developments with Pacquiao, VisionQwest, and Top Rank. Could you elaborate on the subject a little more.
Vivek W. (ESB): If I'm on the right sheet of music here, the closest thing I recall saying was touching on an off-the-record statement allegedly made by a member of Pacquiao's camp (who I won't name) around the time the lawsuit initially jumped off. To my understanding, there was a statement made (paraphrased) along the lines of "he doesn't have to get Mayweather in the ring to make money from Mayweather". That statement meant very little at the time in which I was initially apprised of the words, but what makes it very intriguing in hindsight is the fact that even back then there were underground rumors in certain media circles that perhaps Pacquiao's money wasn't what many felt it should be.
Playing a little "Sherlock Holmes" and just looking back over time and piecing together a number of components, checking to see what fits and what doesn't, suddenly, a few things are starting to make sense. If those rumors at the time were true, and Pacquiao was indeed having money issues while knowing full well that his congressional campaign was gonna deplete that status even more, would I be totally surprised to know that Pacquiao wanted to gain a few dollars the easy way from an easy to hit target (Mayweather)? Absolutely not.
I have no doubt that when a person has an image that has been squeaky clean for the most part like his, it can be a very distasteful thing to see that image tarnished. That being said, if those rumors at the time about his fading money were true, I think that clearly fuels the consideration of a lawsuit with damages that yield heavy monetary compensation. I never understood how a man would rather pay money to face someone in court, rather than be paid money to face them for free in the ring. If Pacquiao was in fact seeing the depletion of funds based on various personal reasons, while also knowing his congressional campaign bid was gonna do more damage, I think better logic has to give way to such a possibility. I have no idea what the truth is in this matter, but what I can say is that if these rumors were true, through all this darkness, I can see the light.
(Vivek "Vito" Wallace can be reached at email@example.com, Youtube (Vivek1251), Twitter (VivekWallace747), Skype (Vito-Boxing), and Facebook).
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