Over the past 24 years Floyd Mayweather has played out his life and career in the public eye.
From ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’ to ‘Money Mayweather’ a 19-year-old boy has been observed growing into a 43-year-old man, with his fair share of controversies along the way.
The now-retired, 50-0 boxing legend first became well-known back in 1996 when he was the victim of perceived injustice at the Olympics in Atlanta.
Mayweather took home the bronze medal after a contentious decision saw him knocked out at the semi-final stage.
As a result, his initial reception from fans was one of sympathy.
In the early stages of his career, he chose the nickname ‘Pretty Boy’ but would later change it to ‘Money’ as his persona altered.
Most famously, before his fight with Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, Mayweather deliberately painted an infamous, brash, arrogant character, with consistent outrageous taunts directed towards his opponent throughout the build-up.
He defeated fan favourite De La Hoya to claim the pay-per-view throne and never looked back.
For his next fight against Ricky Hatton, Mayweather was introduced with the ‘Money’ moniker for the first time.
He was jailed for domestic violence five years later as his public reputation sunk to its lowest point.
However, unbeknown to many, he had shown some of his greatest character just months before.
Mayweather won his first ever world title by defeating Genaro Hernandez in 1998.
While this bout was merely the beginning for Floyd, it marked the end for Hernandez.
He retired after the defeat, and was then hit with a devastating cancer diagnosis.
Promoter Bob Arum funded his chemotherapy bills for several years, but Hernandez stopped treatment and died in 2011, aged just 45.
Upon hearing of the situation, Mayweather discretely arranged to pay for the funeral.
Word got out against his wishes.
“Quietly, he took care of it,” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN.
“As soon as he found out about it, he called and asked me to find out the details so he could help out.
“Floyd likes to do things like that. That’s just the type of person he is.
“He has done things like this over the last 10 years – and I am not exaggerating – at least 20 times.
“I’ve seen a fan write to him or contact him through our website needing something like that done and Floyd would do it out of kindness.
“I can recall at least 20 times that he’s done that because I am the one who handled the details.
“He doesn’t like to take credit for those kinds of things, and he would probably get mad at me for saying these things, but it’s the kind of heart he has.”
Later that year, Mayweather made a rare public statement on a similar matter, telling his followers on social media that he would also be paying for the funeral services of heavyweight legend Joe Frazier.
My Condolences go out to the family of the late great Joe Frazier. #TheMoneyTeam will pay for his Funeral services.
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) November 8, 2011
Now, in 2020, Mayweather has made headlines once more for the right reasons, as he will be paying for the funerals of George Floyd.
On Monday, Hollywood Unlocked posted a story revealing details from a private conversation their CEO Jason Lee had with Mayweather.
The article read: “He told Jason that he was in a group chat with Anzel Jennings, the CEO of TMT music label, who shared that he actually grew up with George in Houston.
“Following their conversation, Jennings reached out to the family on Mayweather’s behalf.
“The 43-year-old star felt compelled to do something so he committed to paying for the three funeral services in Houston, George’s hometown – Minnesota and Charlotte.
“The family is also looking to have a fourth service in another location. Mayweather has also offered to take care of those expenses as well.”
Lee commented: “I felt it was important to share this because his voice has a global impact that needs to be heard, especially during these times.”
Some who believe they know Mayweather from his flashy persona were taken aback by this news.
Floyd’s uncle, Jeff Mayweather, summed it up best.
He said: “I’d like to applaud my nephew for stepping up for the George Floyd family, but people are acting surprised about this when Floyd has done this many times.
“It’s usually other boxers and plenty of them he’s offered to pay for their funerals for many families.
“He does it because he has a good heart and not for the publicity. If he did it for the publicity people would already know how many times he’s stepped up during times like this.
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“People are too busy trying to judge him for the lifestyle he lives but he earned it.
“Every time you step in the ring your life is on the line and no-one has taken one punch for him which means he should be able to spend his money the way he wants to.
“l never speak much about my nephew but with so many calls and messages I’ve received I decided to let people know Floyd’s life may be flamboyant, but he does has a heart and has done many other things similar to this genuine kind act.
“He’s not doing [it] to be praised. I’m proud of him for stepping up in this situation, but by far it wasn’t his first time and I’m sure want be his last.”