The untold truth of Floyd Mayweather

If you were going to make a Mt. Rushmore of boxing, who would you include? Muhammad Ali? Mike Tyson? Sugar Ray Robinson? Well, whoever you put on your mountain, you'd definitely have to add Floyd Mayweather Jr.

A champion with an unblemished record inside the ring, Mayweather has stirred up quite a bit of debate over the last few decades thanks to both his fighting style and personal life. But despite his crimes and controversies, the man is a legend of the game, and with his 50th professional fight looming on the horizon, it's time to join The Money Team and discover the untold truth of Floyd Mayweather.

Mayweather's perfect record

Love him or hate him, you've got to admit that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is one of the best boxers to ever step inside the squared circle. The man has been trading blows since age 10. In addition to winning the U.S. Championships and National Police Athletic League tournament (both really big deals), he's also a three-time Golden Glove champ. To cap off his amateur career, he took home the bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

After representing the U.S. at the Olympic Games, Mayweather went pro and started racking up wins. He's battled some of the best in the business, including Carlos Baldomir, "Canelo" Alvarez, Zab Judah, and of course, Oscar De La Hoya, and Manny Pacquiao. And after every single showdown, Mayweather is the guy who gets his hand raised in the air. In total, Mayweather has a professional record of 49-0, tied with the legendary Rocky Marciano.

Still not impressed? Mayweather has fought in five different weight classes, from super featherweight (130 pounds) to junior middleweight (154 pounds), and he's won 15 titles over the course of his illustrious career. In his 49 fights, Mayweather has only suffered one official knockdown … and that came after he hit a dude so hard with his broken hand that Mayweather bent over in pain and touched the canvas with his glove, prompting the ref to make the call.

Why is it so hard to knock Mayweather down? He's practically impossible to touch He's one of the very best defensive boxers in history, and thanks to his evasive style, he's still picking up wins in his old age. In fact, Mayweather has won two bouts past the age of 38, something that even Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Mike Tyson couldn't do.

From rags to riches

Once upon a time, Floyd Mayweather was known to boxing fans around the world as "Pretty Boy" Floyd, but the champion eventually adopted a new nickname: "Money." Considering he's one of the wealthiest athletes in the world, the change makes sense, and after earning a series of sizable paychecks, the boxer topped Forbes' list of highest-paid athletes in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

However, Mayweather hasn't always been rolling in the dough. As a kid, Mayweather had a crack-addict mom and an abusive dad (more on him later), and he often found himself living without electricity or hot water. Sometimes he found himself sharing a bedroom with seven family members. Talking about one of his early homes (he moved a lot between New Jersey and Michigan), Mayweather said, "It smelt of urine to outsiders who came in, but to me it never because I was used to it."

To make money, young Mayweather told The Guardian that he would do backflips for a buck to buy a meal at Burger King. In the meantime, he dreamed of becoming a boxer and hoped he could make enough money to make life better for his family. Jump forward a couple of decades, and Mayweather has earned over $700 million by punching people in the face. And with the upcoming Conor McGregor fight on the way, it's likely that Mayweather will become the third person in history to earn $1 billion from his athletic career (not adjusting for inflation), following in the footsteps of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.

The secret to Floyd's insane wealth

There are plenty of boxers on Planet Earth, but none can compare to Floyd Mayweather when it comes to the size of their bank account. Ever since 2007, the man has earned bigger and bigger paychecks — picking up $40 million here and $80 million there — before taking home an estimated $250 million payday for his 2015 match with Manny Pacquiao. So what's the secret to Floyd's insane wealth?

In the mid-2000s, Mayweather was under contract with Top Rank, a promotion company run by Bob Arum. Mayweather had been doing business with Top Rank since going pro, but in 2006, he was starting to feel stifled. The boxer wanted $20 million to face Oscar De La Hoya, but Arum said no. Wanting to make the big bucks, Mayweather bought out his contract for $750,000, freeing himself from Top Rank and becoming a free agent.

After making that risky decision, Mayweather started up his own company in 2007, Mayweather Promotions, allowing him to make money as both a boxer and a promoter. Run by Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather Promotions has made the ex-champion truckloads of cash, and when he finally faced off against De La Hoya after leaving Top Rank, he netted a whopping $25 million. Things only got crazier from there. "He earns a percentage of every ticket purchased, every pretzel consumed, every poster sold," wrote Greg Bishop of The New York Times. "He will earn from countries that paid for broadcasting rights and the theaters where the fight is shown."

So yeah, that's why they call him "Money" Mayweather. Every time he steps into the ring, he starts making millions, all thanks to a gamble he took in 2006, a move that Leonard Ellerbe called "the best investment in the history of sports."

His battle with the IRS

While Mayweather is the king of the ring, no one can beat the IRS. The man has been slapped with multiple tax liens over the years, but things got particularly testy in July 2017. According to Forbes, Mayweather owes the feds a pretty hefty tax bill — like $22.2 million from 2015.

That's a pretty crazy number, especially for a guy who's constantly posting photos on social media of all his cash. However, this revelation has shed a new light on his upcoming bout with Conor McGregor, leading many to believe that Mayweather accepted the fight with the Irish UFC star to pay off his debt. In fact, hoping to postpone paying his bill, Mayweather recently filed a petition with the U.S. Tax Court that said he had a "significant liquidity event scheduled in about 60 days from which he intends to pay the balance of the 2015 tax liability due and outstanding."

So while Mayweather has a perfect record of 49-0, it won't save him from coughing up all that cash. No matter how skilled you are at the sweet science, the IRS is always going to walk away with the KO.

Mayweather's crazy walkouts

Remember that scene in Rocky where Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) enters the boxing stadium dressed as George Washington while throwing money into the crowd? Well, Floyd Mayweather has never donned a white wig while heading to the ring, but his walkouts are often just as wild.

When he went up against Manny Pacquiao in 2015, Mayweather was escorted into the arena by Justin Bieber and the Burger King mascot. And that wasn't even the first time the Biebs had walked out with Mayweather. In 2014, when Floyd faced off against Marcos Maidana, the Canadian pop star joined Mayweather's entourage alongside Lil Wayne, but you might not have noticed them because the procession was headed by a full-fledged circus complete with clowns and jugglers.

Mayweather also has a thing for chariots. He rode up to the ring in 2005 to the tune of "Another One Bites the Dust." He pulled the same gimmick in 2006, only this time he was decked out as a gladiator, complete with pink boxing gloves. Perhaps his most infamous stunt came in 2007. Before his fight with Oscar De La Hoya, Mayweather showed up wearing a sombrero and a red, white, and green outfit resembling the Mexican flag. Needless to say, this upset a lot of people, but hey, if nothing else, you've got to admit that Floyd Mayweather knows how to make an entrance.

The Fight of the Century

Floyd Mayweather has plenty of great fights on his resume, but without a doubt, the biggest bout of his career was his 2015 match with Manny Pacquiao. A pugilist from the Philippines, Pacquiao won 11 titles in eight different weight classes, and fans had been clamoring to see him throw down with Mayweather for years. However, due to all sorts of contractual problems, many assumed the superfight would never happen. Money won out, though; the boxers worked out their issues and went to war in May 2015.

Labeled the "Fight of the Century," the May-Pac match was one of the most anticipated events in boxing history. In fact, in an era where boxing was losing viewers, many believed this was the bout that would save the sport. So naturally, with all the hype leading up to the fight, people were shelling out insane amounts of money to watch these two stars go at it. Pay-per-views sold for $100, and the cheapest tickets were priced at $1,500. (On the black market, they were going for as much as $350,000.)

In addition to earning pay-per-view points, Mayweather and Pacquiao were competing for a $300 million purse, not to mention a million-dollar belt studded with emeralds. But when it came time for the actual showdown, the Fight of the Century didn't exactly pan out the way that everyone had hoped.

The Fraud of the Century

When Mayweather and Pacquiao stepped into the ring in May 2015, there were quite a few titles on the line. Mayweather was the WBC and the WBA welterweight champ, and Pacquiao was the WBO welterweight champ. Yeah, it's a bit confusing — boxing is weird — but there were three belts on the line, plus a whole lot of money. Mayweather wasn't going to change his game plan, though.

Instead of putting on a Hollywood-style fight, Mayweather fought defensively, per usual, scoring points and staying away from Pacquiao. As for the Filipino, he could barely land a glove on his opponent. At the end of the bout, Mayweather walked away the victor, but disappointed journalists lambasted the event, labeling it the "Fraud of the Century." Some believed it had actually harmed the sport, and everyone wished the fight had taken place years earlier when the men were in their prime.

Making things worse, it soon became apparent that Pacquiao had injured his shoulder just a month before the fight. Inexplicably, the Nevada Athletic Commission let the fight go on, causing many to wonder what would've happened if Pacquiao had been given enough time to heal. Nevertheless, the May-Pac match became the highest-grossing pay-per-view event of all-time, with over 4.4. million buys, making it Mayweather's biggest fight to date, even if it was a great big disappointment.

The men who've beaten Mayweather

As a professional, Mayweather is 49-0, but as an amateur, Mayweather wasn't always so successful. Before going pro, "Pretty Boy" Floyd actually lost eight of his 92 bouts, suffering his first defeat in Michigan, courtesy of Arnulfo Bravo. He was later defeated by Martin Castillo, Carlos Navarro, Juan Carlos Ramirez, Noureddine Medjihoud, and Trigran Ouzlian.

The last two men who bested Mayweather were Augie Sanchez and Serafim Todorov. Mayweather and Sanchez were actually friends who'd roomed together in 1994 and had competed on the same fight team. But when it came to try out for the '96 Olympics, the two squared off in a series of three matches. Mayweather took bouts one and two, but Sanchez gained a bit of boxing immortality by beating Mayweather in their second match.

Instead of acting bitter, Mayweather praises Sanchez as the last guy who ever beat him in a fair fight, which brings us to the Serafim Todorov controversy. The American faced the Bulgarian during the Atlanta Olympics, and most people believe Mayweather actually won the fight. However, Todorov walked away the victor, and many think there was some shady business going on behind the scenes. Even Todorov admits there might've been a corrupt judge scoring the bout.

Sadly, Todorov's legacy was smeared by the controversy, and due to some bad decisions following the Olympics, his boxing career fell apart. As of 2015, the man was living on less than $500 a month, which just goes to show that the victor isn't always the one who gets the spoils.

Crazy Mayweather controversies

Thanks to his defensive style of fighting, Floyd Mayweather is generally considered a boring boxer, but if you watch enough of his fights, sooner or later you'll see something crazy. Take his match with Victor Ortiz, for example. During the bout, Ortiz intentionally headbutted Mayweather. Feeling guilty for his illegal act, Ortiz gave Mayweather a hug and even kissed him on the cheek. After that weird display of contrition, the ref started the fight up again, but Ortiz tried to give Mayweather another hug.

And that's when Floyd fired with two shots, sending Ortiz to the mat and putting him down for the count. Victorious, Mayweather walked away with Ortiz's belt, but the 22,000 fans in the arena booed the man for sucker-punching his opponent. According to Mayweather put it, this was totally Ortiz's fault: "In the ring, you have to protect yourself at all times."

That's nothing compared to his fight with Zab Judah. In this 2006 match, Judah smashed Mayweather with a right hook, causing Floyd's glove to touch the canvas. Technically, this should've been a knockdown, but the ref didn't make the call. Then in the tenth round, Judah hit Mayweather below the belt before punching him in the back of the head — both illegal moves. Infuriated, Floyd's uncle Roger, who worked as his trainer, jumped into the ring and got into a fight with Judah's dad.

Things only escalated from there, with more and more people pouring into the ring. Security officers and policemen were forced to restore order, and after the impromptu brawl, Roger Mayweather was stripped of his license and fined by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

His strange relationship with his dad

Mayweather's dad, Floyd Sr., is one of the big reasons Floyd Jr. is such a successful athlete. Unfortunately, father and son have an incredibly complicated relationship that's equal parts boxing and abuse.

When Mayweather was just a boy, Floyd Sr. earned a living as a boxer, once going ten rounds with the great Sugar Ray Leonard. But Floyd Sr. was the kind of guy who took his work home with him, often using his kid as a punching bag. "My father would beat me for anything I did," Mayweather once said, "even if I hadn't done anything." On one occasion — when Mayweather's uncle tried to shoot his dad with a shotgun — Floyd Sr. grabbed 2-year-old Mayweather by the ankles and used him as a human shield.

On the flip side, Floyd Sr. is the man who taught Mayweather how to fight defensively. Unfortunately, he didn't get to watch his son perform at the '96 Olympics because he was serving time for cocaine trafficking. While Floyd Sr. was in prison, Mayweather's uncle Roger became his main coach, and when the elder Mayweather was released, things got awkward on the Money team. Eventually, Mayweather kicked his dad out of the group — and the home Jr. was paying for — starting a seven-year feud between father and son that culminated with Floyd Sr. offering to train Oscar De La Hoya to fight Mayweather.

That didn't work out, and the two Mayweathers soon began to patch things up, with Jr. bringing Sr. back as his coach. The two have been working together ever since, training, supporting, and pushing one another back and forth in one of the weirdest relationships in boxing.

He's assaulted multiple women

There's no denying that Floyd Mayweather is one of the best boxers ever, but despite his athletic abilities and mainstream success, the man has a serious dark side. "Money" Mayweather has done some truly horrible things outside the ring, even serving time behind bars.

According to Deadspin, Mayweather has been involved in at least seven assaults going back to 2001. (Those are just the ones he was arrested or cited for.) In 2001, he slammed Melissa Brim, the mother of one of his daughters, in the face with a car door before hitting her multiple times. Then just a few months later, he punched Brim in the neck while they were shopping.

In 2003, Mayweather attacked two women in a nightclub without provocation before assaulting a female security guard. Later that year, Josie Harris — the mother of three Mayweather children — claimed that Mayweather punched and kicked her before dragging her out of a car. For some reason, Harris later rescinded most of those claims, but things tragically escalated in 2010.

After learning Harris was involved with NBA player C.J. Watson, Mayweather (who was no longer seeing Harris at the time) stormed into her house, grabbed Harris by the hair, twisted her arm, and punched her multiple times in the head, threatening to kill both her and Watson. Luckily for Harris, her 10-year-old son managed to escape the house and get the police, and as a result, Mayweather was sentenced to 90 days in jail … although he only served two months.

Unfortunately, Mayweather's abusive behavior doesn't get a lot of play in the media — especially sports media — and many seem to ignore his criminal activities. After all, he's the biggest name in boxing. Everything he touches turns to gold, and you don't want to hurt your top moneymaker, even if he hurts everyone around him.