People are still talking about the explosive, disturbing meltdown between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Floyd Mayweather, Sr. in the debut episode of 24/7 Mayweather-Ortiz. Some are so turned off by it they said they now would not purchase the pay-per-view for Mayweather's welterweight bout against Victor Ortiz, and with children crying in the background as the soundtrack, it was most definitely an ugly scene; some are entranced, such as myself, even if I found it to be all part of the same Mayweather good/evil/fake/real cycle; some are finding it to be comedic material, because sometimes being a boxing fan means having to have a love of gallows humor.
But a big portion of the response has been who was right and who was wrong.
So I thought I'd put on my Kenny Bayless stripes -- rather than my Russell Mora stripes, since in this father-son bout low blows definitely should result in lost points -- and referee it up. The standard isn't clean punching and effective aggression. It's about whose claims are least factual and who's most responsible for escalation of hostilities.
Sr.: "You were undefeated when you started with your daddy."
Sr. saying this with his brother Roger standing nearby, since Roger is currently Jr.'s trainer, was a pretty un-family thing to do, and he had to know that it would incite Jr., since prior to their recent thaw in relations the pair had a shooting war over Roger time and again. On the other hand, Roger handled the situation with a great deal more maturity than Jr., and he was the one whose ego was more directly challenged. Jr. could've reacted better, but he really was just responding to the meanness coming from his dad. Round 1: Jr., 10-9
Jr. to Roger: "I started with you, didn't I?" Sr..: "I started with you." Jr.: "You can't train nobody when you locked up."
If Sr. had been asserting that Jr. started his life with Sr., that would've been true, but he was talking about Jr.'s boxing career, and as a pro, Roger was Jr.'s original trainer, since Sr. was in jail. As for whether you can train anybody when you're locked up: Roger knows that pain himself. I suppose you could train people for some kind of intrajail boxing league. But nah, it's Jr.'s round. Round 2: Jr., 10-9
Jr., pointing to Roger: "This is the best trainer right here." Sr.: "I am the best." Jr.: "You not even close to him."
Like most of this argument, everyone is wrong in this leg. It's degrees of wrong, where the scoring comes in. Nobody but Jr. and Roger think Roger is the best trainer in the world. Nobody but Sr. and maybe Oscar De La Hoya think Sr. is the best trainer in the world; most would say that's Freddie Roach, and you'd have to go pretty far down the list before you ran into a trainer from the Mayweather clan. But while Roger's had success with the occasional fighter outside of Jr., he's basically a one-fighter trainer, albeit a pretty good one. Sr. has improved several world-class fighters measurably besides his son. Round 3: Sr., 9-10
Jr.: "Don't no fighter want to be with you. De La Hoya left you... Ricky Hatton don't want to be with you." Sr.: "I left De La Hoya, you crazy?"
Sr. does have a way of turning off some of his fighters. De La Hoya said on Twitter, though, that he "never left Floyd, Sr." Floyd, Sr. was De La Hoya's trainer prior to De La Hoya's fight with Jr., but while he offered to train De La Hoya for $2 million, the consensus was that he didn't truly want to train De La Hoya to fight is own son and used the $2 million pricetag as a way of forcing De La Hoya's hand. It's true that Hatton said he was disappointed by Sr. Ultimately, for the semi-false Jr. remark about De La Hoya and the pure schoolyard nastiness of Jr.'s "nobody likes you" taunt, Sr. gets the round. Round 4: Sr., 9-10
Sr.: "F*@k this gym, i don't give a f*@k about this gym." Jr.: "Why you here?"
Socrates would be proud of that Method, Jr. Round 5: Jr., 10-9
Jr.: "I'm a grown man."
I guess there are some grown men who argue with their fathers like this, but it's really just a technicality; Jr. is 34 and he's past adolescence. This wasn't the behavior of a proper grown man, anyway. Round 6: Sr., 9-10
Sr.: "You better hold him." Jr.: "Ain't nobody gonna do sh&t to me." Sr.: "Motherf*@ker, put your hands on me. You better not f*@k with me, motherf*@ker."
Unless I missed something -- I didn't see Jr. put his hands on Sr., and I didn't see Jr. make a move that suggested he was about to attack Sr. -- this appears to be Sr. escalating the rhetoric to the point of violence. On the Stepladder of Uncoolness, that's a pretty significant step. Round 7: Jr., 10-9
Sr.: "You talking about 41-1?"
Sr. seems to think Jr.'s record is 41-1. It's 41-0. If he said it was 40-1, it would have been a clever nod to the consensus that Jose Luis Castillo deserved the decision against Mayweather in their first fight, if not also their second. Round to Sr., in that scenario! Instead, it's just a mistake, and it's no good point at all. Even 41-1 isn't a bad record for the kind of competition Jr. has faced. Round 8: Jr., 10-9 [ADDENDUM: On Twitter, Kieran Mulvaney suggested to me that Sr. was saying Jr. would be 41-1 if the two of them fought. It made me doubt my own interpretation. Something to consider.]
Jr.: "You couldn't fight worth sh&t. you ain't nothing but a motherf*@king cab driver."
By Jr.'s definition, nobody can fight worth sh&t but himself; everyone else is a cab driver. But while Sr. wasn't on the level of his son or brother Roger, he was Ring Magazine's #5 ranked welterweight in 1977. Sr. could fight. Also, he never drove a cab. That is a lie, Jr.! Round 9: Sr., 9-10
Jr.: "You ain't sh&t as a fighter, so how you gonna be shit as a motherf*@king trainer?"
It's a good question, but only in a think-piece kind of way. I've often wondered why some people aren't standouts in a given sport but somehow manage to be good teachers of the sport, like Jeff Van Gundy or the aforementioned Roach. I don't dock Jr. for repeating the false claim about Sr.'s boxing career, but I do for the internal logic of his question. Round 10: Sr., 9-10
Jr.: "Get the fuck out of my gym, faggot."
One day I hope using a homophobic epithet will have the same cultural stigma that racial epithets do. I'm more on the George Carlin scale of things, vis-a-vis banned words, but if you're saying something like this will ill intent, you deserve the same negative popular feedback of someone uttering epithets at someone based on their race, too. For those who maintain "faggot" is a word that is only offensive in certain contexts, I'd recommend this clip from "Louie," starting especially at around 5:00, and it's not as if Louie C.K. is some namby-pamby liberal on the issue. (P.S. One aspect of the discussion about the origin of the word is not exactly right, according to etymologists. But the overall point is valuable.) Round 11: Sr., 9-10
Jr.'s concluding rant: "I ain't bothering nobody. All my cars paid for. All my houses paid for... Roger Mayweather made the Mayweather name, and i took it to the next level. And when it's all said and done only two motherf*@king Mayweathers that count. And motherf*@ker I'm not no junior."
You have to do this one line by line: 1. Yes, Mayweather bothers a lot of people, even if you discount some of his court cases as bogus, because he's also been convicted of some. Then he just annoys the hell out of a lot of people in the boxing world. 2. I have no idea if all of his cars and houses are paid for, but the IRS and others seem to think there are things he didn't pay for, every year pursuing taxes owed from "Money" Mayweather. 3. Sr. fought before Roger and introduced the Mayweather name into the currency that Roger would expand upon and Jr. would take to a much higher level. 5. Don't forget about Jeff Mayweather! He is a trainer and past boxer of modest note. And if I was uncle Jeff or Jr.'s kids, I'd feel real salty about this. 6. Rhetorically, "I'm not no junior" is a stylish flourish, but he most certainly is a junior. It's right in his name. Round 12: Sr., 9-10
Final score: 115-113, Sr.
I actually thought beforehand that Jr. would "win" the fight. At the time, I felt like he was making the most coherent points. But his tendency to hit low really hurt him as the fight wore on, with Sr. sweeping the last four rounds.
Nobody comes out of this looking pretty. Let's start with those around the two men -- nobody wanted to get in the middle of this, the way a friend or business partner or trainer should jave. It took Roger jumping in way, way too late to end the feud. Sr.'s nearly as immature a child as his son, if not worse considering his more advanced age, and the pair's disregard for the crying children is unsettling. This is a pair of egomaniacs who double as babies being willing to risk their relationship over some insignificant debate over female fighters. Jr. might have ramped up interest in the Ortiz fight with this b.s., but he did a lot of harm to any notion that he can ever be rehabbed as a likable figure.
If you're into trainwrecks or trash reality television, though, you're the big winner! (Unless you're the loser BECAUSE you like trainwrecks and reality television.)
With that, since we have ignored Ortiz, here's a picture of him modeling underwear, via TMZ.
Epic blow-by-blow. To me, it doesn't make either guy less likeable. This was, taken at face value, some very personal shit. The rest of us have the fortune of not having a documentary film crew following us around "24/7" to capture our lowest moments. Thinking back on some of my own worst, most heated conflicts with my parents or siblings...there was a lot of nasty things said. Couldn't even remember them now if I tried. Now Floyd's 34 and I was 14 but still...my situation's a little different than his. For a large segment of his life, Sr. wasn't around for any grievances to be aired out. Could be that this was some kind of cathartic breakthrough, two men with complicated feelings that have still been largely repressed in some ways. Jr. alluded to his father's jealousy. Makes me wonder if Jr. doesn't feel like Sr. wants to cash in on him or something.
Look, when a father and son are basically challenging each other to fight and unleashing "motherf***ers" on each other, it's not good. But because we haven't been privy to 99% of the backstory, I can't hate on either man.
On the "faggot" note, I have seen that episode of Louie and yes, it is an enormous scene. I don't think it's fair to label Floyd a homophobe though (and I'm not saying you did, just that it's one possible conclusion). That particular "F" word is one of the most common locker-room, street-corner, schoolyard taunts amongst boys and men (the "aggot" sound has a succinct zip to it). I think there's a distinction between "you dropped the ball, faggot" and "that guy is gay. He is a faggot". In the first case, the homophobic element is an unintended consequence. In the second, it's a direct slur. In the first case, it's a generic insult-word, in the second a specific anti-homosexual term.
If you strip us of the right to use the term in its' non-malicious sense, then what do we use? Pussy? Anti-woman. Bitch? Doesn't feel right for some of us. Dude? Loses the sting. Cretin or something like that? Too forced. In an ideal world, education would go a long way toward eliminating these derogatory slurs in all of their forms. Until then, many remain some of the most fun and effective ways to rile your boys. If Mayweather had called his dad a "pantywaist" no one would decry the anti-gay factor, they would be too tickled by his odd selection of epithet. The meanings are similar, though. This campaign to turn "faggot" into the next "that other horrible word with a history of horrific offensiveness"...let's just say I'm against it. Don't forget how the Louie scene ends...with DiPaolo calling the guy the word and everyone busting up laughing at the innapropriateness of it.
I'm a big supporter of equal rights, gay marriage, whatever...I could care less. And I don't judge anyone based on color, creed, or sexuality. I don't think being gay is a choice, either. But just because the word offends one group, doesn't mean we have to strip another of perfectly good comedic fodder. Can't the damn thing just have two definitions and we'll look at the context when evaluating intent?
1) a purposeful, anti-homosexual slur
2) a jovial, meaningless slander from one male to another
@JFoley Thoughtful material, but I'm gonna disagree on a lot of it.
Obviously I am not going to disagree with whether this made either man less likable to YOU. That's something that's up to you.
But these kind of outbursts don't look great to me whether they happen between a 14-year-old and a 34-year-old or a 34-year-old and a 58-year-old. (Although this kind of explosive nastiness is a reason I don't like most teenagers, and didn't when I was one of them.) Your explanations of the "whys" here are compelling. But it's ugly and selfish behavior -- the kids crying in the background shows just how much these two don't care who they hurt merely so they can try to hurt each other -- by two childish egomaniacs (I think that's a fair description of both men even when they're not fighting with each other), and I'll never like that.
Well, unless it's funny.
The context of why "faggot" is such a playground taunt is rooted, I think, in homophobia. What's the best way to challenge your boy's manhood? To say that he likes have sex with men, as if that's such a travesty. It wouldn't be a taunt if it didn't have a negative connotation with both the deliverer and recipient.
I'm not trying to make any word forbidden. In some discussions with people about this here, privately and on Twitter, there's been a perception that anyone who lodges any objections to "faggot" is trying somehow to trample on First Amendment rights or whatever. That's not it. Like I said, I'm more on the George Carlin scale of things. But I really don't see anything that different between "faggot" and "nigger," really, even when you remove it a degree from a direct slander of someone because of their race/sexual orientation -- if a white boy called another white boy "nigger" as an insult and some black dudes were around, you can bet your ass those black dudes would be very, very nonplussed.
Comedically, can I still find various offensive words funny? You bet. Indeed, DiPaolo's use of it was funny specifically because it was shocking.
But I don't think you can entirely separate the word "faggot" from its meaning. Intent matters. But so does context, even without intent.
Who told you that some black dudes would get upset at a white dude calling another one a nigger? Man please. The most hardcore dudes would watch to see what would happen between them.
@tstarks Of course you're right about "faggot". The casual use of the word seems to perpetuate the antiquated notion that somehow homosexuality equates to weakness, which I agree is utterly ridiculous. I don't deny that. But for a generation that had this term embedded in the lexicon as a taunt-word, I don't condemn the users because I think it's more indicative of ignorance than willful, wanton prejudice. It's become so second-hand in macho culture, it's more of a ritualistic tease than a malicious debasing of someone's sexuality. I'm not necessarily trying to encourage that, but they're gonna use some word and it's likely to be an offensive one. You can't deny, it's got a ring to it.
My girlfriend runs a Gay-Straight-Alliance club at the high school she teaches. She specifically addresses "faggot" and crusades against society's flippant use of it. We've had this conversation many times and she would be horrified by everything I wrote. But whenever my buddy tells a story that's a bit too earnest, I can't resist but come at him with the redneck-accent "Faggert!!!".
I don't want to lose that.
The show made me cry... I hope the day never comes when De La Hoya says to his Jr... Devon I couldn't train you I had to train Victor Ortiz. And before that I was in rehab and before that I was having to much fun with women. Sad but at least they talk to each other
@aqueen2c I'm with you on the show making you cry... but the rest confused me, apologies. De La Hoya as a trainer -- ?