When Floyd Mayweather Jr. was sentenced to an 87-day jail term in January, he was able to delay his term with the prospect of a megafight on May 5. The reasoning being that the fight would bring economic benefits to the city.
At the time, Mayweather?s attorney claimed the boxer had brought over $1 billion to the city, and that this fight could bring another $100 million.
Many expected the fight to be the megafight of the century between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Ultimately the opponent was another of boxing?s elite Miguel Cotto.
Since then the talk has been more about the lack of Pacquiao-Mayweather and the potential of Cotto?s challenge. Mayweather has been reluctant to answer questions about his jail time.
“This is just another one of those challenges in front of him,? Mayweather?s adviser Leonard Ellerbe told ESPN?s Dan Rafael. “He?s not like your average fighter, your average human being. That?s what makes him who he is.”
On June 1, Mayweather will report to the county jail in Las Vegas. The fighter claims it has not been a distraction, but how does one train under that limitation?
“I?m not going to bull—- you,” Mayweather said in a press conference for the fight. “I don?t really think about it. My main focus is to go out there and do my job and be at my best doing my job.”
Still, moments will be tense in the ring not only because of the jail time; he?s also facing one of the toughest opponents he?s had in years.
It?s hard to think the American?s mindset is not slightly weekend by the hovering jail term. Cotto must know that getting him rattled early on could make a big difference.
Ironically enough, Mayweather has been in a similar situation before. At the start of his career he faced Diego Corrales before he was set to go to jail for beating his pregnant girlfriend. It was a bitter build up to the fight, as is common for Mayweather, and he didn?t shy away from his opponent?s legal problems.
At the time he said he would beat the boxer “for all the battered women across America. Just like he beat that woman, I?m going to beat him.”
Cotto has not mentioned Mayweather?s jail stint. The Puerto Rican has stated throughout the buildup to the fight that he will not let himself fall into Mayweather?s trash talk games.
Of course, there?s the flip side to the argument. Knowing he?s going to be gone for a while and that his next fight will be a long time coming, Mayweather may be more motivated than ever to give the performance of a lifetime.
He?ll want something great to envision during his stint in jail, not be simmering about avenging a loss at the hands of Cotto.
Whatever may be going inside Cotto and Mayweather?s heads as they enter the day of the fight, but to say the jail issue is not affecting them in some manner is impossible to believe.