By burning a $100 bill in plain view of cameras and fans, Floyd Mayweather Jr. sent a very clear and concise message: I’m not coming back to boxing for the money.
Although it was a relatively mild incident given what Mayweather has been a part of over the past year, video of him burning a $100 in an Atlanta nightclub became something of a viral sensation recently. The faux outrage at the undefeated boxer’s decision to smolder the amount of money that, to quote TMZ “would take over 19 hours to earn if you're making minimum wage in Georgia” has seemingly rubbed a few people the wrong way.
Those people should build a bridge and get over it.
The far more interesting thing to take away from this little incident, however, is that Mayweather is obviously not struggling for cash at this point. After he took an extended break from boxing this past year, some suggested that his supposed fear of Manny Pacquiao was the driving force behind the move. Then when Mayweather opted to return for his September match against Victor Ortiz, the same critics hypothesized that the motivation for his sudden return was because he was low on funds, not because he missed the thrill of putting on a fantastic match.
Initially, a case could be made for this argument – even if it was mildly ridiculous. Mayweather is a notoriously heavy gambler who revels in posting his ticket stubs on Twitter when he wins, but remains oddly silent when he bets big and loses. Furthermore, he is seemingly always out with his buddies 50 Cent and whoever else at big lavish parties, blowing through money like it’s some sort of race. So, obviously, the idea that money is the motivation for his most recent return to the ring isn’t the strangest Mayweather-related theory out there right now.
By burning a $100 bill in plain sight of any and everyone in that Atlanta nightclub, however, Mayweather made it clear to one and all – he’s back to reclaim his throne. He’s not coming back for a big pay day, he wants to cement his legacy as the pound-for-pound greatest that ever stepped into the ring. He wants run over Ortiz on his way to Pacquiao. He wants to smash Pacquiao’s head into the canvas on his way to Amir Khan. And, finally, when it’s all said and done, he wants the Ortiz-Pacquiao-Khan trifecta to be the last three win tallies in a historic career that will cement him as one of the best to ever lace up a pair of gloves.
Will Mayweather beat Ortiz, Pacquiao and/or Khan? That remains to be seen. For now, though, fans can take solace in the fact that Floyd’s intentions are true and pure this time around. You don’t need to show him the money, just show him the road to boxing legend immortality.