Friday, June 1, 2012

[Sports News]: Boxing: Floyd Mayweather Jr. To Begin Jail Sentence Tomorrow



Floyd “Money” Mayweather is scheduled to start an 87-day sentence at the Clark County (Nevada) Detention Center on Friday, June 1 after a six month delay from January so he could fight Miguel Cotto on May 5.

Mayweather was originally sentenced last year to 90 days after pleading guilty to one misdemeanor charge and no contest to two harassment charges for his actions in a 2010 domestic violence battery case involving two of his children and their mother.
When Mayweather was asked about the impending jail stay following his fight with Cotto, he said he would do what a man needed to do. What a man needs to do is stop beating up women and terrorizing children, a lesson Mayweather can contemplate sitting on his can in the can.

Mayweather is far from the first prominent boxer to be incarcerated. Mike Tyson served three years of prison time on a rape conviction and emerged in 1995 to make $25 million on his first fight against a no-name opponent. James Kirkland served one year in federal prison and several more months on probation for being a felon in possession of a firearm in 2009 and 2010. Bernard Hopkins spent five years in prison in Pennsylvania where he learned how to box.

Diego Corrales, Ron Lyle, Sonny Liston, the list goes on.

But there is a big difference: Mayweather is serving time in jail, not prison. Jails house local offenders with a year or less of incarceration. This is not The Big House. Mayweather will join 3,500 male and female inmates serving time but also those newly arrested offenders awaiting a bail hearing or a trial or serving very brief sentences.

Still, Mayweather will be behind bars. He won’t be cruising the clubs with his posse of famous rapper pals or buying high-end shoes for his girlfriend in the Vegas shops. He’ll be sitting somewhere on the third, fifth, seventh or ninth floors in the general population of this multi-story building in downtown Las Vegas.

No one expects Mayweather to serve the full 87 days. In a previous interview, a Clark County Court spokesperson said Mayweather is eligible for 22 days of good-time (behavior) credits, a maximium of 25% of the total sentence, making his sentence 65 days in custody. That makes his release date approximately August 4.

Clark County Detention Center inmates aren’t permitted “contact visits.” All visitation is by video only. If a visitor arrives, he or she is escorted to a video station for a videoconference visit.

Mayweather can pick himself up a few creature comforts from the jail commissary, a general store where inmates can buy items through a catalog twice a week, according to a schedule for the area where they are housed. Items available include snack foods, toiletries, reading materials, and stationery.

Purchases are made from an inmate’s jail trust fund account where he or she deposits funds. Mayweather can use a credit card or deposit cash. No word on whether there is a limit to how much money an individual inmate can deposit, but safe to say it is likely to be one of the larger accounts in the history of the Clark County Detention Center, given that Mayweather made north of $40 million on his bout with Miguel Cotto earlier this month. It’s going to buy enough Snickers bars and magazines for the entire inmate population.

It’s really no laughing matter, but two months in jail isn’t likely to derail Mayweather’s career unless he chows down on too many Snickers from the commissary. It surely won’t affect his fan popularity. Depending on how he handles it, his brief jail stay may only add to the intrigue surrounding this larger than life personality in the sport.

Since the days of the Roman gladiators, crowds have enthusiastically cheered on competitors in hard-hitting sports and rewarded them for their success in literally beating down their opponents. Psychologists say we release our pent-up anger and frustration by watching others unleash violence in controlled settings.
We all need to understand and stand up for the difference between consensual violence between conditioned athletes and violence against unwilling, unequipped victims. But it’s not going to stop a single fan from purchasing a pay-per-view or buying a ticket.

What a shame is that we don’t take time to honor the true gentlemen of boxing such as Sergio Martinez or Timothy Bradley who live a clean life, speak out against bullying, work with kids, and love their families but don’t receive the same sort of attention.

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