1. Home
  2. sports
  3. news
  4. Floyd Mayweather cried the night before his boxing Hall of Fame induction

Floyd Mayweather cried the night before his boxing Hall of Fame induction

Alan Dawson   

Floyd Mayweather cried the night before his boxing Hall of Fame induction
  • Floyd Mayweather cried Saturday night.
  • The 50-0 former boxer gave a speech during boxing's Hall of Fame week.

VERONA, NEW YORK — Floyd Mayweather arrived late to boxing's Hall of Fame weekend but when he finally turned up, he made quite an entrance and delivered a helluva statement.

Wearing a dinner jacket that was emblazoned with stars, the 45-year-old joined pugilistic peers Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Roy Jones Jr. as fighters who shined the brightest while competing in the ring.

The classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 will be enshrined permanently in nearby Canastota on Sunday, but the night before those inductions Mayweather broke down in tears during a banquet at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

People screamed "hard work and dedication" as Mayweather addressed the microphone, took time to gather his thoughts, and shook his head in apparent disbelief.

Despite wearing sunglasses, his face visibly changed as he was overcome with emotion.

"You deserve it, Floyd," one man said, offering support.

Minutes had already gone by without Mayweather saying a word.

That's when Laila Ali, Muhammad Ali's daughter and a fellow boxing Hall of Fame inductee this weekend, embraced Mayweather.

Ali put her arm around him.

It is unclear what she said but whatever it was seemed to have worked. She squeezed his biceps and left him to it.

Mayweather took an additional minute.

His cheeks were moist from the tears that had streamed from his eyes and so he dabbed them with a napkin Ali had given him.

"I don't know what to say," he said, before speaking for almost 15 minutes.

'Without them, there would be no me'

"I told myself I wouldn't cry," he began, raising laughs from the hundreds at the banquet. "This is one of the best days of my life," said Mayweather.

The former five-weight world champion retired from pro boxing in 2017 after beating the UFC star Conor McGregor in the 10th round of a landmark, crossover bout.

Though the McGregor bout was one of Mayweather's greatest paydays, it is a mere footnote in the pantheon of top fighters he competed against and won.

Mayweather ran a gauntlet. He overcame Genaro Hernandez, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Zab Judah, Oscar de la Hoya, Saul Alvarez, Marcos Maidana, and Manny Pacquiao.

He even beat three fighters being inducted into the Hall of Fame on the same weekend as him — Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, and Miguel Cotto.

"To all these champions up here," he said, turning to other inductees around him. "All these champions to me … they molded me to be who I am today.

"The champions from the past, I could name so many fighters, the list goes on and on. I'm so proud of these fighters. I'm not even here to talk about me, because without them, there would be no me.

"I'm happy that Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley are in the Hall of Fame. All of these legends. Bernard Hopkins and James Toney. The list goes on. Andre Ward, Laila Ali. I'm so proud of you guys.

"This isn't just about Floyd Mayweather," he said.

'I love my dad'

Mayweather praised his family members, including Floyd Mayweather Sr. who helped train him, and Josie Harris — the mother of two of his children, who died two years ago.

"I love my dad because if it weren't for him, this wouldn't be possible," he said.

"And I said to myself, I told myself over and over, 'When I get up here, I'm not going to cry. I'll give a great speech, and say how proud I am of my mother, my father, my family.'

"You guys always see my dad — the best trainer. They'll never be another trainer like my dad.

"They call [boxing] the 'Sweet Science,' so what my dad said, 'You know what, son? The less punches you take, the longer you'll be able to last in the sport of boxing.'

"I said, 'I'll take less punches, retire on my own terms, and make smart investments so I can live a comfortable life long after retirement'."

'There's no sport like boxing'

Mayweather continued: "Boxing is blood, sweat, and tears. Shit, I cry on a great day like this? These are tears of joy.

"My body of work is amazing. To fight guys like Shane, Manny Pacquiao, these guys are amazing, unbelievable, great champions — I love all these guys."

The fighter then commented on what motivated him in sport. "When they say I can't do something, that make me work that much harder. I push myself and push myself and push myself to be the best."

One of Mayweather's enduring legacies will be his unbeaten record of 50 wins with 27 of those wins coming by knockout.

He strived for that greatness in the pro game because of a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games.

"I'm happy I didn't get the gold medal," he said. "As it made me work that much harder to not feel that pain again."

Mayweather famously banked approximately $1 billion through prizefighting.

He even dubbed himself "Money" Mayweather.

Mayweather drives fast cars, and buys expensive property in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Miami. He even owns an $18 million watch.

But the way he talked during Saturday's speech, his flashy lifestyle doesn't define who he is. "It didn't matter how much money they paid me," he said. "I'd have done it for free. I love the sport of boxing."

Finishing, he said: "There's no sport in the world like boxing."


Popular Right Now