By Steven Shapiro
He calls himself “Money” for good reason: He has lots of it. Floyd Mayweather is the highest-paid athlete in the world and is known to throw cash around as if it was confetti.
“The lifestyle is real,” he tells Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric at his Las Vegas gym, where he is preparing for the “fight of the century” against Manny Pacquiao on May 2. “I really have three Bugattis. I really make nine figures in 36 minutes,” he says.
The undefeated boxer stands to collect as much as $180 million from the fight based on a 60-40 split of the purse negotiated in his favor. Total revenues from the event are expected to reach a staggering $400 million.
“Hopefully, the world will be watching,” he tells Couric.
The 38-year-old has been enduring grueling workouts three times a day to prepare for Pacquiao. “A lot of hand pad work, a lot of body work, heavy bag work, speed bag, pushups, pull-ups, dips. The list goes on and on.”
Mayweather’s rise to the pinnacle of the boxing world began humbly in Grand Rapids, Mich. His mother struggled with addiction, and his father, who was also a promising professional boxer, saw his career cut short by violence and a jail sentence for selling cocaine. “My dad was shot by my mother’s brother. I was right there,” Mayweather recalls.
But even after all of his success, Mayweather has run into trouble of his own. “We can talk about it,” he tells Couric.
In 2011, Mayweather pleaded guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges, after his ex-girlfriend alleged he beat her in front of two of their two children. He served two months before being released.
“I’m black. I’m rich. And I’m outspoken. Those are three strikes right there,” he says, going on to tell Couric, “So, you know, when someone says, ‘I got pushed or hit, I’m a fighter. So I may not really hit a person.’ But guess what? I got to fight the case because I’m already guilty. They don’t know if I really did it or not. But since I’m a fighter, they’re gonna say, ‘You know what? He did it.’”
Couric goes on to ask if Mayweather felt unfairly accused. “Did I kick, stomp and beat someone? No, that didn’t happen. I look in your face and say, “No, that didn’t happen.” Did I restrain a woman that was on drugs? Yes, I did. So if they say that’s domestic violence, then, you know what? I’m guilty. I’m guilty of restraining someone.”
Mayweather is now focused on the fight ahead of him, the one in the ring, against Manny Pacquiao. He says he’ll walk away a winner, even if the fight doesn’t go his way.
“You know, having my hand raised doesn’t define me as a man. No matter what anyone says about Floyd Mayweather, I’m a winner, you know, in life. Not just because I was able to make hundreds of millions, because whatever I got involved with, I gave 100%.”
More fight coverage from Yahoo Sports: