Last week, former Lightweight champion Mickey Bey came out frothing at the mouth towards former promoter Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions for keeping him on the shelf for the past two years. Bey was recently released, but he was none too happy about his treatment and opened up about the culture at Mayweather Promotions. Bey said that the outfit is ran by loyalists to Mayweather who sway his opinion, so making their good graces is an immediate priority, and that whatever mood Mayweather is in can dictate his fighter’s career.
So basically, Bey is airing out his frustrations for his career stagnating and is doing what he’s known to do, which is pointing fingers and being oblivious in regards to the man in the mirror.
What IS interesting though is the amount of fighters that are under Mayweather’s outfit who have come out with some form of scrutiny against the future hall of famer. In addition to Bey, there has been a lot of tension between Mayweather and Jr. Lightweight champion Gervonta Davis and Josue Vargas over the course of the past few months that suggests there might be something beyond Bey’s sour grapes.
Starting with Mayweather Promotions itself, the whole reason that organization came into existence was because Mayweather needed a way to control negotiations during his career. That’s not uncommon as we’ve seen Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao all do the same thing. It was also a way for Floyd to make extra money by promoting fighters and selling the Mayweather brand all without throwing a single punch.
That being said, Mayweather Promotions hasn’t followed Floyd’s example of being the end-all he was over the last few years of his career, but Mayweather Promotions isn’t a ponzi scheme or bermuda triangle for fighters hoping to catch some of Mayweather’s shine.
Mayweather Promotions has produced champions and trusted its talent, maybe even too much at times, but it’s clear that Mayweather Promotions hasn’t been handing out free rides. We’ll get to Bey in detail later, but Bey went from being knocked out by John Molina to champion in two fights, same with Badou Jack who was more conclusively stopped to only find pound for pound success afterward, and Davis himself went from being a radar blip to one of the top fighters in the lighter weight divisions.
They also gave J’Leon Love chance after chance to make something of himself as he kept falling short, gave journeymen like Ronald Gavril not one, but two chances at a world title and continue to give opportunities to guys like Ishe Smith when other promoters wouldn’t bother with fighters who may not do anything for them.
Mayweather Promotions is also a tremendously small outfit, one probably so small that Mayweather is comfortable delegating the day to day business amongst his confidants with only pressing matters coming his way. This isn’t Top Rank or even the PBC, but Floyd’s fighters get exposure and chances, so what’s the big deal?
Starting with Bey, we have to remember that Bey damaged his own marketability when he tested positive for elevated testosterone levels so high, it was theorized that he was part rhino. Not only that, but Bey followed up his robbery title win over Miguel Vasquez by losing his title on the scales two fights before Barthelemy beat him and started his inactivity. Bey also hasn’t been a practitioner of fine judgment as evident when he turned down a $200,000 payday to fight Denis Shafikov in 2015 for the fight to go to a purse bid and enough money for him to buy a shiny new Prius.
Bey’s previous issues with Top Rank, who he was affiliated with before going to Mayweather, suggests that Bey would’ve been mad at anybody who wasn’t helping him have his way.
Now I will concede this much in that Mayweather Promotions is not going to build the next Floyd Mayweather. Hell, they may not even get the next Roger Mayweather if we’re being honest. The fighters who are on that team are getting every chance they have to make something of themselves, but they have to earn it at the very least.
When Mayweather came out and floated the idea of Davis fighting Vasyl Lomachenko, many people thought that Floyd was trying to set up Gervonta for a loss, but why not make that fight? If Floyd believes Davis has evolved and matured to the point where he feels he could beat him, then what’s the risk?
Bey got greedy and thought he was worth more than the trouble he was going to cause. He was wrong and it cost him time, momentum and a world title.
With that being said, are there issues within Mayweather Promotions that can be fixed? Of course there is, and the same can be said anywhere else in the entire world, but some fighters can (and have) thrived in this environment where others have not. That is nothing new.
Mayweather Promotions wasn’t created to run boxing, and when fighters realize that it isn’t impossible for them to leave. Josue Vargas left shortly after Mayweather released a sparring video between the two where Vargas caught a beating, Jessie Vargas left after he felt his career was stalling and found greater heights elsewhere and even Bey may find his happy place elsewhere. For the fighters who believe they’re destined to walk in the footsteps of Money Mayweather, they may find their journey is not what they expected, but they aren’t going to be without their shares of chances to make it happen.