Excusing, Or Celebrating, Floyd Mayweather Going To Jail Friday

A number of common and sometimes divergent refrains are sounding throughout the boxosphere in response to the news about Floyd Mayweather beginning his jail sentence Friday: We don’t really know whether Floyd beat up his ex-girlfriend, that Floyd’s trip to jail is a cause for celebration, and the whole range in the middle.

There are a few things worth saying about those ideas.

Mayweather has been saying publicly that he didn’t do what he was accused of, even after he was sentenced to jail. Yet Mayweather, it’s important to note, didn’t just plead guilty to domestic violence, which is a legal question separate from what he says he actually did. According to the judge who presided over the case, Melissa Saragosa, Mayweather did admit to punching Josie Harris:

Saragosa said she was persuaded to jail Mayweather following his admission that he hit Harris and twisted her arm, and that two of their children, aged nine and 10, witnessed the attack. Mayweather threatened to kill or make Harris “disappear,” Saragosa said, and their 10-year-old son ran from the house and jumped a back gate to fetch security. Mayweather had taken cellphones belonging to Harris and the two boys.

You can believe the Mayweather who has publicly denied his crime, but I’m inclined to believe the Mayweather who has admitted it where it matters most, i.e. in the justice system. You can say it’s Mayweather’s word against Harris’, and that Harris once long ago accused Mayweather of domestic violence before retracting her statement, but I can say that Mayweather was already convicted of battery against a woman once before — and P.S., it’s Mayweather’s and Harris’ and their kids’ word against Mayweather’s word, technically.

Boxer Andre Ward offered the following thought in response to the day’s on Twitter:

I know a lot of people are happy Floyd is going to jail today, but guilty or not this is nothing to be happy or parade about.

Ward isn’t excusing Mayweather’s behavior. And subsequently, Ward made a valid point about that behavior. No, his “failure” isn’t a cause for celebration, that’s true. But I actually do think Mayweather going to jail is a cause for celebration. Me, I’m the kind of guy who gets happy when justice is done. The failure represented by Mayweather’s crime isn’t worth celebrating. The punishment? I’m not doing cartwheels, but I do take a certain satisfaction in seeing Mayweather pay a price for that crime.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.