Once again things have turned ugly for Floyd Mayweather, a fighter who is quite used to finding his name attached to negative stories. This time Terry Foster, a Detroit News columnist, is the one pointing the finger.
According to Foster, Floyd Mayweather went over the line in his harrassment of the wife of former IBF champion Cornelius Bundrage a couple of weekends ago when Mayweather's fighter, Ishe Smith, took his title in Detroit. Part of the questionable acts included Mayweather's making sexually suggestive motions towards her, specifically the gyrating of his hips in her direction.
The CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe, vehemently defended the actions of Floyd Mayweather. He claimed the trash talking was mutual, and that nothing out of line took place during the back and forth.
Both Foster and Ellerbe were at the fights in Detroit, but obviously each came away with different impressions of the event. In his column about the event, Foster made clear he did not approve of what took place
Shawana Bundrage did not deserve to have a man gyrate his hips around her face while watching husband Cornelius Bundrage fight in the ring last week at the Masonic Temple. She did not deserve a grown man getting in her face and screaming while minding her own business. She also did not deserve the laughter that surrounded this despicable act that was captured by our photographer, Clarence Tabb Jr.
But that's exactly what happened.
The culprit was champion boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was in town to promote the fight and his fighter, Ishe Smith, who took Bundrage's light-middleweight title belt during the bout. Here is the funny part about it: Mayweather wore a hat that said "Money. Power. Respect.
Mayweather showed he had the money and power. He certainly did not show respect, although I am sure he wants everybody to respect him.
Mayweather has yet to respond to the accusations, but Ellerbe has been quick to come to his defense. He pointed out the interaction between the two began at an earlier news conference where the woman, Shawana Bundrage, told Smith that after her husband beat Smith, he would go on to take out Mayweather. It was Ellerbe's opinion that Mayweather was just returning the fire in a battle of trash talking.
"I was there and this is straight [expletive]," Ellerbe said. "I know what was said. I heard and saw what was going on. She said her fighter -- and that's the context we were dealing with her, as K9's manager, not his wife -- she said her fighter was going to whip Floyd's fighter and then was going to whip Floyd's ass. ... I heard the back and forth going on, and I was part of it. This is completely irrelevant and stupid, believe me.
"Floyd said nothing harassing to her and he did nothing to harass her. He was trash talking her, but she was trash talking him. This was written by a hometown reporter who I guess was upset that the hometown boy [Bundrage] lost. There is no truth, none, in any of what he says. None of this was personal, and what that reporter didn't write was that after it was all over, we all shook hands and [embraced] and left with no hard feelings."
Leonard Ellerbe went on to assert that it is because of situations like this that Floyd is hesitant to make public appearances.
"This all started at a press conference and it was a non-story at first because when it first started, Floyd wasn't even there," Ellerbe said. "It got blown into this big thing because apparently this reporter knows that someone is going to read what he has to say if he writes about Floyd. [Shawana Bundrage] seems like a nice young lady. This was all just boxing talk, trash talk, and to say it was anything more than that is a complete lie."
As one of the most visible and controversial athletes in the world today, Floyd Mayweather is constantly under a microscope. Whether or not he was acting inappropriately or was simply engaged in some harmless trash talking will depend on who you talk to. What can be certain, however, is that no matter what he does, people will want to make a larger issue out of it.