This piece is inspired by Iron Mike Gallego aka Daniel Roberts' excellent piece from Deadspin today, so before you read a word more of my brief missive, please do read this:
The question this work inspired wasn't so much specific to Floyd himself because I was aware of most of the facts in this piece, felt sick when Showtime allowed Mayweather the privilege of his own documentary to spout off his own "facts" on what is a clear record of domestic abuse and worse, and resigned myself years ago to only being an aesthetic appreciator of his. "Money" is a cartoon villain. The real Floyd Mayweather is a complicated person, but there's little complicated about his fight record out of the ring.
No, what I found interesting about the piece was the question of the sorts of characters drawn to the difficult, ridiculous "sport" of boxing (in quotes because, quoth J.C. Oates, "You can't play boxing") and our relationship to them. I wanted to know whether you think of Mayweather's abused when you watch Floyd seemingly never hit flush; Desiree Washington when you watch old Tyson fights; Liston and Hopkins' prison time (and Hopkins' multiple racist and despicable comments over the course of his career) when you watch their old fights, or the awful things Adonis Stevenson did that Showtime dare not speak.
You can debate who did what and guilt and innocence if you really want to, but I won't participate. I just want to know where you separate the man from the acts, or if you even do. It's complicated for me, but I can say that I never rooted for Mike Tyson after the second Razor Ruddock fight, but I did watch (and often pay to watch) almost every fight in his ill-fated comeback all the same.