Hot on the heels of my story about the unforgettable Coss Marte last week comes this profile of the inescapable Floyd Mayweather. Sorry to add to all the Mayweather noise, but I tried to do something nobody’s managed to really do — pin down who Mayweather really is, and why.
Much like Floyd’s life, the story’s not quite how it seems at first. All I think you really need to know is that Josie Harris, the mother of three of Mayweather’s children, whom was beaten so badly by the man that he went to jail for it, says she feels sorry for him.
The reporting of this was an experience and a half, a real education, in many ways. I plan to blog a bit about that over the next couple of weeks. (So if you don’t already, follow me on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for email updates, if you want to stay tuned for that.)
More importantly, right now, give the Mayweather story a read. It gets into everything from his WWE-like evolution to his domestic violence to his relationship with his father, which may, in many ways, be the linchpin to the whole thing.
I did a ton of work in a short period of time for this one. Bleacher Report asked me in late March if I wanted to write it and I said yes, but I was in the middle of finishing Coss’s story — which I’d been working on since February — and a book proposal, so I was swamped.
I actually didn’t know much about Mayweather, other than any other casual sports fan, so first I went neck-deep in research — there are probably more than 150 articles and videos saved to my computer. Then I started reporting in early April, went to Grand Rapids April 6-8, went to Vegas April 11-16.
Then I wrote like a madman from April 17 to April 22. There were a lot of late nights of writing and rewriting and rewriting, trying to get it just right. Then my editor and I went back and forth on it April 23 and 24, and then I just got an email this morning saying the thing had been published. (Didn’t even know it was going live today.)
Talked to a ton of generous people, some of whom appear in the story and some who don’t. Big thank-yous to all of you who helped out — you know who you are.
Perhaps the biggest thank-you of all, though, has to go to Josie — she was so gracious with her time and open with her heart. She’s had a million media people trying to get her, and she trusted me for some reason, and I think it added to the story in an invaluable way. I’m incredibly grateful.
I was nervous about this story — I was worried about writing more B.S. about the guy. There’s a lot of that floating around out there. Ultimately, I just tried to do what I always try to, and write the most honest story I could.
As always, thanks for reading.