Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Floyd Mayweather's offer to pay for George Floyd's funeral is not the first time he has displayed such kindness
Financing funerals for a former foe and a heavyweight legend, plus other tales of generosity, are in stark contrast to Mayweather's public image
Last Updated: 03/06/20 2:47pm
Floyd Mayweather has still never publicly spoken about the time he paid for the funeral of his former opponent. For the loudmouth nicknamed 'Money', his silence is more revealing than the showmanship he is known for.
The retired boxing great has offered to pay for the funeral of George Floyd, the African-American whose death in police custody has sparked widespread protests in the USA, but such an act is something Mayweather has done before.
In 2011, he quietly and discreetly took care of the finances when Genaro Hernandez, who he had shared the ring with, was laid to rest.
Mayweather and Hernandez were hardly friends.
The build-up to their fight in 1998 was spiky and filled with insults - a 21-year-old Mayweather was beginning to understand that making himself a villain was great for business. As such, he provoked and prodded the respected Hernandez before challenging for his WBC super-featherweight championship.
Mayweather was unbeaten in 17 and two years removed from winning an Olympic bronze medal but, by beating Hernandez at the Las Vegas Hilton, he became a world champion for the first time.
He would go on to become king in five divisions and retire with a 50-0 record as an all-time great but his fight with Hernandez was his first major acid test at the top level.
Hernandez had lost just once in 40 fights, to Oscar De La Hoya, but was forced to retire on his stool after eight one-sided rounds in the young and bombastic Mayweather's favour.
"It took me a couple rounds to feel him out," said Mayweather. "But after the second round, I started using my jab, and then I took control of the fight."
Hernandez said: "Father Time caught up with us. He's a true champion, and he'll be a champion for a long time. He was just too quick for me."
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I like to applaud my nephew for stepping up for the George Floyd family... but people are acting surprise about this when Floyd has done this many times.... it's usually other boxers and plenty of them he's offered to pay for their funerals for many families he does it because he has a good heart and not for the publicity....if he did it for the publicity people would already know how many times he's stepped up during times like this... people are too busy trying to judge him for the lifestyle he lives but he earned it... every time you step in the ring your life is on the line and no one has taken one punch for him which means he should be able to spend his money the way he wants too l never speak much about my nephew but with so many calls and messages I've received I decided to let people know Floyd life maybe flamboyant but he does has a heart and has done many other things similar to this genuine kind act..but he's not doing to be praised obviouslye has a heart and the finances to cover the expenses.... I'm proud of him for stepping up in this situation but by far it wasn't his first time and I'm sure want be his last @madinah_00 @old_man_six @otispimpletonjr @mr.black.renaissance @eloise.harris.33046 @elainecastrolv @mjalvini @drdionewa @queen_mocha100 @blackdiamondcut1 @blackroseboxing @kobellows @kokingcash @henrydtillman @leonardellerbe @floydmayweather @mayweatherpromotions @jamesbrownthecoach @jacquipee @iamcarlaja @george_giourof @nate.vasquez @logansport5 @zo_wade @brand_mayweather @iamfalconwaseem @omgitszachcooper @thehousechamp @cwhitesports @_positive__outlook_ @jr.marshallbooker @jakethe616barber
Their paths seemed destined never to cross again. Hernandez retired after the defeat.
Mayweather became the biggest and loudest star in the sport. He beat Arturo Gatti, Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton while flaunting the riches that he was rewarded with. He was absolutely brilliant and knew it.
But fascinatingly, Mayweather was arguably at the peak of his arrogant and obnoxious 'Money' alter-ego when, in 2011 when Hernandez passed away aged 45, he made a private gesture that he still refuses to acknowledge.
He paid for the funeral of his former opponent without fanfare or publicity. Hernandez's medical bills had been picked up by promoter Bob Arum.
Two years later, Mayweather told ES News: "My room had posters. The fighter above me? Genaro Hernandez. He was unbelievable. I said: 'No fighter will ever beat him'."
It was a display of generosity not least because he knew the Hernandez family were struggling financially.
It was not the only time Mayweather's public mask fell.
He also paid for the funeral of heavyweight legend Joe Frazier, who boxed Muhammad Ali.
Mayweather has become known for sponsoring turkey giveaways on Thanksgiving in communities who can't afford to buy their own celebratory meals.
He paid for the prestigious Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament to take place in Michigan, his home state, when it threatened to fall through due to financial problems.
The word on the street is that he gives extremely generously to the homeless who he sees in Las Vegas.
It is a remarkable paradox that the boxer who has repeatedly fallen foul of the law while encouraging his own distastefully wealthy reputation is capable of acts of such kindness.
His latest gesture to the family of George Floyd, amid an influx of sportspeople weighing in on his death and the resulting protests, was also done quietly through choice. It comes months after Mayweather lost his uncle and former trainer, Roger, and his ex-partner and the mother of his children Josie Harris.
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Rest in peace to our ancestors who fought & died for our freedom. Rest in peace to all the Afro-Caribbean descendants that have been murdered, sent to jail, denied jobs, racial profiled, lynched, shot & suffocated! All because of the colour of our skin. When the lights are turned back on tomorrow, what would you like to see? I’m so proud of the BLM movement. The peaceful protests! Are you? ✊🏾
It was explained via Mayweather Promotions on social media that the CEO of the boxer's The Money Team music label, Anzel Jennings, grew up with George Floyd in Houston. Jennings put George Floyd's family in touch with Mayweather who has committed to covering the cost of four funeral services planned to remember him.
Mayweather has not commented himself.
Don't expect him to. The side to Mayweather's personality that he keeps hidden is not intended to impress. It is part of the complexity of the great boxer that will likely never be unravelled.