The Showtime® documentary chronicling the days leading up to Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s incarceration last year, entitled "30 DAYS IN MAY", may not provide any answers as to how the boxing star will respond in his first fight after serving a two month sentence when he goes up against Robert Guerrero on May 4 at the MGM Grand. However, it does reflect the contradictions that make it difficult for some to empathize or relate to this larger-than-life figure, including one involving the network on which he fought for over 15 years and became famous.
The one-hour film was created exclusively from never-before-seen footage and features the only interviews Mayweather has conducted regarding this period of his lavish, yet troubled, life. Showtime began filming this documentary immediately following his HBO® pay-per-view fight on May 5, 2012 against Miguel Cotto, ten months prior to the announcement that the pound-for-pound king signed a record-breaking deal to join the rival premium cable network. It is now blatantly obvious that this deal had been in the works for at least that long, if not longer.
In other words, moments after a grinning Mayweather playfully put his arms around HBO commentators Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant (to whom the fighter had recently apologized for an outburst in an interview the previous September) during the post-fight broadcast, cameras were rolling in the dressing room as the victorious fighter showered, addressed the media and touted latest entourage member Justin Bieber.
This served as the point from which "30 DAYS IN MAY" began the countdown to the commencement of Mayweather's jail sentence, which included an inside look at his flamboyant life from his Las Vegas mansion, several cars, a collection of expensive sunglasses and Rolex watches, parties with strippers and wads of cash to his relationship with his family, friends and Ms. Shantel Jackson.
Later in the film as the day of his incarceration approached, Mayweather complained about HBO while in a swimming pool, calling them "rank and foul". Despite the apology to Merchant and the on-air display of camaraderie less than a month earlier, Mayweather criticized the network for letting Merchant interview him and for treating him like a "ho".
With this comparison, Mayweather was expressing a notion that HBO had discarded him much like a pimp would do with someone who was no longer making big money for him. Yet, throughout the entire documentary, including the scene immediately following this one, we are reminded by Mayweather how much revenue he generates by virtue of his lacing up the gloves.
The analogy on the surface doesn't quite fit.
What also doesn't quite fit is the promotion of Mayweather being a man at peace with his impending incarceration. While his central message in the majority of the film with respect to this point is that "s*** happens" and a negative can be turned into a positive through learning and growth, it is not entirely clear at this point how he has grown since being released. Mayweather, and many of his supporters in the film, maintains that he is innocent of the charges and was a victim of the system. Although he served two of the three month sentence ( not without an attempt for house arrest on the basis that jail food and tap water did not meet his dietary needs and there was inadequate physical activity, all of which was rejected by the court), there is a fundamental lack of accountability which may only continue to manifest itself further as Mayweather distances himself from this experience.
This was evident in Mayweather's comments to end the documentary in the days following his release on August 3. He claimed the experience changed him, admitting to being mentally affected as jail made him angrier. This may be the extent of his change, however, as he stated that he still does not have any concern about backlash for being who he is as a person.
"Tough times don't last, but tough people do," said Mayweather to close the program.
Fri Apr 5, 9:00PM ET/PT on SHO
Sat Apr 6, 2:00AM ET/PT on SHO
Sat Apr 6, 11:30PM ET/PT on SHO Extreme
Also:30 Days In May, Boxing, Floyd Mayweather, Larry Merchant, Robert Guerrero
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