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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Stop With The Hitting

According to Forbes, boxer Floyd Mayweather's net worth is over $340 million. He'll reportedly make another $100 million from his just-announced fight against Conor McGregor later this summer. But why would he ever want to be punched in the face again? How much money does a guy need?

This excerpt from a story in The Express gives you a clue:

Despite earning an eye-watering amount of cash, Mayweather has faced a number of financial difficulties in recent years. The Richest reported that the boxer has defaulted on a number of loans and claimed that he owed the IRS nearly $6.1 million in back taxes. A report from financial advisor Tony Robbins in February claimed Mayweather spends $75 million every year. Rapper 50 Cent, Mayweather’s former business partner, said of the boxer’s financial mentality: “It’s fight, get the money, spend the money, fight. If he stops fighting, the money machine stops, the cash flow stops, his income stops — his financial world comes to a grinding halt.”
I'm reminded of the recent stories about Johnny Depp -- who also finds himself in financial straits because his cash outflow was so much bigger than his inflow -- and any number of lottery winners who end up filing for bankruptcy because they mishandled their sudden wealth.

You could easily blame some of this on the lack of financial education in America, but people with as much money as Mayweather probably have lots of people giving them advice, some of which no doubt lines their own pockets. It's easier to talk someone into a risky investment than to say, "You don't have to live in poverty, but you have enough money to provide for you and your family for generations if you do it right -- and no one will ever hit you in the head again." Of course, Mayweather may like the hits -- not receiving them, but doling them out.

I remember the years when Mike Tyson was in his prime and his boxing matches rarely lasted more than a few minutes, with his opponent inevitably ending up on the mat with a stunned look on his face. The ring doctor would check the loser for a concussion and ask, "Do you know where you are?" The answer would come back something like, "Thursday." Yet, there were still idiots all over the place who claimed they'd be happy to get into the ring with Tyson for a couple of rounds for a million dollar payday. The risk of having their gray matter turned into oatmeal didn't mean anything as long as they got a big check.

As for me, being punched, in the head or anywhere else, is not part of my life. It hasn't been since I was 7 or 8 and getting the crap beat out of me by the neighborhood bully on a regular basis. Since then, I've neither thrown nor been the victim of anyone else's flying fists.

I said that on my radio show once and a listener called in and challenged me, saying he didn't believe me, that it was impossible that I'd gone this long without being in a brawl. I could tell from his tone that he was the kind of guy who would easily get dragged into a fight, but I'm just not that kind of guy.

I'm more of a 100% poultry person. As an adult, I've never wanted to hit someone. More importantly, I've never wanted to be hit by someone. I'm not going to fight you just because you bumped into me accidentally, or cut in line ahead of me, or called me a name. After 40 years in the radio business, there's absolutely nothing you can say about me that I haven't heard at least once.

Moreover, unlike my phone-friend, I don't frequent places where incidents like this are likely to happen. I stopped drinking more than two decades ago, so I'm rarely in a bar. In fact, I'm unlikely to patronize any place where anyone gets particularly rowdy.

Don't get me wrong. I'll defend my wife and daughter against any physical threats, and I'll happily engage in any kind of verbal sparring you like, but once temperatures start to rise and there's a risk things could turn physical, I'm done. You win. Congratulations. I'll be leaving now. Fight cancelled.

For me, rule number one of fight club is no fighting. And I don't have Mayweather money.