12 Round Decision

Last night's fight between Floyd "Money" Mayweather and "Sugar" Shane Mosley was about much more than two champions asserting their superiority in the squared circle and cementing their legacies, it was also a microcosm of a schism within the African-American community, represented by the dichotomy created between the personalities of the participants.

Floyd "Money" Mayweather has admitted to fighting for a check these days and making $20 - $30 million when he steps into the ring isn't a bad fight. Like most professional athletes, he wants and deserves to be compensated on par with his skill level, I have no problem with that. My issue is his blatant materialism and flaunting of his ignorance through HBO's "24-7" series, interviews and just about every public appearance. But I can't blame Floyd and as much as I want to, I can't blame his father Floyd Sr. or Uncle Roger, they are all products of a society that celebrates the haves and blames the have-nots for their misfortune.

It's that same societal structure that allows the have-nots to act a fool if they are among the talented tenth to ascend to the ranks of the haves. You know, do things like wear Prada roller skates, carry solid gold utensils, gamble thousands of dollars at a time and own more cars than there are days in a week, then tell everyone how much money you have at any given opportunity. I was rooting for Sugar Shane to punch Mayweather in the mouth last night, not as a fighter, but as a blow against the ignorance that plagues us a people. In my heart I knew that Floyd was a superior fighter, but the thinking man in me needs him to be knocked down a peg or two so the idol worship of his wealth could be stunted.

Mosley understated, business-like, and gracious was outclassed athletically last night, but that could never be an issue outside of the ring. Despite being linked to the BALCO performance-enhancing laboratory in 2003, he has been extremely professional on his way to the Boxing Hall of Fame and represents a segment of Black America that doesn't feel the need to tell you how great they are or parade their winnings whenever the cameras are rolling. Sadly, this portion of our people are seemingly outnumbered by those who get their hands on a few dollars and even though that don't, because you and I both know more than a handful of people known to fake it 'til they make it.

Floyd has famously mocked Shane's claims that he was fighting for legacy, by taunting him about with his checkbook, totally oblivious to the big picture. By being a partner in Golden Boy Promotions, Mosley is positioned to make money for the long haul, while Floyd's big paydays have only started near the end of his career and given his penchant for spending, gambling and ignoring the IRS may put him in a position we've seen far too many Black athletes, wondering where the fortune went?

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