Floyd Mayweather says he doesn’t care that 50 Cent and Manny Pacquiao call him uneducated. He says if it’s true, ‘It makes my story that much more interesting.’ I agree with Floyd 100 percent. Now, before you call me a hypocrite, let me explain.
You know I’m a proponent of education and believe that everyone in this country is entitled to a good one. But I also believe in hard work and doing the best you can with what you have and Floyd Mayweather has certainly done that.
I know a lot of people who can read who aren’t nearly as smart or industrious as Floyd Mayweather. If you don’t know his story, here it is. Floyd has been in the boxing ring since the age of three and he’s perfected his skill. He doesn’t read for a living as he admits. “Reading will not define my place in boxing history,” Floyd says.
I’m just a DJ but perhaps if Floyd had grown up in another environment he would be a great reader and a great boxer. When he was a little boy, practically growing up in the ring in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich., he told his grandmother he thought he could get a job. She told him, ‘No, just keep boxing.’ So, he did.
When he was nine, he moved to Jersey City with his mom where he said there were seven people sleeping in one bedroom and they sometimes without any electricity. His mom was addicted to drugs. Mayweather remembers coming home from school and finding used heroin needles in his front yard.
I don’t imagine that anyone was listening to him read aloud at home or helping him practice his spelling words. Nor was there anyone around to suggest that he get tested for dyslexia or some other learning disorder.
Ten to 15 percent of people in this country have dyslexia. Just five out of every one hundred dyslexics are properly diagnosed and receive assistance.
Other successful celebrities who have overcome reading challenges include Danny Glover, Thomas Edison, Magic Johnson, Walt Disney, Whoopi Goldberg and Alexander Graham Bell, just to name a few.
Floyd had every excuse not to succeed….at anything. Sure his dad worked out with him in the gym, but he says other than that, they had no real relationship. When his dad went to prison, he dropped out of school and put all his energy into boxing, realizing this was the only way he might earn a living and be able to take care of his mom.
Floyd Mayweather’s reading problem is an easy target, but I’ll bet many of the people taking aim aren’t nearly as successful as he has been.
If he wins this weekend, his record will be 46-0, very close to moving him closer to the great Rocky Marcianos 49-0 career record. He runs Mayweather Promotions, has multiple mansions, a fleet of cars, and a jet. Don’t get me wrong.
I don’t condone any of the violent behavior Floyd has displayed, especially toward women, outside of the ring. And of course, I still say education and literacy are invaluable and I’ll bet even Floyd knows that his life would be richer if he had both. But give him credit for taking the hand he was dealt and making the most of it.