We as humans are known to glorify violence and aggression as traits of a true man. In this day and age can there are not many sports viewed more “manlier” than boxing. It just so happens, that the top boxer of my era just so happens to also be my role model. Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. is a captivating figure that has dominated boxing for as long as I have been alive. His brash “in your face” attitude is often the subject of much debate, but his talent is undeniable. He has conquered multiple different weight classes on his was to an incredible 46-0 professional record. He embodies the term “self-made”, and was able to market his himself under the brand TMT (The Money Team).
Floyd was born in a nomad generation, one that is described as being able to “find their own norms and are exposed to the world of adult dangers and anxieties at a young age. Consequently, Nomad children grow up fast and often engage in risky behavior” (Mckay). This description fits Mayweather perfectly, as he is one of the most controversial athletes of his time. He doesn’t hold his tongue for anyone and speaks his mind at every chance. His flamboyant lifestyle that includes a multitude of luxury cars, regularly attending strip clubs, and high-stakes gambling has been the subject of much media backlash. But through all the adversity, Floyd never lost sight of his goal to be one of the greatest boxers of time. The real controversy surrounding Mayweather is his overwhelming success inside the ring. All of his extracurricular antics wouldn’t be meaningful if he didn’t have the skills to back it up. What people don’t see is the countless hours he puts into the gym, the hard-work that goes into being a champion. His in-ring bravado is what really captivates me, as he never seems nervous or out of control in a fight. I have been watching all of his fights for nearly a decade, and not once can I recall him being rattled in the ring. The pressure of each bout is immense, as he has fought in 3 of the top 5 biggest Pay-Per-View fights of all time. His brash lifestyle has garnered him plenty critics, who would love nothing more than to see the arrogant boxer be humbled by a defeat. Mayweather has yet to give them that pleasure however, and he seems to shine under the lights.
What makes Floyd truly the face to the missing question mark for my generation is his independent success. Floyd was able to become the highest paid athlete not because he followed the social norms and went to college and got his degree. Mayweather is an icon for his ability to step outside the box and be successful on his own. An “early exposure to the realities of adult life give them strong survival skills and a fierce independent streak that makes them well-suited to navigate the societal Unraveling that surrounds them” is what Mckay states about nomads. Floyd channeled his anger from a difficult upbringing into fuel for his burning desire to be a success. He could of followed the path of his father and went to jail, but instead he made something of his life. What makes his story truly unique is how he used his athletic skills to create an opportunity in which his family is set for generations to come. He invested in himself and is now reaping the rewards. He owns his own clothing line, and sales everything from shoes and hats to iPhone cases. I respect Floyd Mayweather’s independence and courage to be himself no matter what anybody else thinks of him. But more importantly I admire his mindset of reaching all of his goals and being a sports icon when he could also just been a statistic in jail. In a lot of ways Floyd Mayweather embodies the ideals and traits of what It means to be truly a “manly man”.
- “The Generations of Men: How the Cycles of History Shape Your Values, Your Idea of Manhood, and Your Future.” The Art of Manliness. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 July 2014.