Floyd Mayweather Jr. is such an insecure and strange person that he once ordered the pilot of his private plane to fly faster than a plane carrying an upcoming opponent, just so Mayweather could say that his plane landed first. That story comes from retired former junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton, who called Mayweather’s overall behavior leading up to the pair’s 2007 fight “nonsense.”
And that’s not all.
In the mid 2000s, Manchester, England-native Hatton with his brawling style, and man-of-the-people became one of the most popular fighters ever to come out of Britain. When Hatton fought Mayweather in December of 2007, the fight was looked on as the biggest welterweight clash of that era and came just seven months after Mayweather defeated Oscar De La Hoya in the junior middleweight division.
Mayweather ended up knocking Hatton out in the 10th round, handing the boxer known as “The Hitman” the first loss of what would turn out to be just three in his 48-fight career.
But it was the promotional campaign leading up to the fight that made the strongest impression on the now 36-year-old Englishman, due to what he now recalls as Mayweather’s bizarre and obnoxious behavior.
“In 2007 when our fight was scheduled, Floyd was going,’I’m going to beat you like a b****, b***f*** you.’ It was nonsense,” Hatton says, asking a pertinent question about Mayweather. “What’s the point of being the world’s best fighter if everyone thinks you’re a d***head?”
Hatton acknowledged that he and Mayweather took different approaches to promoting the fight, but, he says, “there’s a line between selling tickets and disrespecting the sport.”
The incident that most left Hatton marveling at the apparently high level of insecurity displayed by Mayweather came as the two were each flying in separate, private jets to a promotional stop in New York. According to Hatton, Mayweather took offense when Hatton had earlier landed first for an event in Michigan, Mayweather’s home state.
“A few minutes into the the journey, we’re chatting away, having a drink when the pilot gestures to me to come forward. ‘Hey Ricky, listen to this idiot,'” Hatton recalled in an interview with Britain’s Sun newspaper this week. “He turns on the speaker and over the radio I hear Floyd arguing with the pilot of his plane behind: ‘I’m not letting that m*****f***** get there before me, f*****g overtake them!'”
After the pilot of Mayweather’s plane told the fighter that such a reckless mid-air maneuver would be impossible, Hatton recalls, Mayweather was insistent.
“Overtake that m*****f*****! I’m the champ. I’ve got to get to New York first. I’ll pay whatever you want,'” Hatton reports Mayweather demanding.
Hatton’s story is just the latest in a series of accounts of bizarre private behavior by Floyd Mayweather Jr. A book by a former assistant recently revealed the boxer’s obsession with “germs,” while other sources have said that Mayweather demands to have a barber on call to give haircuts as 3 a.m. and a limitless supply of gummi bears in his hotel rooms.
[Image: John Gichigi/Getty Images]