When video emerged of Floyd Mayweather training 21-year-old lightweight world titlist Devin Haney, a bag of worms was opened.
Mayweather Promotions star Gervonta “Tank” Davis– also a 20-something lightweight champ– was apparently livid over the perceived disrespect. Davis reportedly fumed over the idea that his promoter would be training a direct divisional rival.
Mayweather waited a long while to respond to the bad blood publicly, but he’s not admitting to any bad intent. Actually, he’s painting his work with Haney as a good deed and a sign of solidarity with fellow African American fighters.
“Listen, it’s obvious, I’m giving back to the sport. At the end of the day, that’s a black kid that asked for my advice and asked for my help,” Mayweather told Fighthype.com.
“Him and Tank aren’t fighting. Devin Haney is fighting only one more fight at 135. He’s going to 140. Gervonta Davis fights at 130.
“All I’m doing is helping a young black kid become successful,” Mayweather continued. “I’m going to continue to help young black fighters grow. I want the best for all these fighters. And I want the best for Tank, and I want the best for Devin.
“It’s no different from anyone supporting their own first. Mexicans support Mexicans, Dominicans support Dominicans, Chinese support Chinese, Puerto Ricans support Puerto Ricans. I’m a black American supporting my people first.”
Mayweather’s former “little bro,” Adrien Broner, however, still says that Mayweather helping Haney is just plain wrong.
“I honestly think it’s bull-s***,” Broner said during an Instagram live segment. “He’s [Mayweather] promoting one of the biggest names in the sport of boxing right now, and that’s Gervonta Davis, so why would you go train his rival? I don’t get it. That’s some s***.
“I’m totally on Gervonta’s side and I’m siding with him, and that’s just what it is. I don’t think Floyd should be training or giving pointers to a guy to beat his fighter…That’s very disrespectful and I don’t want to get into this. But I think this is a big a** spit in the face, and I don’t like it. I don’t like none of it. I think it’s almost like he’s sonning [disrepecting] him [Tank Davis].”
On the surface, it sure does look as though Mayweather was taking a direct a shot at Davis by working with his divisional rival. The claim that Haney and Davis won’t be fighting has some weight to it, but that still doesn’t kill off the bad visual of Mayweather spending this quality gym time with Haney and not Davis– especially considering the past bad blood between “Money” and “Tank.”
The two had beef before, stemming from Davis’ claims that Mayweather was not devoting enough time to promoting his career. Those differences had supposedly been worked out, but now? If the bad blood had dissipated a bit, it might be back after this whole situation.
We’ll just have to sit back and see how this prizefighter soap opera plays out.