A month earlier than expected, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was released from a Las Vegas jail late Friday night. The all-around best boxer in the world smiled broadly, did not say anything and jumped behind the wheel of a blue Bentley with friend and business partner 50 Cents in the passenger seat and drove off.
He did not bother to look back. If he had, he would see the site of the worst chapter in his life that could have threatened his wildly successful career. Mayweather, released on good behavior, served two months of a three-month sentence in a misdemeanor domestic battery case. He was originally sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence — but three months of that sentence was suspended.
Mayweather also pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor harassment charges — after allegedly threatening to beat his kids too during the incident. In addition to the jail time, Floyd was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service and a 12-month domestic violence program. So far, he’s completed roughly half of both.
All in all, he could have been charged and convicted of assault, which would have wrought much more jail time and likely impacting his career in a big way.
As it is, he can now resume boxing. Mayweather looked fit in a leather Miami Heat cap, pulled a gray hooded sweatshirt over his head. He hugged about 20 family members and friends, including his 12-year-old daughter, Iyanna Mayweather, and his manager, Leonard Ellerbe.
The undefeated boxer walked out of the Clark County Detention Center beneath the glow of street lamps and glare of TV cameras to resume a boxing career that his lawyers and personal physician warned in court documents might be at risk. They said jail food and water didn’t meet Mayweather’s dietary needs, and lack of exercise space in a cramped cell of fewer than 98 square feet threatened his health and fitness. A judge rejected the plea for home arrest, in essence saying “So what? You brought this on yourself.”
Mayweather, who goes by the nickname “Money,” in jail when Forbes magazine named him the world’s highest-paid athlete for 2011. No one is sure when he will step back into the ring. But the much-anticipated fight with Manny Pacquiao certainly will not happen this year, as promoters for Pacquiao plan on a fight Nov. 10 at the MGM Grand Garden arena in Las Vegas, Nevada Athletic Commission executive Keith Kizer said. Pacquiao’s opponent hasn’t been named, but Mayweather wasn’t believed to be on the list.