Shocker: Floyd Mayweather and John Gotti III talking rematch after very real, not totally fake, brawl

Floyd Mayweather and John Gotti III might be running it back. Are you surprised?

By: Tim Bissell | 3 months ago

Can Floyd Mayweather turn off the promotion machine?

When you look at Floyd Mayweather, you have to wonder where does promotion end and life begin? Like so many figures in the sport (including one ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor), Mayweather seems to always be in promoter mode, acting purely in the interest of selling tickets to his next show. Unlike McGregor, though, it seems Mayweather knows what he’s doing in an act. It’s not something which has completely possessed him and turned him into a living version of his gimmick – someone who probably cuts promos to himself in the mirror each morning.

Both Mayweather and McGregor’s commitment to constantly selling themselves (to others in the case of Mayweather and himself in the case of McGregor) is pretty sad, considering both have more money than God and can find ways to make more of it which don’t involve fighting (faux or not). But I guess making money without people thinking you are tough isn’t as appealing.

Mayweather’s latest three ring circus has been built around John Gotti III, the grandson of the ‘Teflon Don’ John Gotti, the late former boss of the Gambino crime family out of NYC. Sidenote: As a Sicilian who has both wolves and sheep in his family line, let’s be clear – the mob is not cool. The Sopranos tried to tell you that. Leonardo Sciascia did a far better job of it.

In Gotti, who seems to be just a kid with an infamous name on his shoulders, Mayweather has found his latest golden goose. His name can sell tickets, based on inflated levels of danger and intrigue, and his skills in the ring are no threat to an aging pugilist who remains a master of his craft.

Gotti is a 5-1 MMA fighter who has been drawing small crowds with the CES promotion. In boxing he has a 2-0 record, after crushing a couple of cans this year and last.

The malice in wherever this thing happened

Mayweather vs. Gotti III went down on June 11. It happened under exhibition rules, so Mayweather could spar for a few minutes to score a cheque which may or may not go straight to the IRS. In previous bouts of this kind he’s either coasted completely or gone way too hard, depending I assume on whether he has early dinner plans for after the bout.

This fight got weird, though.

With Mayweather doing more clowning than usual, referee Kenny Bayless struggled to keep the fight moving along.

After six rounds of bickering, showboating and way too much holding, Bayless was over it. When Gotti locked up a collar tie on Mayweather Bayless just decided to call the whole thing off, handing Gotti a DQ.

Gotti then appeared to get big mad and threw punches at Mayweather after the bell, which Mayweather returned. Then the ring filled with trainers and lackeys from either side and scuffles leaked out into the crowd. The melee magically turned a damp squib of an event into actual newsworthy content.

Afterwards Mayweather and Gotti traded barbs, with the young fighter branding Mayweather an ‘enemy for life’. Other Gotti family members also got in on the act.

Floyd Mayweather and John Gotti III are still in business

This week Gotti appeared on The MMA Hour to discuss where things are with Mayweather. And, it seems, there’s a rematch in the works.

That would mean that the farce of their first fight, the melee, and all the ensuing heat stands to make an event that more people want to see… more people want to pay for. Mayweather and Gotti got really lucky with how that first one panned out, huh?

“We’re in talks right now, actually, to do something,” Gotti said about the rematch they have in the works. “So we’ll see where it goes. From what I understood, after the fight, it was the most Googled thing in the whole world.

“Floyd’s a businessman. Floyd wants to capitalize on that. He wants to make money. So if they want to do it again, I’m here, and I promise you this time, I’m going to come out guns blazing as soon as that bell rings, and we’re going to fight now.”

A rematch between these two feels a lot easier to sell than anything else Mayweather’s got going on in the ring. It also feels, with this bad blood and potential for chaos narrative, Mayweather has a shot at doing actual numbers on one of these silly sparring bouts.

As far as web traffic goes, his appearances opposite Aaron Chalmers and Deji failed to register quadruple-figure hits for us. This blow-up with Gotti, though, that had people clicking.

So if this melee was one big rouse, you can see why it was worth the trouble. And if there’s any doubts that Mayweather would do something so duplicitous, you need to think again.

Earlier this year Jake Paul claimed a moment in Miami where he was seen running from Mayweather and his entourage was a publicity stunt.

So go ahead and enjoy these events for what they are, if you’re into that sort of thing. But just do so knowing that, with Mayweather, Paul or anyone else in this ‘cross-over boxing’ world that seeing is not necessarily believing.

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About the author
Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

Tim is also BE's lead (only) sumo reporter. He blogs about that sport here and on his own substack, Sumo Stomp!

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