Floyd Mayweather bringing back the Gotti circus

Did anyone want to see Floyd Mayweather vs. John Gotti III again?

By: Zane Simon | 2 weeks ago
Floyd Mayweather bringing back the Gotti circus
Floyd Mayweather Vs John Gotti III | mpi04 / MediaPunch, IMAGO

Perhaps no boxer has had as active a retirement as Floyd Mayweather. The unbeaten multi-divisional champion walked away from the professional side of his career back in 2017, with a bout against UFC superstar Conor McGregor, bringing Mayweather’s record to a perfect 50-0.

But if fans expected ‘Money’ to sit back on his laurels and spend his time chilling on a beach somewhere, they underestimated the 46-year-old’s desire to stay in the spotlight—and his desire to keep collecting checks. Since hanging up his gloves, Mayweather has competed in seven exhibition bouts, with five of those coming in the last two years.

Most recently, he fought notable Mafia scion John Gotti III to a no-contest back in June. More than any of his previous exhibitions, the bout devolved into a complete circus midway through—with the referee eventually forced to call off the fight due to constant fouling and taunting from both men. From there fans and corners got involved and a brawl kicked off.

Floyd Mayweather vs. John Gotti 2 set for February 2024

Given the controversy of their first bout (and the wild amount of bad blood that seemed to spill over after the event) it’s not terribly surprising that Floyd Mayweather and John Gotti III would be looking to run things back. As has been the case with most of the aging superstar’s exhibition fights, he’s targeted opponents that offer just enough intrigue to pull in fans while providing little in the way of pugilistic threat. Gotti fits that bill perfectly.

No precise date for the rematch has been announced as of yet, but given that the Superbowl is on Sunday, February 11th, it seems likely that the fight will be targeted for Saturday, the 10th.

Gotti says beef with Mayweather squashed

While it seems like the bad blood narrative would make for the most sale-able running theme for the rematch, it’s not all that clear that Floyd Mayweather and John Gotti III have much actual animosity left to run with. Shortly after their first bout, Gotti stopped by the MMA Hour to talk about his clashes with the long-reigning former-champion.

He wanted to talk, and I wanted no part of it,” Gotti explained (transcript via Low Kick MMA). “I didn’t want to talk to him. My father, however, went to his locker room, and they talked and hashed it out. Listen, there’s no animosity toward Floyd. I said he was my enemy for life out of anger, but he’s not my enemy.

“He did his job. His job is to entertain and box, and so is mine. I still have respect for Floyd. Even at 46, you see him in the ring. How great he is. At 46, his reflexes are phenomenal…his speed. Listen, it was a great experience to share the ring with Floyd. It’s a memory I’ll never forget for the rest of my life, that’s for sure.”

“It got diffused,” Gotti added. “We’re good. We’ve been speaking. My father’s been in touch with their team, and there’s no bad blood here. It’s business. We did what we had to do, and we squash it and move on.”

That just leaves the question: If the beef is gone and the first fight was bad, what’s going to bring fans back to the arena? Or is Floyd Mayweather just banking on there being enough people with enough money already in Vegas at the time, that the fight will sell, whether there’s any interest in seeing it or not?

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About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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