I wondered while Floyd Mayweather was smack dab in the middle of his state-sponsored hiatus if the experience of being locked up would change the man.
Would he be humbled after being locked up from June 1 to Aug. 3? Would some of that "Money" braggadocio be downsized? Would he recognize that he is not above the law, that he can be taken down a peg, that perhaps his flamboyant consumption and insistence on stirring the pot with periodic inflammatory statements might serve him harm by putting a takedown target on him?
Maybe, some figured, he'd realize that the road he was on, that focus on conspicuous consumption and unapologetic euphoria at his lot in life, is not a road that is easily traveled by an African-American man in America? Maybe, some figured, we'd see a new Floyd, now with an "M" ego instead of an "XL" version, someone who let the time serve him?
Well, the boxer, who still lays claim to being the best in the business, doesn't seem to be radically different, post-incarceration.
We should let things play out, because we don't know how the two months at Clark County Detention truly affected the 35-year-old, and we shouldn't rush to any kind of judgment on whether the stint dimmed the rascally edge to the 43-0 hitter. But if you are going by the recent video posted to Mayweather's new social networking site, MemoMeMore.com, we can say his appreciation for our currency hasn't lessened.
"Everything we do, we do it over the top," the fighter said from a seat in his jet, "Air Mayweather," while he reaches into a gym bag for a stack of cash bigger than a Carnegie Deli club sandwich. And another. And yet another. Another batch, wrapped in a plastic bag, is procured, and he says, "That's a million dollars."
So, if you're betting man, a la "Money," I guess the smart bet is that the man's personality hasn't changed.
What about his skills, his ring acumen? I asked Hall of Famer promoter/matchmaker Russell Peltz if he think Mayweather is still all that, or if he left some of his talent in the cell.
"He may be the finest fighter of his generation, like him or not," Peltz told NYFightBlog. "Is he the fighter he was two or three years ago? Maybe not. But he could've survived any era."
Yes, Peltz says, he hears people say Floyd hasn't gone after the best of the best, in their prime. But the same was said, at times, of Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis and Roy Jones. Plus, he thinks Mayweather deserves props for reinventing himself, hyping up this persona. "He's a lot more interesting to watch than he used to be," Peltz said.
"Interesting" is a description Floyd fans and haters, I think, can agree on.
P.S.: Mayweather's assistant David Levi tells us that the fighter hasn't even brought up fighting since he got out. He's been spending time with family and friends, which he wasn't really able to do after his last bout, a UD win over Miguel Cotto on May 5.