Beats, rhymes and life are three of the corners where hip hop intersects. Few other TV shows have been able to cover all of these angles in-depth and authentically quite like REVOLT TV’s “Drink Champs,” which thrives on its candid conversations with the biggest and most influential figures in the game. In honor of such a one-of-a-kind show, REVOLT will be recapping each weekly “Drink Champs” episode, so you can always catch the gems that are dropped in each lit interview.
In the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN are paid a visit by undefeated boxing champ Floyd Mayweather, who gives the backstory behind the most epic and controversial moments of his career. Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Mayweather was the progeny of a long line of pugilists including his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., who passed along his knowledge of the beautiful science off to his son at an early age. Quickly rising through the ranks as an amateur, the younger Mayweather compiled a record of 84-8 with three wins in the national Golden Gloves championships, making him one of the most touted prospects in quite some time. Competing in the 1996 Olympics and taking home a bronze medal, Mayweather turned pro that same year, winning his first world title in less than two years before going on to dominate various weight-classes. Known for his flamboyance, swagger and confidence, “Money” Mayweather has also became a favorite within the hip hop community with a number of artists and fans singing his praises, and marveling at his skill. All in all, he’s one of the greatest athletes to ever live and continues to be a captivating figure that even his detractors love to hate.
To help give fans a recap of the conversation, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from the Floyd Mayweather episode of “Drink Champs.” Take a look at them below.
1. On Losing In The Olympics
In 1996, Mayweather lost an Olympic semifinal match to Bulgarian veteran Serafim Todorov in controversial fashion with many fans and pundits deeming him as the superior fighter. When asked how the loss motivated him in his quest to become champion, he credits the moment as a major catalyst in compiling his flawless professional record. “As far as the Olympics, I felt like it was a learning experience for me, a small learning experience,” he says. “At that particular time in ‘96, I was very, very upset. I cried about it by myself. I cried about it by myself because my dad was in prison and that’s the one that taught me everything, so I cried about it. It was nothing, I felt like it was a learning experience so then when I look back on my career, I’m happy that it happened just like it did. I’m happy, very, very happy.”
2. On Fighting Through Injury To Win A World Title
Mayweather’s pair of title fights against Jose Luis Castillo played a major part in christening the champ as one of the greatest boxers of his generation. However, according to him, the first bout, which he won by unanimous decision, was fought despite him suffering an injury in the days leading up to the match. “With me going into the first fight, I was hurt,” he reveals. “And actually, I think the weigh-in was Friday, so Thursday, I was shaking out to make the weight. To make 135 lbs. That was for my second world title. I was hitting the heavy-bag, shaking out, I was too close and the rotater-cuff got fucked up extremely bad. So, I was like, ‘Fuck it, the kid still gotta eat and a true champion can fight through anything.’”
3. His Reaction To Kobe Bryant’s Death
Kobe Bryant’s untimely death was a seismic shock to the sports world and beyond with a countless amounts of athletes, entertainers, and other celebrities sharing their fondest memories of the late Los Angeles Laker. During his sit-down with the “Drink Champs,” Mayweather described his reaction to the news and touched on his relationship with the Black Mamba. “I’m still lost,” he admits. “I’m so lost. I’m not like everyone else, everyone is quick to post on social media. I’m not so quick to post on social media as of right not because I don’t know really what to say because I’m lost. You can pull up a lot of footage of me and Kobe Bryant talking, having fun, laughing and actually, I was in Hawaii [when I last saw him]. I think I had went to Bora Bora a few years ago and I stopped in Hawaii on my way back home, and Kobe was there, him and the Lakers. Me and Kobe, my security and one of Kobe’s security, we took a three hour walk and just talked, just about life and just about being legends.”
4. N.O.R.E. On Working In The Studio With Kobe
In addition to dreams of overtaking Micheal Jordan as the greatest of all-time, Bryant also had dreams of mic supremacy, which he pursued by signing a major record deal and recording a rap album titled Visions. One of the rap stars that had the opportunity to collaborate with him during this period was N.O.R.E., who recalls his formal introduction to the aspiring artist. “Kobe was making an album at one point,” N.O.R.E. remembers. “He was down with Trackmasters and Steve Stoute. I don’t know if you heard, I did a record with Kobe. I get to the studio with Kobe. So, I’m looking [at him] and he’s a ball player, I’m like, ‘Yo nigga, let me write your rhymes’ and he’s like, ‘No. I’m Kobe Bryant, I do everything and I just thought that, that was amazing. And then years later, I was drunk at Mr. Chows and I challenged him to a game of basketball and he also looked at me like, ‘You’re out of your mind, N.O.R.E.,’ but that’s just who I am, man.”
5. His Issues With Bob Arum
Mayweather’s willingness to take control of his brand coincided with his split from boxing promoter Bob Arum, sparking a longstanding feud between the two. He aired his grievances with how Arum’s tactics are viewed in comparison to African-Americans like Don King and himself. “I feel like I got three strikes against me when I go into any situation,” the boxer explains. “I’m black, I’m wealthy and I’m outspoken. So those are the three strikes. And like I said before, Don King, same thing: flashy, flamboyant, outspoken. So, once the world starts to say, ‘He’s a crook’ everybody jumps on the bandwagon to say, ‘He’s a crook’ instead of getting to know that person. So, since Bob Arum does it a quiet way, he’s just a quiet crook. He’s still a crook.”
6. His Favorite Motivational Song
The athlete’s affinity for hip hop culture and his relationships with the artists in it has been well-documented, as stars like Lil Wayne and Rick Ross have accompanied the champ to the ring on various occasions. However, when it comes to the music he chooses to get in his zone leading up to a fight, Mayweather credits a classic from one of Brooklyn’s finest as his go-to motivational anthem. “A lot of times, before I go to the arena, I listen to different songs,” he says. “Sometimes in my headphones, but the one I really like to listen to is Biggie.”
7. His Fall Out With 50 Cent
Given their personalities and competitive nature, Mayweather’s close friendship with 50 Cent was a match made in heaven, with the two polarizing figures garnering headlines and connecting the worlds of boxing and hip hop for a new generation. However, after exchanging various shots at one another, the two have since gone their separate ways, which the boxer addresses during his conversation with DJ EFN and N.O.R.E. “I just never understand where all this came from,” he shares. “50 be at my house everyday. This man sleeps at my house, we go to the boxing gym, we kick it, we hang out, we’re cool. I went away on a little vacation and then when I was on my vacation. I got the newspaper, I seen that it said that he started the TMT Promotions [company]. And when I came home, I guess he wanted to become 50/50 partners in the boxing business, and my thing was just that I was happy and comfortable with what I was already doing. And I guess he wanted to be a part of what I was doing and I said, ‘You know? We’re friends, we got a great relationship, we can keep it like that. No hard feelings, no grudge.’ I don’t know if he got upset, one day I just seen on the internet. They was like, ‘Look what 50 said. 50 said something about you.’ I’m like, ‘Nah, that’s my family, me and this motherfucker together everyday… He said something, of course, I said, ‘Oh.’ I didn’t know what was going on, so I’m a fight it. You shoot at me, I’m gonna shoot back. But then, I can’t keep playing the back-and-forth game because a lot of time in rap battles, rappers go back and forth, back and forth. As whereas, my thing, I’m a fighter and my thing is just like a promotion for a fight… If we’re not gonna do anything, just let it go.”
8. On The Hardest Punch He’s Ever Taken
Of all of the legendary boxers he’s been pitted against, one who came close to landing a critical blow to the notoriously elusive Mayweather was Shane Mosley, whom he fought against nearly a decade ago in a blockbuster match. He admited that Mosley’s blows were brutal, but not enough to break his determination to exit the ring with the belt. “I’m saying, Shane hit me with a hell of a shot,” Mayweather said. “Actually two shots. But even in that particular round, what I said to Shane was this. I said, ‘You gotta kill me.’ I said, ‘That was a good one, but you gotta kill me.’ And then, I mean, I’m not gonna lie, I meant it.”
9. How He Prepared For The Conor McGregor Fight
In 2017, Mayweather took on an unconventional opponent in MMA fighter Conor McGregor in a boxing match, which was billed as one of the biggest sporting events of the year. In the end, Mayweather walked away the victor, retaining his undefeated record in a seemingly effortless performance. According to him, his training regimen paled in comparison to that of his title fights against his counterparts in the boxing ranks, as his fixation was geared more toward the spectacle of it all. “For the Conor McGregor fight, I ain’t really train,” he reveals. “All I did was do push-ups and sit-ups, everyone once in a [while]… Boxed a few times, hit the bag a few times ‘cause actually, training camp was in different places. I would do training camp in Vegas a few days… sometimes I wouldn’t go to the gym for like a week. I took it serious, but like I said before, I wanted to have some fun in a fight and I wanted to entertain the people. So, just me with that style that I had, it was entertaining. It was fun so the people enjoyed it. So you have to give the people a show, so I gave the people a show.”