Floyd Mayweather Fights Again Saturday But What If No One Watches?

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On Saturday night, there's absolutely no question what I'll be doing. With college football nearing its conclusion, the natural transition will be to watch Floyd Mayweather put his multiple world championship belts and his zero in the loss column on the line in a rematch with the feisty Marcos Maidana. If the first fight is any indication of what the rematch will be like, fireworks and drama will be on display for the low price of $65-$75 on pay-per-view. Side note, that's now a low price.

However, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a part of my soul feeling a bit uneasy about watching Mayweather do work in the ring. Without question, the man is one of the all-time greatest boxers I've ever seen with my own eyes (with only the incomparable Roy Jones Jr. in the discussion), but it's hard to get excited to watch a man do his job when I know of the multiple domestic violence charges he's accumulated along with the various statements he's made that have been absurdly out-of-pocket.  There's not a fiber in my soul that can stand for any of the things Floyd does, outside of his hard work and motivation, to prosper in the ring.

As it seems, my integrity as a sports fan is being tested.

espnW's Sarah Spain wrote an intriguing piece on Thursday asking a simple question. In lieu of the ongoing shenanigans of Ray Rice, Roger Goodell and the NFL's issues with domestic violence, should we as sports fans really be tuning in to watch Floyd Mayweather Jr.?

On Tuesday, Mayweather said the NFL should have stuck with its original two-game suspension of Rice, despite the release of the latest video.

"I think there's a lot worse things that go on in other people's households," he said. "It's just not caught on video, if that's safe to say." (He later apologized for his comments.)

He also pointed to a lack of photographic or video evidence as proof of his own innocence. "Like I've said in the past, no bumps, no bruises, no nothing," he said. "With O.J. and Nicole, you seen pictures. With Chris Brown and Rihanna, you seen pictures. With [Chad] Ochocinco and Evelyn, you seen pictures. You guys have yet to see any pictures of a battered woman, a woman who says she was kicked and beaten [by me]. So I just live my life and try to stay positive and try to become a better person each and every day."

Mayweather isn't saying, "I didn't do it," but rather, "You didn't see me do it." It's an absurd defense, and yet it appears to be working -- for Mayweather, and for Hardy, and for McDonald, and every other athlete who has been accused of domestic violence and escaped punishment. Outrage is easy when you're faced with physical proof of the sickening reality of abuse.

Watching Rice deliver the punch, Palmer's head slamming against the railing before she falls to the floor, it's not hard to say, definitively, "What he did was wrong. I can no longer root for him." Somehow, hearing an account of Mayweather's history of abuse, even in detail, hasn't been enough to turn public opinion against the fighter in the same way.

How can one watch him box without picturing his fists pummeling not his opponent, but rather a defenseless woman? How can one acknowledge his fighting prowess without wondering how many women have fallen victim to it outside the ring?

I would strongly encourage you all to read Sarah's piece in totality because it's really good. However, this is the life of a sports fan in 2014. Athletes are humans too, and as is the case, they tend to do stupid things from time to time. Should you feel uneasy in plunking down a monthly cell phone payment to watch someone with repeated issues with domestic violence? Maybe, but is there anything wrong in watching a person who's the best in the world at doing what they do? Probably not. No one's here to judge, but just understand that the feeling inside you have about this is shared by many across the globe.

As for me, maybe I'll find an illegal stream I'll go to a friend's house and watch it there instead.

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