Boxing: Floyd Mayweather apologises for comments on Ray Rice fiasco

Floyd Mayweather (pictured) apologised on Wednesday for his comments on the Ray Rice fiasco, adding he does not agree with comparisons between his domestic problems and those of the suspended National Football League player. -- PHOTO: AFP
Floyd Mayweather (pictured) apologised on Wednesday for his comments on the Ray Rice fiasco, adding he does not agree with comparisons between his domestic problems and those of the suspended National Football League player. -- PHOTO: AFP

LAS VEGAS (AFP) - Floyd Mayweather apologised on Wednesday for his comments on the Ray Rice fiasco, adding he does not agree with comparisons between his domestic problems and those of the suspended National Football League player.

Mayweather, who is the highest-paid athlete in the world with annual earnings of US$105 million (S$130 million), has had his own domestic abuse problems, including a stint in jail in 2012.

"If I offended anyone I apologise," Mayweather said. "I apologise to the NFL. I am not perfect. I said things yesterday. I don't condone what happened.

"You all shouldn't be asking me about no football. I ain't even an NFL player. I am a boxer, that's what I do for a living."

Mayweather pleaded guilty to domestic abuse charges and spent two months in a Las Vegas jail two years ago. The charges were in connection with an attack on his former girlfriend while their children watched.

The 37-year-old was also named in a civil suit last week by his ex-fiancee. Shantel Jackson said he assaulted her and kept her from leaving his luxury Las Vegas home. She also said he humiliated her by posting on the Internet a sonogram showing her pregnant with twins then accused her of aborting them.

Mayweather told reporters on Tuesday in Las Vegas that he has been falsely accused in the past.

"With OJ and Nicole you seen the pictures. With Chris Brown and Rihanna you seen the 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 Mayweather)," he said ahead of his world title fight against Marcos Maidana on Saturday at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.

NFL star Rice was cut from the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely when a video surfaced allegedly showing him punching and knocking out in an elevator his former fiancee Janay Palmer. Mayweather said the NFL should have stuck with the initial two-game ban for Rice.

Mayweather said on Wednesday he doesn't want to answer any more questions about Rice and his victim.

"You all worried about some female," he said. "That shouldn't even be your focus. It is not my focus."

Mayweather, who will make close to US$50 million for Saturday's fight, also added he doesn't condone Rice's behaviour.

But he said that he feels he gets singled out for criticism instead of for his community service, like helping breast cancer victims. Prior to his last fight against Maidana he announced at a press conference he was donating US$15,000 to the Susan G. Komen For the Cure foundation.

"I never hear nobody talk about how I fed the homeless and give back to the American citizen," Mayweather said. "Or how I build homes. Nobody never talks about that. But as soon as there is something negative ...."

He said sometimes he feels like he is being piled on. "My name is always brought up with the (Rice) situation. Like I said I apologise. I am not perfect," he said.

Leonard Ellerbe, chief executive of Mayweather Promotions, then scolded reporters at Wednesday's news conference, telling them not to ask about the Rice fiasco.

"We don't need any more questions about it," he said. "Floyd is not the one that is under this microscope.

"I want to be very, very clear and we are not going to ask any more of these questions. Period. End of discussions. He has nothing more to say."