ESPN The Magazine‘s “Money Issue,” on newsstands today, offers rare access to one of sports’ most intriguing figures, boxer Floyd Mayweather.
Saturday night in Las Vegas, Mayweather (42-0) meets junior middleweight titlist Miguel Cotto (37-2). Mayweather is the marquee name in this bout expected to generate $250 million in revenue, adding to his claim to be the highest-paid athlete in sports.
Front Row caught up with The Mag contributor Stacey Pressman and video producer/reporter Stevland Wilson to offer some insight into what really happens behind the scenes in the life of “Money” Mayweather.
How was Mayweather selected as the cover subject of the Money Issue?
Pressman: Mayweather was committed to doing another issue for The Magazine. However, scheduling didn’t work, so we wanted to find another place for him. It just so happened that we were doing a Money Issue. It really was a great fit.
How much access did Mayweather grant ESPN The Magazine?
Pressman: Floyd gets it. He gave us all-access into his life. The crew — video and photo — was allowed to spend three days with him and his Money Team. We spent time at The Mayweather Boxing gym in Vegas and he even let the crew into his home for the photo shoot, which I am told — other than the access given HBO’s 24/7 show — is rare. We did everything in one weekend: writer access, video and cover shoot. That’s unusual, but it had to happen that way as Floyd is particular on scheduling press around his training.
In Tim Keown’s Magazine profile, he writes about the hunt for Mayweather’s misplaced $80,000 betting slip. How surreal was that?
Pressman: The only person from ESPN who was aware about the quest for the missing ticket was Keown, who was sitting in the back seat of Floyd’s car on his way to dinner with him and his team. Honestly, the mayhem surrounding the missing $80,000 betting slip wasn’t even noticeable because life around Floyd often seems chaotic.
What footage didn’t make the final cut of the online videos that you wish could incorporate?
Wilson: The one thing I wish we could have shown but didn’t have permission to was a sports car [rapper] 50 Cent had made for Floyd as a birthday gift. It was parked in a separate garage that features a sleek floor. It’s a cross between an F1 race car and Lamborghini. 50 Cent spent months coming up with the design and said it cost over $500,000 to make.