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Boxing

Floyd Mayweather Is Also The Floyd Mayweather Of Shady Crypto Shit

Former world welterweight king Floyd Mayweather speaks on stage during the crypto-currency conference Bitcoin 2021 Convention at the Mana Convention Center in Miami, Florida, on June 4, 2021. (Photo by Marco BELLO / AFP) (Photo by MARCO BELLO/AFP via Getty Images)
Marco Bello/Getty Images

Since his last real fight in 2015, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has primarily occupied himself with a series of bouts that have run the gamut from a pretend fight against an established combat sports superstar to a pretend fight against a Youtube dipshit. The whole gimmick works because Mayweather is a masterful defensive fighter who can safely carry people who really should not be able to hang with one of the greatest boxers of all time, and deliver the suckers who buy his pay-per-view cards, if not satisfying action, at least some action. A rational consideration of Mayweather’s history of hyping fights that turn out to be dogshit boring would lead one to conclude that the whole spectacle adds up to Mayweather separating people from their cash for basically no good reason, yet the whole scheme’s brilliance is that it plays into Mayweather’s branding as a rich guy who ruthlessly separates people from their money. In this sense, neither Mayweather’s recent turn as cryptocurrency salesman nor the scumminess of his operations are surprising.

Over the weekend, Mayweather launched a website for his forthcoming NFT project called the Mayweverse, which will offer Mayweather fans the chance to mint 5,000 NFTs at the price of 0.3 Ethereum (~$900) each. As is the case with most celebrity NFT projects, this one comes with a slapped-together justification for the cartoon avatars beyond their utility as assets, as Mayweverse holders will be able to “join FLOYD in the Metaverse through a pass for exclusive occasions and events.” There is even less reason to believe any of this will actually come to bear than there would be for any other rickety NFT scheme, since Floyd Mayweather has a particularly storied history of participating in crypto shams and scams, including, well, doing exactly what he’s about to do again and then making off with everyone’s money.

Our tale begins in the relatively innocent year of 2018, when Mayweather was fined $614,000 by the federal government for failing to disclose payments he received in exchange for promoting three Initial Coin Offerings, including one from Centra Tech. The founder of Centra Tech is, naturally, serving an eight-year sentence after the feds discovered that the Centra Tech ICO was extremely fake, after which he pleaded guilty to the “big three” (securities, wire, AND mail fraud). Mayweather has taken part in several other similar schemes, helping to pump several currencies that then quickly got dumped; he is currently facing a class-action lawsuit from holders of EthereumMax, after he heavily helped promote the token ahead of his fight with Logan Paul, including at a Bitcoin-specific conference where he got booed for big-upping a competitor. The price of EthereumMax dropped by three orders of magnitude shortly after the fight.

Later that year, Mayweather was one of the many celebrities who promoted Bored Bunny NFTs, a project whose founders didn’t even bother to pick a different adjective from the biggest NFT project in the world. That bit of corner-cutting foreshadowed what should be, by now, a familiar pattern: The Bored Bunny people failed to deliver on any of the bells and whistles they promised after making off with millions of dollars. But the size and directness of the scheme are worth detailing. Bored Bunny founders took over $21 million from investors, money they raised from three separate drops of profile picture NFTs at 0.4 and then 0.25 ETH. The Bored Bunny team gradually stopped communicating with the community, the value of the NFTs plummeted, and the founder finally addressed everyone after a full month of silence to tell people that he simply had too many emails to read to attend to his $20 million dollar cartoon rabbit project. Sorry! Also, an investigator found that developers rigged the drop to guarantee returns for their celebrity partners. The floor price of a Bored Bunny is now 0.08 ETH.

All this would be reason enough not to trust Mayweather to follow through on the Mayweverse project, though an even stronger reason not to do so is that he pulled the rug on an NFT project of his own just months ago. Mayweather announced his first foray into selling cartoons to suckers, the Floyd NFT project, on August 10, shortly before Mayweather’s three-year ban on promoting securities elapsed. Mayweather sold 11,111 NFTs for 0.15 ETH each, a sum now worth close to $5 million. The value of those NFTs plummeted after Mayweather essentially abandoned the project—a classic rug pull—and though the website is still up, Mayweather has deleted all mention of Floyd NFTs from his own accounts. When expert crypto scam sleuth @zachxbt pointed this out, whoever is operating Mayweather’s Twitter account demanded he delete his posts.

If you’ve seen the Mayweverse art and still want to own one of their cartoons for some reason, just wait until the price inevitably collapses in a month and you can get one for like $10.