The Nevada State Athletic Commission ordered pound-for-pound king and licensed promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Thursday to appear before the five-person panel at its meeting Tuesday to answer questions about unsafe training conditions at his Las Vegas gym.
The commission is concerned about scenes that were broadcast during the second episode of the Showtime “All Access” series that aired in advance of Mayweather’s rematch against Marcos Maidana last Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
During the episode — part of a promotional vehicle for the pay-per-view — footage aired of amateur boxer Sharif Rahman, one of former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman’s sons, taking a serious beating from amateur Donovan Cameron while Mayweather watched what was supposed to be a sparring session.
Upset that his brother had taken such a vicious beating, Hasim Rahman Jr., Sharif’s older brother, challenged Cameron to get into the ring with him.
While members of the gym lined up wagers, they fought for 31 consecutive minutes until Cameron could not go on and Rahman was declared the winner. Mayweather was present, cheering wildly.
During an interview during the episode to discuss what he calls “the dog house,” Mayweather said of the intense sessions, “The dog house — the rules are you fight till whoever quits.”
Mayweather later added, smiling, “Guys fight to the death. It’s not right but it’s dog house rules.”
Nobody appeared to show any regard for the health and safety of the boxers, and that concerned the commission.
“On Sunday, I watched the episodes when they were sent to me by another commissioner,” NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar told ESPN.com. “I was watching the part with the sparring sessions. Our main concern is the health and safety of the fighters and not just on fight night, but also in sparring and in training.
“The point of asking him to come to the meeting is not to accuse anyone of anything. We want to get a clarification about what happened on ‘All Access.’ There were situations in sparring sessions that we need to talk about. One thing is to talk about making sure you have two equally paired fighters and that you’re not putting one fighter in danger. The other is the round that went 31 minutes.”
Aguilar said Mayweather is under more scrutiny now than he has been because he recently obtained a promoters license for his Mayweather Promotions.
“With the promoters license comes a higher standard of doing business,” Aguilar said. “So we want to have a conversation with him. How it goes will determine the direction the commission takes. We could say thank you for coming and remind him of the importance and obligations that come with holding a promoters license or there could be a disciplinary action.”
Aguilar said some commissioners were also concerned with a scene in the same “All Access” episode in which Mayweather watched as several girlfriends rolled marijuana joints and smoked them in his house. Mayweather, who did not smoke, encouraged the activity and, at one point, even told an assistant to go to the store to buy more rolling papers because the women had run out.
“There is also the marijuana situation in there, and some commissioners are upset about it. I think that’s a minor issue compared to the sparring situation,” Aguilar said. “I understand the value of TV and drama, so the marijuana part was not a major concern for me, but is of other commissioners. My priority is the health and safety of the fighters.”