Pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. said Tuesday that Showtime’s “All Access” reality series, which follows him and his opponent during the training camp and buildup to their fight, is staged as a way to sell more pay-per-views.
Mayweather, a licensed fighter and promoter in Nevada, as well as the executive producer of the series — giving him control over what makes the air — was ordered to appear at the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s monthly meeting Tuesday to answer the five-person panel’s questions about scenes during the second episode of the series leading up to his rematch with Marcos Maidana on Sept. 13 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The episode contained scenes that showed unsafe training conditions — including a purported 31-minute round of sparring with no break — at Mayweather’s Las Vegas gym, as well as marijuana being smoked in his presence by a group of girlfriends at his Las Vegas home.
Mayweather claimed, however, that both were staged for the television show.
“With ‘All Access,’ we’re able to edit and chop footage the way we want,” he said.
The commission was most concerned with footage that aired of amateur boxer Sharif Rahman, one of former undisputed 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 the smaller Cameron to get into the ring with him. While members of the gym lined up wagers, they supposedly fought for 31 consecutive minutes until Cameron could not go on. All the while, Mayweather was present and cheering wildly.
During an interview on the episode to discuss what he calls “the dog house,” Mayweather said of the intense sessions, “The dog house — the rules are you fight ’til whoever quits.”
Mayweather later added, smiling: “Guys fight to the death. It’s not right, but it’s dog house rules.”
The commission was concerned over the lack of regard for the health and safety of the fighters and questioned him about the “dog house” fights.
Mayweather, flanked by attorney Shane Emerick and Mayweather Promotions chief executive Leonard Ellerbe — whom Mayweather said he is considering replacing in the wake of the Maidana rematch — told the commission that the supposed 31-minute round did not happen and that the fighters took several breaks.
“We monitor every training session at Mayweather Boxing Club. I don’t take breaks during 15-minute rounds, but we allow other guys,” Mayweather said. “I am there to monitor and watch every ‘dog house’ fight.”
Mayweather added that the weight disparity between Rahman Jr. and Cameron was only about 15 pounds, which is not unusual for a sparring session. Mayweather also said that all fighters who spar in his gym must wear headgear and that they use 16- and 18-ounce gloves, which are larger than gloves in which a boxer would fight.
The commissioners also brought up the illegal gambling in the gym that was shown taking place during the “dog house” fights.
“That’s all for the reality show,” Emerick said. “It does not happen.”
The commission further pointed out that Mayweather was not licensed to have amateurs sparring in his gym and the liability, should something happen, would be on him. Ellerbe said they would make sure to get the proper paperwork taken care of to allow amateurs to spar at the gym.
Emerick assured the commission that Mayweather understood that it was his duty to report any sparring injuries to it.
When commissioner Pat Lundvall questioned Mayweather about the marijuana scene, Mayweather said that it was fake marijuana. He said that he is against drug use and that he was “trying to think outside of the box” and “I’m trying to sell more than a fight. It’s a lifestyle.”
Near the end of the hearing, commission chairman Francisco Aguilar asked that Mayweather and Ellerbe alert the commission about fake elements of future editions of “All Access,” and they agreed.
A Showtime spokesman told ESPN.com that the network had no comment on Mayweather’s assertions that significant elements of the series are staged and not, in fact, reality.