ENTERTAINMENT | May 29, 2023
I know… another MMA fighter transitioning to boxing to compete in a contest he’s likely to lose. It’s become something of a trend in recent years, and as a lifelong combat sports fanatic, these scheduled bouts don’t impress me whatsoever.
However, when the latest boxing news announced that Floyd “Money” Mayweather would be stepping into the ring against the grandson of one of the most infamous gangsters and Gambino crime family bosses, I can’t lie; my interest was sparked.
Combat Sports Record: 5-1-0 (3 KOs, Pro-MMA) / 2-0 (1 KO, Boxing)
Affiliate Gym: Long Island MMA
Weight Class(es): Welterweight (169 lbs)
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It sounds cool, Mayweather vs. Gotti, but don’t get it twisted. John Gotti III hasn’t been connected to illicit activities such as extortion, loan sharking, illegal gambling like his grandfather, John Joseph Gotti Jr.; this mobster owned a significant presence being the boss of the Gambino crime family from 1985 to 1990.
Floyd Mayweather’s exhibition career has presented lackluster opposition, to say the least. Deji (Brother of YouTuber turned boxer KSI), Aaron Chambers, and Mikuru Asakura aren’t exactly world beaters, but at least John Gotti III has a reputation as a legitimate fighter.
Gotti III made his professional MMA debut in 2017 and sailed through the competition with a 5-0 record. Upon his first career defeat, he transitioned to the ring and has since gone 2-0 with one knockout. He’s owned a fierce, violent streak during his combat sports career.
The boxing rumors recently announcing an impending collision with Mayweather are more than just two fighters with noteworthy skills representing a clash of legacies. The five-time champion and boxing PPV revenue record holder in Mayweather has a storied unbeaten career. At the same time, Gotti III holds the weight of and reputation of one of the most notorious crime bosses ever.
Keeping it transparent, there isn’t much bad to say about Gotti III. Despite the family name, he hasn’t been on the wrong side of the law and wants to create a separate legacy by competing in the ring. But if he wants to be considered a serious professional boxer, accepting exhibition bouts with 46-year-old Mayweather he won’t achieve this. Unless he knocks him out cold, THAT would be a history-making moment.
But let’s keep it real, Mayweather will likely float around the ring like a butterfly and outclass the lesser experienced fighter. Losing to one of the greats bares no shame, but there isn’t progression for his boxing tenure.
It’ll be in his pockets, but nothing more. And if you’re into betting sports, I’d stay away from this one: exhibition contests are incredibly volatile, and these two are friends more than foes.
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Gotti III has displayed genuine talent, but will the negativity of the Gotti family overshadow his fighting skills? Win or lose against Mayweather, the hype around this bout and his future fights will always highlight the gangster associations. He isn’t a wise guy with a background assisting the mob, but unfortunately, he’s guilty by association.
To truly rebrand the Gotti name would be impossible, and beating people into a bloody pulp isn’t exactly a career path that will assist that. We can assume John Gotti III has accepted this, and no matter how ugly it seems, involving himself in sanctioned fights as a career path is undoubtedly more respected than what could’ve been.