What's Buzzing:

Boxing Experts Blog

Detroit News writer accuses Floyd Mayweather Jr. of harassing a boxer’s wife, but Leonard Ellerbe calls it trash talk


View photo


Floyd Mayweather taunts Shawana Bundrage at a Feb. 23 fight (Clarence Tabb Jr./The Detroit News)

Terry Foster, a columnist for the Detroit News, painted a disgusting portrait of Floyd Mayweather Jr., alleging the pound-for-pound king harassed the wife of another boxer and made sexually suggestive actions toward her.

Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, said Mayweather and Shawana Bundrage were trash talking about the fight and that nothing untoward or unsavory occurred.

The men were at the same show on Feb. 23 in Detroit, which featured Cornelius "K9" Bundrage defending his IBF super welterweight title against Ishe Smith, but left with dramatically different impressions of the incident that occurred between Mayweather and Bundrage's weife, Shawana, that unfolded during the Showtime-televised bout.

Foster referred to Mayweather's actions as "despicable" and said Mayweather gyrated his hips in her face. Later in his column, he characterized Mayweather's actions as bullying.

Shawana Bundrage did not deserve to have a man gyrate his hips around her face while watching husband Cornelius Bundrage fight in the ring last week at the Masonic Temple. She did not deserve a grown man getting in her face and screaming while minding her own business. She also did not deserve the laughter that surrounded this despicable act that was captured by our photographer, Clarence Tabb Jr.

But that's exactly what happened.

The culprit was champion boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was in town to promote the fight and his fighter, Ishe Smith, who took Bundrage's light-middleweight title belt during the bout. Here is the funny part about it: Mayweather wore a hat that said "Money. Power. Respect."

Mayweather showed he had the money and power. He certainly did not show respect, although I am sure he wants everybody to respect him.

Later, Foster, who like Mayweather is African-American, suggested Mayweather's actions were typical of the way black men treat black women.

We, too, often talk about how much we love our black queens and that they are the greatest women on Earth. But then we demean them in rap songs and, in this case, in public. Mayweather treated Shawana Bundrage poorly. He showed no respect for her or her husband.

Bundrage and Mayweather (Clarence Tabb Jr./The Detroit News)

Mayweather couldn't be reached for comment. But Ellerbe, who was promoting the Bundrage-Smith show, vigorously defended Mayweather. He said if Mayweather's actions were so bad and out of line, Bundrage should sue him.

"We would defend this one, believe me," Ellerbe told Yahoo! Sports.

Ellerbe pointed out that Shawana Bundrage serves as her husband's boxing manager and that the incident dated back to an early news conference to announce the fight (which Mayweather didn't attend). Ellerbe said Shawana Bundrage told Smith that her husband would beat him and then go on to fight and beat Mayweather.

[Also: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.'s huge fine shows need for updated regulations]

It was Ellerbe's opinion that everything was simply trash talk and part of the fight game.

"I was there and this is straight [expletive]," Ellerbe said. "I know what was said. I heard and saw what was going on. She said her fighter -- and that's the context we were dealing with her, as K9's manager, not his wife -- she said her fighter was going to whip Floyd's fighter and then was going to whip Floyd's ass. ... I heard the back and forth going on, and I was part of it. This is completely irrelevant and stupid, believe me.

"Floyd said nothing harassing to her and he did nothing to harass her. He was trash talking her, but she was trash talking him. This was written by a hometown reporter who I guess was upset that the hometown boy [Bundrage] lost. There is no truth, none, in any of what he says. None of this was personal, and what that reporter didn't write was that after it was all over, we all shook hands and [embraced] and left with no hard feelings."

Shawana Bundrage did not comment on the incident, telling Foster via email, "I do not want to make any comments to glorify his actions."

Ellerbe said it is stories such as Foster's that make Mayweather hesitant to appear in public.

"This all started at a press conference and it was a non-story at first because when it first started, Floyd wasn't even there," Ellerbe said. "It got blown into this big thing because apparently this reporter knows that someone is going to read what he has to say if he writes about Floyd. [Shawana Bundrage] seems like a nice young lady. This was all just boxing talk, trash talk, and to say it was anything more than that is a complete lie."

[Also: Robert Guerrero has instincts to give Floyd Mayweather a tough fight]

Mayweather is one of the most visible athletes in the world and is starting a six-fight, 30-month deal with Showtime that will pay him record amounts of money. Obviously his actions are open to interpretation. But the next time he decides to trash talk someone -- whether it's a fighter's wife, manager or anyone else -- he'd be wise to limit it to the talking part and stay out of the personal space of his intended target.

That would guarantee that no one could misconstrue his intentions.

Hat tip to Clarence Tabb of the Detroit News for the photos.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. puts his arm around Shawana Bundrage (Clarence Tabb Jr./The Detroit News)

Popular boxing video on Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
Johnny Manziel drives away in a pretty sweet ride for an ESPN segment
Wes Welker risks legacy if he leaves Patriots
NBA Power Rankings: The Heat are back on top
Forde Minutes: March begins with every team fighting for something

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (3462)
  • Grief-stricken Siddle pushes Australia over the line

    Grief-stricken Siddle pushes Australia over the line

    By Ian Ransom ADELAIDE (Reuters) - A 200th wicket and the winning runs were of some comfort for paceman Peter Siddle who was grief-stricken after the death of his grandmother during Australia's victory in the third test against New Zealand. Siddle … More »

    Reuters - 2 minutes 24 seconds ago
  • Review controversy costly for New Zealand, captain says

    Review controversy costly for New Zealand, captain says

    By Ian Ransom ADELAIDE (Reuters) - New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum refused to blame third umpire Nigel Llong's controversial review decision for his team's loss in the third and final test against Australia but said the "frustrating" ruling … More »

    Reuters - 3 minutes 22 seconds ago
  • Costa dropped but Chelsea still toothless in Spurs draw

    Costa dropped but Chelsea still toothless in Spurs draw

    Jose Mourinho dropped his main striker Diego Costa for Chelsea's Premier League visit to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday but the champions still proved toothless up front as they ground out an undistinguished goalless draw at White Hart Lane. Mourinho … More »

    Reuters - 4 minutes 13 seconds ago
  • Tottenham extends unbeaten run by holding Chelsea 0-0

    Tottenham extends unbeaten run by holding Chelsea 0-0

    Tottenham extended its unbeaten Premier League run to 13 matches by drawing 0-0 against a Chelsea side showing signs of recovery but still languishing in the lower half of the standings. Feeling the effects of a long mid-week trip to Azerbaijan for … More »

    AP - Sports - 8 minutes ago
  • Lafita inspires Getafe to beat misfiring Villarreal

    Lafita inspires Getafe to beat misfiring Villarreal

    (Reuters) - Getafe’s Angel Lafita scored one goal and set up another on Sunday in a 2-0 victory over misfiring Villarreal, who now have just one win in seven La Liga matches. Villarreal have lost their way after a bright start to the season and lie … More »

    Reuters - 29 minutes ago