Boxing Pro Floyd Mayweather On Stopping Gang Violence

Yitzi Weiner @ Authority Magazine

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"Not only do I want to provide fitness in as many diverse neighborhoods as possible, but it’s important to give back in more engaged ways to the communities we are in as well. We launched our Gloves Over Guns youth program at the flagship location this summer, which utilizes the studio to provide mentoring and fitness programs to young people in schools that are negatively impacted by gangs, violence, and peer pressure. Gloves Over Guns is a school-associated system that combines life skills and fitness training, intended to reduce these at-risk students’ tendencies to commit crimes and aiming to improve their opportunities for success long-term. Our aim is to continue to grow the Gloves Over Guns program and help as many young kids as possible have an optimistic outlook through a focus on training, mentorship and positive role models." - Floyd Mayweather

I had the pleasure of interviewing boxing legend Floyd Mayweather. Floyd is now the Chairman of Mayweather Boxing + Fitness. During Floyd’s career, he held multiple world titles in five weight and retired with an undefeated record. In 2016, Floyd was ranked by ESPN as the greatest boxer, pound for pound, of the last 25 years. He is often referred to as the best defensive boxer in history. Floyd is one of the most lucrative pay-per-view attractions of all time. In 2015 Forbes listed him as the highest paid athlete in the world.

Yitzi Weiner: Thank you so much for doing this with us! We are honored to have you with us. Can you share with us what you are currently working on post-retirement?

In January, I launched Mayweather Fitness + Boxing, an immersive group fitness concept that provides next-generation experiences modeled after my professional training. This is the first time that I have revealed the training and fitness methods that kept me at the top of the sport of boxing — and which we have now developed and adapted to make accessible and effective for all fitness levels. The Mayweather Boxing + Fitness flagship studio opened in Los Angeles at the beginning of 2018 and just a few months ago (in July) we launched our franchise program. In less than three months, we have already awarded over twenty franchises, and expect to have more than fifty awarded within our first six months of franchising. With franchise locations already on track to open quickly, we anticipate becoming the fastest growing fitness franchise in history. We have a rapid growth trajectory with plans to open more than 500 franchised studios within five years.

Yitzi Weiner: Perhaps this question is obvious, but how did you come up with the idea to start a boxing gym franchise?

I’ve been fortunate to have such a successful career and to leave a legacy in the sport of boxing. Having a 50–0 record, I was frequently asked about training and how I prepared for my fights. When I retired from boxing professionally, I wanted to create another legacy outside of boxing that allowed me to give back. Through Mayweather Boxing + Fitness, I am able to share my extensive knowledge of training, boxing and fitness with everyone, delivering a more effective way for people to train. I always say that your health is your wealth; and if you look good, you feel good. We’re creating a global platform for people to get in shape in more efficient ways than what’s currently in the market — and ultimately to feel really good about themselves.

Life is all about timing as well. From timing in the ring to timing in business, it’s something I’ve always focused on. The fitness industry continues to grow, and the boutique fitness segment is the fastest growing category. Boxing group fitness is the hottest concept, not only because of how effective it is, but because of how much people really enjoy the workouts and how it allows them to have fun while getting in shape. I knew the time was right to create a fitness concept that is unique to everything I have learned and to give fitness consumers a better, more fun — and ultimately more effective workout.

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Yitzi Weiner: Can you share a story about funniest mistake you made when you first started your new franchise? What lesson did you take out of that?

I don’t know if this counts, but we have developed a totally unique virtual reality boxing program, which provides skill-based cardio workouts inside of a VR headset — from speed bag to heavy bag, reflex drills, virtual sparring, and even mitt work with my virtual character. When we first revealed the product at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas earlier this year, I did a live demo in front of some of the world’s biggest media. The team had programmed the virtual Floyd to be unbeatable, so when I went up against the character in front of all of these people for a full 2-minute sparring session, Virtual Floyd won!

Yitzi Weiner: I’m sure you have met some really fascinating people. Who are some of the most interesting people you have worked with during your athletic career and in this new venture? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

The most interesting people we work with are hands down our franchisees. These are people who emulate the American dream and who I have a lot of respect for. They live with passion and aspire to achieve a level of greatness in their professional careers, so that they can create amazing futures for themselves and their families. In our classes, our instructors motivate everyone to feel like a Champion; and our franchisees are the best reflection of this. These are people who are taking all of their life experiences, combining them with an exciting opportunity, and taking positive action to pursue and achieve their dreams. The franchisees we have on board right now, and those who will be signing up over the upcoming months, are coming in on the ground level of a fitness brand that’s already blowing up and which is going to change the landscape of the fitness industry. They recognize the value in what we have created — and these are the people I’m most excited to see succeed with their businesses.

Yitzi Weiner: What career advice would you give to a young person who would like to emulate your career?

Hard Work and Dedication. Nothing comes easy in life, but if you work hard and dedicate yourself to a craft, you can achieve great things.

Yitzi Weiner: Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Showing is better than telling”. Anybody can talk about being able to do something, or about how good they are at doing that thing, but that doesn’t always mean much. I don’t fight for bragging rights — I go out there and prove myself. I’ve always said I’m the best at trash talking — but I’m also the best at going out there and backing it up. Throughout my career, and in all my business endeavors, I put in hard work and I do my best. If you stick by that life lesson, it will no doubt serve you well.

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Yitzi Weiner: You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Not only do I want to provide fitness in as many diverse neighborhoods as possible, but it’s important to give back in more engaged ways to the communities we are in as well.

We launched our Gloves Over Guns youth program at the flagship location this summer, which utilizes the studio to provide mentoring and fitness programs to young people in schools that are negatively impacted by gangs, violence, and peer pressure. Gloves Over Guns is a school-associated system that combines life skills and fitness training, intended to reduce these at-risk students’ tendencies to commit crimes and aiming to improve their opportunities for success long-term. Our aim is to continue to grow the Gloves Over Guns program and help as many young kids as possible have an optimistic outlook through a focus on training, mentorship and positive role models.

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Yitzi Weiner is a journalist, author, and the founder Authority Magazine. He is also the CEO of Authority Magazine's Thought Leader Incubator, which guides leaders to become prolific content creators. Yitzi is also the author of five books. In 2017, he created the popular, “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” series that highlights the empowering lessons learned from the experiences of high-profile entrepreneurs and public figures. This series has inspired a mini-movement among writers, with scores of writers worldwide profiling inspiring people to share their positive, empowering, and actionable stories. A trained Rabbi, Yitzi is also a dynamic educator, teacher and orator. He currently lives in Maryland with his wife and children.

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