A month after pleading guilty to battery-domestic violence, champion boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. said he "absolutely" did not kick or punch the mother of three of his children in 2010.
For the first time since taking a plea deal to end his Las Vegas criminal cases, Mayweather on Wednesday spoke publicly about the incidents that have netted him thousands of dollars in fines, 100 hours of community service, a year of counseling sessions and a yet-to-be-served 90-day jail sentence.
The former Olympian spoke with reporters after a news conference where he fulfilled a promise made last year to donate $100,000 to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation to fight breast cancer. Mayweather pledged to donate that amount in October, two months before pleading guilty in the domestic violence case. He said a family relative died from the disease.
Wearing a pink sweater, white pants and a wide smile, Mayweather presented an oversized check to the foundation at his gym in Las Vegas’ Chinatown, near Spring Mountain Road and Valley View Boulevard.
Afterward, the undefeated boxer said he pleaded guilty to battery-domestic violence and no contest to two counts of harassment in December to put "all of these negative things" behind him.
He then denied that he struck Josie Harris in September 2010.
"You’ve seen the O.J. and Nicole pictures, the Chris Brown, Rihanna pictures," Mayweather said, referring to well-known cases of celebrity domestic violence. "You guys have to ask yourself, ‘Where are the pictures?’ But you know things happen. Do I apologize? Absolutely. Did I kick and beat her? Absolutely not."
Mayweather admitted he restrained Harris after an argument and tried to calm her down. "As far as punching, kicking, or beating? No I didn’t do that. Absolutely not."
Mayweather said he wishes Harris "nothing but the best" and described her as a "great woman."
Harris filed a criminal complaint against Mayweather after the Sept. 9, 2010, incident. She said the boxer hit and kicked her because she was dating another man. Harris also accused Mayweather of threatening their children by saying he would "beat their asses if they left the house or called the police" during the incident.
But as the trial date neared, Harris moved to California and couldn’t be reached by prosecutors and investigators preparing the case.
Harris had made a similar allegation before. In 2003, she told police Mayweather beat her during an argument over another woman. When that case went to trial in 2005, Harris changed her story and told the jury Mayweather was a "teddy bear" who had never laid a hand on her. The boxer was acquitted.
By October, prosecutors believed Harris no longer was cooperating in the latest case and sought to cut a deal with the boxer. Their only leverage was that they could force Mayweather’s children to testify against him, something the boxer wanted to avoid.
Mayweather said Wednesday he took the plea deal because it was the best thing for him to do and he didn’t want to "drag my family through a public dispute."
Mayweather also scoffed at the other criminal case he settled as part of his deal with prosecutors, a misdemeanor battery charge stemming from his poking a security guard over parking citations.
Mayweather denied poking Smith. He pleaded no contest to the charge in December and paid a $1,000 fine.
A police report of the November 2010 incident showed that a confrontation ensued after guard Shayne Smith cited two Mayweather vehicles for violating parking rules at the Southern Highlands Estates, where the boxer owns a $9.5 million, 12,000-square-foot mansion.
Police said a photo of Smith showed redness on his face. Smith is suing Mayweather over the incident.
The boxer had nothing bad to say about the court system or those who would put him in jail. "When it comes to the system, it is what it is. They work the way they want to work. I can’t be mad at them at all."
Mayweather said he looks at the 90-day jail sentence — which was set to start Jan. 6 but was delayed until June 1 by Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa so the boxer could fight an unknown opponent May 5 — as another obstacle.
"The only thing I can do is keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best and continue to do what I do," Mayweather said.
The boxer said he will focus on the positive until it’s time to turn himself in at the Clark County Detention Center. "When that day comes, it is what it is."
Mayweather still faces a laundry list of legal troubles.
The boxer has been linked to, but not charged in, a shooting in August 2009 outside the Crystal Palace Skating Center on Boulder Highway near Flamingo Road.
Authorities allege that Ocie Harris, a Mayweather bodyguard, shot at a BMW carrying Quincey Williams and Damein Bland as the car left the skating rink. The car was hit six times. The victims allege the shooting occurred after Mayweather threatened Williams’ life over insulting text messages. No one was injured.
Harris faces six felonies, including attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon. A trial is set for Feb. 6.
Williams and Bland have filed a civil lawsuit against Mayweather over the incident.
There are several other lawsuits against Mayweather pending in civil court over allegations that his bodyguards assaulted people at casinos and nightclubs in Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, representatives of the Susan G. Komen foundation said 75 percent of the $100,000 donation will be used in Las Vegas, and the other 25 percent will be used to support national research efforts.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@review journal.com or 702-380-1039.