‘The Greatest,’ Muhammad Ali, perhaps the most popular athlete ever, acknowledged his flamboyant self-promotion was influenced by pro wrestler Gorgeous George.
“I saw 15,000 people comin’ to see this man get beat. And his talking did it,” acknowledged Ali.
“I said, ‘This is a gooood idea!'”
Three years before Ali (then Cassius Clay) became heavyweight champion, he met Gorgeous George who told the future star:
“A lot of people will pay to see someone shut your mouth. So keep on bragging.”
“Keep on sassing and always be outrageous.”
Ali took his advice and it worked like a charm.
Enter Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.
Did ‘Money May’ take a page from Ali?
During the mid to late 1980s and early 1990s, Ted DiBiase, known as “The Million Dollar Man,’ was an icon in pro wrestling. Arrogant and obnoxious, DiBiase flaunted his money and wore gold-studded, dollar-sign-covered suits.
The self-proclaimed ‘Million Dollar Man’ was purportedly a character based on the type of wrestler that WWE president Vince McMahon wanted to be. But DiBiase wasn’t all talk and disposed of opponents with his inescapable sleeper hold, ‘The Million Dollar Dream,’ before stuffing $100 bills into their unconscious mouths.
Claiming “Everybody has a price,” The Million Dollar Man was a villainous character fans loved to hate.
Floyd Mayweather was indisputably one of the greatest fighters of all time and the highest-paid athlete in the world for several years. Boxing’s former multi-division champion and previous top pound-for-pound fighter, Mayweather dubbed himself ‘Money’ and has a lifestyle most people can only dream about.
Controversial and highly colorful, ‘Money May,’ like DiBiase’s character before him, flaunted his cash and bragged about his wealth, much to the disdain of many. But like him or not, when Floyd Mayweather fought, people were intrigued and interested, and his skills and outrageous persona brought him tremendous riches and fame.
Ali emulated Gorgeous George… Did Floyd Mayweather emulate The Million Dollar Man?
Video: Ted Dibiase Sr. WWE Theme Song – ”It’s All About The Money”