sport news Floyd Mayweather grew up amid poverty, crime and drugs

Floyd Mayweather is the richest star in the history of boxing. The former five-weight world champion claims to have earned more than £615million during his 21-year career. Against Conor McGregor on August 26, he will enjoy another nine-figure payday.

The 40-year-old has become synonymous with the gaudy and lavish life of Las Vegas. It's where he lives, trains, and where he amassed his enormous fortune.

But it was more than 1,600 miles away, in the ghettos of Grand Rapids, Michigan, that the unbeaten American learned his craft and sought an escape from a world of drugs, poverty and, perhaps ironically, violence.

Floyd Mayweather grew up 1,600 miles away from the bright lights of Las Vegas in Michigan

Floyd Mayweather grew up 1,600 miles away from the bright lights of Las Vegas in Michigan

He has since become the richest star in the history of boxing, winning 49 consecutive fights 

He has since become the richest star in the history of boxing, winning 49 consecutive fights 

The 40-year-old is now set to pocket another nine-figure fee for fighting Conor McGregor

The 40-year-old is now set to pocket another nine-figure fee for fighting Conor McGregor

'If you didn't hear a gun during the week you'd wonder what was going on', the 40-year-old is quoted as saying in Tris Dixon's Money.

Broken homes and struggling communities are not an unfamiliar blight on American cities, nor are crime-ridden streets an unusual breeding ground for successful boxers.

But Floyd Mayweather's journey to the top of the hardest game was only a gun-barrel width from being over before it had even begun.

'Money' was only a year old when he was used as a human shield, the last line of defence between his father and his maternal uncle 'Baboon', The man was armed with a shotgun and seeking revenge following an altercation with Snr a few weeks earlier.

Mayweather has become famed for his ability to dodge punches, but no slipping and sliding could have saved him then. His life would have flashed before his eyes, had he known what was going on.

His father's plan to put his son's life on the line in a bid to save his own worked. 'Baboon' turned the gun away from the child and shot Snr in the leg. His career was irrevocably damaged. But his son had survived unscathed, at least physically, to enjoy his second birthday and a record-breaking career in the ring.

It was in the gyms of Grand Rapids, Michigan, that a young Mayweather first learned to fight

It was in the gyms of Grand Rapids, Michigan, that a young Mayweather first learned to fight

Floyd Snr taught his son the basics of boxing and his famed 'shoulder roll' defensive tactic

Floyd Snr taught his son the basics of boxing and his famed 'shoulder roll' defensive tactic

By then the name Mayweather was not far off the upper echelons of boxing. And by the time he made his professional debut in 1996, he had become the fourth member of his family to enter the prizefighting arena within a matter of decades.

His father and namesake was a talented but tainted welterweight who fought the great Sugar Ray Leonard in 1978. Uncles Jeff and Roger too stepped through the ropes, albeit with contrasting degrees of success.

Jeff was a decent contender, Roger a two-weight world champion. The man who would train his nephew for much of his career earned the nickname the 'Mexican Assassin', such was the big-puncher's penchant for fighting opponents from south of the border.

Later all three would, for varying lengths of time and in different capacities, focus their energy on helping Floyd Jnr become greater than the sum of their parts.

The fight game was in Floyd's blood, an inescapable feature of family life, a path he always seemed destined to take. 'I knew boxing before I knew anything else,' he would later admit. 

Mayweather was born Floyd Joy Sinclair but changed his name to Mayweather at the age of 11

Mayweather was born Floyd Joy Sinclair but changed his name to Mayweather at the age of 11

His uncle Roger, pictured here on the right, was a two weight world champion as a fighter

His uncle Roger, pictured here on the

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