New International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Prince Naseem Hamed has revealed that there was a taste of jealousy between him and Floyd Mayweather Jr back in the late 1990’s as both vied for airtime on US TV.
Hamed, 41, signed a lucrative contract with HBO and made his US debut in a barnstorming clash with Kevin Kelley on the network around the period when Mayweather was making a name for himself and closing in on a first world title.
At the time, Briton Hamed was undefeated, a long-time world champion and one of the biggest stars around and there was no indication of the impact Mayweather would go on to have. Hamed and Mayweather shared the same division for a short while, although there was never any real chance that the two could share a ring.
As we all know, Mayweather has since become the best fighter of his generation and a respectful Hamed had nothing but praise for the pound for pound king’s achievements as ‘Money’ recently topped the highest earner list for a third year out of four.
Mayweather may have been a little envious of Hamed though as ‘Naz’ picked up the accolades before ‘Money’ eventually ruled the world of boxing later in his career.
“I just feel proud when they say in Forbes magazine that the highest paid athlete is a fighter. I love that,” Hamed told The Telegraph.
“That does it for me, but I remember when I was getting a lot more money than Floyd and he couldn’t deal with the fact I had an HBO contract and he didn’t. But I’ve always rated him and always thought he was number one.”
At 38, Mayweather is fast approaching his final ring appearance on September 12 and has been linked to facing either Amir Khan, Keith Thurman or old Hamed stablemate Kell Brook.