FLOYD MAYWEATHER revealed his friendship with the notorious Gotti family – which helped make his fight with the mafia boss’s grandson.
Mayweather is set to return to the ring for an exhibition on Sunday, June 11 in Miami against John Gotti III.
Notorious New York mafia boss John Gotti in 1990[/caption]
But the boxing legend’s history with the crime family goes way back, having formed a friendship with Gotti Jr.
And the pair have been talking for a number of years in an attempt to make a bout between Mayweather and Gotti III.
Mayweather said at a press conference: “I’m friends with his dad.
“This is what people don’t know, I’ve always been friends with the Gotti family. That’s what a lot of people don’t know.
“Of course, John Gotti Jr, how you doing John? It’s always good seeing you.It’s always great talking with you.
“And I’m glad we’re finally able to get this done, we’ve been working on this for a couple years now. For a long time.
“And of course, a great last name for this battle, last name means everything. You’re last names matters.
“I just want to say thank you John once again. You’ve always been a class act, a gentleman, a respectful man.
“And your son has been busting his ass working extremely hard, whether it’s MMA or boxing.
“And to be the best you have to continue to fight and improve yourself that’s what I did and I’m glad we were able to come together to make this event happen.”
Gotti Sr was famously boss of the Gambino crime family in New York City and earned the nickname the “Teflon Don.”
He was imprisoned in 1992 and sentenced to life after being found guilty on 14 accounts of conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering.
Gotti died in 2002 aged 61 after a battle with throat cancer while his son Jr stepped in as acting boss during the 90s.
Jr was also sentenced to six years and five months in jail in 1999 having been indicted on racketeering charges.
But following his release, the American claimed to have left the criminal underworld.
Gotti III – a 5-1 MMA fighter and 2-0 light-heavyweight boxer – has no links to organised crime.
He turned professional in MMA in 2017 but switched to boxing last year, most recently winning in January.
And Gotti III will be the latest in Mayweather’s collection of exhibition bouts since officially retiring in 2017.
His last came at London’s O2 Arena against reality TV star-turned boxer Aaron Chalmers, 35, which he dominated over eight rounds.