Undefeated American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is facing a total of eight criminal charges, including domestic violence and theft, that potentially could land him in prison for more than 30 years.
Authorities in Las Vegas, Nevada, this week have charged Mayweather with four felonies and four less serious misdemeanors. The criminal complaints stem from at least two late-night altercations the 33-year-old boxer had at the residence of his former girlfriend, Josie Harris, who is the mother of three of his four children. Mayweather owns the house.
All the charges are contingent upon review by prosecutors. Neither Mayweather nor his attorney immediately commented on the case. He is free on bail following his arrest last Friday pending a November 9 arraignment.
Mayweather is considered one of the most physically talented boxers in the world, although the six-time champion currently does not hold a title. The undefeated welterweight has 41 wins with 25 knockouts. Most recently, he won a bout against fellow-American Shane Mosley in May.
Reports say a criminal complaint filed late Thursday against Mayweather added two felony charges for coercion, one felony robbery charge, plus one domestic battery misdemeanor and three more for harassment to a felony theft charge filed a week ago. The combined offenses carry a maximum prison sentence of 34 years.
Harris told authorities that Mayweather hit her, threatened her life, and threatened to beat at least two of their young children if they called the police or fled the house. She also accuses him of taking cell phones belonging to her and their children.
In 2003, Harris accused Mayweather of assaulting her, but at his trial two years later, she admitted she lied to police and described Mayweather as a "teddy bear," (harmless person) who had never laid a hand on her. He was acquitted of felony domestic violence.
In an unrelated episode in 2005, Mayweather was convicted of an unprovoked attack against two women outside a Las Vegas night club. He received a one-year suspended sentence and ordered to undergo counseling.
Earlier this month, Mayweather broadcast a bizarre 10-minute-long profanity-laden racist and homophobic tirade on the Internet aimed at his main rival, Many Pacquiao of the Philippines, who recently was elected to the country's national legislature. Pacquiao called it an "uneducated message." Mayweather apologized to the wildly popular boxer in an equally peculiar Internet video several days later.
Negotiations to arrange a bout between Mayweather and Pacquiao have repeatedly failed, preventing what many believe could be the richest boxing match in history.
Sports Illustrated magazine lists Mayweather as 2009's third-highest earning U.S. athlete behind superstar golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson at $60.25 million.