By Rick Reeno
Middleweight prospect Luis "Cuba" Arias (10-0, 4KOs) spoke with BoxingScene.com to set the record straight on a circulating video, which shows an argument between him, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and super middleweight contender J'Leon Love. The video was allegedly recorded by Australian rapper E Zee.
Arias turned pro under Mayweather Promotions in November 2012 and last fought for the company in August of this year. He was often placed on the non-televised undercards of Mayweather's pay-per-view events.
According to Arias, he received a phone call on Saturday night from Love, who also fights under Mayweather Promotions, and Love informed Arias that Mayweather intended to release him from the company.
Arias tells BoxingScene.com that he never had a signed contract with Mayweather's company. The two fighters had a verbal agreement, which Arias honored.
"Basically on Saturday night, I was at home sleeping with my baby. I received a phone call in the middle of the night from J'Leon Love, saying that I was about to get released from Mayweather Promotions. Mind you it's the middle of the night. I was like 'okay, until I hear it from Floyd's mouth I'm going to continue doing what I've been doing,'" Arias told BoxingScene.com.
"I went to the gym on Monday, Floyd is there and I was going there to work out. I went up to him and said 'what's up.' He said 'what's up' and looked away. He was leaving on his way out to the gym and you can see in the video that I approached him. I felt that the way he handled releasing me was very unprofessional. How are you going to have someone that I've been cool with, since I was a kid, tell me some foul sh*t like that. I felt that was bogus."
"To make things clear, how are you going to release me when you don't even have me on contract? How are you releasing me when you don't have me on contract and I'm clearly the best fighter you got. You give me no explanation on why you're releasing me and I approached him. I said 'you're not going to say nothing to me, you're just going to ignore me.' I thought that was real foul. He owns the company and this is his show and I thought that was real foul."
"That was wrong to me and that's all I did was approach him and it escalated. Then J'Leon came over, he had nothing to do with it. You can see me say it in the video, 'this has nothing to do with you, what are you doing over here.' Then J'Leon got into his words with me. I was never mad over being released because let's be real, I am clearly the best fighter over there, the best prospect fighter over there and I wasn't even being treated like a true champion anyway. Just the way it went down, it was wrong."
"When J'Leon approached me, I told him 'this has nothing to do with you. I just felt that Floyd should have called me himself. He should have called me and said "I'm mad at this, this and this and I'm going to release you' and then I can't say nothing. All I can is 'Floyd, I respect you and thank him for the opportunity.' All I've done is thank him for the last two years. I've taken all these fights and not complained. I haven't always got the best opponents and I never complained. I should have been on TV and I never complained. I've been quiet and winning for him. I got the most wins for this company since the very beginning. I've been playing my role."
Arias believes the falling out is stemming from his close relationship with Sharif and Hasim Rahman Jr., the sons of former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman. The two brothers recently filed a lawsuit against Mayweather for battery, tortious assault, false imprisonment, negligent hiring, training, supervision and retention and unjust enrichment.
He denies the parting of ways was related to his drug test failure in February, when he and another Mayweather Promotions boxer, Chris Pearson, tested positive for marijuana.
"Honestly, I think it [does have to do with the Rahmans]. There is no other reason behind it. That has to be what it is. I've been winning the most, guys over there are getting knocked out left and right. Guys are falling, guys are losing. I'm still winning. I've been performing. What's problems have I really brought to your company? There is no legit reason [for the release]. It has to do with the Rahman situation," Arias said.
"How am I going to turn my back on them because they are doing something that he don't like. The Rahmans are grown men. Those are grown men. I love them like brothers. At the end of the day they make their own decisions. I can't control what they're doing. I gave them my opinion on the situation and they still did what they wanted to do. I can't turn my back on them."
"When I had no money, when I had no place to stay, when I had no food, when I was trying to find my way into the game - they was taking care of me. I'm literally a part of their family. I can't turn my back on them when they helped me when I had no food and Floyd wasn't even [in the equation]. That's what it came down to, my relationship with the Rahmans. I understand Floyd doesn't want me associating with them, but I cant turn my back on them. That is over something that I have no control over. That whole situation has nothing to do with me."
Arias said he was angered because neither Mayweather or his company CEO, Leonard Ellerbe, called him to discuss the end of their business relationship. He was shocked that another fighter from the company had called him with the news.
"That just clearly shows how unprofessional that company is. I felt that was a sucker move, because me and J'Leon were friends since we 16-years-old. We came up in the amateurs together. Even before we got up with Floyd, we already planned that we were going to picked up by Floyd. We were always good friends. So for him to do that, I felt that was a foul move on both their parts. I thought that was weak on both their parts. I don't know why Floyd didn't call me, but the people that are around him - when he tells them to do something they are going to do it, and that must of been the situation."
Regarding Ellerbe, Arias admits that most of fighters under Mayweather Promotions are in the dark regarding his status with the company. A few weeks ago, Mayweather publically criticized Ellerbe in an interview with Fighthype.com.
"No one has no idea what's going on. The last couple of months we've been in there training and nobody knows what's going on. Every fighter you speak to 'what's going on' and they say 'I don't know.' I tried reaching Floyd, he out in Europe living the life that he's always living. Nobody knows what's going on. I haven't talked to Leonard. I never really talked to Leonard. I talked to him two to three days before every fight. That's the only time," Arias said.
Despite the sour ending, Arias is very grateful for the opportunities that he received under Mayweather's banner.
"I want to thank Mayweather Promotions and Floyd for everything that he's done for me. We've done ten fights and I appreciate the exposure but obviously it has come to an end. I am willing work without whoever comes to the plate. We're going to get to the top regardless and I am going to become a world champion," Arias said in closing.