by T.K. Stewart

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. announced his retirement from the sport of boxing on June 6, 2008. But since he washed his hands of the sport that was on the verge of turning him into a household name, Mayweather's fortunes have taken a dramatic turn.

The latest bit of information regarding Mayweather's finances came with a shocking price tag - $6.1 million in back taxes he owes the Internal Revenue service from fiscal year 2007.  The IRS is now pursuing 'Money" Mayweather and has reportedly placed liens against him for that dollar amount.

Unless some sort of offer and compromise can be worked out with the IRS, and unless Mayweather pays quickly, the $6.1 million that he currently owes will skyrocket, with penalties and interest, by $500,000 per year.

Perhaps Mayweather can call on old friend and former Vegas resident Mike Tyson, who likely knows very well the various calculations the IRS uses to add insult to injury.

It's been a tough road for Mayweather over the past several months.  In July, he threw himself and the citizens of Grand Rapids, Michigan (his hometown) a bash fit for a king.  Mayweather used the Independence Day weekend as his own personal platform to send himself off into what he hoped would be a permanent retirement from the sport of which he said at the time, "I'm bored with."

However, since that hot July weekend when he "made it rain" by throwing $30,000 in one hundred dollar bills into a crowd of people, 'Money' Mayweather has encountered some very pricey situations.

In September, the former pound-for-pound champ was sued by a Florida real estate developer for backing out of a deal to purchase an $8.5 million dollar home in the state.  Mayweather reneged on the initial agreement to pay the developer $1.7 million that resulted in the lawsuit.

In August, in a story that made headlines on newscasts around the world, one of Mayweather's Las Vegas homes was robbed of what was reported to have been $7.1 million worth of jewelry.  He later offered a $100,000 reward for information in the case that would lead to an arrest or conviction, but the crime has yet to be solved.

October brought a worldwide meltdown in stock markets as well as continued plunging home values in the United States.  The markets crashed between 30% and 40%.  Few investors escaped the bloodletting. For Mayweather, who in 2008 claimed that he was on his way to becoming a billionaire, it would certainly seem the crisis would have significantly altered his grandiose business plans.

Mayweather also owns several properties in the state of Nevada.  The Las Vegas area in which he resides has been what some have called "ground zero" in the U.S. foreclosure quagmire.  The situation has caused Las Vegas home values to plummet more than 30% and homeowners who once had millions of dollars worth of equity in their homes have watched it blow away like dust in the desert wind.  Mayweather told many of us boxing writers in 2007 that he paid "$11 million" for his most recent home in Las Vegas.  But even using conservative figures, that same pad would now be worth about $7.5 million.

Mayweather is also known to win (and lose) thousands of dollars at a time wagering on sporting events as was well documented in the 24/7 Countdown series produced by HBO.  He also has a certain affinity for luxury automobiles (he reportedly had a fleet of nearly 20) which have not always proven to be the most sound of investments.

It all adds credence to Oscar De La Hoya's comment back in October.  While on the press tour for his upcoming fight against Manny Pacquiao, the 'Golden Boy' quipped, "I heard he needs the money" when asked if he thought Mayweather would return to boxing.

Then of course, there was the interesting quote given by his father, Floyd, Sr. to the Grand Rapids Press: ""How can he tell all the people in Grand Rapids he's a billionaire? "He won't be a billionaire in a billion years. Mark my words, someday he'll be running through the streets of Grand Rapids broke."

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