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The highest paid athlete in the world also brutalises women.

Fans are content to ignore Floyd Mayweather’s brutality towards women – but every cent made on the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight today is blood money.

Tonight in Las Vegas, the richest boxing match in history will take place. It involves the most highly paid athlete in the world.

But while the crowd cheers and millions watch on, the majority of them either don’t know or don’t care that they are cheering for a man who is an abuser. A man who has a history of brutality, not only against his girlfriends, but other women who dare to cross his path.

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Mayweather has been repeatedly charged with assaults against his former-girlfriends and other women. He has pleaded guilty to several of these offences – others he has taken to court and been convicted.

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Overnight it was also revealed that two female reporters who reported on Mayweather’s history of violence towards women have been denied press passes to cover today’s multi-million dollar fight against Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather may be a Big Man. He may be a man who likes to talk some Big Talk. He likes to show off his money. He’s got some Big Friends (Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Michael J. Fox, Jerry Bruckheimer, Justin Bieber, 50 Cent, Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington and Rhianna will all be sitting in the front row to watch him today).

But Mayweather is ultimately a coward and a criminal. He’s scared of women who call him out. He brutalises women who dare to do anything other than do exactly what he wants. He is nothing but a violent and abusive coward.

More: “Domestic violence occurs in every class, culture and community.”

What’s more, he’s a violent and abusive coward who beats women in front of his own children.

Floyd Mayweather feature 3In 2012, Mayweather was imprisoned for two months for domestic battery after his ex-girlfriend, Josie Harris, was hospitalised after Mayweather punched, stomped and kicked her – then threatened to pour acid on her and kill her. The attack took place in front of two of the pair’s three sons. One son, Zion (9) told police: “He was punching her and kicking her. He was punching her in the head and he was stomping on her shoulder.” His other son, Koraun, who was 10 at the time, said that he ran away to seek help – despite his father threatening to harm them if they called the police.

Mayweather had pleaded guilty in 2001 to another violent attack on an ex-girlfriend, Melissa Brim, that took place in a mall – again in front of their daughter. The attack was described as ‘brutal and unprovoked’ – Mayweather quietly passed his daughter to a friend and then punched Brim in the neck. He was sentenced to home detention and served 48 hours of community service. An earlier lawsuit that was brought by Brim but later dropped claimed that Mayweather had swung open a car door that slammed her in the head. He then allegedly punched her three times in the face.

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These are by no means the only allegations of the brutality of Mayweather towards women. Two female friends of Harris were allegedly chased out of a club and beaten by Mayweather. Mayweather was found guilty of two counts of battery and sentenced for those assaults, but the decision was later vacated.

These are just the stories we know. It is fair to assume that there may be many, many more.

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What is undeniably clear at that a man lauded by many as the greatest boxer of his time, a man who is surrounded by wealth and privilege, a man who makes his money in a boxing ring is also a man who beats women.

Related: Dear advertisers: Violence against women is not sexy.

Despite having a history of significant abuse against women, the Nevada Boxing Commission has not banned him from fighting.

The thousands of people who will be at the fight today have not walked away from him.

The millions of people who will tune into the fight have not looked away.

The celebrities who are currently causing a traffic jam at Las Vegas airport with all their private jets, still want to stand beside him and smile.

The sponsors are still happy to have him promote their products (he walked into the ring today with the Burger King mascot – a brand directed at children).

The promoters who make so much money from Mayweather have never abandoned him.

They have never abandoned him because today he will make them at least $300 million dollars.

But every cent of that money is blood money.

That money is only made because people have chosen to ignore the blood, pain and humiliation of women who have been beaten by him. It is money made because people have made a decision to not concern themselves with the well-being of the children who watched on as he brutalised their mothers.

Mayweather is only in that ring today because people have not abandoned him for the violent and brutal coward that he is.

Don’t watch. Don’t cheer. Don’t forget.

Click through to see some of the celebrities watching today’s match – either in person or on pay-per-view:

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