By Eric Raskin
It’s been heralded as the greatest reality show on TV, and like any show in that genre, it’s built to entertain. But 24/7 also delivers scenes that are stunningly authentic and revealing. Here are our picks for the most intensely real moment from each episode of 24/7: Mayweather-Ortiz, presented in the reverse order of how they were aired:
With a 10-word sentence uttered on the final episode of the series, Mayweather put a heartbreaking coda (for now) on his troubled relationship with his father: “If me and my dad never speak again, I’m okay.” Wow. Of course, this relationship has seemed beyond repair in the past and proven (temporarily) reparable, so all hope is never lost. Still, don’t count on a heartfelt in-ring hug between Sr. and Jr. after the fight tonight.
Mayweather took the time to chat via Skype with a unit of American soldiers serving in Afghanistan, and he seemed, initially, to be taking his responsibility to entertain, inspire, and motivate the troops very seriously. But it eventually devolved into an uncomfortably inappropriate episode of MTV’s Cribs, with “Money” showing off his relatively trivial car collection to a group of men off fighting a war. The two sides of Mayweather’s personality both made their presence felt in this awkwardly unforgettable scene.
You know that big black tattoo that stretches across the entirety of Ortiz’s upper back? He explained the story behind it: It originally read “Ortiz,” but after a moment of realization about his father, the man from whom he inherited that surname, he angrily covered those five letters up, essentially erasing his estranged father’s imprint. (By the way, in trying to pick an intense moment from Episode 2, this one juuuust edged out Cornelius Boza-Edwards and Roger Mayweather playing Abbott and Costello at a sub shop with their “Sammie”-“salmon” routine.)
If you saw it, you’ll never forget it. It was the most jaw-dropping scene in 24/7 history: Floyd Jr. and Floyd Sr., seemingly from out of nowhere, getting into a verbal blowup in which the son tore down every ounce of self-worth his father thought he had. It ended with “Big Floyd” kicked out of the gym, maybe forever, and his superstar son essentially disowning him by declaring, “I’m not no junior!” For better or worse, this is why Floyd Mayweather and 24/7 have proven the perfect match for each other.