Floyd “Money” Mayweather has reputedly “gone insane, nuclear” with pop superstar Justin Bieber, apparently stating that the Canadian crooner is “dead to him” after the 23-year old severed ties with the US boxing star on Instagram, and was dismissive of his chances of KOing Conor McGregor in an interview. Bieber had previously been a high-profile member of Mayweather’s TMT (The Money Team) entourage, even carrying his championship belts into the ring ahead of major fights.

“You’re Dead To Me!!!”

US gossip network TMZ broke this story on Monday under the headline You’re Dead To Me,  stating:

“We’re told church pastors did not single out Floyd as a bad influence, but Justin decided on his own he needed some distance. Our sources say Justin didn’t want a clean break from Floyd, he just wanted to “reset boundaries” … walling himself off from things like Floyd’s obsession with strip clubs.

Justin unfollowed Floyd on Instagram as part of the resetting of boundaries, and our sources say Floyd went “insane, nuclear.” He lashed out at Justin, called him a “traitor” because Floyd had stuck with Justin during his meltdown when everyone was attacking Bieber.”

Justin Bieber is one of the most instantly recognizable celebrities in the world today. He was first spotted by a talent agent singing songs on YouTube aged 14.  Within a year he had become a global teen idol, with his single “Baby” topping the charts in multiple countries. After his initial success, Bieber suffered something of a backlash, and his popularity and record sales slumped. However, in 2015 he was back and bigger than ever, with a string of worldwide hits including “Where Are You Now?” “What Do You Mean?” “Sorry” and “Despacito”.

Prior to his comeback, Bieber began an unlikely friendship with the 17-years older Mayweather, which culminated with Bieber carrying Mayweather’s belts into the ring for several of his fights, including his May 2015 blockbuster contest with Manny Pacquiao, the richest boxing match in history.

In recent years, Bieber has become affiliated with the Hillsong Church, a Christian, Pentecostal church founded in the 1980s in Australia that has grown to 80 churches worldwide and over 100,000 followers, including many celebrities and sports stars. Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz has become increasingly influential to Bieber, becoming a “guiding presence” and “second father”. It is thought that it was Lentz who suggested that Bieber cut his ties with Mayweather, who opened his own Las Vegas strip club named Girl Collection earlier this year.

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Mayweather vs McGregor – The First Billion Dollar Bout

Mayweather,  who sports an unbeaten record of 49-0 with 26 KOs as a boxer, is scheduled to face MMA superstar Conor McGregor in a 12 round extravaganza at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this Saturday night (August 26). The fight – despite relentless ridicule from boxing fans who have labeled it a sham – is set to be the biggest money making one-day event in sports history, and could net as much as a billion dollars, of which Mayweather could take home $300 million, and McGregor well over $100 million.

Despite the obvious gulf in boxing experience between the two – McGregor has fought 24 times in the MMA octagon but never in a professional boxing ring – the Irishman is the bigger man, eleven years younger, strong, fast, with a great chin and a devastating punch. McGregor is also supremely confident that he is bringing something to the party that Mayweather’s previous 47 opponents didn’t; the unconventionality and originality of a fighter from a different combat discipline to traditional boxing.

Mayweather may be many things, but one thing he certainly isn’t is reckless in the ring, and despite the public displays of bravado he will be fully aware of the danger McGregor is bringing to this contest. As the fight gets closer, his focus naturally increases, as does the level of tension. The last thing he would seemingly need in the final week before a fight would be a very public fallout with one of the most famous faces on the planet.

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Mayweather’s Previous Pre-Fight Dramas

And yet Mayweather has suffered far worse in the buildup to a fight, and still performed in the ring. He faced modern great Miguel Cotto in 2012 knowing that once the fight was over he was going to prison for three months on a domestic violence charge. Mayweather won a tough, unanimous decision.

Shortly before his September 2014 rematch with the dangerous Argentinian Marcos Maidana, Mayweather was hit with the news that his ex-fiancé Shantel Jackson had filed a lawsuit against him for defamation of character, conversion, recovery of personal property, battery, assault, false imprisonment, and infliction of emotional distress and harassment, charges that could yet result in millions of dollars in damages and another prison stretch. Nevertheless, Mayweather defeated Maidana, winning clearly over twelve rounds.

Compared to those two major distractions, his fall out with Justin Bieber would seem little more than a mild irritation!