The wealthiest man in sports has been forced to postpone his Australian visit after authorities rejected a visa application from boxer Floyd Mayweather.
Three domestic violence arrests since 2002 contributed to Mayweather’s visa application being knocked back, forcing long-running promotional events to be postponed for the second time in the space of a week and leaving the boxing star, his 30-person entourage and private jet without anywhere to go just hours ahead of a scheduled departure.
Mayweather was set to appear at a pair of functions at the Crown casino and Darling Island Wharf in Sydney on Thursday and Friday night, with dishes allegedly priced at between $200-$1000 a plate and up to $10,000 for a table. After originally announcing the events for late January as early as six months in advance, the functions were last week pushed to February 5 and 6, both of which now will no longer go ahead.
“The Government takes very seriously its role in protecting the Australian community from the risk of harm by non-citizens who engage in criminal conduct and/or conduct that is of serious concern,” Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash said. “Visa applicants must demonstrate they are of good character, as required under the character test in the Migration Act 1958, before they are granted a visa.”
Both former boxer Mike Tyson and rapper Snoop Lion have made recent Australian visits and cleared customs despite some alarming previous convictions, but even Mayweather’s promise to pledge a pretty chunk of his 2014 earnings, US$110 million ($141 million), to homeless people and Aboriginal children wasn’t enough to get the visa granted.