I had to check the date when told that Floyd Mayweather Jr., undefeated world boxing champion in five weight categories and one of the highest-paid athletes in the world, was going to the Belo Medical Group clinic in Greenbelt for a facial treatment.
Sure enough, it was April 2, not the day before, so this was no joke.
Mayweather was coming in at 1 p.m. for a Thermage treatment, which is sometimes described as a “nonsurgical face lift.” Hollywood stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston swear it tightens the skin and takes years off their faces, and the effects are said to last two years.
Actually, the notion wasn’t so farfetched. Mayweather’s nickname used to be “Pretty Boy Floyd” before he changed it to “Money” after he amassed his pay-per-view loot.
Considered the best defensive boxer in the game, Mayweather has remained largely unscathed for someone who’s had 50 professional bouts in his career. He’s very rarely taken any hard shots to the face. His ring injuries have been to his hands—from hitting his opponents.
Why shouldn’t the 42-year-old fighter, now enjoying his retirement, get the Belo treatment?
Of course, nothing is ever simple if you’re a celebrity of the star-magnitude of Floyd Mayweather.
For one thing, the media had been alerted. There were at least three TV news crews, a couple of TV hosts, plus the Belo Group’s own film crew since, as I later learned on Twitter, the champ had signed on as Belo’s latest celebrity endorser.
For another, Mayweather runs on his own clock. It was well past 3 p.m. when three identical black SUVs rolled into the driveway in front of the clinic, and three black-suited security professionals got out.
That turned out to be a dodge, since word soon spread that the champ was actually on foot, which sent the camera crews and Inquirer photographer Edwin Bacasmas scrambling to capture the arrival scene.
If you’re Mayweather, you don’t just walk to your appointments like a regular Joe.
The champ was striding to his facial like he was on his way to the Octagon—surrounded by his ever-present entourage consisting of three close-in bodyguards, one of whom looked to be 7 ft tall, and another about as wide, several women, a few more of Mayweather’s “peeps,” and a gaggle of hangers-on.
Not lacking a sense of occasion, Dr. Belo herself went out to meet the champ with husband Dr. Hayden Kho and her own people, followed by the frantic media contingent.
The two entourages met midway and the whole ungainly procession proceeded slowly to the treatment room.
Fresh from his Boracay vacation, Mayweather seemed to be in an expansive mood.
“Is that Versace?” Dr. Belo asked, complimenting the champ’s resplendent outfit, consisting of a slim-cut purple-and-gold print jacket with matching shirt, black drainpipe trousers and black patent-leather Chelsea boots.
“How did you know?” replied Mayweather.
“I love fashion,” said the celebrity dermatologist, and so on until they eventually made their way into the clinic, and finally the treatment room.
While he was being prepped for his Thermage treatment, Mayweather asked if it was going to hurt.
Probably not as much as when Shane Mosley caught him with his guard down in 2010 and managed to land two head shots, I thought. Through the crush of people, I could see that his ears were free of the tell-tale cauliflowering that many pugilists suffer from.
Thermage uses radiofrequency pulses to heat subdermal collagen, causing it to contract and stimulating the growth of new collagen, in the process tightening the skin. Belo has Thermage FLX which, I was told, was the latest and most advanced version of this technology.
Before going under the zapper, with Dr. Belo herself doing the honors, Mayweather let on that he was no stranger to the ways of the metrosexual male, having tried chemical peels and microdermabrasion before.
After the treatment, Mayweather declared: “It’s different. I got shocked a couple of times, but I’d do it again.”
Dr. Belo said Mayweather’s skin was healthy to begin with, so it responded well to the procedure.
She added there was no problem having both Mayweather and his archrival Manny Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee endorsing her services, since they were all good sports and, in fact, were planning to play basketball after.
That would have been news to the sports reporters and news crews waiting at Resorts World Manila for a scheduled press conference at 4 p.m., which never materialized.