Flamboyant American boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., acknowledged as the world’s highest-paid athlete and who likes to be called “Money,” was denied a visa to visit Australia, according to smb.com.au and billionairesaustralia.com.
The immigration bar led to the cancellation of promotional activities lined up for Mayweather in Sydney and Melbourne last Feb. 5 and 6.
Reports said the 37-year-old Mayweather was prevented from entering the country because of his previous criminal offenses for domestic violence, including a prison term for physically abusing his former girlfriend.
The unbeaten Mayweather had also been accused of beating four other women in the past. He has denied the allegations.
Regarded as the world’s No.1 pound-for-pound fighter, Mayweather was denied the visa following an online petition that was signed by 46,000 people across the continent.
The petition read: “Allowing a chronic perpetrator of violence like Floyd Mayweather Jr. to visit Australia sends a terrifying message—that vicious, repeat abuse isn’t serious.”
Mayweather’s Australia promoter Max Markson said he would appeal the decision.
Originally set Jan. 29 and 30 in Sydney and Melbourne, Mayweather’s promotional tour was deferred due to the visa problems.