‘Right Hand’ woman
Behind the scenes with a onetime insider in the world of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
BY KIMBERLY BAILEY-TUREAUD
Tasha Robinson White is a seasoned entertainment industry veteran with a wealth of experience, having worked as a LaFace Records executive when TLC was dominating the charts.
Originally from Lansing, Mich., White moved to Las Vegas in 1995 from Atlanta, Ga., following her parents to the Silver State. Her longtime boyfriend, Kevin White, soon followed. They later married and had two children.
White’s entertainment industry contacts were deepening, and shortly after relocating to Las Vegas she hosted and coordinated the official Billboard Music Awards after-party in 1997. It was there that a subtle “hi” and “bye” with a young man named Floyd Mayweather Jr. would prove to be fateful.
“I had more of a formal introduction to Floyd at a reggae club in Las Vegas, a month after I saw him at my Billboard Music Awards after-party, thanks a mutual friend who was the reggae club’s deejay,” she recalled. “I was there celebrating my birthday with a few of my girlfriends, and he was there with a few of his friends. Floyd is the one who asked to be introduced to me. and seemed to have been impressed with the Billboard Music Awards after-party I had coordinated with many high-profile celebrities. I remember him saying to me, ‘You are going to work for me one day.’ I kind of laughed it off because he was so young. Maybe only 20 years old at the time.”
Mayweather’s prediction turn out to be correct. White stayed connected with the champ and began helping him with some of his outside-the-ring businesses, such as, “Philthy Rich Records.” That led to her eventual position as his “right hand.”
“I decided to write a book, ‘Right Hand to the Champ,” about my personal experiences working with Floyd Mayweather after I stopped working for him in April 2009 after 12 years,” White said. “This would be the second time I had resigned, because I stopped working with him in 2003 and returned to work with him in 2005. My intention was to never write a book about Floyd Mayweather, but to write about my experiences. I started journaling to deal with
some of my personal issues, and when I glanced back at my journal entries, I noticed that much of my life involved working with Floyd. A longtime friend of mine encouraged me to write a book, and when I shared some of my journal entries, they said, ‘Let’s move on it!’ So I wrote the book based on my life working with Floyd Mayweather.”
White acknowledges that there were many challenges while working with the Mayweather camp. As time went on, the stress of dealing with other Mayweather staff members prove to be intolerable.
“I think there are several reasons why I stopped working for Floyd and I can’t say it was only one reason,” she said. “I felt the energy changing in his camp, because I knew a lot about his financial situation. More so than I really wanted to know, and things started to go south with him.”
She added: “There was a lot of stress with his team members and myself, because I was so aware of so many things. I decided that working with Floyd wasn’t for me anymore. There are things Floyd wanted me to do and say that were not real. I wasn’t going to take ownership for things I didn’t do.”
White said her motivation to write the book was three-pronged. “The first reason I decided to write the book was to connect with other women that were faced with some of the same challenges in the world of sports and entertainment in the male-dominated industry,” she said. “As women, we face different challenges than men do. The second reason was to set the record straight as to why I no longer work with Floyd Mayweather. That was a big shock to a lot of people on the eve of his rise to superstardom. The third reason was it was therapeutic, because I went through a lot in my life at the time and I think I stayed around working for Floyd a little longer than I might have otherwise. But many people are unaware that my baby brother was murdered during that time, and I was deflecting from dealing with some things in my life and my personal dysfunction. Instead it was easier to deal with Floyd’s crazy dysfunction. I hate to say that, but that is what it really was.”
With an estimated $180 million winning purse, no one can deny that Mayweather’s fight with Manny Pacquiao will be a huge payday for the champ. Nonetheless, White indicates that many are unaware of the real Floyd Mayweather behind the riches and bad boy image used to sell tickets.
“Personally, I think Floyd has a big heart and loves his family,” she said. “He wants to do good, but the media plays up the bad boy ‘Money’ Mayweather character. Consequently, that is what he shows more often than the Floyd Mayweather I met years ago. He was just a young guy with big dreams and big plans. He believed in himself like no other person I had ever met before. I was so impressed and I saw the winning spirit in him that I also knew I had in myself.”
Despite his nickname, White insists that money is not a defining factor for Mayweather. “Floyd enjoys the challenge,” she said. “He likes it when people say he can’t do something or can’t have something. He is then challenged to prove others wrong. He already has the biggest homes, many cars and when people said he couldn’t go undefeated fights in 47 fights, he again proved them wrong. But I predict that Floyd will eventually get bored. As when he was a boxer before 2007, he was in the sport for the love of it. He eventually retired in 2007, and in 2009 returned to the ring and his love for boxing was no longer there. But
now it is about business and money, and he proved to the world that he is a successful businessman and has met the challenge.”
One can’t help but wonder what any person would do after a $180 million dollar payday. And though White hasn’t worked for Mayweather since 2009, she predicts that “Floyd will win the fight against Pacquiao. But he is pushing in his training harder than ever before in order get the win. This fight has been such a big deal for many, many years and it has finally happened. He will go in more during the fight to end it fast in order to shut everybody up. I think after he receives his check on that Monday, he will cash it and pay his team, and his entourage will get a nice payday. Then he will do something for himself. This is the biggest payday that he has seen so far from a fight. And I am hoping, because I think he only has one fight left after this one, he will invest his money and make the best of it. Stretch it out a little bit. What more can he buy?”
It is often viewed as the ultimate betrayal for an insider to pen a tell-all about a high-profile celebrity. But White said Mayweather responded with indifference when she told him she was writing a book. “Floyd initially said, ‘I don’t care about the book, good or bad, it will go viral.’ Later, after the book came out, he did tell me that some in his camp didn’t like it, but he still didn’t care. What I can say is, Floyd set out to be the best when I first met him, and I witnessed him being the best in his craft. Real recognizes real.”
For more information on “Right Hand to the Champ,” visit www.righthandtothechamp.com or order the book at Amazon.com. It is also available at Clean Cut Barbershop, located at 1201 N. Decatur Blvd. in Las Vegas.