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Floyd Mayweather, The Bob Barker of Boxing

BY Michael Woods ON October 22, 2007
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The time was right for him to lose, Floyd Mayweather says.

PBF got the heave-ho from "Dancing With the Stars," last week, and he's not crying over the split milk, he said on a conference call to update the media and fans on his   life as we head to the Dec. 8 showdown with Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas.

"I think I got eliminated at the right time," he told the writers on the call. "I didn't mind going home."

No, Mayweather will not be sending holiday cards to the judges who didn't embrace his dancing, and were kinder to megamoneyman Mark Cuban, and singing cheeseball Wayne Newton. But the exit will allow PBF to concentrate on the true task at hand, the undefeated Brit, Hatton. That's not good news for Hatton, I'd say, who perhaps should've pre-spent some of his purse dialing up "Dancing," so Floyd would stick around, and split his committments to the detriment of his boxing life.

PBF was dancing, then going running, then dancing, then hitting the boxing gym, then hitting the fitness gym, and that schedule, even for a cardio kingpin, could've left him burned out physically, if not mentally, against Hatton.

Already, PBF sounds less than enthused at the boxing grind. On this call, as he periodically does, PBF talked about how his attention to training sometimes wanes, and how sometimes he has to be cajoled into going to the gym. "I've been doing boxing so, so long. Some days I'm bored with the sport. I liked it better when I fought for free. When I was young I had no conscience, now I worry about if I die in the ring, what's going to happen to my kids and my family. When I had no kids to live for, I didn't care what goes on, if I die, so be it. Now I'm older and wiser and I have something to live for. That worries me a lot. My job is like a cop, one shot can end your whole career. That's why I'm cautious about everything I do, inside and outside the ring."

Oscar De La Hoya, the lead promoter for this event, told the writers that he didn't worry that the "Dancing" gig would steal from Floyd's preparation. Oscar noted that his weight and fitness would drift in between fights, but that Floyd's never does.

Mayweather said that in his boxing gym, there is no three-minute bell. Sometimes, he'll spar for six to eight minutes straight, pausing only to let a fresh fighter have at him. That, he said, is the reason he looks like he could fight a 20-round fight.

The PBF ego was on display, of course, as the fighter noted for the record that he was the only "Dancer" at the top of his profession. There are richer people than Cuban, and the actresses involved aren't Oscar worthy talents, he said. "I asked myself, what makes me different from them, and I said, I'm the only one that's the best at what I do."

That supreme self confidence is one factor that forces some to pay to see him fight, as they crave the moment when the flashy trash talker gets humbled. But Leonard Ellerbe, who oversees Floyd's business dealings and is his right hand man, told the listeners that all the Hatton fans who will come to Vegas will actually be coming to see PBF. Hatton's fights in the US haven't been sellouts, he said: "All of them are coming to see Floyd," he said, stirring the pot for the Brits who love their humble Hitman.

Hatton may also be interested to learn that Floyd is taking this fight, he says, with his legacy already intact. PBF thinks Calzaghe is the best UK fighter, by far, and isn't overly impressed with Hatton's resume. "I'm fighting Hatton cause I'm a businessman, the price is right" he said. "I'm like Bob Barker, come on down."

SPEEDBAG The judges didn't care for him, PBF said, because they prejudged him, from his 24/7 stint. Pals told PBF that he shouldn't care about being booted, but he did care, he said, because he wanted to win. They told him that he brought new eyeballs to the sport, but he's still bummed he didn't take the prize. So is Jay Gon...

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