Floyd told the media that he doesn't expect the Sept. 17 fight to go the distance. (Hogan)
Floyd Mayweather was his usual self on a media conference call on Wednesday afternoon. He was at times humble, at times less than so, and tossed his share of stiff shots at Victor Ortiz, Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather got on the line, and thanked the media, HBO, his staff, all the sponsors, Schaefer (“They call it Golden Boy Promotions but I prefer to call it Richard Schaefer Promotions”), Al Haymon, Kelly Swanson, and Leonard Ellerbe. “Come September 17 I want to come out there and put on another pleasing performance,” he said.
He was asked what he saw when he was watching Victor Ortiz-Andre Berto in April. He said he didn't have a plan to watch the fight, but was at 50 Cent's house in CT, and they ended up hitting the bout. When he left, he said he thought it would be exciting if they fought. He said he spoke to Victor after he fought Juan Manuel Marquez, and was impressed with his humility.
He was then asked if he wanted a KO. He explained that fighters go into survival mode most of the time. Hatton came to fight, he said, and that's why that fight was different.
Mayweather was asked if getting engaged has changed him. He said it's great to have a strong person behind you, and “we live and we learn..rich or poor..she's very important in my life.”
He said his long layoff shouldn't hurt him, because he keeps his weight down, under 150, during his downtime. “I don't overindulge myself with eating,” he said. He also plays hoops to stay sharp. He said that it takes six months to build a big fight. He said he hasn't felt ring rust personally.
Another writer said that many don't appreciate Floyd's talent and wondered if he cares. He said reporters keep him striving, and implied it doesn't seem to bother him.
Floyd was then asked his fights with Genaro Hernandez, Chico Corrales and Ricky Hatton. he said he beat the last two when they were at the top of their games, and that he does think about them as human beings.
Floyd averages slightly above 1.5 million buys per PPV appearance. Promoter Richard Schaefer hinted that he thinks this fight might break the PPV record, 2.4 million buys for Mayweather-De La Hoya. The promoter said HBO will run a show after the last 24/7, with reports from Las Vegas, to stir up interest that much more. He also said Floyd fights, and coverage from Vegas, will be featured on HBO Zone before the big fight. “It is without a doubt the most heavily promoted boxing event we have put on,” Schaefer said.
I then asked Floyd if age has gotten to him, because I have to figure the only way Ortiz beats him is if Floyd looks 34 on Sept. 17. “It happens to the best of us,” I said. He said he hasn't noticed any drop off. “I still feel strong once I get started in the gym,” he said. This is because he hasn't been in toe to toe wars, and that keeps him fresh. Sometimes he dawdles getting to the gym, he said, but once he gets there, he often doesn't want to leave.
I then asked about Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach's belief that Floyd is prepping for Manny, because he's fighting a fellow lefty in Victor Ortiz. Mayweather said that he is mystified because Team Pacquiao has a case of defamation against Mayeather pending. “I prefer to hold court in the squared circle,” he said. He stuck to his call for Pacquiao to adhere to an ultra-strict testing regimen, to make sure he isn't using illegal supplements. He wonders, he says, why Pacquiao continues to mention his name and said it's to bolster his cred, and make more money. He took shots at Manny for fighting his “leftovers,” like Hatton, and Mosley. He also said he wondered why Manny doesn't get more heat for moving from 106 to 147, and retaining power, saying that if he made a similar leap, the outcry would be loud. “Everyone I face has to take the test,” he said, making clear that he isn't just dodging Pacquiao, that his stubbornness in the realm of drug testing is based on principle. “If you're the best, take the test,” he said.
Sparring with Sechew Powell, Kassim Ouma and DeAndre Latimore, Mayweather said, has him in fine form.
What about a fight with Amir Khan? He said Khan would have to beat Jessie Vargas first for that to happen.
Mayweather was asked what advice he'd give himself to fight himself. “That's a good question. I don't know.”
Is he invincible? “Anything can happen any given Saturday,” he said.
How does he concentrate on fighting when so many distractions pop up? “Life is ups and downs,” he said. He said his ex who accused him of assault probably wants more child support, and besides, if she was truly beaten, why haven't photos been produced.
So, are people out to get him?
He then cited a disgruntled employee, a “former drug dealer, a confidential informant,” who Floyd let go. The ex employee then contributed to an accusation that Mayweather was involved in a shooting. He said he doesn't let the outside stuff coming in to the ring with him.
Floyd said he had an extra long camp just to insure he'll be ready to rock against a fresh, young hitter.
“He's looking for the knockout and he's looking for the knockout, so I can guarantee it won't go the distance,” Mayweather said. “Right from the gate I'll be aggressive..For this fight, I'm coming straight ahead.”
He smacked at Ortiz for saying he idolizes Oscar De la Hoya, who has dressed in drag and abused substances, he said. “Boxing is not dead but it is dead when the guy who paved the way is downplaying his own fighters,” he said of Oscar, who bolstered Ortiz on the last 24/7 by knocking down some past Mayweather foes, and then again complimented Schaefer. He did say Ortiz will be “tough competition” and called him “strong. I truly believe he will be at his best and fight hard.”
He said that he likes to trash talk to entertain the fans and doesn't really have anything against the people he fights. If he was boring on 24/7, he said, then people wouldn't tune in. 24/7s without him, he has heard, he said, are boring without him.
Regarding his legacy, he said he makes good fighters look ordinary. Yes, he makes it look easy, and avoids punishment, but that shouldn't detract from his legacy.
Floyd apologized for Ortiz, for dissing the media on his conference call last week. He said he was a vet, and understands how hard the hype is, and Ortiz doesn't.
CEO of Mayweather Promotions Leonard Ellerbe said they've had a great training camp, “probably our best so far.” He said Floyd was able to give back during camp, reminding us he Skyped with the troops in Afghanistan last Friday. He told them about how he lives, and the “wonderful things,” like “the cars,” Ellerbe said. Over 18,000 people tuned in to Ustream to watch Floyd work out on Tuesday, Ellerbe said.
Follow Woods on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/Woodsy1069
Also, I debuted a new blog, on ESPN New York, on Wednesday. Please feel free to add that to your bookmarks! http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/boxing/post/_/id/8/welcome-to-the-fightblog