Pound for pound ace Floyd Mayweather took part in a Wednesday afternoon conference call to touch base with media, as he and we count down to his absurdly hyped May 2 clash in Las Vegas versus rival Manny Pacquiao.
“Money,” who turns 39 in February, was his typical conference call self, which means pretty chill, not prone to stray much from mild and expected answers. Publicist Kelly Swanson presided over the session, and Floyd was joined by Mayweather Promotions exec Leonard Ellerbe.
Maybe the only flash of ire came when he called one of my questions “terrible.”
I asked Floyd about Manny saying it was his time to lose, and how Manny perhaps implies God favors him. Floyd said that was a terrible question, and I must chuckle, because I heard him say “rhetorical,” which bewildered me…he then asked for another question, but reconsidered, and decided to handle it. Nah, he said, he thinks God loves all, and doesn’t play favorites in boxing matches. I thought it was a good answer to a fine question.
The hitter broke no news on the call. He told us that he isn’t doing much trash talking now, because he has matured, and he yapped and talked loud to get to this point, and that was his game plan.
He was asked about calling himself the best ever, and he took pains to make sure he praised Muhammad Ali…but yes, he thinks he is the greatest, and he is fine with any blowback he gets. Ali just did it in a single weight class, was one reason he cited.
He isn’t paying attention to ticket issues, and all that kerfuffle, he said, he is just thinking about fighting.
“My gameplan is to win,” he said, when asked about how he might try and beat Pacman.
He didn’t diss Manny at all, or Freddie Roach, his trainer, who has tried to get under his skin the last six weeks, and before that. That would be a Catch 22; if he hammered Freddie, he said, he’d get smacked for beefing with a guy with Parkinson’s, and also it plays into the “good versus evil” construct he doesn’t care for.
“We’re all God’s children,” he said, stating that he thinks he has Filipino fans. “My focus is to give people what they really want to see, the best facing the best…He’s one of the last good fighters of his era. It’s a fight that had to happen and I’m happy it’s happening.”
He does think Manny took note of how big he is, when they went face to face in Miami.
I asked Floyd about Manny saying it was his time to lose, and how Manny perhaps implies God favors him. Floyd said that was a rhetorical question and asked for another, then handled it. Nah, he said, he thinks God loves all, and doesn’t play favorites in boxing matches.
All in all, he really played it low key, as if this one was just another night at the office, but did allow some of the promotion has been over the top. Nope, he doesn’t have any stories or issues he’d like to correct, he said, after I asked him if he had anything to clarify or correct.
Money was brought up, and the boxer said he’s just fine, has enough savings and has invested well.
The boxer ended on an emotional note, paying homage to Frank Brown, a man he said was like a grandfather to him, who he knew since he was 3. Brown is now in an old folks home, with dementia, and that touches the boxer.
All in all, not much hint of any confrontational Floyd, save for one editorial on my God query, or one who wanted to get ink via provocative chatter.
Photo Credit : From Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
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