The self proclaimed TBE fanned out his peacock feathers, and strutted at the MGM on Tuesday afternoon, making a grand-ish arrival, days out from his anti-climactic scrap against Haitian-American Andre Berto, who hopes to play the Buster Douglas role Saturday night in Vegas.
To be fair, basically anything outside of a Mayweather-Golovkin fight would be anti-climactic, so we're not knocking Berto here.
But with the word that tix are moving sub-tepidly, suffice to say the buzz factor for this one is not what those who get a cut from that pie might hope, or expect, for the best boxer in the world who tells us this is his last fight. Message from many seems to be 'don't let the door hit your butt on the way out,' though pro Mayweather fans will argue that he is so talented, he doesn't get his just due…and in fact, I find that argument to be compelling, and worthy of defending, if not wholly embracing.
Nothing monumental came from the mouth of Mayweather today, that I heard: “To become great, you have to follow greatness. To become a great leader you have to be a great follower,” he offered.
There was talk of his legacy, but of course. “I’ve done a lot for this sport,” said the Michiganer seeking to go to 49-0. “Everyone used to be focused on heavyweights. My ultimate goal was to have everyone focus at whatever weight class I was, in my weight class. I’ve always been able to make noise at whatever weight class I was in.” Indeed; making noise is something he's good at. Being in mostly fan friendly prizefights isn't, and that's part of the reason, maybe most of the reason, why there isn't a mass of mourners already weeping at the thought of a Floyd-less sport.
Simply, most of his fights in recent memory haven't been must see events, in retrospect. But again, so much of that has to do with his skill, which allows him to employ a risk averse, defense-first style which doesn't draw comparisons to Arturo Gatti. He is a Picasso, and there was no PPV audience to watch that master paint his masterful efforts. The final result was but of course applauded, but the masses often prefer some bang bang bang for their buck…and Floyd's ability to avoid contact, while neurologically logical, isn't making people salivate for this faceoff with Berto. “We want Andre to believe in himself and his skills,” Mayweather continued, when asked about Berto saying he had the stuff to pull the Buster Douglas.
“Every fighter that I’ve ever faced had the remedy to beat me, but the results have always been the same,” said “TBE,” rightly.
“I don’t overlook anyone, he’s a tough competitor, and we will just have to see what happens on Saturday,” he said, when it was noted that Berto is a massive 'dog.
“My ultimate goal is that we can find another Floyd Mayweather,” he said, in response to a query about his post fighting stint. “When I turned professional I was a teenager and the MGM was Mike Tyson’s building. I’m just blessed and I feel like I was dealt a royal flush.”
No shortage of self confidence in the man, though one can only wonder how much of that is announced in order to gain a reaction, to gain narcissistic supply, to have his tank topped off, of compliments and adoration. Study of his character, of course, fills up the vacuum left by the fact that his talent renders his fights foregone conclusions. Oh but this being prizefighting, the only thing truly predictable is that a guy like a Berto has a proverbial puncher's chance. Which means that but of course, I will be ponying up, to tune in, just….in….case. The result is basically foregone…but that sliver of a chance will snare me.