THE TOUR OPENS Mayweather and Canelo Do New York

BY Michael Woods ON June 24, 2013

BNj4VlbCAAQ0UaW.jpg largeMy heart started pumped hard as I got off the F train and walked toward the staging for Monday's Mayweather-Canelo media tour opener in Manhattan, in the heart of Times Square.

It was sweet to see boxing getting it's just due, out and proud, with thousands of folks clustered, necks craned, or milling, curious about this spectacle, in a sea of spectacles.

This was the first stop on an 11 city, two-country tour, for the record. Showtime's Stephen Espinoza said that expenses for the caravan are into the seven figures, for sure.

Check out this Boxing Channel report of the presser here.

Before the open-to-the-public event, on a pedestrian island, kicked off, media hustled into the W Hotel, half a block from the stage, and entered one of two rooms to get a chance to hear what the principals had to say. One room was for print guys, the other for video, and first Canelo came into the video room, got grilled, followed by Mayweather.

A Team Mayweather employee whispered to Mayweather publicist Kelly Swanson to try and get things wrapped up, because it was after 3PM. "The NYPD is asking us to get them to the stage," was the word.

The sun was blazing viciously at around 1:30, but some clouds had provided some cover by 3:30. Richard Schaefer scored a point with me when he cracked that of the two boxers, Canelo is the more  handsome, and told Floyd he was just kidding. I do wonder how many people get his James Dean reference when he calls Canelo the James Dean of pugilism...

Canelo was his usual self, unflappable, focused, confident, self assured. He told media, with Golden Boy's Eric Gomez translating, that he expects to be the first man to sully Mayweathers' record. No, he said, it won't be any big deal that he has to make 152 or less for the 154 pound scrap. Oscar De La Hoya told me that Canelo "is no Guerrero, he's no Victor Ortiz, he's Canelo," and sounded like he liked the odds of the Mexican scoring an upset more so than he had the two aforementioned guys.

Mayweather showed flashes of his posh self, at one point playing it up--I think he was playing it up--when a handler brought him a glass of iced water. "You brought me filtered water with tap water cubes," he said. No thanks, he said, and handed off the glass. I gratefully took the tainted cubed glass and gulped it down.

Mayweather had the folks cracking up when he was asked for some words in Spanish to hype the Sept. 14 bout in Las Vegas, and said that Canelo is "the uno" Mexican fighter out there. He proved he had a down to earth side lol when he opened up his backpack for us, and showed it had knicknacks, and not stacks of bills, in it.

I told Mayweather that I didn't think Canelo could truly challenge him, and I didn't think anyone in and around his weight class could challenge him. What about a catchweight fight with Andre Ward? No dice, he said, throwing some of that ice water on my fantasy. "I'm a one hundred forty seven pounder," he told me.

When the NYPD got its way, Mayweather charmed the crowd, most of which booed him when he was announced. The crowd seemed to be about 65% Canelo fans, but even many of them got into it when Floyd did a call and response "Hard work-dedication" schtick.

He teased the assembled when he said, "I wish we could fight at Madison Square Garden. Y'all want me to fight at the Garden?" Most seemed to enjoy that prospect, though earlier, inside, when asked about fighting at "the Mecca" Mayweather declared that "Las Vegas is the mecca of boxing." He did allow then that fighting at MSG would be a treat.

Just a guess, but I don't think that's out of the question. Showtime needs to make four more Floyd scraps special, and bringing the Floyd fest to NYC would indeed by a change-of-pace boost. (Though I have to guess that Barclays Center would want that action, too, right?)

Floyd drew some more cheers when he said, "They need to put it right here in Times Square, let us do it today," he said.

He called Canelo a "true champion" and said the 22-year-old earned his right to get this gig.

A highlight for me, and proof of the import of the event was an Al Haymon sighting. I saw him, and right after, heard a fan address him. "Hey Al Haymon," the man said, and the super-advisor didn't flinch or acknowledge him. "OK, it's gonna be like that," the man said, chuckling. I played a card, and said hello, I'm Mike Woods from blah blah blah," shook his hand, and jokingly asked, "Who do you like in this fight?" He seemed to appreciate the weak stab at humor...

Canelo kept it short and sweet, declaring that "this is my time" and "we're gonna win."

After last week, and the Broner-Malignaggi buildup, this friction-free affair was quite the counterpoint. I did note that Canelo was right there in Floyd's face during two staredowns, wait, are we calling them "stareouts" now? and I didn't see any fidgeting, or nerves. No, I think that Robert Guerrero was a little bit frayed by the intensity and duration of attention, and while I think Canelo might get bored, I suspect the gravity of the event won't impact him negatively.

The crew jetted to the airport and got on planes, looking  to touch down in DC, and do it again tomorrow. Floyd does a homecoming in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Wednesday.

I do wonder if by the end of this tour any bad blood will get stirred up, or the gentlemanly tone will hold throughout. Your guess, readers?

Comment on this article

Carmine Cas says:

Somebody knock out Ellerbe

Radam G says:

Nice copy, Editor Mike! Why don't you post a foto of the "Shadow" Al Haymon in the TSS Universe? Readers are more antsy about what his bubble arse look like than they where when they kept asking me the name of "Watson" and "his sons" for a year or two before you spitted their identities. Holla!

amayseng says:

Somebody knock out Ellerbe

Ill do it.

I'd pay to do it.

No joke.

I'm 35 but still got some left.

I hit a couple out of the park for the kids at the college field last week.

The hand speed and pop is still there. But my legs are a bit slower hahaha.

Ya what does Hayman look like?

Maybe he isn't even real.

Radam G says:

Tap water cubes are more toxic than a cesspool. Editor Mike, like a mad animal, they will make you drool. Your _____ is going to get upset, then you'll be long-sitting on da toilet stool and feeling like a fool. Hehehe! Money May is not going to be poison come water tricks or by hating d--ks. Money May is on his game, and nothing is going to make him lame.

Lesson 101 of Old-Skool Boxing, never drink water given to you or your team by strangers. In da biz of legal mayhem, there are many tricks of the trade and sneakly dangers.

To this day, nobody believes Big [Rev.] George Foreman that some hanky panky stanky was done to his drinking water for a whole two months before his dance with GOAT Ali in the Rumble of the Jungle famousfest. Holla!

Radam G says:

BTW, I know y'all should know the water tricks of boxing .

"You WANT DA BOTTLE! ...Give me da bottle! Da one I MIXED!" -- Panama Lewis. Now that cat is the greatest water mixer all times. Hehehe! Editor Mike probably now has a two-month whammy that was meant for Money May. Holla!

SouthPaul says:

Lmfao@ the comments on Leonard. The pic is funny. Homey is looking straight down at Floyd's *** like "mmmmm, still yummy after all these years".

amayseng says:

What is it about Leonard?

I mean honestly that just makes you want to knock his *** out.

The cocky tough guy attitude?

Dude isn't a fighter but runs his mouth like one.

He may be a good businessman and good for him.

Act like a businessman and don't talk like a fighter.

Radam u have a link of Hayman?

SouthPaul says:

I fully respect Al Haymon. I've read up on him, and no, I don't believe all I read but I think I am a good judge of character he sounds legit to me. For all we clown about Leonard and the Watson family .... Al manages and advises and let's the fighters fight the fights and occasionally make jackasses of themselves . Admittedly, I'd like to see him in some sort of one on one interview but neither does he owe it to anyone other than the fighters he represents .

amayseng says:

BTW, I know y'all should know the water tricks of boxing .

"You WANT DA BOTTLE! ...Give me da bottle! Da one I MIXED!" -- Panama Lewis. Now that cat is the greatest water mixer all times. Hehehe! Editor Mike probably now has a two-month whammy that was meant for Money May. Holla!

My dad was just telling me about this fight a few months ago.

He was saying how he watched it live and after the suspected bottle

the hawk came out possessed with energy and that something was up.

He was talking how he picked up on it live when it happened.

Radam G says:

Hehehe! You are straight wilding, SouthPaul. That was a good one. But if Leonard is check out Money May's bottom, he is history. Money May is super homophobia. He was dead seriously hating HBO 24/7 for telecasting the mano-i-mano sleeping arrangement that Cotto had with Cotto's sidekick. Holla!

Radam G says:

Amayseng, that bottle trick of Panama Lewis was just effective corner-placebo work. One time I was dragging arse in a bout, and the, late cutman and trainer Chuck Bodak told me that I was getting winded because somebody stuck a needle on my stool, and it lodged in my hip and that he is going to put it out and my engergy will come back.

Chuck fake to pull a draining-engergy needle out of my arse. Of course I believed it, so he fake it, and showed me a hair pin from my female corner assistant. I believed that hair pin to a black needle. I immediately become engergize, whup da holy hebejeebeez out of my opponent for the two rounds and make him quit. He accused my corner of black magic.

Placebos and good cons from a great corner work big time in the hurt bitnezz, my friend. Holla!

leon30001 says:

To see what Al Haymon looks like, try this: put the words "Al Haymon" into Google. Presto!

leon30001 says:

Again with the "lol". Cut it out, man!

Carmine Cas says:

Ellerbe is a leach and classless

amayseng says:

To see what Al Haymon looks like, try this: put the words "Al Haymon" into Google. Presto!

I got dlh, ellerbes ugly mug, Denzil Washington and don king among others.

So no presto.

That's why I asked the mighty Radam for a legit link

leon30001 says:

look in the google images bit. You can't miss him. Unlike his best client Al is no Pretty Boy, but like Floyd he's got a big ol' pile of Money (presumably) so probably doesn't care too much!

Radam G says:

I'm glad, you said that, L-30-thousand-and-one. "The Shadow" Al Haymon is definitely Pretty Boy challenged. Also he has put on a few pounds that ain't showing up in any "google images bit." And a lot more of his bush has faded to bald. It is a luv T-K-O! But he won't let it go -- let it go! He ought to holla at Don King and get one of those Don King's hair pieces. Or maybe he can holla at Juan Manuel Hulkquez and go to Mexico and get some hair plugs. Hehehe!

And I'm not going to jive and convive too much about the Shadow because he just may send a bust-up crew to touch me up in the P-Islands. Hahahaha! I'm just jiving. See! I've haven't called him "Fat Albert" once. Hehehe! Dude is no doubt money deep. Holla!

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