As if by law, no HBO super fight goes by without receiving the "Face Off With Max Kellerman" treatment. It has become a customary pre fight ritual.
In the latest installment, Max Kellerman, Miguel Cotto, and more importantly Floyd Mayweather, do their best in trying to promote the fight. As usual, Mayweather is in top form - his promotional skills, along with his boxing skills, have made him boxing's highest earner. Kellerman and Cotto also provide intrigue by giving the viewers belief that Cotto may be the exception to Mayweather's undefeated rule. The truth is, this is not really an even contest. And all three participants of the latest Face Off likely know this. Despite HBO's best efforts to make you believe otherwise, the fact that the Face Off is a promotional tool, I offer, is the reason that Mayweather and Cotto don't say what is really on their minds.
With this in mind then, can you imagine if HBO changed their formula? And instead of a face off, we got an interrogation, with both fighters rigged up to a lie detector test? Now that would be compelling TV!
For fun then, here is how I think a transcript may look, if Cotto, and in particular Mayweather, were incapable of telling a lie in order to promote their fight.
Kellerman: How do you beat Floyd Mayweather?
Cotto: I really don't know. I defeated Zab Judah and Shane Mosley, two fighters with very fast hands, so I'm hoping that may help me in this fight. Maybe Floyd will suddenly grow old over night?
Kellerman: Floyd, how is Cotto going to fight you, do you think?
Mayweather: It's like this Max. I don't think, I know. I've studied hours and hours of Miguel. Because my boxing IQ is so high, I will have an answer for everything he can do in there, which by the way, isn't a whole lot. That's why team Mayweather picked Cotto for the fight in the first place. Big money for me, with little risk of defeat.
Kellerman: So why is he going to be the 43rd?
Mayweather: It's real simple Max. Miguel is a converted southpaw, a lead handed attacker. Have you ever saw my defense penetrated with a lead left hook? Neither have I. Look, it's like this...Cotto is going to come at me looking to land his left hook. I'm going to take that shot away, and put it in the back pocket along with Mosley's left hook, De La Hoya's left hook and Ortiz' right hook. You see Max, these one dimensional attackers with a primary offensive weapon are real easy for me to take care of. My defense is designed for these types of fighters. Once I take their best asset away, it's game over for them. And that's when my straight right hand comes into play. I'm gonna move away from his left hand and land my straight right all night long. Notice Max, Miguel seldom throws his right hand.
Cotto: He's right Max, I don’t have much use for my right hand on offense. It just doesn’t seem natural.
Mayweather: Not only that Miguel, but your footwork! Because you are a converted southpaw, your movement is awkward. Your legs are not in sync with your upper body. You don't seem to know which way to turn. That's what cost you against Pacquiao, not those few extra pounds you had to lose.
Kellerman: By moving up to junior middleweight then Floyd, you will be facing the best Miguel Cotto, right?
Mayweather: Absolutely not. My speed advantage will be even greater up at that weight. You see, while my technical skills are better than his, my speed is far greater than his. I'm gonna beat him to the punch every single time. Miguel, you only let your shots go when you are standing flat footed, right?
Mayweather: There you go Max, as you can see, I've done my homework. I'll be keying off his feet all night long.
Kellerman: Miguel, it's difficult seeing you outboxing Floyd. Do you feel we will have to see more of the old Miguel? More of that hard left hook to the body?
Miguel: Exactly Max, although you have just told Floyd my strategy.
Mayweather: Don't worry about it Miguel, I had that bad boy scouted back in 2007. You rarely use it these days and if you decide to bring it on May 5th, that's all good. Like I’ve said before, Floyd Mayweather has you well scouted. Like all my opponents, they are carefully chosen as a result of an obvious trait I can expose. You are no different. I know exactly what makes you perform at your best in the ring, and what makes you perform at your worst in the ring. Guess what Max, I'm here to bring out the worst in Miguel Cotto.
Cotto: But my victory over Margarito proves I have improved. I can now box and move, can I not?
Mayweather: You can not. Sorry Miguel. Your victory over Margarito proved two things in my eyes. Firstly, Margarito was loaded up to the eyeballs in plaster of paris in your first fight, I suspect. I mean, your face, it was nearly as bashed as when Pacquiao messed it up real bad. Secondly, in your two fights with Margarito, I notice you don't seem to fight well backing up.
Cotto: I don't feel comfortable backing up, no. Margarito has exposed me not once, but twice in this area. Luckily for me in the second fight, Margarito's eye got worse. It's a good thing you don't have the power to back me up then.
Mayweather: That's what they all say, Miguel. Because my shots are so fast and accurate, it comes as a shock to be on the receiving end of such clean blows. By the middle rounds, you will be backing up, getting systematically walked down. Luckily for you, you seem like a real nice guy and I don't take too many risks on offense. I respect your left hook Miguel, and that's why I’m not willing to press for the knockout. If you landed it, who knows? I'm not willing to risk my undefeated record, which is my meal ticket by the way, just to give the fans what they want.
Kellerman: Predictions guys?
Cotto: I'm going to start off boxing, only to be outboxed. I'm going to try and close the distance and land my left hook, only for that to be taken away. Then? I don't know what happens.
Mayweather: Straight right hand city for twelve rounds, is what happens Miguel. It's like this, like I told him Max, he does seem like a great guy, I do like his watch and he is bringing a lot of money to the pot. I will back him up by the middle rounds, but I promise...pinky swear, I won't knock him out. We all know that ain't my style these days anyway.
Kellerman: Any final words?
Cotto: Thank you Floyd, you are giving me the biggest payday of my career. And now I realize I don't have much of a shot in this fight.
Mayweather: Tune in for yet another Mayweather fight seen as a risk. I'd like to thank Miguel, you have helped me create the illusion that this is a close and competitive fight. The reality is we are not gonna give the fans what they want to see. Which is to see me defeated. Do I respect you? Absolutely. Do you have a chance of defeating me? Absolutely not. Not in 2007, not now.
Would you pay to see Manny Pacquiao vs Saul Alvarez?