Jerry Glick reporting: Golden Boy’s CEO Richard Schaefer took to the podium and announced that only 15 minutes had passed since the tickets went on sale and the MGM Grand had already sold 14,000 of the available 17,000 seats. He then predicted that Mayweather vs Mosley pay per views sales will top three million.
The boxing public and fans alike all thought that it would be Pacquiao and Mayweather but this match is almost as intriguing; two well schooled boxers with enormous speed and skills; both with the ability to score a KO. Two of the world’s best fighters; two gym rats who will always be ready to step into the ring, faced the media in a very public situation. Both played to the crowd garnering cheers and cat calls.
This is a fight that the two fighters have flirted with for many years. For the fans, it’s better late than never. If you are a purist this may very well be the best night of boxing because they are both superb stylists. Both are classic boxers in the mold of Ray Leonard or Ali.
With a large crowd of noisy fans in the upper deck, the Nokia Theater in Midtown Manhattan hosted a press conference for Golden Boy and Mayweather Promotion’s May 1, 2010 clash dubbed, “Who R U Picking?” between WBA Welterweight Champion Sugar Shane Mosley and undefeated Floyd “Money” Mayweather at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
After a long delay the festivities began. Mosley, 46-5 (39 KOs), and Mayweather, 40-0 (25 KOs), were seen standing on opposite ends of the darkened stage illuminated by bright lights as they were introduced. A few minutes later the two combatants clashed on the stage to the delight of the fans. After they were introduced, using a video of each, they scuffled to the floor ending a face off. Was it real, was it hype? Who knows?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: “He’s a fake”
After a sometimes contentious press conference they got down to the business of going head to head with the media; something that Mayweather appears to relish and use as a sounding board for everything from attacking the media, to jabbing at Mosley for having been accused of taking performance enhancing drugs, to saying that Golden Boy head man Oscar De La Hoya says one thing in public about Floyd, while whispering to him that he only said that to hype the show.
“He’s so fake,” said Mayweather of De La Hoya, “He’ll come in here and tell you all that this guy is going to beat Floyd, and all the stuff that’s going to happen. Then he tells me, ‘You know Floyd I got to do that for the media. You know I don’t think that that is what is going to happen.’ As I said before, that’s being fake. “
Although he saved his harshest attacks for his opponent, some were humorous claiming that Mosley’s suit was “Right off the rack.”
He belittled the champion’s drawing power calling Mosley an HBO fighter.
“He’s an HBO fighter. After this fight he’s going back to HBO,” declared Mayweather. “I’m a pay per view fighter.”
For those who are old enough to remember, Ali had just as much swagger and confidence as does Mayweather. Both earned the right to feel that way. Both have earned the right to brag, but there is a difference between the two super fighters; when Muhammad Ali talked the talk he did it with a certain kind of dignity. Even when he insulted his opponent there did not exist the same cutting edge that Floyd Mayweather displays. In short, Ali understood that he could be loved and admired at the same time that he was less than gracious; and Mayweather is only admired for his great talent, not his persona. The only time Ali went too far was in his taunts directed at Joe Frazier; something Ali acknowledged in later years.
Floyd is the latest wunderkind of boxing. So talented that it will take either another fighter (Mosley?) of his skill set or someone with the key to victory over those enormous tools.
For Ali it was Joe Frazier, for Joe Louis it was Max Schmeling, for Ray Robinson it was Jake LaMotta, but in each case talent will out as Ali, Louis, and Robinson each learned how to dominate their respective conqueror.
Floyd has one thing right, he is an athlete, a fighter, and when a fighter has more than two goals he is missing the point. Floyd is not missing the point. Legacy and money should say it all. It may be unnerving to hear him brag about his money, but when you get hit for a living, money must be the most important issue; for Mayweather, it is.
Mayweather spent much of his time lamenting that the media is always down playing his accomplishments.
“I’m in a no win situation here,” said Mayweather. “When I beat them you say I was supposed to beat him, you’re the best fighter in the world and he’s too old. I’m never going to come up short but just in case I did they’re going to say I lost to an old fighter. I’m in a no win situation.”
Mayweather should accept that just being a great fighter is enough to become a target. Being a target gets him publicity and as they say, any publicity is good publicity. As Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow said in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” when someone told him that he was the worst pirate he ever heard of, “Oh,” said Sparrow, “But you have heard of me.”
Floyd needs to worry only when nothing is said about him.
SUGAR SHANE MOSLEY: “Thirty-Eight is definitely better”
Mosley told everyone how apt the date of the show was.
“It’s going down May 1st. It’s going to be me and “Money” Mayweather. You know May 1st symbolizes something,” said Mosley at the podium to a wildly shouting crowd of spectators. “It symbolizes May(weather)’s first loss.”
Asked about Floyd’s remarks, Mosley said he really can’t comment.
“I really don’t want to comment on the different things he says,” said Shane. “Mayweather says certain things that he really doesn’t know and he just blurts it out and he get a hoorah from some in the crowd. And that can be dangerous. There are some people who would file suit for that type of stuff.”
It has been said that he is rusty and old, but he denies both. He explained that even if he is traveling on vacation or stopping in another city, he will find a gym and work out. He never left training after his last fight, a KO over Margarito back in January of 2009 and recently a cancelled fight with Andre Berto.
I asked him to compare Mosley at 32 with the current Mosley at 38.
“I think 38 year old Shane is better than 32 year old Shane,” he said. “Thirty-eight is definitely better. I’m a lot faster; mentally stronger. When I was 32 years old I was with this trainer guy who had me lifting weights and I was slow and had no punching power. He was a physical trainer and it even mentally messed me up.”
He added that you could see a big difference in him after he left that unnamed trainer and got back to regular training.
“Boxing is a mental game and you could see the difference.”
Later he told the reporters surrounding him to compare Mayweather’s 40 wins with his own record of nearly that amount of knockouts.
“I have 39 knockouts, almost as many knockouts as he has had fights. I knock people out,” said Sugar Shane, “That’s what I do.”
NAZIM RICHARDSON: “He knocks their heads off”
Brother Nazim, as he is affectionately called, has been a trainer to the best, but more importantly it was he who caught Tito Trinidad (against Bernard Hopkins) and later Antonio Margarita (against Mosley) with loaded gloves possibly saving his fighters’ lives. He is training Mosley for what is probably Sugar’s biggest fight.
“Just having Shane not get caught up in the emotion of it,” explained Richardson discussing priorities in this training camp. “Saying things like ‘I need to shut his mouth, I need to do this,’ you get so caught up you get away from being the best athlete you can be.”
He added, “When you deal with Mayweather you can get caught up in the hoopla.”
In assessing Mayweather he said that many think that Mayweather is all hype because he talks so much, but the trainer believes that Mayweather is for real; that he is exceptional and that Shane will train to be the best that he can be.
“When Shane Mosley is at his best he can defeat Floyd Mayweather,” said Richardson. “And when Shane is at his best he doesn’t only defeat guys, he knocks their heads off.”
Mayweather does not strike most people as the crusading type but he may be the guy to clean up sports with his insistence on blood testing. With all the media surrounding him he gave a little bit of blood mathematics to everyone, especially the one guy who wasn’t there, Manny Pacquiao.
“You get bloody, cut up, then you get your hand raised, then say that you are, ‘Superstitious of needles but I get tattoos all the time.’ We already know that there 380 tablespoons of blood in the human body, but they only draw one tablespoon of blood out of the body. Say you get cut in the first round and you’re leaking. We know you are going to lose more than a tablespoon of blood but you still may knock a guy out in the seventh or eighth round. Then you say that drawing blood makes you weak, come on man.”