By Marc Livitz: As May 3 draws near, the boxing world is slowly turning its collective head from left to right as the sport’s second highest attraction makes way for the long running first. Regardless of how we may care to give Floyd Mayweather, Jr. a second’s notice or even the proverbial time of day, there can be no confusion: he is still the top draw in the ring as well as the planet’s richest athlete. The hype and attention surrounding his upcoming bout with Marcos Maidana has per the usual reached a pinnacle of excitement and attention and Floyd will once again look to reap the benefits of his six fight, nine digit and counting deal with the Showtime network.
The Las Vegas fighter’s May 3 matchup with Maidana (35-3, 31 KO’s), known as "The Moment" will take place at the same locale as his previous eight contests, which is none other than the MGM Grand Garden Arena. By all accounts, the unbeaten Mayweather (45-0, 26 KO’s) is not taking his knockout oriented Argentine adversary lightly and for once, we may actually believe him. Still, over time and throughout his stellar career Floyd has made a living of making top fighters look ordinary and thereafter laughing all the way to the bank while perhaps even stopping off at the local Italian sports car dealership for another toy.
Just before Floyd headed back to his personal gym in Chinatown, he spoke to the media alongside Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe as part of an international media conference call. Highlights are listed below.
Opening Statements, Leonard Ellerbe, CEO Mayweather Promotions: "We’re close. We’re just ten days away. Will this be the moment that Maidana stops Floyd or the night that Maidana gets stopped? You’ll just have to see. The undercard is stacked. It’s all about giving the fans the value for their money and that’s the idea when we put on the major events."
Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Opening Statements: "I know Maidana is bringing his best, so I can’t overlook him. I’ve been training hard everyday and I’ll be ready".
Mayweather on his relationship with Ellerbe: "A lot of people don’t know about this. Leonard had a good-paying job in Washington, D.C. He used to leave his job and pay his own way to come along and help us out. He was also a fitness trainer and making good money. He left all of that to help me. At one time, he was doing my security work. He was making sure that I woke up to do my running. He stuck with me through thick and thin. We’ve been through a lot because we strive for the best. It’s about communication and we respect each other."
Floyd’s View on Devon Alexander’s February 2012 Win Over Maidana: "I think that what is different is that Maidana wasn’t used to fighting a southpaw and was fighting on Alexander’s home turf. His confidence is high after he beat Adrien Broner. He’s more confident now than he was he faced Devon Alexander. He’s tougher now."
"I can’t say what to expect. I looked at some things and I noticed something. Amir Khan looked super strong when he had (conditioning coach) Alex Ariza in his corner. When Maidana fought Broner, he was a lot stronger than he looked in his other fights. I notice that ever since Ariza left Pacquiao that there is less power. We’re going to continue to go out and do what we do."
Ellerbe Elaborates: "I did hear from the Maidana camp that Marcos was sick and was asked to pull out of the Alexander fight, but he refused."
Mayweather on Manny Pacquiao’s recent bout with Tim Bradley: "I hadn’t watched Pacquiao fight since he faced Miguel Cotto. I think Bradley is lifting too much weights and he’s more concerned about how he looks when he steps on the scale. He was making a lot of mistakes and looked fatigued early on. I think both fighters fought like amateurs. I wasn’t pleased with his performance at all."
"I read an interesting story online. Freddie Roach said that he didn’t know what Alex Ariza was giving his fighters. I’m not suggesting anything at all. That’s just what I see."
His Strategy for Marcos Maidana: "My focus is on the guy being well rounded and at a totally different level. Amir Khan caught him a good shot. We don’t know how to approach the fight; we’ll look for the openings and to pick the guy apart. I am the bigger guy here even though I never go higher than 152 (pounds)."
"I can see shots coming, actually I can feel it. It comes from being in the sport for so long. Their body language speaks and how he positions himself. My goal is to take away wherever he does best. It’s obvious that Maidana’s best attribute is his knockout power, so we’ll look to take that away from him."
Concerns for Maidana’s Power and Being Hurt: "I can’t say because I haven’t been hit by him. He hasn’t been hit by me yet, either. I’m not really sure how many times I’ve been hurt in a fight. You just shake it off like a true champion. We can’t say what he can or can’t do. Adrien Broner tried to outbox him and Maidana roughed him up. Some think it’s just going to be a pushover, but I don’t see it that way."
Mayweather on his post-boxing plans: "Boxing is and has always been very important to me. This put me in the position to secure myself and my family. I want to help this sport live on and continue to grow."
"I’ll continue to help fighters and help the sport grow. I’ll have three more fights after this and then we’ll start looking for the next pay per view stars. Canelo (Alvarez) is one of those guys."
If He’ll Fight Light Heavyweight Champion, Bernard Hopkins: "I think everyone is trying to hit the jackpot. I didn’t see much more than the first two rounds of his fight last Saturday. I went for a run while he picked up the pace in the fight. He’s a legend like myself. He’s looking for his biggest payday."
Floyd on Respect and His Toughest Fights: "I don’t get the credit I’m due because I make "A" and "B" level fighters look ordinary. That just comes from a smart mind and hard training. People bring up the (Jose Luis) Castillo fight. I know I won and I know in my heart that I won. I wasn’t just fighting Jose Luis Castillo because I was also fighting Larry Merchant. He was trying to persuade the viewers that I was losing. Emmanuel Augustus was also a very tough opponent and he took the fight on a short notice."
April 24, 2014