By Bryant K. Maxwell: It’s Saturday, and the festivities are about done. The air seems still and at rest, and even the birds have stopped chirping and there is an eerie calmness around. The crowd pours into the MGM Grand Garden Arena as the fighters wait in their respective dressing rooms while listening to the roars of the fans. Floyd "Money" Mayweather undefeated (43-0, 26 KOs), has seen this moment far too often as he paces the floor in his customized boxing gear, just waiting to clock-in for his days’ work.
Well his night’s work, as the widely known nocturnal Mayweather would see it.
Up to this point no other fighter in Mayweather’s famed career has been able to defeat him. He often points out that ’many have tried but all have failed’ to crack the code of Floyd Mayweather. And yes he does refer to himself in the third person.
Mayweather, not the one to shy away from any controversial comments or activities, has yet to lash out at anything during the lead up to the clash with Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs). This leads one to wonder if the past year of his life has indeed changed the man they call "Money."
“Anybody should know, your freedom is extremely important." Mayweather states. "There’s nothing more important than freedom. Once you lose your freedom, you understand that.”
It seems as "Money" hasn’t just fought for that prize only, he has fought for his life in many ways. After serving 2 months of his 87 month jail term for domestic abuse, Mayweather has shown sort of a calm before the storm. Deflecting blows with his patent shoulder roll defense even before the first bell rings.
It was never more evident than when Ruben Guerrero, the father and trainer of son Robert, went on a very shocking rant entailing repeatedly that Mayweather was a "woman beater."
"We are going to beat the woman beater". Ruben shouted. “The one that beat up his wife, man. His wife—in front of his kids.”
The awkward moment left the media in shock. The buildup was just getting good. Mayweather still-faced throughout the situation, placed a dam in front of a potential heated exchange.
"I don’t have to sit here and badmouth his father," shrugged Mayweather following the final press conference. "Only God can judge me."
To much of our surprise Mayweather floated away the bigger man. Still confident, the undefeated champion has seen it all and has yet to crack in the face of adversity. Guerrero himself hinges to the notion that having a year off and being in jail has made Floyd Mayweather ripe for the picking.
"If that’s the way to psych yourself out, to build this confidence, then more power to him." Mayweather states. "I’ve been in the gym working hard, working hard."
It rings true that one would have to work harder than the next man, to stay at the pinnacle of his craft. Mayweather being no stranger to hardwork has pushed himself into a realm just short of invincibility that he must maintain, or his newly signed contract with Showtime won’t live up to it’s potential.
"They say the pressure is on me. The pressure is on him to stay undefeated, to keep his legacy going," Guerrero told reporters on Wednesday. "He has these 30 months left, and he’s got a lot of stuff to fulfill, so I think the pressure is on him and not me."
Indeed the pressure does fall into the fists of Mayweather, without a doubt he has the most to lose. But the thing is that he doesn’t know what losing a professional fight feels like. He doesn’t even fathom it. And one would have to wonder if he feels that he can ever be defeated.
"I mean of course I feel unbeatable." Mayweather exclaimed. "I mean of course I’m in the sport to go down as the best. I’m not going into a fight thinking that I’m beatable."
On fight night very little will change with Mayweather. He will clock-in and go to work. Guerrero will be the new guy in the office. Does he earn his way into the ’union’ of one of the greatest fighters of this era? Only time will tell how he reacts to the biggest stage of his career.
He has been the more talkative, while Mayweather has been eerily quiet. The key to victory for Guerrero won’t be what he should do, it will be what he shouldn’t do.
When the first bell rings, don’t get caught in the storm.
May 3, 2013