Yesterday, in a transatlantic conference call with the media to promote his upcoming fight with Victor Ortiz, Floyd Mayweather spent over an hour batting off questions about his long lay off from boxing, the importance of maintaining his unbeaten record, his legacy, the blame-game for the Pacquiao fight and many others.
For British fans, Mayweather reflected on his fight with Ricky Hatton and also made it clear that he is ready to fight Amir Khan, but only after Khan faces Mayweather’s own fighter – Jesse Vargas (16-0) – who Mayweather claims is the future of boxing.
Interestingly, Vargas appears on the Mayweather-Ortiz under card.
Mayweather talked candidly about his appearances on 24/7, his discipline in training, maintaining weight and even aimed a few salvos at Oscar De La Hoya.
Below is a transcript of the key highlights of yesterday’s Floyd Mayweather conference call.
Floyd on his long lay off from boxing: “I am just trying to be responsible and have discipline as a fighter -maintain my weight. I keep my weight between 147 and 150. I don’t over indulge myself with food, if there is something that I would like to eat then I will eat, but I am not going to just pig out. I work out and I love to play basketball a lot even when I am off. And it takes at least six months to build up a PPV – before it can be a huge blockbuster PPV, you have be the right opponent and we have to have the right game plan. Floyd on how important it is to keep his undefeated record” “If a fighter beat me I want him to do it the honest way because I have did it the fair and honest for 16 years. No matter how much Floyd brags and boasts and how much he talks about his money, when it is all said and done – I am fair, so I want to be treated fair, that is all I ask.”
Floyd on the lack of knock outs in recent fights:
“It is not really that, once these fighters are down on the scorecards and they have no chance of winning, they go into survival model. Mosley done the same thing, and Marquez done the same thing – they go into survival model. Hatton was a little different – Hatton came to fight. Once you get to the pinnacle, to the elite Floyd Mayweather level – guys go into survival mode.”
Floyd on the lasting impact of his wins over Hatton and Corales:
“I beat Hatton when he was undefeated. I beat Corrales when he was undefeated. I beat those guys when they were at the top of their games. Both Hatton and Corrales were younger than me.”
“At one particular time I felt disrespected when the Hatton fans came over here and booed the national anthem. That made me want to fight that much harder. Hatton always approached fights like I am coming to win, either you are going to get me or I am going to get you and I think he after Hatton faced me I don’t think he was ever right. And same thing with Corrales, he was never the same when he faced me.”
Is age catching up with Floyd?
“Well I heard from a lot of people (media) yesterday who tuned into to watch me train on Ustream, they say I am still looking sharp, they say I am still looking young. So, I am still looking strong. When I get to the gym and once I get started, I don’t shadow box, when I get to the gym I just put my wraps on and get right into the ring and start sparring. So I am a little different from any other fighter. Of course I run at 3 or 4 in the morning. I don’t think that as far as me deteriorating or losing skills – I think I am very, very sharp and still strong. And the why, is I don’t think I have been in any toe-to-toe wars. When a fighter is in a lot of toe-to-toe wars its wear and tear on the body. I haven’t taken no abuse so I thank God for blessing me with this great defence.”
Floyd on fight with Pacquiao:
“If you believe you are the best then take the test. A lot of times, Freddie Roach, I guess, Team Pacquiao don’t want me to speak on them at all – don’t want me to saying anything about them at all. As long as he is attached to my name he is going to make great paydays. As long as he can keep fighting Floyd Mayweather leftovers or fighting a fighter that has already been beat by Floyd. You know the media really has to pay attention to this.
“They say Shane Mosley looked the best when he beat Antonio Margarito, his next fight was against Floyd Mayweather. I am only fighting him when they say it was his best performance, so his next fight was against me. So I have beat Mosley, then you know what – he fights to get a draw. Like I said before, fighters are never the same again once they face me. He fights Floyd Mayweather – ‘he has a draw’ – the next fight he fights Pacquiao. I beat him first.
“Ok, Antonio Margarito, after he gets beat by Mosley, then Pacquiao fights Margarito. Margarito beats Cotto and then you know what that is when Pacquiao says I want to fight Cotto. I beat Hatton when he was undefeated then he goes after that to fight Hatton after I have already beat him – when he is no longer the same. Marquez called me out. Once again I took the Marquez fight, this is the guy they had rated as number 2 P4P – I took two years off. Now they say Floyd Mayweather is too big for Marquez, but he is not too big for Pacquiao, but they are the same size. There is no difference. If you look at it like this. It is ok for him (Pacquiao) to say you can go from 105 – 154 and say, if you get a knock out and they say, ‘you know what it is all natural’.
"If I went from 147 to heavyweight and was knocking out heavyweights, would that be all natural? That is what you have got to ask yourself. At the end of the day, I never accused anybody of doing anything. It is obvious that you must be hiding something if I say I am the best and you say you are the best. So we are fighting for the best belts, the best titles in the world, we are fighting in the best country in the world, so why not the best tests? That is all I ask. The thing is I am not just picking on one guy, everybody that I have faced have to take the test, because I am fair. This sport is a little different to how it used to be, its tainted, so that’s all I am saying.”
So is the Pacquiao fight any closer?
“I have spoke on that situation enough. There is no need for me to even speak on it, because it’s useless. If the guy wants to fight then he could been have the fight. Y’all know this. Why is now all of a sudden, I have been dominating the game. I mean where was the guy in 1997? Where was the guy in 1998……”
Later on in the conference call Mayweather made his final remarks on Pacquaio:
“There is nothing left to say about that. If you are the best – take the test. We will leave it at that.”
Floyd on training camp:
“This has been the longest training camp thus far, because we wanted to make sure we were ready for a guy that is ten years younger, strong and has got good speak, so we will be ready and that is why we had a training camp a lot longer for this fight.”
Floyd on his tactics and the outcome of fight with Ortiz:
“Whatever a guys strongest point is, we believe in taking that away. What we do is we truly believe in breaking a guy down and we have got the opportunity to go for the kill that is what we do. But for this fight, he is looking for the knock out and I am looking for the knock out, so I can guarantee you guys that this will not go the distance. I can guarantee.
“Right from the beginning I am aggressive. No different from the Mosley fight, even when I got hit with that big shot, yeah I held on but I kept coming. So, for this fight I am coming straight ahead.”
So, is Mayweather at his best at 147? Is this his ideal weight?
“I think that these fighters are not disciplined. Just because a guy can put on a bunch of water weight or take a bunch of food down and be heavy. I don’t think that’s cool at all. It is about being responsible and having discipline. Me, myself, I just maintain my weight. Even right now, even with ten days away, he is probably about 13 Ilbs over, he is probably about 160 or 157. It is hard to box at your fighting weight. Right now I am down to about 147 or 148 and I can box strong for 12 rounds at 147 and 148. Even at the De La Hoya fight, I weighed in at 150 the day before, so that when I got into the ring the next day I weighed 148. And he probably weighed 158. So the weight don’t really play a factor because sometimes that weight can put you into slug mode, you cant really move and do the things you are capable of doing.
“I am more comfortable at 147, because I am able to work hard and eat what I want to eat. I like to be comfortable, if some days if my chef don’t cook and if I want to go out for pizza with my daughter – I want to eat pizza, because I feel I am good enough. Some fighters think, ‘oh if I don’t eat healthy I am going to lose’, that don’t have nothing to do with it. My skills are going to be the same and I am going to go 12 rounds strong. But, I think at 147, I am more comfortable at 147 than what I was at 130. Am I a lot better fighter? Probably so at 147.”
Floyd on fighting left-handed fighters, Judah and De Corley have given Floyd a little bit of trouble, so how does Mayweather plan on dealing with Ortiz – a southpaw with power?
“Ok. Mosley hit me with a good shot. It is not really that. The southpaws that I have faced, happened to be good punchers. And, Chop Chop De Corley was a strong, young, solid puncher – a big puncher. And hit Floyd Mayweather with a great shot, we were fighting toe-to-toe. So these things happen, no different from Zab. Zab hit me with a good shot. But, when it is all said and done, I rose to the occasion and came out on top.
“Anything can happen in any given Saturday. I try to prepare to myself, I keep my fingers crossed and the only thing I can do is hope for the best and try to stay positive. If someone says a negative I try to turn it into a positive. I got respect for every fighter in the fight game because when I am facing an opponent – this is the hurt business. I am in it to do a job and I am at my best with my opponent to do my job.”
Floyd on his appearances on 24/7:
I like to bring entertainment to the sport. I don’t think about loud talking if I wasn’t backing it up. I don’t got no hard feelings towards anyone, no opponent that I have faced. It’s trash talking, it is entertaining. That is why 24/7 is an entertaining show. If people is watching TV and all I am doing is sitting there at home and I didn’t really have a story to tell or I wasn’t entertaining. They would say you know what ‘why is 24/7 even on TV’? I heard, because I didn’t watch 24/7 before, but I heard that when I am not on 24/7 it is a very, very boring show. I am here to give the media, the people and the boxing fans and non-boxing fans entertainment on 24/7.
Floyd on Ricky Hatton: I take my hat of to Ricky Hatton – a true warrior, a true champion. I think we had one hell of a fight when he faced each other. Whatever he is doing now, I wish him nothing but the best. The only thing he can do is keep his fingers crossed and hopefully he will do down in the Hall of Fame one day.”
Mayweather on a fight with Amir Khan:
“Once he faces the future of boxing – which is Jesse Vargas – my fighter, Amir Khan has a fight with Floyd Mayweather. But he must beat Jesse Vargas first. You must earn, you got to earn. He fought a Zab Judah that I fought six years ago. You know I fought a young, hungry, strong Zab Judah – he fought a Zab Judah that is a lot older. But, we want Amir Khan to fight Jesse Vargas. If Amir Khan gets past Jesse Vargas then Amir Khan has a fight with Floyd Mayweather.
Towards the end of the conference call Mayweather takes a shot a De La Hoya:
“Victor Ortiz said (on 24/7) that I look at De La Hoya like a God. You look at a guy who wears drag, does drugs, drink alcohol, commit adultery – like a God. He said you know I have never been a Floyd Mayweather fan, I have never liked Floyd Mayweather. Then you go back and watch ‘Face-off’ he says “Who doesn’t respect Floyd Mayweather and the things he has accomplished.” So we are getting mixed signals from this guy. What we call that from where I come from we call him a liar. So he must step up and be honest. I guess he is a little upset about his payday that he is getting. You know, you getting a Floyd Mayweather payday with 16 years of hard work and dedication, belief in a good team and that is exactly where I am at.”
Mayweather makes it clear that he beef with De La Hoya:
“There is something I didn’t like in 24/7. I didn’t like how Oscar De La Hoya first, like I told Mosley – you guys probably don’t remember, I told Mosley he wasn’t a partner in the company – Goldenboy. I told Mosley that a long time ago with Oscar De La Hoya. Ricky Hatton was his fighter and talked bad about Hatton, you know ‘Hatton was small’, and then Marquez – ‘Marquez was small’, and me ‘I was old’. Then he would talk about Mosley. These people are his fighters. That is what I have had said before, I take my hat off to Richard Schaefer, Richard Schaefer has done a hell of a job, we have got to call Goldenboy Promotions – Richard Schaefer Promotions.
Floyd’s final comments on the Ortiz fight: “It comes down to who wants it more, skill sets, who is more dedicated, who worked harder, and I truly believe he is going to come out and be at his best and he will fight extremely hard. Me, myself I just want to go out and do the same thing. It is going to be a star studded event on September 17th and the best man will win.”
Floyd on Floyd: “I make future hall of famers, good and great fighters look like ordinary fighters, just because I am not getting up off the canvas eight times like Rocky with a busted eye. It doesn’t mean that I am not an all time great or I am not the best fighter to go down in history. That doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t go down as the best fighter in history. I thought it was about coming into the sport and taking less punishment, winning, having all of your faculties and raising your family and representing the red, white and blue. And that is what I like to do.”
Mayweather-Ortiz takes place on Saturday 17th September in Las Vegas. It will be screened live on Primetime TV in UK and Ireland and coverage starts at 2am. *Primetime is on channel 480 on Sky, Virgin Media and will also be available with an online stream. And the PPV cost £14.95.
Primetime has confirmed their commentary team as Benny Ricardo, Wayne McCullough and in the studio – Steve Bunce, Andy Kerr, Duke McKenzie *The ‘Star Power’ pay-per-view features 3 WBC title fights:
WBC Welterweight Title: Floyd Mayweather vs Victor Ortiz
WBC Light Middleweight Title: Canelo Alvarez vs Alfonso Gomez
WBC Light Welterweight Title: Erik Morales vs Lucas Matthyse
Also included in the pay-per-view broadcast is undefeated Light Welterweight Jessie Vargas vs Josesito Lopez.
British fighter Anthony Crolla will be fighting the Mexican Juan Manuel Montiel in a contest to be shown Free To View on Primetime in the lead in to the pay-per-view broadcast.
You can order the card for only £14.95 by calling 08712004444, visiting www.primetimelive.co.uk or Virgin Media customers can purchase using the ‘On Demand’ menu.
Customers on Sky must register the first time they use Primetime and once registered can purchase using the ‘box office’ menu.