Floyd Mayweather Jr. has decided he needs a little more support in this pesky war he’s waged against Manny Pacquiao, Top Rank and the like. So, who is he bringing in for reinforcements? 50 Cent? Floyd Mayweather Sr.? Unfortunately, no. Mayweather’s vision is much grander than that. He wants America on his side. Yes, America. Speaking with ESNNewsReporting.com recently, here is what Mayweather had to say: “I’m an American citizen and I want the American citizens to stand behind me. If you are the best, step up and take the test. That’s all I’m saying. If you don’t have nothing to hide, take the test. I represent this country and I want this country to get behind me. There’s no country like America, so whoever’s facing Floyd Mayweather, tell them they have to step up and take the test.” One of the more fascinating subplots of this endless Pacquiao v. Mayweather rivalry has been the level of support that both sides have gotten. Pacquiao, of course, has gotten unwavering devotion from his cult of loyal followers. He’s an international icon, politician and widely respected by most, so it was to be expected that he would have more support. Mayweather, on the flip side, experienced support in waves throughout this whole painful process. First, he had adamant boxing fans who may not even have been his fans (but respected his in-ring ability) who defended his right to challenge Pacquiao’s stance on performance-enhancing drug (PED) testing. Then, when Pacquiao agreed to Mayweather’s requirements and the latter still found a reason not to agree, the support began to waver. And, finally, over the last year and change when Mayweather consistently found time to run his mouth, but couldn’t find the time to work out the kinks to a possible fight, the support largely dissipated. Pacquiao has always been very Philippines-oriented. He often makes mention of his home country and the adoration he has for it. He frequently speaks in his native language. It’s known and accepted. But this is the first time that Mayweather has opted to invoke any sort of reference to America, though. The undefeated superstar has never been one for heavy patriotism in his speech so, why now? Maybe Mayweather is finally feeling the sting of zero support. Perhaps he now realizes that even certain people -- those who appreciated him from a distance despite the black hat he often chose to wear for his “Money” Mayweather brand -- have finally grown tired of his antics. It’s tough being the heel. It’s even tougher being the heel when you can’t even get the folks who go against the grain and root for whoever everyone else isn’t rooting for on your side. This America-first approach feels like a last ditch attempt. Mayweather has already lost the PR war against Pacquiao, Arum and Co., but he doesn’t realize it yet. He thinks that maybe, by playing off the patriotism in the U.S., he can drum up a little support at home. Sorry, Floyd – no go.
I like watching the “Mayweather-Ortiz 24/7″ episodes because unlike a lot of reality programming you see, you really get to catch these guys in a more natural environment. Sure, there are some staged events, but I don’t think the argument that took place between Floyd Jr. and Floyd Sr., his father and former trainer, was for the cameras. In fact, I’m wondering whether he would have preferred that it NOT be in front of a viewing audience. Then again, I could be very, very wrong. To call the two “estranged” from each other might be either an understatement or an exaggeration, depending on what time frame you were looking at. There have been plenty of stories written about it, as the father was the manager at first, before the son decided he didn’t want to act like someone who wanted to take orders anymore. The father established a reputation that he would use to hook on with other fighters, the most notable being Oscar De La Hoya. I can tell you that the father would have gotten into De La Hoya’s corner when he was fighting his son, had he been paid enough (allegedly $2 million). In other words, for the right money he was ready to create a family melodrama. But he got turned away by Oscar, which, well, sent him back into his son’s gym. I also know that the son was fully intent on throwing the father out of that gym, and hurled all kinds of insults at him; I’m not sure which one hurt the most, but I bet that it was the assertion that Roger Mayweather (Floyd Sr.’s brother and Floyd Jr.’s uncle) was a better trainer, even as he is being “tamed” by anger management counseling. LOL! Yeah, Floyd Sr. was probably incensed by all that because he really believes that he is the best trainer in the world. Who knows – he might be. It is very hard to tell about any of this these days, as “trainers” of all kinds piggy-back onto the careers of other fighters and get credit for their success, even after the fighters have achieved ten-round status and even a championship belt (or two). You can hear the son clearly, when his verbal jabs move find their range as he points out that De La Hoya was already a champion when the father came onto the scene. However, to be fair, all indications are that both Floyd Sr. and Roger (who won titles in two different weight divisions) had a hand in shaping Floyd into a highly-skilled boxer. Floyd Sr. gets the most credit for the gene pool, and his son acknowledges that. He also admits, “It all started with my father.” Things can turn explosive in an instant, as we have seen. Obviously when the son says “You can’t train nobody when you’re locked up,” you can tell that he’s a little hurt that his father wasn’t around during the formative years when Floyd Jr. was moving through the amateur ranks and into the Olympics, having been locked up for a drug offense. I don’t think the son has ever stopped making the father pay for that. Even though Roger himself got locked up for six months on assault charges, he essentially assumed his position as head trainer when he got out, while Floyd Sr. was given his walking papers. And the relations were strained all over again. I don’t know who feels less of a bond to the other, although Mayweather Sr. has never been shy about the insinuations that Manny Pacquiao, who represents the big cloud that looms over Floyd Jr., is a beneficiary of performance-enhancing drugs. When it comes down to it, a father is going stick with his own blood, or at least we know that’s the case when someone else is training the other fighter. Is blood thicker than money? The son called Floyd Sr., who most notably fought Ray Leonard in 1978 (losing on a tenth-round TKO) a “cab driver” as a fighter, and that “There are two Mayweathers that count,” meaning him and Roger. Ouch – that hurts too. And the “youngster” wants to make another thing crystal clear. “Motherf***er, I’m not no Junior.” Don’t you wish they could keep those cameras rolling year ’round? WBC Welterweight Title September 17 – Las Vegas The Charles Jay Line Floyd Mayweather -700 Victor Ortiz +600 Draw +4000 Fight goes full distance -160 Fight ends inside distance +150
During an hour-long conference call Wednesday promoting his upcoming clash with WBC welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz on Sept. 17 in Las Vegas, unbeaten six-time, five-division titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. addressed a number of topics, the most riveting of which was eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather (41-0, 25 knockouts) ripped Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) as having faced his "leftovers," referring to the fact that Pacquiao defeated Ricky Hatton and Shane Mosley after they already had already lost to him. Mayweather, 34, took shots at Pacquiao's lawsuit against him seeking compensatory and punitive damages for defamation of character, claiming that Mayweather has insinuated that the Filipino superstar's success over eight weight divisions is owed to performance-enhancing drugs. Pacquiao, who has never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, names in the lawsuit Mayweather Jr. his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., and his uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, for having "conducted a campaign in a set of interviews to make people think he used them." Mayweather also addressed Pacquiao's upcoming Nov. 12 defense against RING, WBO and WBA lightweight titleholder Juan Manuel Marquez, who was considered too small when Mayweather beat him. Mayweather also discussed why he chose to face Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs), whom he watched dethrone Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) as titleholder by a unanimous decision in April. Below are Mayweather's responses to various topics. On Pacquiao, a southpaw, and trainer Freddie Roach saying he is fighting Ortiz, a southpaw, to prepare for Pacquiao: "On one note, they're trying to take me to the court room. I prefer to hold court inside the squared circle. America's the country that I live in, and I'm all about being fair. If you truly believe that you're the best, then take the [drug] test. On one note, Freddie Roach and Team Pacquiao don't want me to speak on them at all. So, if you're at a [Juan Manuel] Marquez press conference, why is Floyd Mayweather's name coming up? "Unless you think you're on the same level as a Floyd Mayweather? That's all that I'm saying. Of course, as long as he attached to my name, he's going to make great pay days." On the notion that Pacquiao has faced his "leftovers:" "As long as he can keep fighting Floyd Mayweather's leftovers, or a fighter that has already been beaten, then the media has to really pay attention to this. They say Shane Mosley looked the best when he beat Antonio Margarito. "His next fight was against Floyd Mayweather. I'm only fighting him when they say that he was coming off of his best performance. So after I beat Shane Mosley, then he gets a draw. Like I said, fighters are never the same once they face me. "So then he fights Pacquiao. Once again, I beat him first. After Antonio Margarito gets beat by Mosley, then Pacquiao fights Margarito. Margarito cheats and beats Miguel Cotto and then, that's when Pacquiao says I want to fight Cotto. "I beat Hatton when he's undefeated, and then he goes and fights Hatton after I already beat him. He wasn't the same. Now, Marquez called me out. Once again, I took the Marquez fight, the guy that they had rated No. 2 pound-for-pound, after I had taken two years off. "Now they say that Floyd Mayweather is too big for Marquez, but he's not too big for Pacquiao, but they're the same size." On Pacquiao's increase in size and power: "It's okay for him to go from 105 to 154 and he gets knockouts, and they say, 'You know what? It's all natural. But if I went from 147 to heavyweight and was knocking out heavyweights, would that be all natural? That's what you've got to ask yourself at the end of the day. "Like I said before, I never accused anybody of doing anything. If anything, it's obvious that you must be hiding something. If I say I'm the best and you say you're the best, we're fighting for the best belts, we're fighting for the best titles in the world, and we're fighting in the best country in the world. "So you have to have the best testing, and that's all that I ask. And the thing is this, I'm not just picking on one guy. Everybody that I face has to take the test. Because this sport is a little different from how it used to be. It's tainted. So that's all I'm saying." On Pacquiao's lawsuit. "Once again, the guy says, 'I'm suing Floyd Mayweather for saying that I've done this or I've done that.' But you're still attaching your name to me, and you all are still speaking on me. You all are speaking on me, but you don't want me speaking on you guys at all." On whether Mayweather-Pacquiao will come off: "I'm not going to speak on this again. It's useless. If the guy wanted the fight, he could have been had the fight. You all know this. Where was the guy in '97? Where was the guy in '98?" On his health: "My health is more important than money." On the critics of his boxing skills: "Certain individuals call themselves boxing experts. But I feel like what better fighter if you want to build a fighter or pattern his style, what better fighter to use than Floyd Mayweather? "And that's not bragging or boasting, I just feel that I have the remedy and I know how to win, whether it goes the distance or it's a knockout. The main thing about life is winning in life. "...I've been dominating the fight game since Victor Ortiz was nine years old until now, and I'm still sharp." On the importance of retiring undefeated? "I feel like anything can happen on any given night. But, you know, if anything, if a fighter beats me, I want him to do it the honest way. The fair and honest way. "Because I've done it the fair and honest way for 16 years. No matter how much Floyd brags or boasts and no matter how much he talks about his money, when it's all said and done, I'm fair. So the only thing that I want to do is that I want to be treated fairly. That's all." On why he performed so well in knockout victories over Genaro Hernandez, Diego Corrales and Ricky Hatton: "They came to fight. Genaro Hernandez came to fight. We were banging toe-to-toe. I think he approached it like the best man was going to have to win. Hatton always approached fights like I'm going to win, and either you're going to get me or I'm going to get you. I think that even after Hatton faced me, I don't think that he was ever right again. "He was never the same. Same thing with Corrales, he was never right again once he faced me." On aging: "They say I'm still looking sharp, and they say that I'm still looking you...I still feel strong and I still feel sharp. When I get to the gym, once I get started, I'm a little different than ever other fighter. "I don't shadowbox. When I get to the gym, I just put my wraps on and get right into the ring and start sparring. So I'm a little bit different than any other fighter. Of course, I run at three or four in the morning. "I don't think as far as me deteriorating or losing skills, I think I'm still very, very sharp and still strong. The reason why is because I don't think that I've been in any toe-to-toe wars. "When a fighter gets into a lot of toe-to-toe wars, it's wear and tear on your body. I haven't taken no abuse, so I think God for blessing me with this great defense."
Unbeaten Mayweather, 41-0 with 25 knockouts, will face American southpaw Ortiz, 29-2-2 with 22 knockouts, on September 17 at Las Vegas for Ortiz's World Boxing Council welterweight crown. "I'm aggressive. I'm coming straight ahead," Mayweather said Wednesday. "I'm looking for the knockout. He's looking for the knockout. I can guarantee it won't go the distance." What has gone the distance are the court cases involving Mayweather, who faces up to 34 years in prison if convicted on all charges in a domestic violence dispute from last September involving former girlfriend Josie Harris. Pacquiao, 32, is suing Mayweather for defamation, saying the American dubbed him a dope cheat when pushing for extra blood tests for a much-awaited showdown that fell through when contract talks broke down in 2008. "I never accused nobody of doing anything," Mayweather said, although he later cited Pacquiao's reluctance to take the test and rise to power by saying, "it's obvious you must be hiding something. "If a fighter beats me, I want him to do it the fair and honest way. "If you're the best, take the test." A fight fan and a housing community security guard also have suits against Mayweather, who shrugged off the distractions. "I keep a clear head. I don't focus on nothing," Mayweather said. "Things happen in life. It's a roller coaster ride. Everything happens for a reason. Certain obstacles are put in front of me. I just feel no one can stop me." What could stop him are felony counts of grand larceny, coercion and robbery from an altercation with his former girlfriend. Mayweather said Harris claimed she was punched, stomped and beaten by him but added, "We're yet to see photos", and indicated drugs and alcohol could have been involved in perceptions of the incident. "There's a difference between holding somebody's hand and restraining someone," Mayweather said. Mayweather said he had "spoken enough" about whether or not he still wanted to fight Pacquiao, even as critics have charged he used the blood tests as a way to avoid a fighter who might beat him. Mayweather talked about how boxing was tainted by doping then how Pacquiao started rising among the ranks of top fighters later than some other fighters. "Let's make this make sense," Mayweather said. "I was born at night but not last night. I was born in the day but not yesterday. My health is more important than money." Mayweather said Pacquiao keeps talking about Mayweather and fighting foes whom Mayweather has already beaten because it makes the Asian star more money. "As long as he's attached to Floyd Mayweather, he's going to make great paydays," Mayweather said. "As long as he's fighting Floyd Mayweather's leftovers he's going to look great. Fighters are never the same once they face me." Mayweather said he would fight England's Amir Khan, provided Khan first beat undefeated American Jesse Vargas, who fights on the Mayweather-Ortiz undercard. "He's got to earn it," Mayweather said. "If Amir Khan gets past Jesse Vargas, Amir Khan has a fight with Floyd Mayweather." Ortiz, 10 years younger than Mayweather at age 24, offers Mayweather a southpaw in his prime, what many see as a perfect tuneup fight for Pacquiao but what Mayweather calls a solid test of his conditioning and skills. "That's why this has been my longest training camp thus far, because we wanted to make sure we're ready for a guy that is 10 years younger," Mayweather said. "We will be ready." Mayweather has not fought since stopping Shane Mosley in May of 2010 and has fought only twice since stopping Britain's Ricky Hatton in December of 2007. "I haven't showed (ring rust) thus far. I just try to focus on doing my job," Mayweather said. "I try to be disciplined. I keep myself in shape." Mayweather is engaged to model Shantel Jackson, saying her strength has helped him through the tough times. "Going through everything, it's nice to have a strong lady behind you," said Mayweather. "She has never judged me. She says we live and learn. She doesn't judge me. She is very important in my life."