A Tale of Two Floyds
By JD Camacho, DoghouseBoxing.com (May 23, 2009)  
One is a brash-talking, bile-spewing, voice-raising prima donna. The other is a soft-spoken, calm and collected star athlete. Floyd Mayweather Jr. has dual public personalities he chooses to flaunt. But while the latter, quieter character once only emerged in post-fight interviews, this week’s string of media appearances in the United Kingdom for his next bout has provoked the politeness out of Floyd.

Consider what Mayweather told British news outlet SKY SPORTS about pound-for-pound rival Manny Pacquiao:

“I’m still one of the best fighters out there in the world, pound-for-pound. Manny Pacquiao is one of the best fighters in the world, pound-for-pound. But right now, we can’t just say he’s the best when I’m back [in boxing].”

And compare that with what Mayweather told ESPN’s Brian Kenny this week:

“Has Pacquiao been knocked out twice…has Pacquiao been outboxed by Erik Morales? Now who’s beaten me? That’s all I wanna know.”

Or, consider what Mayweather said to SKY SPORTS about why he came back to boxing:

“[I miss] everything about the sport. The atmosphere, the crowds, the fans, the people – everything about the sport of boxing.”

And what he said to ESPN:

“The sport needs the cash cow back. We already know what I can generate. We already know what I can do in the sport. We already know who is the face of boxing.”

And lastly, consider how Mayweather responded to SKY SPORTS when asked about his money and his legacy:

“Your legacy lives forever, but if you make enough money your great-great grand children are taken care of forever. So, both [are important]. But it’s a blessing to be in this position – to be making the type of money I’m making in this sport. It’s a blessing.”

And how he responded to the same question on ESPN:

“Just call me the cash king. Stacks don’t lie. I don’t fight for bragging rights – I fight for checks.”

Why is this? Why is Mayweather more cordial to the UK media – or, conversely, why is Mayweather more caustic to the US media? His media persona in Great Britain provides answers and sound-bytes that, while confident, portray an image of a respectful, humble athlete at peace with himself and his accomplishments. His persona in America offers up rants and rambles that express insecurity, impunity, and bravado.

Perhaps it’s because Floyd Mayweather is trying to appeal to a newer fan base in the United Kingdom, a fan base that last saw him verbally and physically thrashing one of its sports icons. Perhaps it’s because Floyd Mayweather feels threatened by journalists that challenge his status. Or maybe it’s because the United States public feeds off of controversy from its star athletes more so than its UK counterpart – though the plethora of British tabloids would suggest otherwise. In any case, the Floyd Mayweather personality that appeared in Great Britain this week is far more digestible to the public-at-large.

But without the polarizing ego, it’s much less tasty.


-Some say Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez is not a battle for the best. I disagree. Marquez is making three times as much as he’s ever made for a single fight, and he has a chance to leapfrog his counterpart Manny Pacquiao even if he can’t get him into the ring again. From Marquez’s perspective, this is what boxing’s all about…

-I hear hot prospect Victor Ortiz might get his own reality show. There couldn’t be a better choice among the admittedly shallow pool of potential American crossover stars. I hope AC Slater doesn’t spoil the show, though…

-Timothy Bradley might fight undefeated stylist Joan Guzman in early August. Bradley was stripped of one of his unified 140-pound belts for failing to fight unbeaten contender Devon Alexander. I don’t quite understand the reasoning here. It’s not like Joan Guzman is such a draw, and I’d rather have a unified title and a guaranteed fight against an attractive on-paper opponent rather than a single belt, a difficult assignment, and an opponent who might not even show up…

-Here’s example number 1000 why perception is everything in boxing: Of their last four opponents, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have challenged three of the same fighters. The former is showered with praise while the latter is bombarded with criticism. It’s the pre-fight perception of risk that draws the line between the two, not so much the actual opponents…

JD at: jdcamachorj@gmail.com

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