|Floyd Mayweather Jr; “I Called Ricky Hatton’s Bluff”
INTERVIEW By Gabriel Montoya (Sept 19, 2007) Doghouse Boxing
There is no more volatile interview in the sport of Boxing than Floyd Mayweather Jr. No subject challenges your focus as reporter more and no subject requires you to go with him or her on free form tangents across a multitude of subjects in mere seconds like Mayweather Jr. It was both my challenge and my pleasure to sit down and talk with the current linear Welterweight Champion and consensus Pound for Pound fighter in the world this past Monday. He was both candid and evasive. At times angry and others jovial and friendly. When he greeted me, he took my hand in both of his and declared we would become great
friends with all sincerity. I have included some of the questions the two other reporters present asked in our sit-down as well as random shout outs from nearby fans. This is the raw feed. For the first time ever, Doghouseboxing.com welcomes Floyd Mayweather Jr. into the Pound.
Gabriel Montoya: Floyd, who’re you wearing today?
Floyd Mayweather, Jr.: Mayweather.
FM: Custom cut. A cold piece of work. Mayweather with a (some watch I have never heard of but for those of you keeping score was covered in diamonds from face to band). 70 stacks. Money green socks. Money green and tan Gators.
Man in crowd: You’re the shit Floyd!!!
FM: (to man in the crowd) Yeah, baby. We both the shit. All of us.
MIC: You just get paid.
FM: True that. I do that. I get the most paper. Just tell him (laughing and referring to Hatton who is nearby talking to TV crews) 7 mil in two fights.
GM: Floyd, two things fight fans agree on; You are the consensus #1 pound for pound best fighter in the world and that they all want to see you in a tough fight. Do you think Hatton is that fight for you?
Floyd: They want a tough fight; they gotta bring a fighter to the table that can give me a tough fight. If you go back and look at the past, I’ve had toe-to-toe battles. But ...um… I take the less punishment but make the most money. They don’t say nothing when Peyton Manning outfit don’t get dirty. So same thing. My outfit hasn’t got dirty in awhile. But you know I am ready to get dirty December 8th. I’m ready to really get dirty and give this boy a toe-to-toe battle and punish him. Show him I can beat him at his game. All Ricky Hatton does is punch and hold, punch and hold. That’s not exciting.
GM: How do you get out of that?
FM: Well, the rules in Las Vegas, too much holding you gets a point taken away. (Looks at me to check my reaction. Smiles) Naaaw man. I’m just playin’. I’m not really worried about that. I haven’t really watched Ricky Hatton ‘cause he’s fought a bunch of guys that are straight up and down. Or a bunch of guys that are over the hill. When he fought Kostya Tsyzu, he was coming off a two-year layoff or a year layoff; Ricky Hatton took him eleven rounds. That’s totally disrespectful.
Question from reporter #1: The reason you are a 3-1 favorite is (inaudible due to low talking) more than any other thing, right?
FM: I fight smart. Oscar will tell you guys. I am a smart fighter. One thing that I love…Oscar is a good businessman. Remember, I told you, before I retire I said, the only way I am coming back is if me and Oscar…if me and Oscar does business again. So me and Oscar, we’re doing business. We got Mayweather Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions. It’s a great promotion and we’re having a ball. What else can I say?
GM: What title is more important to you; the welterweight title that you hold right now or Pound for Pound?
FM: I’m the …when you talk about Floyd Mayweather…belts doesn’t...belts don’t…if you never noticed…really do your homework. Ricky Hatton is making his biggest payday with Floyd Mayweather. Oscar De La Hoya is making his biggest payday with Floyd Mayweather. Zab Judah made his biggest payday with Floyd Mayweather. Baldomir made his biggest payday with Floyd Mayweather. It’s obvious that somebody’s the cash cow in this sport. Somebody’s the face of boxing. I’m the President of Boxing. We got the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, which is Leonard Ellerbe (seated to Mayweather’s left through the proceedings) and Vice President Al Haymon. I’m the President. I mean I feel great and tremendous, man.
GM: So that title means more to you than anything? Number one draw in the sport?
FM: No. What means a lot to me is just the sport period. The world knows that Floyd Mayweather is going to make it happen. People must realize that May 5th Cinco de Mayo, Floyd Mayweather done those numbers. Because people had a chance to come into my life and get a chance to see Floyd Mayweather. It’s common sense. People don’t look at stuff like this. When De La Hoya fought Mayorga, right? 900,000 fans bought the fight. My idea was 24/7 so once I came up with 24/7 people had a chance to come into my life and get a chance to know Floyd Mayweather and see Floyd Mayweather. So they said, you know what? We going to buy that kid. Not to say that Oscar’s not a good businessman because it took the both of us. Him going out and getting the good sponsors and me with my attitude and being the person that I am and the flash and the flair that I bring to the sport… aww man. It went out the roof.
Reporter #2: You said a lot of thing before the fight to hype up the fight and then afterwards you said that was just part of the promotion_____
FM: (cutting in) No, no. I’m pretty sure that…
R#2: I’m not saying about what happened today but …saying that you would retire, was that just so people would buy this fight more?
FM: No. Not at all. Not at all. Some things are just meant to be. If you noticed once a fighter get in the ring with me he’s more famous. He’s more famous. The fans love me…Oscar is bigger now than before he fought me. Ricky Hatton, just that he’s fighting me is bigger now.
R#2: Would you say that true of you, too? Getting in the ring with Oscar made you more famous?
FM: No because without Oscar the sky’s the limit. God don’t make mistakes.
R#2: Do you think that Oscar___
FM: Are you ready? ABC has 25 million people watching “Dancing with the Stars” without Oscar I have 25 million fans watching me dance on Dancing with the Stars.
Leonard Ellerbe: I been working on that for over a year.
FM: He has been working on that for over a year and a half.
R#2: Do you think without Oscar that 24/7 would have happened?
FM: 24/7 …why do you think…(to crowd yelling “Ricky”) Vicky! Vicky!
R#2: What other fighter could you have faced that would have brought in to where people they would have cared about both of you? I’m not saying they don’t care about Mayweather but you have to face a fighter that they are going to care about…
FM: (to crowd) He’s a wrestler. Your boy’s a wrestler. (Returning his attention to R#2)
GM: (jumping to save an awkward moment) At this point____
R#2: My question was____
FM: I’m not in this sport for the fame. It’s obvious before I ever fought Oscar I made 8 figures. It’s obvious that I’m doing something right. I’m a smart businessman and I have the best team in the sport of boxing. In sports period. For my team to go and get the type of numbers that they are getting…I mean…I’m the highest paid fighter in the sport of boxing. That’s active. With or without Oscar De La Hoya I’m going to make 8 figures. But Oscar and I realize that we need each other. We must realize that we’re not Bob Arum and Don King. We’re going to be able to get along. We’re going to be able to sit down and I’m not going to talk behind his back and say forget Oscar. I’m not going to say that. I understand that we do good business together. We have good chemistry. Even though we don’t talk on a regular basis but Richard Schaeffer and Leonard Ellerbe are always going to talk to each other because we know that the names Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather have a great chemistry together.
GM: Besides being a great fighter, a smart businessman, I know you are a boxing fan also. If you had to match you with someone who would give you your toughest fight, who would that be? In the current landscape right now.
FM: Not in the current. I’m going to say Aaron Pryor and Pernell Whitaker. Them would be my toughest fights.
R#2: Sugar Ray Leonard?
FM: I can’t really say. Sugar Ray is a helluva fighter. But if I had to say two fighters I would say Aaron Pryor and Pernell Whitaker.
R#2: Why would Aaron Pryor give you a tough fight?
FM: (Floyd and I exchange glances and laugh) He was unbelievable man. And Pernell Whitaker’s unbelievable. I take my hat off to guys like Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard. People must realize I gave this sport my whole life. I didn’t give this sport my whole life just to say there is fighter better than me. Just like you. You didn’t become a journalist just to say someone else is better than you even if they have more experience.
GM: Hell no.
FM: You must realize in Ali’s time he stood for a strong cause. In my era it’s totally different. Before you talk about boxing or any contact sport, you talk about Floyd Mayweather. I don’t go out and chase and look for deals. You guys have to realize I make a lot of sense if you just sit back and listen to me. Tiger Woods, right? Won 8 straight majors. Still had his deal with Nike. Still had his deal with Buick. And still be the great Tiger Woods. Why don’t Nike want a fighter like me that’s had 38 great nights and been at the top of his game for over a decade? I’m talking Flawless Floyd Money Making Mayweather. That’s what it is. Nike says they want athletes that’s different. I’m different. You getting the best. They talking about they want the best? This is the best. Write the check and I’m there. But if you don’t write the check guess what? I’m rich. Still.
Stay tuned for Part two where Floyd discusses why Hatton/Mayweather didn't happen sooner, Dancing with the Stars and why Mayweather vs. the winner of Cotto/Mosley is not in the cards.
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