BOB ARUM, CHAIRMAN, TOP RANK: I want to welcome you to this conference call. It’s really a pleasure as we get down to crunch time. We have the best fighter in the world, “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather, on this call. Floyd, I know, can’t wait for April 8th to show everybody once again how truly talented he is. In my opinion, yesterday [March 29, 1966 - Ali v. Chuvalo] was my 40th year in boxing and “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather, next to the early Muhammad Ali, is the best fighter that I’ve ever seen.
So I turn this over to the best pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather.
“PRETTY BOY” FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Hey, how are you all doing? I just wanted to, you know, say “hi” to all the media and tell them that you guys – you guys are the reason why athletes are where they’re at because all the exposure that you give fighters. And I just wanted to get the taste of Bob Arum, one of the best promoters in boxing history. I just want to keep dedicating myself and giving the fans quality fights. I mean, Floyd Mayweather is the type of fighter that’s not dodging anybody. I’m willing to fight the best they got there from Micky Ward to Ricky Hatton, it doesn’t matter whoever they put in front of me.
April 8th is a big day for me. I know Zab Judah is going to bring his “A” game. I’m not overlooking this guy. I’m focused, I’m in tremendous shape, I had a beautiful training camp and I feel great. And come April 8th, I look forward to being the same (INAUDIBLE) I just want to give everybody a good fight.
CHUCK JOHNSON, USA TODAY: This promotion is being billed “Sworn Enemies,” and apparently you guys used to be friends. So I just wanted to know what was the start of the enemies part? How did it go from friendship to being enemies?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: What I’m really saying that the problem is this, I think Zab is really upset because he’s not in my shoes. After my amateur career was over, I think I made the best decision I could possibly make, which was going with Bob Arum. He’s [Zab] upset because of his position. That’s not my fault. I think he’s been wanting to fight on HBO and be in my shoes. I can’t help it that he’s in the predicament that he’s in. I’m happy – I’m happy with the way my career went.
CHUCK JOHNSON: So, some people mentioned a sparring session you guys had maybe helping along you guys dislike for each other. Can you tell me about that sparring session?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Well, really what happened was Top Rank is the company that I’m with. I love being with Top Rank. So, my gym time every day is 3:00 p.m. at Top Rank Boxing Gym, so, I let, you know, I let Zab, you know, I talk to Bob Arum, he said it’s OK for Zab to train even though Zab is Don King’s fighter, he said it was OK for him to train in the gym. He’s a (INAUDIBLE) friend, so it’s OK for him to train in the gym.
I get to the gym like 3:15 p.m. one day, and I see Rahman is in the gym – I see Rahman is in the gym with Zab. I could tell by how everything was looking there’s going to be a problem. So once I get to the gym, I see Rahman who said, Floyd, the guy you’re fighting is “Chop Chop [DeMarcus Corely].” I said yes. He said, he’s the “soft ball” (ph), right? I said, yes, he’s a “soft ball” (ph). He said, well, Zab’s the soft ball (ph) and you’re the one with the network, (ph) do you? I said – I said, you know me, I work with anybody. You know, everybody at the gym said “Oooooo.”
So I guess once I went in the back, I mean, I saw Rahman pump Zab up to talk to him about working with him. So then Leonard [Ellerbe] came in the back and said, Floyd, you and Zab – I guess Leonard was out there and he heard them talking. So, Leonard (ph) came in and said, Floyd, you and Zab are going to box at the end of this week or next week. I said, there’s no problem. I’ll box him whenever.
So, when Zab came back there, it was just me and him back there, we was talking with (INAUDIBLE) and he was like he was beating around the bush like he wanted to work. So I said (INAUDIBLE) you don’t have to beat around the bush. If you want to work, we can work. He said, yes, we can work. I said, let’s work today.
Then he tried to let, you know, he didn’t want to let his pride get in the way, because he was already upset because earlier that week we had played basketball, like four games of basketball, and I had beat him in front of all of his friends real bad. I beat him like 12 to like four (INAUDIBLE). I beat him so easily in basketball.
So I guess why he was out here at that particular time, he wanted to test himself against me in sports, and I came out on top each time, and I guess he didn’t like that. So, I guess he’s upset and he feels like he can prove himself under the light (ph). He feels he’s going to be a better fighter, so we’ll see who (ph) (INAUDIBLE).
CHUCK JOHNSON: So what actually happened in the sparring session?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Well, actually, first round, we had a feeling out (ph) round, you know. You know – actually, to tell you the truth, I didn’t even want to come out too hard on Zab. I was like, no, I don’t want to do this because once I felt him out like, man, no – this guy – he can’t mess with me. It was a feeling out round because I didn’t go for my bag of tricks.
So we started off boxing, once we started off boxing, it was cool. We didn’t start talking (ph) the first round. Next round we come out, and, the gym, you know, the gym was kind of – because I didn’t want to record it because I didn’t really want to embarrass him. That’s why I didn’t record it.
CHUCK JOHNSON: You mean …
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I pitched (ph) it. I mean, I can download it on the computer and show everybody if they want to go on the computer tonight. I didn’t want to embarrass him, so second round we come up, he gets to talking. Once he gets to talking, I said, you know, that’s exactly what I wanted you to do. Now you’re talking and now I’m able to put the (INAUDIBLE) on you.
Then, you know, I got the best on him easy. I mean, it was like, to be honest, it was some easy work. And this is – this is the same (ph) guy (ph), you know, before, they talk all this trash, you know, talk so much trash, call me “punk”, call me “pretty girl” and all this. Now, this guy doesn’t even want to cooperate, or the promotion. They’re selling the fight.
You know, whatever my promoter needs me to do, and whatever – wherever he wants me to be, whatever time he wants me to be at, whatever city he wants me to be in, I’m going to be there. It’s about cooperating and being a businessman and being a gentleman and respecting the media.
And that’s how the fight (ph) game goes. I’m here – I’m here to be a fighter inside the ring and outside the ring. It’s about being a professional and he (INAUDIBLE) that’s the reason why he can’t be in my shoes because he don’t know how to conduct himself like a professional.
I mean, no matter what they say about me, I can conduct myself like a professional outside the ring and inside the ring. As far as you know, you see how he acts, he’s a hot head. You know, punching – when he and Baldomir in the middle the ring, he hit him with a low blow. I mean, man, you supposed to show sportsman-like conduct, and that’s not sportsman-like conduct.
CHUCK JOHNSON: So, I mean, it sounds like just from the sparring session alone, you know – you’re supremely confident you’re going to win this fight?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I mean, you can never overlook a guy because just because the guy – that’s like Ross Thompson and and Oba Carr. Now, Ross Thompson dominated Oba Carr in a sparring session, but once they got under the lights, Oba Carr dominated him. I know he’s going to bring his “A”game. He’s training – I know he’s training tremendously hard.
But, you know, there’s a lot of other things that it’s going to take, and he can’t make no mistakes with me. If he makes one mistake, he’ll have to pay.
CHUCK JOHNSON: OK. So how many rounds did you guys actually spar there, Floyd?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I don’t really know how many rounds. I mean, it couldn’t – it didn’t go too many because it got – it really got out of hand real bad.
CHUCK JOHNSON: Is that right?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Yes. (INAUDIBLE) Actually, this is what happened. My Uncle Roger was up on the ring apron. He’s like, no, his daddy’s got to stop this because it’s not cool. His dad [Yoel Judah] was like, ‘get out of the ring.’ He [Zab] was like, no, let me keep going. He [Yoel] said, ‘Man, get out of that ring before that man kills you.’
ROBERT MORALES, LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: Floyd, I have a question for you and then Bob, I have one for you. Floyd, you know, I don’t know anybody that doesn’t consider you the best fighter in the world pound for pound, and you know, I just have to tell you myself, you’re one of the most talented fighters I’ve ever seen period and just watching boxing for the past 40 years. With that said, how much pressure is there being that number one guy, knowing that every time you go out there to perform, people are expecting something really special from you?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Well, each time I’m trying to take myself to the next level. And, you know, everybody else on the phone listening. I just want to let everybody know, I never try duck or to dodge no opponent. You know, anytime – just like after the Arturo Gatti fight, I was willing to fight Ricky Hatton. And so, you know, Oxxi Atti (ph), you know, Keith (ph) said that this guy, Ricky Hatton, wants to fight. This guy isn’t even on my level. OK, this guy isn’t even on my level.
I mean, he got to realize he’s fighting guys like Vince Phillips a couple of years ago and went the distance with Vince Phillips, a guy who struggled and killed himself to make more for (ph) his whole career.
And, so I’m the type of guy, I never duck – I dodge nobody so, whatever, whoever they put in front of me, I’m willing to beat. And I’m just, like I said before, I’m always trying to – I’m testing myself. I always want to look better.
When I fought Sharmba Mitchell, I was testing myself. I was trying to look better than the Gatti fight, you know, I rushed. I feel I should’ve took my time [during the fight.] But, I’m ready and I’m going to give an exciting show.
ROBERT MORALES: Thanks – Bob, you know, it seems to me like Floyd right at this particular moment is probably at his most marketable. How – do you agree with that? And if so, how, as his promoter, can you take advantage of that?
BOB ARUM: Well, I think he’s probably at his most marketable up to now, but I think it’s just starting. I think that the public now is beginning to appreciate this man’s talent and as the most talented fighter in the world, he will be in the position to be the biggest attraction and make the most money. I think one thing will naturally follow the other and as long as he – as he said, is cooperative with the media, knows and understands promotion, the sky is the limit.
I really believe that before he’s finished, he will earn more money than any fighter in the history of boxing.
CLIFTON BROWN, NEW YORK TIMES: I was wondering after Zab lost his last fight, you came close to not wanting the fight and Zab (INAUDIBLE) made this fight and (INAUDIBLE), what made you decide to go on and fight Zab anyway?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: It’s not really that because it’s like to me, when – if I ever get a guy hurt, I’d put – let’s be honest, I’m not just a good finisher, I’m a great finisher. Everybody knows for me to really get a guy hurt, I could finish him, even in big fights. That’s something where Baldomir should’ve done. When he had Zab hurt, he should’ve stopped Zab. Zab was able to bob and weave, and move and get out of the way. I feel that the job wasn’t finished – I feel the job wasn’t finished.
And so, if a guy like Baldomir says, I’m the type of guy who’s never made a million dollars, but give me two or $3 million, that says to him, I don’t want to fight Mayweather. So, I’m saying, well, I’ll fight the guy who Baldomir fought but he didn’t knock out; he went the distance with.
So, all I’m saying is it’s obvious he had a bad night. He’s (INAUDIBLE) he had a bad night. With me, he may come out and have a great night; that don’t mean he going to win. But he may come out and his stuff (ph) may rise again.
CHUCK JOHNSON: Yes, I just wanted to ask you, Floyd, how close were you guys? Were you ever really close? I mean, you know, you describe it as friendship, but were you guys really close?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: It’s more like this, I’m begin honest, and when I’m on the phone, I must say this, I got to give all the thanks to the big man above because without God, all this wouldn’t be possible. I’m just going – I’m just – I’ve got a great promoter. I mean, I have a great promoter. He’s always taken care of me from the beginning of my career.
Bob has, you know, I would never forget him. He’s always bought me the best gifts and he bought me the finer things as his fighter. And of all of his fighters, I think, Bob has bought me probably the nicest things. I would never forget him.
The beginning of my career, he bought me a Lexus, Range Rovers, all the diamond watches when no other fighters had this. When no other young fighters had this. I had Ferraris, and Bentleys, and this fighter’s been jealous. But he’s been so jealous of me and I can’t help it.
I mean, and all I’ve done was really dedicate myself, and the thing that sets Floyd Mayweather apart from any other fighter is because I know at 3:00 a.m. in the morning fighters are asleep. When those fighters are asleep at 3:00 a.m. in the morning, I’m at 24-Hour Fitness working out. While those fighters are asleep at 4:00 a.m. in the morning, I’m putting seven miles and eight miles in. While they sleep – while they sleep, at 2:00 a.m., take me to the gym so I can work out again. So that’s what’s giving me the extra edge, and that’s what put me in the position to be able to have the finer things in life.
Like I said before, this is a guy – you know, Don King’s talked about – he’s going to do this, he’s going to do that. I mean, let your fighter step up and talk. I mean, it’s more like this, my promoter has been – over the years, has been a hell of a promoter. He knows he’s the promoter – I can see why my promoter never wants to do business with him, because this guy’s nothing but a thief (ph). You know, Don King knows he’s a thief (p) and he (INAUDIBLE) fighters for years.
Now my promoter up there is one of the greatest promoters that ever lived.
CHUCK JOHNSON: So it sounds to me like you’re saying that basically Judah looked up to you with envy more or less than a friendship.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Like when he – like he’s really – in his heart, he’s really a fan. I mean, I’ve seen this guy sit many days at the gym and watch me even when he was fighting Kostya Tszyu. I said, Zab, let me go over the game plan, which I gave him the game plan on how to beat Kostya Tszyu. If he had just stuck to the game plan. He was playing to the crowd, wanting to be playing games and playing to the crowd. And this is a business. You can’t – that’s what – it’s not about that. It’s about winning.
DAN RAFAEL, ESPN.COM: Hey, Floyd, let me ask you about Zab Judah. You’ve alluded to it earlier in the call. He’s done a lot of talking, a lot of smack talk even before this fight got made, and now the fight’s made and we’re getting real close to the fight, and all of a sudden, he’s starting to clam up, he doesn’t want to talk. He skipped the press conference on the telephone with the media yesterday that was advertised he would be there. They made up excuses like he’s focusing, he’s, you know, working in the gym. Do you think that it’s – he’s really trying to stay focused on the fight and concentrating on it? Or do you think that, you know, he’s starting to tighten up a little bit. He doesn’t really want to hear us asking him questions about him losing?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: It’s more like just sitting down in your house on the speakerphone talking. You can’t lose focus on that. There’s no way you could lose focus on that. I told everybody, I will shut Zab Judah up. I’m just surprised it happened this early.
DAN RAFAEL: So you’re not surprised that this is happening. You are surprised, I mean.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Oh, you know, I mean – I mean, I know every night when he’s over there at that hotel and he can’t sleep. I know, he’s tossing and turning because he know he’s fighting – he’s fighting a fighter that’s tougher than Kostya Tszyu, he’s fighting a fighter that’s better than Baldomir, and he knows that he’s got to put it all on the line. You know, when he come there to fight me – as far making the way, he better make the way one time. He’d better come prepared mentally and physically. He’d better be ready because I’m ready. I’ve never been in shape like this in my life.
DAN RAFAEL: Floyd, in addition to maybe him tightening up a little bit and getting a little nervous because, you know, showing that – in terms of not wanting to talk to the press or even think about what happened in his last fight, does it aggravate you because you guys are getting paid handsomely, but you’re also working for the upside to make sure this fight sells as many subscriptions as possible, as many tickets are sold as possible, and it seems to me that he’s not there pulling his weight on the promotion.
Does that upset you because in essence if he’s not …
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: It’s like this, like I told you before, he’s a hot head. He don’t understand business, and that’s what he has to learn. He’s got to understand business – this is a business, it takes two as far as this fight. You know, I sold this fight. Floyd Mayweather sold this fight.
This guy hasn’t been cooperating from the beginning. The reason why this fight is sold out is because of me. Remember, this guy just went to his home town and he didn’t sell 3,500 tickets. Like I said before, I know he’s going to be ready, and I’m not overlooking him, but whatever I talk I can back it up.
DAN RAFAEL: Floyd, do you think this is your, you know, a lot of people use the phrase it’s your toughest challenge about his fight or that fight. Do you view this as perhaps your toughest challenge or maybe your toughest challenge since maybe the Corrales fight? How do you place this fight and its meaning in the context of all the things you’ve accomplished in your career so far?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: It’s one of my toughest challenges. And I feel that’s when I rise to the occasion, in my toughest challenges. I feel this is one of my toughest challenges. He’d better not showboat – he cannot make no mistakes with me. That’s one thing he cannot do. A fighter makes a mistake – if I see one mistake in a fighter, and he can’t make a mistake because he ain’t got the best chin. And then what he says, you know, he always says I can’t punch. So come April 8th, he’ll find out if I can punch.
CHRIS MURRAY, PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE: Actually, I have a two-part question, one for you and one for your promoter. Number one, what is the flaw, what are the specific flaws in his game, if you can talk about them, that makes you think you can go in and take Zab Judah apart?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: To be honest, if I sit on the phone and give you the game plan, then that’s me not being a professional.
CHRIS MURRAY: Right.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I know the mistakes that he makes, but he doesn’t know the mistakes that he makes. That’s what puts me – that’s why I’m where I’m at today because so many fighters have made mistakes and I was able to counter (ph) up their mistakes.
CHRIS MURRAY: Right. Do you think he comes in a lot of times not mainly (ph) focused like in the Baldomir fight and everything? Do you think that he’s the type of fighter that just doesn’t just come in as mainly (ph) focused on his professional say you – as you do?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I guess we (INAUDIBLE) approach (INAUDIBLE). I approach every fight like it’s a huge fight. I guess some fights he approaches like it’s a big fight. Some fights he don’t approach like a big fight.
CHRIS MURRAY: OK. My next question is for – is for Bob Arum. With Zab Judah’s loss, do you think as a promoter, that this fight may have a lost a little luster with Judah’s loss?
BOB ARUM: A loss is never good to be really candid with you, but I think most people who follow boxing realize that Judah crapped around, didn’t train for that fight, and that wasn’t Zab Judah in the ring with Baldomir. And that having lost that fight and realizing that his back was against the wall here, as he will probably put up a much better fight because he’s fighting for his life in effect than if he had just won a victory over Baldomir.
So, I think that people who were sophisticated in boxing realized that in a funny way, Judah losing to Baldomir will make his fight with Floyd much better, maybe even much more competitive.
KEVIN IOLE, LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Do you think if Zab was fighting Gatti, he could beat Arturo Gatti?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I really – I really can’t say because Styles make a great fight. I think Gatti’s going to beat Baldomir because Styles make a great fight. Gatti’s a big puncher and he could take – Gatti could take some punishment for awhile, and I believe all you got to do is get cross (ph) slipped (ph) once with Gatti and you know, everybody (ph) have his lights out.
KEVIN IOLE: I guess the question about Zab, is a lot of people – and Bob just alluded to him, you know, fighting Baldomir, but it wasn’t just Baldomir, was it? I mean, he looked bad against Rafael Pineda as well as Kostya Tszyu and what not, so – I mean, he’s come up short in a number of big fights, hasn’t he?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Well, all I heard that, you know, it’s like Holyfield. When Holyfield lost some fights and looked bad in the past, they thought it was over for him. And he came back and became world champion again on a couple of occasions. So, you can never count a man out.
KEVIN IOLE: Do you feel, Zab is the kind of guy that is going to go in there and trade with you? He says he’s going to knock you out. Or do you think that’s just bluster (ph) and he’s going to try to stay on the outside and keep away, you know, keep away?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: You just never know what could happen in a fight. I don’t know Zab’s going to come. I mean, he knows, of course, if he’s coming in the fight super hard early, he knows, I’m known for drawing (ph) him down the stretch. So, one thing you don’t want to do is go in deep waters and try to fight hard with me. You’ll either get broken down or it’s going to be lights out.
KEVIN IOLE: When you sparred him over Top Rank, did he, you know, try to bring it to you, you know, and try to show you his power thinking he was the bigger guy?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: No, I backed him up. He didn’t back me up.
LEM SATTERFELD, BALTIMORE SUN: Hey – listen, I know you’re sparring with DeMarcus Corley and you’ve been sparring with him. It looks like he gives you a real good look (ph) not only at a southpaw, but, you know, because he’s been in the ring with Zab, not that you didn’t already know that from your own sparring sessions. But, can you kind of talk about what nuances that allows you to incorporate?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: You know, me and “Chop Chop,” we talk. He comes over my house – he came to my birthday party. A real good guy. Actually, he’s a friend of mine. I mean, he don’t really speak too much about Zab – nothing bad to say about Zab. He just, he comes to work. And not only that, I’m the type of guy I don’t try to ask questions about another opponent. I may ask my team, because my team watches tapes.
One thing Leonard [Ellerbe] and my Uncle Roger said is, Zab makes a lot of mistakes. That’s all they said. I’ve seen Zab fight. I went to his fights and I rooted for Zab. (INAUDIBLE) I rooted (ph) for him, you know, I rooted (ph) for him.
You know, more – like they always said, most guys that can give you can’t take it. He’s OK – he may have a big punch, a lot of guys you ought to see me in there with. I’ve been in with some of the biggest punchers in boxing saying they’re going to knock me out. Everybody knows that if I haven’t been knocked out in a decade, I’m not going to be knocked out come April 8th.
LEM SATTERFELD: When you fought DeMarcus, you made the choice to stand in front of him, you took some of his shots, you came back and hurt him a few times, and he said, your speed was the difference. When you’re sparring with him now, do you try to emulate Judah’s style or do you try to, you know, kind of at times tough it out like you did in your fight with DeMarcus earlier?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: You realize fighters – every fighter don’t approach the fight the same. I mean, you go see Zab – Zab may fight Kostya Tszyu’s fight one way, he may fight Cory Spinks’ fight one way. And he may fight Rafael Pineda another way. He may fight Baldomir another way. So, guys will fight – they never bring the same – he’s not going to bring the same style – he’s not going to approach the fight the same way that he approached the fight with another guy. He going to have his “A” game where he’s going to be very focused mentally, and of course, you know, just – our genetics, both of our bodies are going to look good, of course, because of his genetics and my genetics. But come April 8th, he just better be willing to die in the ring because, man, there’s blood, sweat and tears with me. I’m putting it all on the line.
LEM SATTERFELD: OK – last question, what then is the benefit of having DeMarcus Corley as your sparring partner? (INAUDIBLE)
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: He’s been great. I mean, he let me put in my last two fights.
LEM SATTERFELD: (INAUDIBLE) this fight?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: It’s been great. DeMarcus Corley has been, and I’m talking about great. We have really – he’s been a tremendous – and he’s not just sparring partner, he gives me tremendous work. I don’t even call guys sparring partners. He’s been – he’s been tremendous help. A guy who comes to the gym and he helps me, so he’s been a tremendous help. And I think he’s going to be – he’s going to be a world champion soon because I believe he’s going for the WBC super lightweight title, my belt.
LEM SATTERFELD: Who punches harder, him or Judah?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: DeMarcus – yes, he punches harder than Judah.
ROBERT MORALES: Yes, again, I have one for each – Floyd and Bob. Floyd, when you hear your promoter say that in his 40 years of promoting other than the young Muhammad Ali, you are the best fighter he’s ever seen, what runs – what runs through your mind when you hear Bob Arum say that?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: You know, I appreciate Bob. You know, everybody – there’s life, we’re going to have our ups, we’re going to have our downs. But, when it’s time to go to a fight, we know it’s business and we have to get along. And like I said, he’s one of the best promoters to ever live. Everybody knows – when Hall of Fame was all said and done, when my career is all over, we got the best guys with the best. The best fighter ever with the best promoter ever, and it’s just an honor to be with Bob Arum. And I could remember when I first signed – when I went into his office, I used to always say, I’m going to be the best fighter you ever had.
And, you know, it’s tired laughing, tired smiling. I say, what, soon your honesty (ph) – everything’s going to time, you guys will see. And, you know, eventually, you know, everybody will see.
ROBERT MORALES: Hey, Bob, what makes you say – we all know all the fighters you’ve been involved in, all the fighters you’ve seen, what makes you say that Floyd is the best fighter you’ve seen in 40 years other than the young Muhammad Ali?
BOB ARUM: Well, you know, there are a number of aspects that make a great fighter. One is speed. His speed is phenomenal. The way he throws punches, phenomenal. The way he is conditioned, phenomenal. I mean, he’s the entire whole package. And beside all of those skills, he is the – again, put Ali aside – and I was just those couple of years with Ali were, I mean, maybe because my eyes were younger then, but put Ali aside, other than Ali, he’s the most intelligent fighter that I have ever seen. I mean, Floyd, this is no bullshit; Floyd can see a punch coming before the other guy knows he’s going to throw it. Do you understand that? I mean, I have never seen such ring intelligence that Floyd demonstrates.
And so he’s the whole package, and you know, Ray Leonard was a great fighter, Marvin Hagler was a great fighter, Duran certainly was great, Oscar had a couple of years where he was very good, but there’s nobody that is a whole package like Floyd.
DAN RAFAEL: Hey, Floyd – first thing, I just wanted to clarify with you, in the sparring session that we’ve talked about where you had your way with Zab Judah, was that the only time you’ve ever sparred together?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Oh – yes. We only sparred once. Like I said before, I mean, I’ve never had it against Zab. You know, I always – to be honest, I never had it against Zab. It all started, I guess, after I beat Arturo Gatti, he was mad. He was mad that he was – the undisputed world champion, and I wasn’t even an undisputed world champion. He was mad because he was undisputed world champion, he was nowhere in the top 10 – in the top 10 pound for pound. So, I guess he had a chip on his shoulders.
So basically, I told him, you got a chip on your – if you don’t like the position that you’re in, if you don’t like the position that I’m in, you can come down and nail (ph) my position; you could have my position.
DAN RAFAEL: Let me ask you one other question, a lot of times over the course of your career, I can remember you talked to the media about, you know, you want the respect, your pound for pound and that that was something that you wanted to get in the ring and prove to the fans, prove to the other fighters, prove to the media, et cetera. Well, it seems to me you’re in a position now where you have universal recognition as the number one fighter in the world, pound for pound, you know, regardless of titles, and belts and all that, that you’re the best guy. Do you still have a little bit of that chip on your shoulder or is that gone where you realize that you’re accepted as the best fighter in the world? And if so, how do you then stay hungry because you don’t need to get that recognition because you’ve already got it?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Because, I don’t – actually, I really wanted to be, you know, I’ve been lost (ph) in that spot. I told you guys when I was at 130, I was in that spot. But I’m blessed. And all that stuff just, honestly, all that stuff, I don’t – I don’t – when I get up, when on that – when on that road (ph), I run, you know, I take it that extra mile. When I’m in that gym, I take it to the extra level because I know, like I said before, I’ve been – I mean, the guy that’s going to beat me, he ain’t even born yet. So, already know this. I mean, it’s blood, sweat and tears for me. This is what I love. I always find a way to win. Remember that.
DAN RAFAEL: You know like you have that respect then that you’ve always desired?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Oh, yes – I mean, and it feels good. It feels good to – for the people to finally know. And it’s more like, you know, I always to try to tell the people, man, it’s more like, you know, I’m not trying to dodge nobody. I’m willing to fight the best to even become (INAUDIBLE) you had to be, you know, you had to be somebody before you even say that. A lot of former champions and a lot of champions to even get that – to even get that type of recognition. And you’re going to be at the top of your game for an extremely long time. I mean, I appreciate the media and all the people and all the magazines. And, of course, you know, I appreciate Bob Arum, the best one ever.
KEVIN IOLE: Hey, Floyd, I wanted to ask you last year at the Boxer Writer’s Awards Dinner, you were kind of getting in Ray Leonard’s face. Do you remember that, and what were you saying to him, and if you guys had ever fought, what do you think would happen?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Well, no, you know, it’s nothing but respect for Ray. He’s one of the best. It was – we were joking. It really was not disrespect. I respect Ray Leonard. I mean, Ray Leonard was – he was the best in his era, like I’m the best in my era. Now, we were just joking. Every time he sees me, he’d always be sizing me saying, Floyd, you couldn’t beat me, you couldn’t beat me.
You know, but it’s nothing but – it was joking, and then when he said (INAUDIBLE) he basically said to me, he said, basically, he was like, you know, Floyd, you know, you can’t mess with none of us. Something about that. He said, you can’t mess with none of us. And he said, me and you the same type of fighters; we’re real classy. I appreciated that coming from Ray Leonard. (INAUDIBLE) he’s a legend – a living legend.
KEVIN IOLE: Bob obviously made a big statement when he said you’re the best fighter he’s seen since the young Ali. I just wanted to ask your opinion, who do you think is the best fighter you’ve seen, excluding yourself, and how do you think you would’ve matched up if you were to been in the ring with Leonard or Ali, as a welterweight?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I can’t say. I can’t speak upon a legend like that. I’m just happy to be even mentioned in the same breath as a Ray Leonard or a Muhammad Ali. It’s nothing but the utmost respect. I mean, I just feel I’m blessed even to be – somebody even say, Floyd Mayweather and Sugar Ray Leonard name in the same sentence. So that’s the best, fellows.
KEVIN IOLE: When you put your all-time list of fighters together, who were the two or three guys on top in your mind that you would rate as the greatest fighters?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I’m at home, so let me write this down. I mean, Pernell Whittaker – OK. Pernell Whittaker is one. It’ll be a good list. Pernell Whittaker, Aaron Pryor, Marvin Hagler, Michael Spinks, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Roberto Duran.
KEVIN IOLE: That’s a pretty good list.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Tommy Hearns, Larry Holmes.
KEVIN IOLE: What about Ray, you haven’t mentioned Ray Leonard? Did you include him?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Yes, he’s there – Sugar Ray Leonard.
KEVIN IOLE: OK – yes, you hadn’t said him yet, so.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Sugar Ray Leonard, there’s so many – there’s so many.
KEVIN IOLE: Well, that’s a – that’s a pretty good list. And lastly, you know, I want to ask you just about when you compare yourself to some of these great fighters, most of those guys that you mentioned on that list, a vast majority, Tommy Hearns is still trying to fight now, other than, you know, maybe Marvin and Michael they all stayed a long the past time they were in the primes and they got, you know, beaten badly in a lot of spots. Could you ever envision yourself, you know, doing that or do you plan to go out on top?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Like I said before, Kevin, to make – well, right now, I feel good. I never really took no abuse in the sport. I feel great. But the kid that’s going to beat Floyd Mayweather hasn’t been born yet. Yes, he may, he may have been born – it may be one of my sons.
CHRIS MURRAY: What do you think this fight’s going also really come down to? Is it going to be your speed, your quickness, your ability to kind of, you know, throw the jab in there, get them out of there quickly, or what will this fight come down to?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Determination, heart. I mean, smarts. It’s going to come down to smarts. It’s going to come down to smarts, intelligence, dedication to (INAUDIBLE).
CHRIS MURRAY: And you say you have those things more so than Zab Judah does?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I mean, of course. I mean, you know, I’m in the sport to win and be the best. It’s going to be a hell of a fight, you know. I mean, I don’t think it’s going to be a cake walk in the park for me, but, you know, I put (ph) anything – I talk what I can back up, so it’s going to be a hell of a fight. I know he’s going to – he’s going to come – he’s going to come, he’s going to come swinging his (INAUDIBLE), and I’m going to come focused and I will be the same old Floyd.
CHUCK JOHNSON: Following up on what Kevin Iole was asking you about staying around too long. But what is it about boxing that apparently some guys just can’t leave? I mean, you look at Tommy Hearns still trying to fight and Bernard Hopkins said he was going to retire and he’s back trying to challenge Antonio Tarver. What is it about boxing and what do you think about guys staying around too long in the sport?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I mean, this sport is – I guess, boxing is a like a drug. It keeps calling you. Boxing is a like a drug. I mean, it’s some – that you can always test yourself at. And then, when you’re older, you always say – well, I can be champion. I guess – I guess older guys think they can perform like they did 10 or 12 years ago.
CHUCK JOHNSON: So, can you see yourself in that situation where you know how great you are right now? I mean, can you see yourself putting yourself in that situation later in your career?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Well, right now – well, right now, I’m not in that position so I can’t really say.
CHUCK JOHNSON: OK.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: You guys, I’ve been put in a position to be fighting for my fourth world title and my fourth weight class. I mean, that’s the best thing.
JASON GONZALEZ, FIGHTNEWS.COM: Floyd, considering the trash talking that Zab Judah has been doing, right, do you find with him missing out on the teleconference, the icing on the cake? How much did that bother you?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I’m mad because they know I love the media. I love the media. The media is a part of my family. It’s about – this is about promoting. This is not HBO. That’s why – this is HBO Pay-Per-View. That’s what he failed to realize. This is a business. At the end of the day, this is a business, and the fight’s going to sell anyway, but it takes two. As of right now, it only took one. It only took one.
That’s not cool that his father had to get on the phone and talk with you guys. It’s – he could do just like I’m doing. I’m at home right now, in my office, sitting down on a speakerphone just talking to you guys. I mean, that’s only – if that’s only – if that (INAUDIBLE) his focus, he not going ever – he’s not going to ever get focused. If talking to the media on a speakerphone from a couch could throw you out focus, he would never get focused.
JASON GONZALEZ: OK – now, Floyd, considering that Judah was knocked out by Kostya Tszyu, he was dropped by Cory Spinks, who wasn’t a big puncher, and Baldomir, who like Spinks, isn’t a big puncher, had him on spaghetti legs, without giving – without giving away your game plane, do you plan on checking his chin early?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: Remember what I always said, you know, just like I said in the past, all of these fights are straight up and down; not special effects. If you make a mistake with me, you must pay. And if you don’t have a chin (ph), you’re going to pay in a big way. You got to realize this, it takes – it takes three – you got to have three things to be a great fighter: a great mind, a great chin, and a great heart.
Now he may have a good mind and a good heart, but his chin ain’t up to par. And if I land, I’m going to be a homerun hitter.
JASON GONZALEZ: Now, Floyd, nine out of 10 – all the time, you are faster than your opponents, right? Considering that Judah has quick hands, do you feel that it might be hard imposing your hand speed in this fight?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I know and you guys know Zab is not faster than me. I know this and you guys know this. And even if we do match each other speed for speed, it’s about timing and smarts. And remember, I always find a way to win.
It’s not going to be walk in the park. It’s going to be a tough fight for me, but I’m going to go in there and be the best I can be.
JASON GONZALEZ: OK. Now, Floyd, the last question, how much of an impact does your relationship with Chop Chop Corley have with you vacating the WBC 140 title?
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I’m just focused on what I got to do April 8th. DeMarcus, he’s a cool guy. Like I said before, I’ve seen him in the boxing gym. We train every day at the same time. Actually, as soon as I finish with this call, I’m on my way to the gym, and I was going to let the media know, when you guys come out here, my training time is 3:00 p.m. You are welcome to come, every day, whenever you want to come. You can invite your family to come see me train. You know, we got the best boxing gym in the world, Top Rank, that’s my home. That’s where I’ll be – you know, I began my career, that’s where I’m going to end my career at.
BOB ARUM: OK, I want to thank you all for participating in this call. I particularly want to thank “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather for the candid responses to the questions. It’s going to be a great fight on April 8th, but more than that, it’s going to be a great event. So I look forward to seeing everybody in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace and at Wynn Las Vegas. We’re expecting you with open arms. The weather is great. And when the bell rings, there’s going to be real heat in the ring, and it’s going to be a terrific fight, but, of course, there’s going to be only one winner, “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather.
So thank you all.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I want to tell all the media and (INAUDIBLE) thank you and God Bless you guys and God Bless your families.