FLOYD: "IT'S NOT ABOUT THE WEIGHT, IT'S ABOUT THE SKILLS"
Press Release: Last week, Floyd "Money" Mayweather hosted a media day at The Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas. Hordes of media from around the world crammed into the gym to watch the five-division champion (44-0, 26 KOs) continue to prepare for his long-awaited showdown against world junior middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs) scheduled for September 14th. The media session lasted nearly three hours. A confident, relaxed and chiseled Mayweather did countless interviews, posed for photos and worked out. His workout consisted of hitting the mitts, hitting the heavyweight bag, hitting the speed bag, jumping rope, stretching and doing calisthenics. Here is what he had to say:
FLOYD MAYWEATHER: "This was just a light workout today; it was cool. I appreciate all the media coming out and the fans for supporting me throughout my career. It's been truly a blessing.
"I think I'll be a lot sharper for this fight. My training camp has been great. Actually, this is one of my best training camps I've had, probably since 2005. On my first day back, I got right back into sparring. I think I sparred seven rounds. So as of now, my training camp's been smooth. My dad is happy, Leonard (Ellerbe, part of his management team) is happy, Al (Haymon, his advisor) is happy and I'm happy. I've been boxing a lot of rounds so I'm sharp. I'm in great condition and happy to get right back in there. I feel tremendous.
"My weight is made. I came into training camp weighing 150 or 149 and I came into the gym today probably weighing 150 or 149.
"Canelo is a solid competitor but it is what it is: I've faced the best in this sport, I know what it takes to be involved in a fight of this magnitude and I'm dedicated to my craft. I was born for this.
"This is a great matchup. He's a puncher. I'm a sharp boxer. You know, a lot of times I hit these guys and I make them go into survival mode. Even in the Robert Guerrero fight I was looking for the knockout, but I hurt my hand. So I wasn't impressed with myself -- because I didn't get the knockout. This time around, I'll be looking for the knockout.
"He's banking on his youth, I'm banking I on my experience. I have a lot of experience in championship fights. Look at his resume, look at my resume and see what you come up with.
"I can't talk about the past, but I can talk about the present time and I can talk about the future. The present time is, I'm undefeated, and the future is, I'm going to continue to work hard and give the fans what they want to see.
"On Sept. 14th, I just want everybody around the world to tune in and enjoy a great night of boxing.''
(More on facing Canelo): "He's no pushover; I can't overlook him. I just have to go out and execute the game plan and do what I do best. Nothing worries me. I can make adjustments.
"He is one of the best in boxing at this particular time. He's young and strong. He's got guts so we'll see how the fight plays out.
"It's not about the weight, it's about the skills. The skills pay the bills. I can't wait to get in there and compete and test my skills against this young guy. I feel good, I'm still hungry.''
(On Canelo's opposition): "Did Canelo KO Austin Trout? (No). This is a whole different ballgame. He may be predicting a knockout but all you have to do is look at the opponents he's faced. I really don't know too many, but a lot of the guys went the distance with him. And we're not just talking about A-fighters but D- and C-fighters. Guys that he should have knocked out in the fourth round, they were able to go into the eighth and ninth rounds even though they were caught with numerous shots.'
"I don't think Ricky Hatton's brother is on the level of a Floyd Mayweather.''
(On notion that Canelo will stop him): "Oscar (De La Hoya) said he was gonna knock me out also. Did you see what happened in that fight? People are entitled to do their opinion. People are going to say what they're going to say. My job is to be the best I can be and continue to do my job. There's a reason I do record-breaking numbers.
"My last fight against (Robert) Guerrero, he thought it was just gonna be easy. A lot of times people, fighters, look from the outside and think to themselves, 'this can't be that difficult,' but once they get inside that squared circle with me it's totally different.''
(Gameplan): "I'm going to show him a lot of angles. I have a lot of experience, and experience is going to be a factor. It's going to be real, real different for him at this level.''
(On Canelo's Popularity): "Among Hispanic/Mexican/Latin fighters, I don't really know who has the biggest following but if I had to say so, I would say probably (Juan Manuel) Marquez because he has accomplished more and done a lot for the sport of boxing. So I don't support the thought (or subscribe to the feeling) that Canelo has a bigger following than (Marquez).''
(On why Canelo took this fight): "I can't really say. Of course, sometimes some people want their No. 1 spot, not just No. 1 in (their) weight class but they want to be known as the best in their sport. They want all the attention, the paydays, the money. (For me) this took years and years of hard work and dedication, belief and a strong team.''
(His hands): "I went to three different doctors after the Guerrero fight. Everything is OK.''
(Staying ahead of the game): "Every guy I face is always heavier. I think I'm just a very, very sharp fighter. I stay mentally sharp; by that I mean I stay five or six steps ahead of my opponents. This is chess, not checkers. These are moves you have to think about. At this level, you've got to get 10 steps ahead of your opponent."
(On what it takes to remain at the top): "You've got to be mentally tough, push yourself to the limit, be physically sharp, have a great chin and a tremendous heart.''
(The ten-city media tour): "The tour was wild, crazy. It started in New York and ended in Los Angeles. I think it was great for me, Canelo Alvarez, the chance to embrace the fans and also to get the chance to go to Mexico. I have a lot of fans in Mexico.''
(Other fighters that impress him): "I like Leo Santa Cruz. He's unbelievable. I think he should be on the pound-for-pound list.''
(On Danny Garcia-Lucas Matthysse): "Both fighters at 140 pounds are really tough punchers and great fighters. I can't see it going the distance.''
"I'm the face of boxing and I'm happy that I was able to transcend and change the sport in a totally different way. At one particular time in the late 70's, 80's and all the way to the 90's, it was all about the heavyweights. Then I came in and brought attention to the smaller guys. I think I've done a lot for the sport of boxing, and boxing has done a lot for me.''
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions: "This is the fight that the fans wanted. They demanded it, and this is the fight that Floyd wanted. In my opinion, this fight will be the biggest in the history of the sport.
"Canelo fought on a few of our undercards. We know what he brings to the table. He is a tremendous fighter, he is the biggest star in Mexico and he has a tremendous following. Floyd has a lot of Mexican fans, too. He loves Mexico. Mexicans are intelligent fans. They know the sport of boxing. Floyd has defeated a number of Mexican fighters and he has a tremendous amount of respect for their history and their fighters.
"I think now is the right time for this fight to happen. Canelo is coming off a big victory with Austin Trout and Floyd with Guerrero.
ISHE SMITH, IBF Junior Middleweight Champion: "It's been an amazing last six months. I was honored with an Ishe Smith Day.' It's been a rollercoaster ride for me since the days of The Contender and it was tough, and it hurt, but to be a world champion now and have Floyd behind me is just really exciting. I am blessed.
"One thing Floyd told me: 'I can get you to the door but then it is up to you. On Sept. 14th (when he defends against Carlos Molina), this is another opportunity where he shows me the door.
"And like I did in Detroit (when he won the title over Cornelius Bundrage), I plan on knocking that door down again."
ASHLEY THEOPHANE, who faces Pablo Cesar Cano in opening bout of pay-per-view telecast: "You know this has been my dream since I was five years old. I watched Mike Tyson and Sugar Ray Leonard and was inspired by them. It's been an amazing journey. America has opened up and welcomed me as well as the Money Team.
"This is the biggest fight of my life, and I know I need to come out victorious. It is a magnificent card; you've got three world champions on there."