With only nine days to go before his long-awaited showdown with Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather hosted an international media call on Thursday afternoon. The pound-for-pound king was much more subdued than the flashy “Money May” persona that fans have come to associate with him.
Mayweather refused to respond to questions about the rampant trash talking from Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach.
“I’m not going to speak negative,” he said. “I don’t have to at all. If I did say something about Roach, it would get turned around to Floyd picking on a guy who is not 100 percent healthy.”
“Freddie Roach is Pacquiao’s trainer,” Mayweather said at another point in the call. “He’s going to do what he has to do to help his fighter. If it’s (trash talking) going to give Pacquiao an edge, he should do it.”
Mayweather-Pacquiao might be the biggest fight of the century so far, finally drawing the kind of mainstream attention to boxing that the Sweet Science deserves, but Mayweather sounded loathe to buy in to the drama, even as he has ratcheted up the drama in previous fights that didn’t draw an fraction of the same attention. “I’m not going crazy,” Mayweather said. “It’s just a fight to me….people see it as the biggest fight in history, but I can’t approach it like that.”
Despite his more quiet approach, it seems clear that Mayweather realized this isn’t just any fight. For one thing, it will allow him to break his own records as the highest paid boxer in history. When asked about why he has been more muted than in previous fights, Mayweather sounded nearly like he was giving a valedictorian address. “My whole career, we had a brilliant game plan…I wanted to work extremely hard to get to a certain point, to be the first fighter to get to nine figures…but as you get older, you mature. When you’ve been trash talking for 17, 18 years, you get to a point where it is what it is. I know what I can do…I did all that loud talking to get to a certain point in my career and I did.”
Still, Mayweather remained, as ever, supremely confident. When asked about his recent comments on Sports Center that he considers himself better than Muhammad Ali, Mayweather reaffirmed that, while he has “all the respect” for Ali, he feels like he’s the best ever.