“Before I Leave I Just Wanted To Beat The Best British Fighter Out There”

October 25, 2007

I wasn’t able to record Floyd Mayweather’s latest conference call for his upcoming bout against Ricky Hatton (12/8, HBO PPV) but below are some of the highlights:

On whether he (Mayweather) was happy to get booted off Dancing With The Stars early so he could focus on his training:

“Well, I would rather go home early then go home, you know, a week before the fight. I’d rather go home early. I mean it’s just like when you’re fighting a guy, you say to yourself, like – it’s hard to explain. It’s more like – I mean I was happy that – just to get the experience, just to go on dancing with the stars, just do so something different, because I was the only athlete that was active. You have other athletes, they weren’t active. They were like – I was doing two things at one time. I had to wake up, go to the dance studio. After the dance studio, go to the boxing gym. After the boxing gym, go run. After the run, I had to go back to the dance studio. After the dance studio, then I had to go to physical training, you know, at the fitness gym. So, I mean it was grueling, but was it worth it? Absolutely.”

Oscar De La Hoya (Golden Boy is promoting this fight) was also on the call and had this to say regarding Mayweather’s involvement on the show:

“Well, I – being a fighter myself, you know, and the fighting world, you know, it’s a small world. And we all know that Mayweather is a professional when it comes to his boxing. We all know that he’s always in great shape. We all know that he goes to the gym every day and he doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke. He doesn’t – you know, he has not bad habits. You know, so it really didn’t worry anybody much, you know, because even though if he did stay until the last week, you know, we felt it wasn’t going to effect him because he’s always in great shape.
And so, you know, obviously, in my case, I think it was a little bit different, you know. You know, I wouldn’t stay in shape, like Mayweather in between fights, and so, you know, it was a different case for me. You know, when I was fighting and younger, but with Mayweather, I think there no doubt that he can pull this off with no problem.”

Mayweather on his amazing stamina:

“Well I don’t train like no other fighter. We don’t train like no other fighter. And, you know, I mean of course, Oscar is – you know, he’s one of the guys that’s going down in history as one of the best guys of my era. And if I’m fighting one of the best guys of my era, I’ve got to push myself to the limit, you know. And what I was doing for that fight is – actually I’m training harder this fight than I did for that fight because for that fight, you know, I just started boxing nine rounds probably into the third week. But, you know, I think it’s my second day back boxing – it’s my second day back boxing in the gym I started boxing nine and 10 rounds.
So, you know, I’m all ready in tremendous shape all ready. I’m running eight miles. And it’s just that we don’t – we’re not like no other fighter. We don’t use a bell when we go to the gym. We don’t use a bell at all. We don’t even have a bell in our gym. So, sometimes when we box, we box, you know, six to eight straight minutes, because if a guy gets tired, we put another guy in to keep boxing. So, I guess I’m a throwback fighter. I’m a fighter than can fight 15 rounds, you know, if needed. But, I mean I have nothing but the utmost respect for all of these – you know, all fighters who dedicate themselves to his craft. And I just come with tremendous shape. I mean a lot of it is God-given talent. Most of it is God-given talent, you know. And the rest is just hard work.”

On Hatton saying he will look to emulate Jose Luis Castillo’s approach in his fights against Mayweather and consistently pressure him throughout the fight:

“Excuse me. But they don’t know the Castillo (ph), that I fought, I fought him, what, six years ago? And, you know, when he a facing this guy, I mean a guy who’s going out there, knowing he’s not getting no money, he’s like, “Why am I here and fighting if I’m going home with no payday? Why go the 12 if I’m not getting no money?” I mean, when you punch Castillo to the body, Castillo turns – does a 360 turnaround, took five steps and went to one knee.
I’m not saying that he’s not a pretty good fighter. He’s an OK fighter. I really don’t know much about him. But, he can’t compare himself to an Oscar de la Hoya, because he hasn’t accomplished what Oscar de la Hoya has accomplished in the sport, not even close to it. I mean we’re talking about a guy who’s 140 and a guy who went to 147 and didn’t really win a title weight at 147. So I mean, he’s entitled to say what he wants to say.

You know, come December eighth, we welcome the pressure, because that’s what we like. We fight better going backwards.”

On what he has left to prove in the sport:

“…Some days I am bored with the sport, I’m being honest. I can’t – you know, I’ve got to look at myself in the mirror, every day. I mean certain days – it’s not like it used to be. I think I like this sport better when I fighting for free, you know, because when you’re young you don’t have concerns so you’re not worried about nothing. I mean you just never know what can happen in the sport of boxing. A lot of times you worry about certain things like, if I die in the ring, you worry about what’s going to happen with your kids, what’s going to happen with your family.
So, when I didn’t have nothing to live for, when I didn’t have no kids to live for, I really wasn’t worried about nothing. I was like I don’t care what goes on. I’m just going here to fight, if I die, so be it. And, now that I’m a lot older and a lot wiser, it’s more like I’ve got something to live for. And I’ve got some people – I know people in my household who love me. So, I mean that worries me a lot because, I feel like my job is like a cop, one shot can end your whole career. So, you know, that’s why, you know, I’m real smart, real conscious about certain moves that I make inside the ring, as well as outside the ring.”

On what this fight will do for his legacy:

“Nothing. It’s not going to do nothing for my legacy. My legacy is all ready solidified in stamps. It’s not going to do nothing.”

That being said, why did he choose to fight Hatton?

“I mean, you know, before I leave I just wanted to beat the best British fighter out there, well one of the best British fighters, because if I had to say – what’s the other kid name who fight. He’s the best British fighter, probably one of the best I ever seen. I mean I’m fighting because I’m a business man. I got no fake answer. If the price is right, let’s make it happen. If the price is right, we’re going to make it happen. I’m like Bob Barker, come on down.”

On Hatton’s very physical approach to the Kostya Tzyu fight:

“I mean I didn’t really get a chance to watch him and Kostya Tszyu. I watched, I think, a few rounds because I all ready knew what it was, you know, what a Ricky Hatton fight it’s punch hold. And I mean from what I’ve seen it was extremely dirty and, you know, me, I truly believe in an eye for an eye. If you hit me low, I’m going to hit you low. And I’m just saying he’s a dirty fighter… But if he gets dirty, I don’t mind getting dirty. It’s whatever he wants to do.”

[Credit: Swanson PR]

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