Boxing


Floyd Mayweather Conference Call Transcript

16.05.05 - MAYWEATHER: Thanks to the media for having me on and if youíre not there June 25th, you should buy the fight because it is a big fight. If you are paying to see me lose, pay. If you are paying to see me win, pay. Itís going to be an exciting fight. We have Thunder Gatti and we have Pretty Boy Floyd. They are calling it Thynder and Lightning but we all know Thunder makes noise and lightning strikes. So on June 25th tune in because it is going to be a mega big fight.

Gatti says he walks around about 170, is that a factor.

MAYWEATHER: That means it is no discipline. I fight at 140 Ė I come into camp at 145. No more than 147 and sometimes 142. I feel that he has no discipline..

Arturoís determination, heart and will vs. your talentÖ

MAYWEATHER: When the fans see me fight when Iím hurtÖI hurt my hands in the third round. I want to fight anybody if you noticed. And if you didnít notice, when I fought Jose Luis Castillo, they felt that the fight could have gone either way, I didnít have any excuses, I said make the fight right back. If he won, I would have done the same thing. But then I look at the newspapers and they say Castillo and Corrales fight and they donít want a rematch. Then they say that these guys have so much heart. Iíll show you heart, Iím willing to fight anybody and can make it happen. And this guy Arturo Gatti, heís never been in there with a guy like me. Mark my words, when he gets in there with a guy like meÖ

Of his last 6 opponents, I could beat all of these guys on the same night.

People see you as the bad guy and him as the good guy.

MAYWEATHER: What is the part that they doní know? Iím a family man. I have a strong belief and I am really blessed from God. So thatís why I feel that Iím humble. We see battered women and we see battered children and on every holiday we try to give something back. We have a big fight coming up and we give away free turkeys and are always giving something back to the community. When some kids couldnít afford sports, I pulled out of my own pocket some money just so the public schools could have sports one year. I give stuff back to the community but I donít beg the media to write that. They are going to write what they want to write. But they need a bad guy and I understand. When Bernard Hopkins fought Trinidad, Hopkins was the bad guy. When Oscar de la Hoya fought Trinidad, then Trinidad was the bad guy. So thatís how it works, you have to have a bad guy and a good guy. At the end of the day, if my kids are happy, Iím happy, no matter what the media says about me.

How do you describe Gattiís style and how do you attack it?

MAYWEATHER: Heís a guy that all of his shots are wide. Heís flat-footed and like I said before, I continue to tell the media that Iíll beat him. Heís a club fighter and they put him on HBO, heís a C+ fighter and they put him in there against C- fighters and they have a war and a good fight. Or they put him in there against guys that are not top-notch. Or they put him in there against an old champion and he beats the old champion up and they give him so much props and praises. But Iíve been thinking about this whole timeÖthey call this a mega fight and Iím fighting this guy in Atlantic City. I donít have a problem because Iíll do anything. We should have this on neutral ground. When Duran and Hagler fought they fought on neutral ground. When Holyfield and Lennox Lewis fought they fought on neutral ground. When Trinidad and de la Hoya fought they fought on neutral ground. They always try this slick to try to put me in a no-win situation. But like I said before, with God on my side, I know Iím coming out victorious.

Whoís out there after this fight?

MAYWEATHER: I would love to see Ricky Hatton or Kostya Tszyu and down and dirty and low blows. Like when I said before, when guys fight in their backyard and not on neutral ground, they tend to lean the other guyís way. For instance, I saw two rounds of the fight, but everybody I talked to said the guy was dirty all night Ė wrestling and doing dirty tactics, throwing low blows. Anywhere I go I want to be treated fair. I donít mid going to Atlantic City, I donít call this a super-fight because if it was a super-fight it would be on neutral ground. Kostya Tszyu is retired, but Ricky HattonÖthe fight when I fought Chop Chop Corley, it was supposed to be me vs. Kostya Tszyu or it was supposed to be me vs. Ricky Hatton. But they turned the fight down.

What is the challenge for this fight?

MAYWEATHER: This fight is strictly for me. They have done everything they can. Through this whole thing, I helped promote it, I went to press conferences, I deal with the press. I played a major, major part in this whole fight. Whoever set up this fight, everything theyíve done leaned towards Arturo Gatti. For instance the things going on in my personal life had to be taken care of just so Gatti can feel comfortable. Then I said lets make the fight in Vegas or New York and they said no, it has to be in Atlantic City. It has to be in Atlantic City because it has to be on his turf. We had the press conference on Wednesday and he was sick so they had it on Thursday. He was sick and he could make it on Thursday but he couldnít make it on Wednesday because his temperature was too high. The whole time, Iím promoting the fight and doing what Iíve got to do. As far as the fight? Thatís the easiest part. Thatís what I prepare for.

Arum: The real problem is, when you are grooming someone for pay-per-view, there are two ways to do it. One is to build numbers gradually because so much of the pay-per-view business is to make the cable systems to believe that the guy can make big numbers. Therefore they do more to run spots and so forth. If you start slowly Ė that is one way to do it. The other way is to go in on a signature fight like this fight. We think this fight will do around 500,000 buys. That will mark Floyd as a pay-per-view commodity so we wonít have any difficulty in his next pay-per-view fight convincing the pay-per-view companies and satellite providers to run a hell of a lot of spots to publicize the fight. This business is no different than the movie business. If Julia Roberts has a big hit then she is considered to be a bankable star. If an actress doesnít and tanks at the box office one or two movies, then they are not considered bankable anymore. So Floyd now, after this fight which Iím sure is going to do great, has to now have high visibility fights and keep his reputation as a bankable boxer before the public, before the cable systems and for all of the satellite providers.

Which Floyd are we going to see against Gatti?

MAYWEATHER: Iím going to be a technician then I am going to mix it up. I am going to box him then I am going to destroy him. This is the last fight Iím doing where my back is against the ropes. I feel that my whole career didnít go the way I wanted it to. My career is not over but it didnít go the way I wanted it to go. Thank God that after this fight I will be a free agent. I donít know where Iíll be after this fight, I may be back with Bob. I donít know where Iím going, but whoever Iím with I am going to have to have a lot of say-so in my career because I know where I want my career to go.

How do you respond to them saying you chin is suspect?

MAYWEATHER: First off, his trainer is Buddy McGirt. Letís talk about McGirtís chin, this is the guy that was knocked out by Meldrick Taylor who was not a big puncher at all. Heís going to find out that I can crack once I hit him on his chin. You can ask anybody out there whoís chin I have cracked. My knockout ratio is better than his anyway. Like I said before, the name of the game is to hit and not get hit. The less you get hit the longer you last in this sport. Iím not in this sport, thatís what he does, Iím not in this sport to to see how hard I can get hit or to see how many big punches I can take. I am in this game to fight as long as I can. I am trying to dish a lot of punishment.

Do you think the crowd can have an influence on you?

MAYWEATHER: Absolutely not. Heís going to come out and you guys from Atlantic City are going to be cheering and going crazy. Then after the first few punches I land, everybody is going to sit down and be quiet. How long they cheer, it will not last that long.

Will you get a fair shake?

MAYWEATHER: It wonít go the distance.

Is this bad-guy image the real you?

Iím not any other fighter. Iím the only fighter that keeps it real. Anything I say is real, I am never fake. Thatís not me, thatís Arturo Gatti is a fake because he thinks heís going to win and heís really not because nobody believes heís going to win. He has plenty of time to be fake. I would tell him to his face what I am going to do to him. Thatís why at our press conference, when we come to Atlantic City we are not even going to be together. When I come to New York we are not going to be together. Gatti doesnít want to face me because he already knows. I am the truth.

He doesnít want to be face-to-face with me at all until itís time to fight. Weíll give the people what they want to see. Weíll show them Iíll be ripped up and how good of shape Iím in.

Is this fight more personal than any other?

MAYWEATHER: Yes. He got into my personal business so Iím going to give him a personal beating. I am always a villain. To me all press it good press. Iíve been on the cover of all the magazines lately so I just say, well put me on the cover.

Iím not going to England to fight Ricky Hatton. Every night I sit home and click on HBO and watch. The superfights are only a few rounds. We have a lot of fights out there. We have a couple more fights at 140. There are two mega-fights. One of them became a WWE wrestling which was the Tszyu-Hatton fight. Me and Gatti, that is a championship fight. Tszyu is down and Ricky Hatton is up. We are going to take Gatti down I will take on Hatton and then Iíll get a little green and take on Cotto and punish him. Then Iíll be the King and go on to 147 to take over Ď47.

There was a report that you and Leonard had an exchange of words.

MAYWEATHER: We were only joking, we are always joking. I love Sugar Ray Leonard and I respect him as a champion. He is one of the greatest of all time. He always says, ĎYou couldnít beat me.í If you let a lightweight come up and beat you at 147, I could beat you. We were only joking, I love him and he was a great champion and I would love to follow in his footsteps.

Could you elaborate on trying to emulate Whitaker and

MAYWEATHER: Pernell Whitaker, he was a hell of a boxer and I respect that so much. Aaron Pryor had a lot of determination to win. Whitaker was one of the best boxers ever with heart and a determination to win of Aaron Pryor. That is unbelievable.

What do you think Gatti will get away with in Atlantic City as Hatton did?

MAYWEATHER: Iím no Kostya Tszyu. If he elbows once I am going to elbow back. However way you want to make it happen, we can make it happen. If you lower me, I will lower you. Iím a double fighter. If you box clean, Iíll box clean. If you get dirty, Iíll get dirty.

Absolutley, thatís why they made the fight there. They can hope, they can wish and plan, but itís not going to happen. Heís not on my level and itís not going to happen. Iíll tell you whatís going to happenÖheís going to get out-boxed easy then Iím going to stop him. Heís not a Castillo and heís not a Corrales, heís not a Jesus Chavez. Heís a blown up club fighter. Heís a club fighter.

It can come in different ways. They said this guyís got so much blood and guts and they say how my chin is. In 33 fights, Iíve never shown my weakness. I will never show my weakness. Heís shown his weakness. Heís shown that if he gets hit to the body, he will go down. Look at my opponents and his last 6 opponents and tell me if they are on the same level. His last 6 are not on the same level as my last 6. If the media doesnít know this, in 1998, he couldnít even get past Manfredy, so if he couldnít take care of Manfredy, I took care of him for him.

Floyd said he tried to fight Leija, he tried to fight Branco and he tried to fight Dorin, but they wouldnít accept it. Gatti was allowed to fight those guys and he wasnít.

Arum: I donít know who Floyd said it was but it was clearly HBO. Floyd is absolutely correct that HBO nixed all of those opponents. Then they accepted them with Gatti. I assume because HBO felt that Floyd was in one category, the top-pound-for-pound if not the pound-for-pound fighter and Gatti was an attraction and much more limited in ability. What Floyd said is absolutely correct.

MAYWEATHER: You heard that from a great promoter. Listen and you could learn something.

Why now?

Arum: Two things, one Floyd was the mandatory, the WBC mandatory for Gatti and Gatti didnít want to give up his title. Secondly, the biggest fight out there, financially for Gatti was Floyd Mayweather. Thatís the reason that the fight was made. Look, I donít want to demean Gatti and Iím not playing mind games with Gatti. Thatís for Floyd because he is going to fight him. I think Gatti is a good fighter and a courageous kid and heís everything people say he is. But Floyd Mayweather is the kind of fighter that comes along once in a generation and he is extremely, extremely talented and heís something special. But that said, it shouldnít demean Arturo Gatti.

When was the last time you went into a fight with thins kind of chip on your shoulder?

MAYWEATHER: To be honest, every time I fight I go in there with a chip on my shoulder. For the Arturo Gatti fight, itís going like thisÖwhat HBO wants me to say, is to blow Arturo Gatti up and say what kind of killer he is. And heís not. Iím not going to get over here, Iím not going to sit on the phone and lie. Iím not going to get on the phone and say what a great killer Gatti is, Iím going to get on the phone and tell you the truth. The truth is Iím going to punish him. Thatís what the truth is. Iím not going to get on the phone and lie. I donít do that. At the end of the day I have to look at myself in the mirror and say ďyou werenít really yourself.Ē Thatís me lying to myself and my family. The truth is heís not a good fighter and heís not on my level and Iím going to show you. He shouldnít even be in the ring with me. Iíll show you.

What do you expect to see in Gattiís eyes once you meet?

MAYWEATHER: Heís going to be nervous. I am never nervous. I know Iím ready. I stay ready. Even when Iím not in training, I stay ready. This guy doesnít even know how to sell this fight, the guy is so nervous. We fly out to the west coast and we go to his town and heís not even there. I participate in everything they wanted me to as far as autographing gloves, being at the Trinidad fight. This guy hasnít done anything. Heís talking about how I donít have a chin, but come June 25th, weíll see.

Training Camp?

MAYWEATHER: My training camp is going great. We box 14 or 15 rounds, 5-inute rounds. One day we kept switching them off, I only box middleweights and sometimes we box 30 minutes straight. I am running 5 and 6- minute miles. We are running 8 miles between 5 and 6-minutes. So this camp is going great. The first day I went back to the gym, I boxed 13 rounds.

Muhammad Ali was the same way. Once his career was over, everybody loved him, because he spoke the truth.

Undercard?

Arum: We put Calderon on because he is enormously popular in Puerto Rico and we hope his presence on the card, by the way, heís a tremendous little boxer at 105-pounds. That will draw a lot of Puerto Rico fans and heís fighting Gerardo Bernet on the card and that should be a tremendous fight. Whenever a Puerto Rican fights a Mexican, thatís a war. And of course Julio Chavez, Jr. is a terrific young prospect and heís only 19 and had no amateur experience, but heís really beginning to make his presence with the boxing fans. Heís fighting Rubin Galvan and heís a kid that really should be looked at because down the road heís really going to be terrific.

What is your view on title belts?

MAYWEATHER: Itís good for certain fights Ė it puts you in good position. What the media doesnít know is that I havenít had a title in my last few fights. I didnít pay a sanctioning fee and I donít think thatís cool at all. Other fighters will get in here and not tell the truth. In the Cop Chop Corley fight I didnít have a belt and didnít have to pay sanctioning fees. I donít think thatís right at all.

Are the sanctioning fees turning boxers off?

MAYWEATHER: We donít need titles for this fight. Itís good for history that I triple-crowned it Ė three different titles in three weight classes in under 10 years, but I donít need any belt.

Gatti was confident yesterday saying he was going to knock you outÖ

MAYWEATHER: He said that but he didnít say it to me. I will tell him face to face. Iíve got a hundred and some fights in my whole career. I know when a guy is scared and heís scared. He didnít even want the fight. The only reason heís fighting is because he was going to get stripped of the WBC title. I am going to put him into retirement after this one.

What I said on the Tszyu-Hatton fight is that I would make more money fighting Hatton, but as far as legendary history I would prefer to fight Kostya Tszyu because he beat so many top guys. I said I donít know if Ricky Hatton has enough experience to be in there with Tszyu. But as you saw, yes he did.

Would it hurt your legacy not to go over there to fight him?

MAYWEATHER: At the end of the day, it doesnít matter to me. Itís not about legacy. Iím not worried about that. Itís all about the money.

Arum: I would also like to say that Ricky Hatton will be coming into Atlantic City to see the fight, while his English promoter has had him fight only in England, Ricky I know is looking forward to fighting in the United States. So I think if all goes well, I think we can get a fight going between Floyd if he is successful against Gatti, and Ricky Hatton. As Floyd says, at a neutral site, sometime at the end of this year.

Do you think Gatti is a bum?

MAYWEATHER: A guy, Kostya Tszyu was a champion who was hurt. Thatís how he got the belt Ė the guy was hurt. He got hurt training in his profession. Are you going to tell me itís fair to strip him from his belt and then let Gatti fight a guy from Italy that we know nothing about? Not a major guy, and let them fight for the title? Then become world champion? Thatís not right. Fair is fair. If Arturo Gatti was going to win the belt, he should have beat Tszyu fair and square.

Roger has a rift with Main Events, has he discussed with you?

MAYWEATHER: The past is the past. We donít look and I donít even watch boxing like that. When he fought Whitaker it was on his turf Ė it was a no-win situation. He lost to some Main Events fighters, but he beat some too. I remember watching the Rocky Lockridge fight. Undefeated jr. lightweight for the WBA. What is so crazy, that as an amateur I was with Main Events.

Would you be interested in a rematch after seeing the Corrales-Castillo fight?

MAYWEATHER: Anything can happen if the money is right. Heíll fight the same way Ė heís a toe-to-toe fighter. All you have to do is get Corrales moving. Get him moving and tie him up. Once you get him by a certain amount of rounds, his chin weakens.

Do you think that fight has an impact on your legacy?

MAYWEATHER: It has to, it has no choice. When my children get older and they show the legendary fights, they will show I handled both of these guys with ease. They destroyed each other, and to be honest, Corrales is a good fighter, but if the rematch was mandatory, I couldnít complain. Thatís a true champion. Let the fight happen again.

You and Bob tangle verbally then make up on the post fight podium, why is that?

MAYWEATHER: Itís not a kiss and make up. Bob does what he does and I do what I do. Heís not good and what he does, heís great at what he does. Heís been making millions and millions of dollars for years doing what he does. Hopefully some day I will follow in his footsteps.

Anything is possible, anything can happen. God does things in different ways. I could wake up tomorrow and be one of the greatest promoters ever. I donít talk to promoters because I have a promoter. I donít even look a promoters way because I am loyal to who I am with. If we are good terms or bad terms, I am loyal to who ever I am with. I said some things in the past and he said some things in the past but we really donít mean it. When we come to the table to negotiate and come away with a fair agreement, then Iím happy.

Arum: What Floyd says I would say a little differently. But in essence what Floyd says is correct. People talk, Floyd is very outspoken and Iím very outspoken. I say things that people in my office say I shouldnít say and shut my mouth. But Iím not that kind of guy and neither is Floyd. So sometimes we say things that displease each other. Floyd knows how I feel about him and I know how Floyd feels about us. So Iím very happy and if there comes a time that weíre not giving Floyd a proper deal, then he should go elsewhere. I agree, but hopefully weíll be able to give him the best opportunities and the best offers that are out there.

MAYWEATHER: I think that after this fight Bob Arum and I will be able to do business. I truly believe that there isnít another promoter out there that can put up with me.

When are you going to AC?

MAYWEATHER: Weíll be there sometime next week. My body looks tremendous. Iím in tremendous shape. Iím focused mentally and physically. My team is ready and Iím ready. Iím not afraid to go to his turf.

Who has a chin like me, who spars like me and whoís got heart tow win like me.

I would love to fight Sugar Shane Mosley after this fight. Mayweather does what no other fighter does. After the fight I can honestly call names out. Larry Merchant specifically has to throw names out there, but for meÖafter Gatti fought he said everyoneís name but mine. The guy had to force my name on him. Iím going to call Tszyu, Iím going to call Shane Mosley, Iím going to call out de la Hoya. Iím going to call Ricky Hatton. Iím going to call the best guys so that they know. He doesnít have to ask Floyd Mayweather, he told them on his own.

MAYWEATHER: The last few fights, I had to pay sanctioning fees without even having the belt.

Arum: They were elimination fights to maintain the position.

MAYWEATHER: I love the WBC.

You have to realize that most of these guys get in there and fight on heart. I fight with smarts. There is no fighter that is smarter than me. Most of these fighters are ABC, 1-2-3. I am like 4-5-6 levels above them, thatís why Iím able to beat them.

Article posted on 16.06.2005



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