Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Mayweather reveals much on media day
By Dan Rafael
Floyd Mayweather Jr. hit the mitts and heavy bag during a media day at his Las Vegas gym on Tuesday, but he also found time to do a slew of interviews as he prepares for his showdown against junior middleweight titlist Miguel Cotto on May 5 (HBO PPV, 9 ET, $59.95) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The training aspect of the day was only for show, for the throng of reporters and cameras that turned out.
"The hard work has been done," Mayweather said. "During fight week, we will focus on shadow boxing, mental work and light training."
Mayweather is moving back up to junior middleweight to challenge for the belt. He fought at 154 pounds once before, when he won a split decision against Oscar De La Hoya to claim a title in 2007 in a fight that set the all-time record for pay-per-view and overall revenue.
Mayweather has been very respectful toward Cotto throughout the promotion, trying to build him up rather than tear him down as he has with some past opponents.
"The fans should watch this [fight] because, in my eyes, Miguel Cotto is an undefeated fighter," Mayweather said, even though Cotto has two official losses. "He fought one guy at a catchweight and another guy who got in trouble for cheating. He's a strong knockout puncher and he always comes out and fights in a pleasing way."
Cotto was stopped by Antonio Margarito in the 11th round of their first fight, a 2008 welterweight title bout. Many believe Margarito got away with wearing loaded hand wraps in that fight because he was caught trying to do the same before his next fight, against Shane Mosley.
Cotto's other loss was a 12th-round knockout to Manny Pacquiao in 2009. That bout was contested at a catchweight of 145 pounds (rather than the 147-pound welterweight limit) because that is the weight the smaller Pacquiao demanded.
Mayweather accepted the May 5 fight with Cotto at the full 154-pound junior middleweight division limit. He said he wanted Cotto to be comfortable and for there to be no excuses when he wins.
As tremendous shape as Mayweather is always in, he revealed one nugget I had never heard before. Mayweather is famous for his middle-of-the-night running and training sessions. But get this: He claims he never stretches.
"I have been in [professional] boxing for 16 years and I haven't stretched at all," he said. "I don't stretch when I run. I've never stretched.
Mayweather, who turned 35 in February, also said he sees the end of his career in the near future.
"I haven't taken any abuse in the sport of boxing," he said. "I think I'm done before 38."