Floyd Mayweather – “They Always Make Me The Villain.”

05.12.07 - By Matthew Hurley: As Floyd Mayweather addressed the media yesterday at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas there were more than a few things he wanted to get off his chest, which is par for the course when it comes to the “Pretty Boy” and his gift for gab..

floyd mayweather jr.One of the more interesting asides had to do with the anticipation level for this fight, which has far exceeded what most insiders thought would be the case when the bout was initially announced. Mayweather insists the bout will live up to the hype, which wasn’t exactly the case in his last ring appearance.

Back in May when he fought Oscar De La Hoya and found himself on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the “Golden Boy”, coupled with a story that proclaimed their showdown the “fight to save boxing”, Mayweather not only ate up the atmosphere, he spat it back at the cameras that were following him around for HBO’s 24/7 documentary series. He used the show to not only hype himself but to turn himself into a polarizing figure and, in essence, became the villain. It was a brilliant marketing ploy on Floyd’s part because for all the ‘smack’ he talks before a fight, when he enters the ring he resembles not a whit of the thuggish Prima Donna who preens in front of the cameras like a peacock spreading his feathers. He understands that in order to put asses in the seats, which will add millions more to an already overstuffed bank account, he has to play a role and the formerly soft spoken fighter of six or seven years ago has embraced his alter ego.

“I’m always being put in this position,” he said yesterday when he was booed during a photo op. “It was the same when I fought Arturo Gatti and the same when I fought Oscar De La Hoya. You’ve got to have a villain and they’ll always make me a villain. I’m used to it, it makes me work harder and it makes me fight harder.”

As for the relative let down of the De La Hoya fight, the one those who continue to insist that boxing is a dying sport when in fact it has been thriving, Mayweather acknowledged the lack of sustained action and promised that his fight with Hatton would be a more charged event once the opening bell rings.

“They (the fans) don’t have to worry about that this time,” he said. “Believe me when I tell you this. They don’t have to worry about that. He’s going to come out ready to kill me. He’ll fight his heart out, but he’s got a weakness and on fight night I’ll show you what it is. It won’t go the distance.”

Mayweather then went on to address the trash talking that has been going on between the two.

“Have you known Ricky Hatton to be a trash talker before? No. He’ll fight hard because he’s mad and upset. If you fight angry, you make a lot of mistakes, and when you fight a sharp, witty fighter like me, you can’t make mistakes. He’s been down, he cuts easily, he swells and he’s fighting the best in the sport. Everyone talks about his pressure… pressure, pressure, pressure. That’s been the same game plan against me since 1987.”

As flashbulbs popped and Floyd’s smile widened he made one final concession. “Hatton is one hell of a fighter. He’s going to bring his ‘A’ game. (But) I’m not worried about no fighter. Watch fight night, you’ll see.”

Article posted on 05.12.2007

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