Floyd Mayweather Jr. Interview Transcript

01.04.05 - Mayweather: Arturo Gatti is duckiní and dodging me. I was here on the east coast and all the sudden this guy is sick. What is today, Wednesday? Wednesday he is sick but Thursday he has a press conference. He is scared. Iíve been chasing this guy for a year now and all his fans are saying, heís Thunder, heís this and heís that. All I want anybody to do is ask me, who has Arturo Gatti beat in a big fight. If you all can tell me that then I will give props where props are due. But to my knowledge he hasnít beaten anybody. This is Floyd and I am the best out there and Iím willing to fight the best any time or any place. This guys got six losses and I am going to show the world the 7th way to beat him. I feel good. The guy is scared of me the minute I signed the contract. The world knows I signed the contract. I pleaded a ďno contestĒ to get the fight and the guy tried to back out. I was not guilty and the guy still tried to back out. I signed two different contracts. This guy got what he wanted and he didnít even show up. He got what he wanted..

Do you think the speed is going to be an issue?

Mayweather: Speed, and let me let all the people know my knockout ratio is better than this guy. He couldnít knock Manfredy out but I knocked him out. This guy canít deal with my speed, my footwork. At 140 I am a lot stronger, I feel good. Iím looking better physically as well as mentally and you can see that I am a lot faster in my last couple fights.

Did you see him fight Oscar?

Mayweather: Iím a lot faster than Oscar. Oscar wasnít even at the top of his game and busted him up. I am going to dedicate myself to this camp like I dedicate myself to every camp. I fight every fight like itís my last fight. I canít see myself losing in front of my kids. I work hard and I am dedicated to this sport.

Do you think his boxing skills have improved under McGirt?

Mayweather: Itís all up to him. If he rushes he will get knocked out quick. Or he can try to box and get punished. Itís all up to him. I respect him as a man but his fight game I donít respect. I think heís a bum. I think heís a C+ fighter Ė heís a street bum and Iíll walk right through him. I will see you after the fight and look you right into the eye and say, ĎSee I told you he was a bum.í I donít have any respect for him. None.

Are you worried about going into his town?

Mayweather: Iím always fighting against the odds. I fought against the odds in the Olympics and I fought against the odds in the Olympic trials. People didnít think I was going to beat Genaro Hernandez. Itís obvious somebody believes in Floyd Mayweather because the odds are 3:1.

How is your hand?

Mayweather: Absolutely great. Youíve seen my last three fights. Iím feeling good, Iím feeling strong and Iím going to have a great camp.

Mayweather: Listen, when a guy is disrespected, I will really punish him. Normally I just beat you. But I was disrespected so I will punish him. Sometimes I will let them go the distance. It depends on how I feel. I am truly upset because this guy has been trying to get out of this fight the whole time. Heís been trying to do anything he can do to get out of the fight. Iím signing autographs and doing all of the photo shoots by myself. Gatti didnít show up to do anything. This is pay-per-view for me and him. For us to make mega millions. And this guy is not here.

Has he changed as a fighter enough so he can stay with you?

Mayweather: You know me, Iím running my mouth a lot and Iím looking for a guy to shut me up. If you donít shut me up Iím going to keep running my mouth. Heís blood and guts and he canít make it to a press conference? Heís been trying to get out of the fight the whole time. Any time you aske him who he wants to fight, he never says my name. He says, Ďgive me Oscarí or Ďgive me Kostya Tszyu.í Why does he have to worry about my personal life. I donít worry about his personal life. Itís not like Iím bringing a gun or a knife into the ring. But heís going to think I brought a gun or a knife into the ring once I get a hold of him.

Will you box or brawl with this guy?

Mayweather: I donít know. It all depends on when I am in there. I donít worry about what heís got. I can outbox this guy, outslug this guy. Iíve been world champion for so many years. Nobody can beat me. There is no way to beat me. There are six ways to beat him. I can watch six tapes on him getting beat, but I donít watch tapes on Gatti.

What about Gatti fighting in Atlantic City all of the time?

Mayweather: Iíve been telling people that the whole time. I would get the same results Gatti got if I fought in Grand Rapids all of the time. I could fight there every month and sell the arena out with 14,000. Heís on his turf. But Iím not worried about that. Thatís how much confidence Iíve got. Heís the champion and Iím going to his turf. Heís the champion and heís fighting the pound-for-pound best, we should do it on neutral ground. His guyís been ducking me for the longest.

Buddy McGirt says he had the plan to beat Tarver and the plan to beat you.

Mayweather: Buddy McGirt is his trainer. If they say Floyd Mayweather is the new millennium Pernell Whitaker because he hits harder and Whitaker beat McGirt, how can he possibly give Gatti a game plan to beat me? Iíve shown guys that I can stand with a guy and go toe-to-toe. I showed the fans I can box. I showed the fans I can move. I showed the fans I can punch. What Roy Jones has showed the fans is that he can stay on the outside. Iíve been his by some big punchers. Roy Jones hasnít fought the opposition I fought. He was pound-for-pound, but he stepped up and took his crown.

The reason why I didnít show up to the fight in Atlantic City, they told me not to show up because Gatti didnít want the fight because I didnít go to court. Listen, I was not guilty. I pleaded a no-contest just to get this fight. This is free money to me Ė itís easy work. I donít cry or complain about anything. ďIím sick.Ē He is an excuse master Ė heís got so many excuses.

I can adapt to any style. Iím on my way to Miami to party with the Puff Daddy. Then Iím on my way out to Hawaii.

Arturo Gatti is nothing but a heavy bag. Iíll go to any local gym and hit the heavy bag- thatís ArturoGatti and thatís my training camp. Why call him a bum? Because he is a bum. Anybodyís a bum when you have a chance to make millions of dollars and heís ducking and dodging. I call him a bum because they call him blood and guts and heís ducking me.

I signed two contacts. Iíve been signing contracts. I signed a contract six months ago. He didnít want the fight to go to purse bid. And he was going to get stripped of his title. It was forced on him.

What about the Leija fight?

Mayweather: Thatís what is supposed to happen to a man that is 40. You are supposed to bust a man up that is 40. When I tried to get a fight with Leija, they told me donít ask for that fight.

Do you think that Gatti is the best puncher that youíve ever faced?

Mayweather: No. Not at all. Anybody can crack but it will be no harder than mine. My strategy is to win. Donít get big headed and listen. First of all after I beat him Iíll have to party on his turf. Have a big party on his turf. Then I look forward to fighting Oscar de la Hoya Ė Iíve been chasing this guy for the longest. Every time I talk about him you guys never write it. I wish you reporters would write it. I am willing to make the jump to 147 to test my dadís training skills against my boxing skills. He feels heís got the best trainer in the world and I feel Iíve got the best trainer in the world. Iíve got Roger Mayweather and heís got Floyd Mayweather, Sr. So letís make this fight happen. I feel that this is nothing but a stepping stone for me. I look forward to fighting Kostya Tszyu Ė thatís a fight for me.

Iím calling them out and always saying their name but they are never saying my name.

Whoís the best puncher you have faced?

Mayweather: I really canít say. Iíve been his with some good shots. Then I say Iím going to punish him for that. Thatís what I do. Iím the punisher.

Who is your p4p?

Mayweather: How many different weight classes has Bernard been to? Heís been at one weight class, OK? I could have stayed at 130 all day and milked it. I was at 130 then 135 and now 140. Then Iím going to 147. Iíll be a four time world champion in four weight classes. There is no way you can put him on the same level as me. If Roy Jones was P4P, and a P4P guy beat Bernard Hopkins, but he got knocked out twice, where does that rank me at? You do the homework. You do the math. I am in exciting fights. All these fighters going the distance. They should be busting these guys up and taking care of business. I didnít see the Hopkins fight. I donít care too much for him and he doesnít care too much for me. All of his fights go the distance. That is too many rounds for me. If there was a lot of banging and a lot of punishment, then Iíll watch it. How high can you go up?

Mayweather: My daddy was a welterweight. Iíve got his genes so I know I can carry welterweight. There are guys in the welterweight division that are shorter than me. Iíve got the frame to carry the weight. I look good and strong any weight class I go to. I respect Tuszyu because he earned the respect. I donít respect Arturo Gatti. He has not been a professional about this at all.

Who is the biggest puncher?

Mayweather: Iíve been hit with a good shot but Iíve never been rattled. There are a lot of guys that can punch. If you turn your bosy right you can make him a soft puncher. Pernell Whitaker could turn a punch over and hit you with a good shot. This guy can punch, but I am not worried about that. Iíll walk right through it.

Most rewarding victory?

Mayweather: Genaro Hernandez was the most rewarding. Because that was the start of everything, he gave me a chance. I have more respect for Genaro Hernandez than any fighter. Anybody that gave me a chance, I have respect for. Right here Ė this guy didnít give me my chance. I was forced on him. I had been the mandatory but I had to fight two mandatory bouts. This stuff is crazy.

How will you look back at this fight. As a stepping stone. I would feel better beating Tszyu than beating Gatti because heís a much better fighter. Heís at the top oif his game and Iím on the top of my game. When two fighters at the top of their game mee Ė thatís what I like. One day I was eating dinner with both Bob Arum and Kostya Tszyu and I could tell that I was going to fight him one day.

You canít judge a book by its cover. They called him the Louisville Lip but they loved him after he was long gone.

This fight is probably one of your easiest fightÖ

Mayweather: Absolutely. This is so big to me because it is pay-per-view and I want everybody to tune in. This fight is worth buying because I am going to give you an entertaining show.

I have to keep racking up victories and give the fansÖIím doing this for the fans and all of the people around the world. They want exciting fights. They want to see guys that are willing to take that risk and go to another weight class. I went to 130 and beat Castillo and beat the best they had. I go to 140 and they said Gatti is the most exciting, well the give him to me. I need to have that WBC belt strapped around my waist and that will be my third one.

What did you think when you heard Gatti wasn;t going to be there?

Mayweather: First, Leonard Ellerby came to my room and he said ďFloyd, you were right. Arturo Gatti is scared.Ē I had the fight face on and then I smiled. He can say what he wants. I know this sport. I know boxing inside out. When my career is over Iím going to be a good commentator and a good writer because I know the sport. I know how fighters act and I know if they are scare or not. I go out and call people out because thatís what the media wants. After my fights I go on TV and say, ĎI want to fight Arturo Gatti. I want to fight Kostya Tszyu. I want to fight Shane Mosley. I want to fight Oscar De La Hoya.í I literally say their names.

I donít want to go steal the show on that man. They said he had the stomach flu. They said his temperature was 102. I guess it will be down tomorrow because I donít want it to go to 140. I donít want his temperature to be the same as his weight class.

They better keep him away from me.

Why has Gatti held so much appeal for so long?

Mayweather: First of all, the fans are demanding this fight. Plus, I need that belt. Heís got something I want. I am truly upset. I would have fought this case because I knew I was not guilty. I put it on my kids life that I was not guilty. I pleaded no contest just to get this fight. Once I pleaded no contest, he starts talking about the contract. I signed the contract before he signed it. Then they cam back and gave me another contract.

I know when someone is taylor-made for me. That I will punish. He is flatfooted. Throwing bi wild shots. Leaning in and giving body shots. I will punish a guy like that.

I am going to tell Larry Merchant, Ďthis is the guy you like, so this is the guy I will punish him.

How will you direct you comments to him?

Mayweather: Heís already beat. Heís beat mentally. I just have to do the physical part. I beat every fighter mentally before I beat him physically. There is no one there stronger than me mentally.

To be honest with you, I normally beat guys with my C-game and I donít have to pull my A or B game out. When I do pull my a-game out you will see Gatti not even land his punches,

What will happen when you knock him out in front of his fans?

Mayweather: Nothing. They will tell me what theyíve been telling me. ďYouíre the best.Ē They will say, ďFloyd, we knew you were going to do that, but we are from Atlantic City and we were pulling for him.

Miguel CottoÖ

I will hit him on the chin and finish him.

Kermit ContronÖ

I am too great. Margarito will knock him out.

Zab Judah is a great friend of mine but if the money is right, we will make it happen. Zab is a regular at my house. I donít think we would fight. Heís my friend.

Iím fighting this fight. Then I need a tune-up at 147, then I will go straight at Oscar.

Iím itching to fight Gatti because of all the stuff he put me through. I did not want to plead no contest. I was not guilty. Heís going to pay for that.

They are trying to make him think he is an A fighter because he has been having wars with C class fighters. Iím going to get up for Gatti and Iím going to train.

Article posted on 01.04.2005

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