(Photo credit: Esther Lin/Showtime) LAS VEGAS (May 1, 2013) – Tensions flared, insults flew and blows were nearly exchanged during the final main event press conference Wednesday for “MAY DAY: Mayweather vs. Guerrero” this Saturday, May 4, live on SHOWTIME PPV from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
No, Eight-Time and Five-Division World Champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. and Six-Time and Four-Division Champion Robert “The Ghost ‘’Guerrero didn’t go at it three days before they’ll get paid to do so, but their trainers, who also are their fathers, Floyd Sr. and Ruben Guerrero, got into it during a heated, intense verbal exchange. This time, Ruben was the instigator. Before he even made it to the podium to speak, he was hurling insults at Floyd Jr., who was seated at the dais.
Later, it was Floyd Sr.’s turn. After the speaking portion of the press conference had concluded, the fighters had already posed for photographs and Floyd Jr. was doing an interview with SHOWTIME when Floyd Sr. approached the stage, screaming at Ruben every step of the way.
Floyd Sr. had watched the proceedings from the media section (at Floyd Jr.’s insistence). Once he made it on the stage, the fathers were quickly separated and order was restored.
See below what the fighters, their fathers and executives said Wednesday:
FLOYD MAYWEATHER, Eight-Time and Five-Division World Champion
“I want to thank God, my entire team, Golden Boy, CBS, SHOWTIME, everybody behind the scenes for doing a tremendous job.
“Obviously, Robert Guerrero has done something right to get here. He’s the best out there. I’ve pushed myself to the limit. I’ve done all I can do to be the best I can be.
(Regarding his decision to keep Floyd Sr. off the dais): “Just to avoid any conflict. That’s why I let my father sit down low, in the audience, because I don’t want any conflict. I’m trying to avoid anyone getting hurt. If I’m up here and Robert’s up here, and my dad and his dad get to fighting, and they fall on him or fall on me, somebody’s finger gets broke or something happens, somebody gets cut, then we’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars down the drain
“I think I made a smart decision. I don’t have to fight his father. I’m here to fight the fighter. Like I told my dad, just carry yourself in a classy way.”
(Regarding the addition of his father to his corner after the Miguel Cotto fight): “It was an exciting fight, but I feel there are certain things my father can see that maybe Roger can’t. When you have diabetes, your vision gets bad. I can’t afford for somebody’s vision to be bad in a big fight like this.”
ROBERT GUERRERO, Six-Time and Four-Division World Champion
“First off I want to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I’m ready. I’m excited. You guys talk about this being Floyd Mayweather’s home, we’re doing a home invasion (on Saturday).
“Like my father said, ‘I am who I am, I’m going to be who I am.’ That’s who he (Ruben) is. I can’t tell him what to say and tell him what not to say. That’s my father. He’s going to do what he does.
“That 0 has to go. Records are made to be broken. On May 4, that record is going to be broken. He’s going to have his first loss. You better believe that because I’m ready to go. I can’t wait.
“My dad is pumped up. That’s the real Mr. ALL ACCESS right there. It’s good you have security here and the officers because he’s not all talk.
“I’m relaxed and ready to go. It’s fight time. That’s what I’m here for. It’s time to make it happen
“Anytime is the right time to catch Floyd. It’s just a matter of getting the fight. You’ll see a new WBC world champ on Saturday. I’m taking over. Records are made to be broken and we’re going to give him his first ‘1.’”
FLOYD MAYWEATHER SR.
(Regarding his son prohibiting him from sitting at the dais): “He knows how I am. He knows I’m the kind of guy I am that I won’t be listening to that B.S. and that I’m gonna attack.
“The head trainer is always supposed to be up there on the podium. I guess they didn’t want me up there. Why is his daddy up there and I’m down here?’’
(On whether the Ruben Guerrero tiff may spill over to Saturday): “The thing about it, when his son gets his butt whupped, you know he’s not going to want to get his whupped too. I don’t think it’s going to spill over anywhere. I think the crap’s going to be over with once his son gets whupped.”
“I’m ready. My son is ready. I’m blessed. He’s blessed. I am what I am. My son’s gonna beat him up.’’
(On the disagreement and Floyd Sr. not being on the dais): “I’ll hurt him, man. If I hit him one time, I don’t want to be responsible. He opened his mouth first. He opened the can of worms. If he’s going to talk, I’ll do it for real.
“They should’ve let him hang up here like a real man.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“On behalf of Mayweather Promotions, I want to thank all of our partners. This has been a wonderful, wonderful promotion. I want to thank all the fans watching this on CBS Sports Network. This will be a great event on Saturday night. Thanks to all of you today for coming out.”
RICHARD STURM, President of Sports and Entertainment for MGM Resorts International
“I’m pleased to welcome back Floyd Mayweather to his home for the first time since last May 5 when he fought Miguel Cotto and to welcome back Robert Guerrero, who is making his debut on pay-per-view and fighting for the first time at MGM since he fought Michael Katsidis (April 2011).”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President of Golden Boy Promotions
“I want to thank everybody involved with this promotion. It’s a pleasure to be able to put on such a great event. We’re making history, one fight at a time. Mayweather is fighting a young, hungry lion in Guerrero. I’m really looking forward to it.
“Plus the co-feature and the two other fights are going to make for a very, very special, explosive and entertaining night of fighting.”
RICHARD SCHAEFER, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions
“I want to thank all our sponsors. This is the largest number we’ve ever had.
“This is a top-notch card from top to bottom. Robert Guerrero deserves to be here. He wanted this fight and plans to shock the world. This will be the toughest fight for Floyd. The co-feature is one of the most anticipated showdowns: Ponce De Leon and Abner Mares. You won’t want to miss a second of it.
“This event has been much talked about and is just a few days away. We have a few tickets left. The telecast is available in Spanish using SAP (Secondary Audio Programming), and you can watch it on closed circuit and in movie theatres.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports
“SHOWTIME is in the middle of an extremely strong run of boxing events and boxing programming, perhaps the strongest in its history, and the ratings reflect that.
“Two weeks ago, in front of nearly 40,000 fans in the sold-out Alamodome, we saw Canelo Alvarez come of age in a very hard fought victory over Austin Trout. It was a fight that attracted over 1.3 million viewers, the second most in SHOWTIME’s Nielsen history.
“Last Saturday, in front of the largest boxing crowd in the history of Barclays Center, we drew the largest boxing rating of any of the networks.
“I call this the Grand Finale. Not only because it’s Floyd Mayweather and pay-per-view, but because we have a determined challenger who is going to make him fight. The co-feature between Ponce De Leon and Mares could be a main event anywhere. In fact it was a main event until we moved it to this card.”