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Just before he entered jail to serve his term after being found guilty of domestic violence against his wife, Floyd Mayweather told a group of journalists he would return from prison a stronger man. Just before challengers hope that the jail term will melt the rated richest sportsman, the moneyman warns he will show no mercy on his return to the ring.
You don’t need any introduction, the best fighter in the planet.
First off, I want to thank the media, all the different websites that have been supporting me for so many years; it has truly been a blessing. I appreciate the stories. I appreciate you guys covering all my fights. I take my hat off to you.
Considering all the things that have been going on with boxers and athletes and their careers how they’re derailed sometimes by personal problems, legal things, how are you going to be able to overcome that and maybe stay focused, and not only now but into the future?
Well you got certain obstacles that get in your way throughout your career, but you have to be a strong individual. If anyone has followed my career they know that there’s been a lot of obstacles and a lot of ups and down through my career. But day in and day out and in the square circle I went out there and always did my best. I always put my boxing first.
While you’re away will you be able to come out and have the mentality to just restart life and go back to the gym and stay busy? How do you think about that at all?
Oh absolutely. My thing is I try to turn anything negative into something positive. That’s why when I go to the gym, when I see my family and I see my team and I see my fans come support me every day it’s a motivational builder for me. So even when I go away, the only thing it can do is make me mentally strong and grow mentally strong as a person. So, like I said before, certain things you go through in life is an obstacle. It’s all part of life, you have good days, you have bad days. But the main thing is to grow mentally and come out to beat people up.
If you’re your opponent and you’re watching what you do in workouts… you’re seeing somebody in that kind of shape at 35 years old?
I think I’m getting better with age, actually–I think I’m still sharp, I’m still hungry. But to answer that question as far as my opponent. I think if it was my opponent I think when he look at it he has to say, “I can’t watch this,” because I know there’s no fighter in the history of the sport that’s dedicated like I’m dedicated. There’s no fighter that’s going to work as hard as Floyd Mayweather.
Do you ever get tired of doing these interviews where you have to answer questions about what you have said before?
The Media can make or break you and has written bad stories about me, the media has written great stories about me, but this is what I chose … and its my life and this comes with it. Sometimes you may be like, “Damn.” Even a fan, a fan may come to you and may want to take a picture, but that day you’re not feeling it, you’re not feeling right, something can be going wrong in your household, but sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. When I walk away from a fan sometimes that I don’t take a picture for or I don’t sign a autograph for it bothers me.
But I can’t go out to a regular store like everyone else, but like I said before, this is what I chose so I mean something has to suffer, it’s certain sacrifices that has to be made, so I don’t mind doing it with the media. They have been great to me, so it’s okay to get on here to give at least 45 minutes to an hour of my time for the press.
What's your state of mind going into a fight?
I’m always in a great state of mind before the fight, after the fight, and when the fight is happening. I’m blessed-I’m blessed to be able to put my family in a great position. Like I said before, I’m able to give my children the education that I didn’t have. I made certain sacrifices for my family so, like I said before, I don’t try to think about the negative thing when we are in gym. We always smiling, as you can see in training camp, we always having fun. I’m very, very outspoken, very animated, and that’s just my personality.
You have been described as not only one of the most talented but one of the most despised athletes in the world. Do you think that’s true, and if so why?
Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. When I go into an arena, right, if the fans are cheering that’s a great thing. Fans boo, they boo, that’s a great thing, because they’re letting me know that I’m relevant and they’re letting me know that they do know who I am, and if they didn’t make a noise then I would have a problem with that. But the great thing is that they boo, they cheer, they know who I am so I’m relevant. So at one particular time in their life they paid attention to me, so it’s a good thing.
What does team celebration look and feel like after a victory?
Well actually what we do after a victory is we go to my house and we sit down to eat a meal and just talk, we don’t even talk about the fight. We sit down to eat a meal and we just sit down and just talk about life. Now once that’s over, we leave it where it is, behind us, and we move on to the next, what’s the next venture, what’s the next thing we can get involved with and take things to the next level, what’s the next concert that we can do, let’s talk about some real estate business, let’s talk about some visions and the movies that we can get involved with.
Can you talk about your thoughts about the drug testing and what would have to happen for boxing to have reform where it is mandatory to have random drug testing?
Like I said before, let's do it on an even playing field; that’s what I truly believe. I think that Manny Pacquiao had done a lot in the sport, but he should also be standing behind me and say, “We should clean up the sport because I’m a clean athlete.” So I’m letting the world know that Floyd Mayweather is a clean athlete, and if you’re the best step up and take the test.
But it seems like you’re the one voice who is really pushing for the random testing. Who else do you think needs to stand up or should stand up with you? Is it the promoters, is it the commissions?
Well I don’t know who else is going to stand up, but I’m going to stand up because I’m a fighter as well as a promoter, and we got the same vision, me and fighters have the same vision. I think a fighters health is more important than anything-health is more important than money. So I want any fighter or anybody that’s reading this interview to stand behind me just so all fighters can go into a fight and feel comfortable knowing that he was fair and the opponent that he’s across the ring from is fair.
Every fighter that you face has talked about coming in with a game plan to beat Floyd Mayweather. Do you find it funny when everybody keeps saying that they have this game plan to beat you?
Well 43 times they game plan hasn’t worked. Why won’t a fighter just say I’m going to go out there and win, I’m going to fight hard, and the game plan is to go in there and just do me?
In one of your interviews, you mentioned the retirement age being 37, you’re not looking to fight past 38. Why did you come to that conclusion of 37, why’d you pick that age?
It’s just the number that I chose. I’m really not sure, could be earlier, could be later, but that’s just a reasonable number that I chose.
Does that mean given that you said 37 is possibly the age we may only get to see you for maybe three more times before you call it quits?
Of course I want to give you guys more than just a few more fights. I want to fight plus five more if I can.
Where do you see in five years from now?
I really can’t say. Hopefully my children have graduated from high school, that’s very, very important; I want my mother to still be happy and want to be able to go over my mother house every Sunday, like I do; and I want Mayweather Promotions to be a very, very huge company, which I truly believe will happen. There’s so many different things that I want, but everything takes time. I believe in just taking one day at a time and eventually my goals will get accomplished.
What do you want to be your legacy? You have talk you want to clean up the boxing, that’s very good.
I mean that’s going to be a part of history anyway, I think, in the sport of boxing. Eventually random blood and urine test will be in the sport of boxing, I truly, truly believe it, and everyone’s going to be saying Mayweather was the first one–he was the first one. It’s not a good thing, I think it’s a great thing that I’ll be a part of history and I was a part of cleaning up a sport that’s been around for ages.
What does it take for something to actually challenge you?
I think that I don’t believe in people praising me. I don’t want to be praised for being in a war. I want to be able to say that I put in the hard work, before I got to that ring I put in the hard work in training, I was mentally ready, I was physically ready, and I worked my ass off before I got to that ring and if you work hard before you get there the job would be that much easier. So that’s what I want to be remembered for, this guy worked hard and when he got to the ring he made it look so easy.
Tell us the last time something actually did challenge you?
I’m challenged every day as far as when I go into that gym, as far as trying to out work the young guys in the gym, and I’m out working them every day. It’s a good thing. The young guys are pushing, every day the young guys push me and push me. I see a young guy doing something in the gym he’s probably doing one of the exercises that he seen me do on TV or that he came to the boxing gym and watched me do. If I see him do a certain number I got to out do him if I want to stay on top.
Do you think in some ways that works against you, by which I mean perhaps some people don’t recognize how skilled you are because either you’re physically superior or you’re technically superior to the point where people kind of shrug their shoulders and don’t quite get what’s involved?
Like I said before, I’ve never fought a guy at a catchweight. I don’t fight guys at catchweights. I don’t put plaster in my gloves. These are things I don’t do, because I’m not that type of guy. What I do do is I dedicate myself when it’s time to fight, and that’s what I can say I do do. To each his own.
As far as my career I think, like I said before, I think I will be really appreciated probably 15, 20 years from now I think I’ll really be appreciated. It’s crazy, it’s crazy every day I look at the sport and I’m very, very happy that I basically got my own style–in the sport of boxing I have my own style. When a fighter’s fighting they be like, “Oh that’s Mayweather style,” and I think that’s a great thing. You got southpaw, you got orthodox, and you also got Mayweather style. I think that’s a great thing. Canelo has done it, Cotto has done it, Gamboa has done it, Andre Dirrell has done it, Andre Ward has done it; a lot of fighters have done it, and I think it’s a great thing. And all those fighters are, like I said before, they’re champions.
One last thing, for you personally, and you know as big as this fight’s going to be a multitude of people still want to see you and Pacquiao. Are you personally disappointed in the fact that that fight hasn’t happened?
No, I don’t worry about that, I don’t worry about that at all. If it really was all about Pacquiao, if it really was all about Pacquiao then I didn’t have to fight all 42 opponents; all I had to do was come to the sport of boxing and fight one guy then I would went down as the best, just one guy. So I guess the 42 guys that I’ve faced didn’t count. All I had to really do was come into the sport of boxing and train for just one fight, just train for one twelve-round fight, beat that guy, then I was going down in history as the best.
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