Monday, April 19, 2010
Mayweather vs Mosley
Posted By Anthony Wilson 12:00 PM
"You better give me your check you dumb mother------!" - Floyd Mayweather Jr, speaking of Shane Mosley in episode two of "24/7 Mayweather/Mosley"
It should be no secret by now that Nazim Richardson is a favorite boxing figure of The Rumble. Avi can tell you first hand how engaging a personality he is, as he has interviewed him on more than one occasion. I also love hearing Nazim speak - his rhetoric is rich and inimitable. I know of no one involved in the sport who is capable of more grandiose speech, and I find him engrossing because of it.
On the second episode of HBO's "24/7 Mayweather/Mosley," which premiered Saturday night, Richardson's gift for gab is quite evident.
"My impression of the fight: Shane is going to come out and hit Floyd in the mouth, and Floyd is going to sprout a tail, grow wings, draw fangs and claws, and turn into a dragon in the ring," Richardson states in the process of delivering what has become a go-to metaphor for him during the lead-up to the fight. "And start spitting fireballs. And I'm going to tell Shane to use lateral motion to get away from the fireballs, slide up under him, step on his tail, and punch him in the stomach. Because we're still not going to lose just because he turned into a dragon."
Nazim compared himself and Shane to Lewis and Clark when explaining their goal for May 1 - the goal of course being to hand Floyd Mayweather Jr. his first loss.
"We're pioneers, we're paving the way," he says. "We have to be the first to do this.
"I can't be concerned that nobody beat him yet. So? To me that opens the door for you. Nobody here ever been to a buffet and wanted to be the 21st at the buffet. You wanted to be the first person at the table if you could when the food was fresh. Because the first person's the one they remember."
Maybe Nazim is reaching with his comparisons, but I don't care. I enjoy it.
He was involved in my favorite part of the episode: him and opposing trainer Roger Mayweather taking part in a media conference call, during which a reporter mentions to Roger that Shane says he will knock Floyd out and asks whether or not he thinks his nephew has enough power to stop Mosley. Roger either innocently misinterprets the question or simply decides to do with it what he wants, but either way his answer shows he didn't want to miss out on an opportunity to needle the opposition.
"What do you mean? The power he got with them steroids, or the power he got natural? I don't know what you're talking about," Roger responds with his trademark sardonicism present in his expression. "Did he have the test yet? Okay then. I don't know. I can't answer a question that I don't know the facts to."
Irritated by this mockful jab, Nazim (who is fiercely protective of his fighters) retorts heatedly, noting that Mosley never tested positive for anything and denouncing the fact that his fighter agreed to the random testing and yet still has to hear his name constantly brought up in relation to steroids. In an attempt to go eye for eye, Richardson references reports that Mayweather has used the painkiller Xylocaine in the past to numb his fragile hands. Leonard Ellerbe (coming seemingly out of nowhere, though he always seems to be around to aid Floyd's cause) jumps in to deny the accusations and label them nothing more than nasty rumors. Richardson responds by saying that's what happens when people keep talking about things that have nothing to do with the actual fight: folks start asking questions about everything.
But while Nazim was obviously perturbed, Roger was clearly the opposite. He was amused. Roger, Floyd Sr., and Floyd Jr. are all clownish villains (I don't mean that in a bad way, I find them endlessly entertaining), but each also has his own distinct style. Roger's is perhaps most characterized by that smirk he often wears, that sort of dark humor often written on his face. It's his own look.
I thought it was funny to see Richardson get so upset, while Roger sported a grin that would make you think he was crazy if you didn't know any better (and I guess he is a little crazy).
But we already know Roger very well, he's a veteran of the "24/7" game. My intent has been to focus on Richardson, whom I believe succeeded in realizing his potential as a Roach-like "24/7" force in episode two. Though he vowed not to, Nazim even talked a little smack.
"Little Floyd Mayweather Jr.," he says. "Pops was an outstanding fighter. Uncles were outstanding fighters. How many fights in the neighborhood was this guy really going to have? Everybody in the neighborhood know that your uncles and pop and them got a reputation already. How many fist fights was you really going to get into? How much gorilla stuff? So I can get in front of the camera and talk like I'm really from the block, but what's real is real."
Little Floyd rarely shies away from trash talking, and he began the show by uneashing diatribes. Cameras show him watching the end of last week's show, after which he (apparently unconvinced) takes off on Mosley's claim that he's not fighting for money right now.
"This dumb mother------ said he fighting because other fighter feel like they're better than him!" Mayweather bellows. "Man, you dumb mother------, you almost 40 years old! You better be fighting for a check you dumb mother------!"
Floyd will always be great TV for the same reason he's such a lighting rod in general: the guy is just a natural talker, from his foul-mouthed provocations to the way he delivers his unshakable self-belief.
"I got to be a damn fool to give this sport 33 years of my life to say there's another fighter better than me," he reasons. "Someone may say, ‘Ah, he say he better than Muhammad Ali.' Yep, I'm better than Muhammad Ali. Sugar Ray Robinson? Yep, I'm better than Sugar Ray Robinson. I would never say it's another fighter better than me. Absolutely not."
He's never afraid to toot his own horn. You can agree or disagree with his points, but he's going to state them.
"I'm a machine, I'm a machine," he explains. "Because I can generate the most. Not Oscar de la Hoya. Not S---- Shane Mosley, with the nose job. Me. Classy, clean cut. Straight shooter.
"I approach everything in life like this: If you say f--- me, I'm saying f--- you. If you say you don't like me, I don't like you. Don't disrespect if you don't want to get disrespected. Period."
Though he has barely been mentioned thus far, Shane Mosley was (obviously) not absent from this episode. Most notably, the relationship between him and his 19-year-old son, amateur fighter Shane Jr. (who bears a noticable resemblence to his dad) and him and his father/former trainer, Jack Mosley (of whom he is a spitting image) is detailed.
But I feel like he's kind of lost in-between the more intriguing Richardson and Mayweather. Shane is not really a personality, he's just a hardcore, great fighter and top-of-the-line competitor. As such, I find him most gripping when he's stating his simple desire.
"I'm not sure what Floyd thinks in his mind," Shane says. "But I think if he can't intimidate you he feels like something's not right. Something's going on, something went wrong, something's wrong. So he gets frantic. I don't really care. I don't care about you getting frantic, I don't care about you going crazy, I don't care about the things you say. I have a goal. I have one goal. That's to be the best."
I believe Floyd has the same goal, but with him it always seems to come back to the money.
"Shane Mosley is trying to figure out, What's the remedy?" Floyd says. "How is you stealing so much money? Baby, I'm a bank robber. Get your ski mask on. Get ready, because May 1 - it's going to be a stick-up."
The fight is 12 days away.