Thursday, April 15, 2010
By Brett Okamoto
In the sport of boxing, a fighter knows never to get sucked into his opponent's game.
According to Floyd Mayweather Jr., May 1 is still more than two weeks away and Shane Mosley already has made that mistake.
Known as a relatively quiet guy, Mosley noticeably has been more verbal with Mayweather while promoting their welterweight bout next month at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The current WBA champ also felt motivated to get some new body art in anticipation of May 1, all the more evidence to Mayweather that his opponent is not himself as the fight draws closer.
"I think he's kind of out of character," Mayweather said. "We all know that's not the real Shane Mosley. The guy waits until he's 38 to get tattoos? Come on."
Mayweather's father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., has also seen the transformation in Mosley and attributes it to one thing — fear.
"He's scared is why he's talking as much as he is," Mayweather Sr. said. "Shane is not a person that runs his mouth, but he's trying to talk the fight into himself. He's trying to build himself up and be the man that he wants to be when he gets in there.
"He wants to be the man he was when he beat Antonio Margarito. But that's not going to happen. Because he's not fighting Antonio Margarito. He's fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr., and he's in trouble."
As entertained as Mayweather has been with Mosley's attempts to keep up with him verbally, he says he's expecting a similar outcome when he tries to keep up physically.
In the same confident tone that the boxing world has come to know, Mayweather (40-0, 25 KO) stood by his perfect record and didn't seem to think that Mosley (46-5, 39 KO) or any other fighter, stands a chance at ruining it.
"I don't think no fighter has a chance of beating me," Mayweather said. "Floyd Mayweather is a born fighter. It's not my fault I'm so much better than the guys I'm facing. People want to see fights that are a toe-to-toe battle, but I'm just too smart and intelligent of a fighter."
Mayweather had an answer for every possible question thrown out regarding his upcoming opponent during Wednesday's open workout. He even used Mosley to answer a few questions he obviously didn't like.
Mayweather originally was set to fight Manny Pacquiao in March before negotiations broke down because of Pacquiao's unwillingness to undergo Olympic style drug testing.
Since the collapse of that fight, Mayweather has grown increasingly restless with the nonstop questions on a potential fight with Pacquiao in the future.
When asked Wednesday if he thought that fight could still be made, Mayweather responded, "Shane Mosley is a great fighter and that's why we chose Mosley. Tune in on May 1."
Mayweather Sr. also seemed disinterested on the topic of Pacquiao, but hinted on one thing.
The Filipino boxer filed a defamation lawsuit against the Mayweather camp after negotiations broke down. The suit was based on what Pacquiao said were false accusations the camp made that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
Mayweather Sr. said that in all his years involved in the sport, he's never seen a fighter turn to the courts over pre-fight trash talk.
"Right now, there's litigation going on with the courts," Mayweather Sr. said. "There's really nothing to talk about. He ain't nobody anyway. I've never heard of anybody doing something like this in boxing."
When asked if the lawsuit has been a distraction to him in his preparations for Mosley, Mayweather answered shortly.
"I don't know what lawsuit you're talking about," Mayweather said. "I'm famous. I get lawsuits from people all the time. Next question."
Another report regarding the addition of a rematch clause in Mayweather's contract with Mosley has raised the question in some fans of his confidence that he can win the fight.
Under the condition in the contract, Mayweather can demand an immediate rematch should he lose.
Mayweather's adviser Leonard Ellerbe laughed at the notion that it could affect his fighter's performance May 1 and said that a rematch clause is a basic piece of business designed to protect his fighter.
"First off, I want to be very clear and direct on this rematch clause," Ellerbe said. "It is a piece of business that has nothing to do with the fight. Somehow it's been misrepresented out there that Floyd wants the rematch and will fight based on the rematch. Floyd knew nothing about it.
"There are many unforeseen circumstances in a fight. You have cuts, no contests, disqualifications. If you don't have a rematch clause in place, you're screwed. So it's just a normal piece of business that we do and have done to protect our guy."
Regardless of what matters come up outside of the ring before Mayweather fights, he's proven time and again to be immune to distraction.
Whether or not a pending lawsuit or rematch clause is enough to break the trend is a question that will be answered May 1.
As one might guess, the Mayweather camp doesn't seem overly concerned.
"What does Shane Mosley bring to the table?" said Mayweather Sr. "He brings his ass to the table to get the (expletive) whooped out of him. Because that's what he's gonna get."