I spent the afternoon at Camp Mayweather last week as we were shooting a final interview with Floyd for his upcoming episode on IN THIS CORNER. For any that thought his participation in ‘Dancing with the Stars’ might make him somewhat vulnerable in his upcoming fight December 8th with unbeaten Ricky Hatton, think again, cause it ain’t happening.
I watched Floyd warm up and then go at least 10 rounds with two different sparring partners with only 30 seconds in between each round. He was as fresh at the end of the session as he was when it began. Mayweather then did his extraordinary working of the mitts with Uncle Roger Mayweather. After that, the toughest point of his workout, an interview with Smitty!
Floyd was in a very reflective mood about his place in life at this point, a far cry from what most of you have seen from him lately, especially on HBO’s 24/7 series. The 24/7 crew was there rolling their camera’s for the series currently airing. Floyd seems to thrive on the training aspect of boxing. He is at home in the gym as a bass in a lake. I get the feeling that this fight with Hatton will not be his last, but it may be one of the last times we see him in the ring.
He is, at 30 years of age, no doubt in his physical and pugilistic prime and couple that with the way he trains and you have a guy who could be around for quite some time. But I don’t believe that will be the case with Pretty Boy. You see Floyd wants to remain a Pretty Boy, which is why he trains like he does always coming to a fight in unbelievable shape. And that’s why he fights in the defensive posture that he does doing enough to win but keeping out of harms way with his tremendous skills.
He stated in the interview with me that he no longer needs to fight for money, he has made enough of that. He has also captured multiple titles in multiple divisions and has beaten some excellent fighters like Oscar Dela Hoya, Jose Luis Castillo, and Diego Corrales along the way. He really has nothing else to prove, or does he?
Well he really does have something else to prove to boxing fans and that is he needs a real dance partner and I don’t mean a Ginger Rogers for ‘Dancing with the Stars’. I mean he needs a Frazier for his Ali, an Arguello for his Pryor, a Hearns for his Hagler, a Morales for his Barrera. He needs a fighter to bring out the best, or the worst in him, inside the squared circle.
Arturo Gatti is a fighter who Mayweather destroyed, in fact Gatti is not in the same boxing area code with Mayweather, but Gatti is more beloved than Floyd by most boxing fans because of the fights he was in with the likes of need I say more than Micky Ward. Floyd has never been in anything close to that type of fight, that type of battle, that type of war. Most of that of course is do to the fact that he is such an excellent boxer, a great fighter, but so were Ali, Frazier, Arguello, Pryor, Hearns, Hagler, Morales, and Barrera. Those were all great fighters, but they benefited so much because they had each other. Gatti and Ward are not great fighters but they to benefited so much from having each other to tangle, not tango, with.
We know boxing fans would love to see Pretty Boy get a little ugly in a real brawl, we were hoping Dela Hoya could help provide that, but that was not be the case. Can ‘The Hit Man’ Ricky Hatton be the one who really exposes Floyd’s intestinal fortitude under extreme pressure? We shall soon see. We know boxing fans are hoping that will be the case. I wonder whether there is a part of Mayweather that hopes for that type of battle as well. I actually believe there is a part of him that wants to show to any, all and himself, that he has tremendous toughness to go along with that tremendous talent. Maybe we will all someday soon find out.
One thing I can tell you for sure after witnessing his program, physically a fighter cannot be more prepared than Mayweather, give him credit for that.
One quick note, a solid performance by Joan Guzman who successfully defended his share of the Super Featherweight title with a unanimous decision over Humberto Soto last Saturday night. Guzman is unbeaten at 28-0 (17kos) and with his unorthodox, quick, fun style and very good chin. He would be a nice future opponent for Manny Pacquiao.