|Heated Interview with Floyd Mayweather Jr - "Money" Gets Agitated over Drug Question
By Gabriel Montoya, Max Boxing (March 6, 2010) Special to Doghouse Boxing
The following interview with Floyd Mayweather Jr. was conducted by Gabriel Montoya. The interview gets very heated and deals with Manny Pacquiao and the drug testing issue and more. Gabriel caught up with Mayweather at Thursday's press conference in L.A.
Gabriel's article with Interview starts now/ Gabriel writes: The question I found most pressing today, beyond fight strategy, was “why now”? Why demand now that the sport of boxing and one fighter in particular come clean or prove their cleanliness. I mean, I don’t disagree that the sport should clean up its act and that a grand gesture from two top fighters would be huge for that movement. What I am curious about thought is why now for Floyd? In the midst of my ongoing search for answers to the PEDs in boxing questions, it seemed only logical that when presented an opportunity to get answers from the man that started this firestorm of change: Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Before I do, I’d like to preface this next section by saying that while I absolutely support better drug testing in all sports, the more I explore this topic, the more I question if the prohibition of performance enhancing drugs will ever work and if we should even bother trying anymore which is again, a question for another bag.
I had heard a rumor that the drug testing in the Mosley/Mayweather fight might be a dog and pony show; that the testing, while agreed to, was not actually going to happen. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaeffer assured me it was not a sham and that in fact, the testing would begin at the start of training camp which an unnamed source told me meant the moment after the last presser. That’s as of yet unconfirmed.
So that question answered, I spoke with Shane on the subject as it pertained to him. That’ll be in the story, too.
And finally, I went and talked to Floyd, surrounded by a lot of people I didn’t know, flanked by Leonard Ellerbe and talking to intrepid L.A. Times scribe Lance Pugmire. After a couple answers about how he gets labeled boring and how he doesn’t pick and choose opponents ( from now on just assume the report will have the quotes so I don’t have to keep saying it), I finally got around to asking Floyd my question. Here’s the Q n A version of what went down.
GM: You’ve been in the sport your whole life, been a champion for years and have been at the top of the sport for several years, what made you decide to clean up the sport and do the blood testing? Why now?
MM: Because I’m the face of boxing. I just want to show the world that my sport, that I’m in, is a clean sport. That’s all I’m saying. And you’ve got to realize this. I don’t read negative articles but you know I hear the fans say “Floyd don’t listen to the media, don’t listen to the writers because of this.” The thing is this. I’m fighting against the media, I’m fighting against all the writers, all the photographers, I’m fighting against everybody. I’m fighting against all the internet blogs AND I’m fighting against the opponent. You have to be mentally strong to be able to do that and to be able to hold up fifteen years as a professional and dominate in the professional ranks. But I was trying to fight Mosley when he was undefeated. And then I tried to fight him again. He said he had a toothache. But I told Mosley one day, I said “Listen. All roads will lead to me. You will make your biggest payday facing me.” He said “Awww no. You’re not really getting the money you say you’re getting. You’re not getting thirty million. You’re not getting forty million. Aww no, you’re not getting seventy million. That’s just talk. The thing is this with Mosley. He beat Oscar twice. He says he’s a partner in the company but then he was just fighting on the undercard of Marco Antonio Barrera. But then he went to ESPN. Not saying that there’s nothing wrong with ESPN but I’m just saying that shows you how history has went.
Then Floyd answered a question about Latinos by saying “I love the Mexicans. I love the Latinos” and I thought “As long as they’re not asking me questions.”
Now, he didn’t really answer my question at all and so I was stuck with the problem of having to ask it again. I’m not a confrontational type of reporter. I tend to hate reporters who act like a one- man angry mob. But I wanted an answer and on a nice segue cue from Floyd about being the “Face of Boxing” I jumped right back in with:
GM: You became the face of boxing when you dominated Oscar De La Hoya__
MM: Before then I’ve been the face of boxing___
GM: You became a crossover star when you beat De La Hoya.
MM: Well the thing is this. Floyd Mayweather is versatile. I’m able to go to something else and dominate. I’m a household name___
GM: But you weren’t that until after Oscar. My question is this: Why the Pacquiao fight? Why that fight? Why did you wait until then to do the blood testing?
MM: Well, well, it’s, it’s, because, it’s, it’s out with the old and in with the new. At one particular time, fighters didn’t have to take a urine test at all.
GM: I fully support this. Why then?
MM: At one particular time, fighters didn’t have to take HIV tests. But they do because somebody had to make a stand. So I’m making a stand. That’s all I’m saying.
GM: Why that moment?
MM: Why not?
GM: But why not before?
MM: But why not?
Leonard Ellerbe (who I have been trying to get an interview with Floyd through for about a month now after telling him I fully support blood testing in the sport and want to give Floyd and him a chance to voice their opinions on the subject in a feature article): Things change. Ten years ago, you weren’t doing the same thing you’re doing now, right?
Now during the rest of this exchange, Floyd began to get more and more agitated as I continued to try and get my answer. He first put one hand on my chest to make a point as he advanced closer to me. Then again. And again. Then a hand resting around my shoulder. Then two hands on my chest. And again and again and again. It was to say the least strangely aggressive, very funny, and downright disrespectful. It was also a first for me. Had we been two strangers in a bar and not a fight junkie boxing reporter and the best boxer of the last ten years, this might have ended ugly but as it was, it ended oddly.
MM: Ten years ago everything wasn’t on the internet like it is now, right? So one day___
GM: But was there anything specific about that particular fighter that brought this on?
MM: I’m just saying__it’s not one particular fighter. I’m making [Mosley] do the same thing. What are you talking about?
GM: But he’s the first guy you asked.
MM: But he’s not the first guy that__listen, listen. The thing is this___
GM: That’s not the first guy you asked?
MM: The thing is this about boxing, a guy don’t come from, and understand I am saying any guy in the sport, he’s not going to be ordinary and then get to the age of twenty-five or over twenty-five and then become extraordinary. So you should ask yourself that question. As a reporter, you should know that.
GM: (smiling) Maybe I’ll answer it.
MM: (something unintelligible) baby.
GM: You don’t have to put your hands on me, though.
And then reporters jumped in with more questions as Floyd said something I couldn’t hear and stepped back. Soon after, Floyd ended the interview session.
Now I ask you, Floyd, Manny and boxing fans in general, did Floyd answer the question? For a guy who constantly reminds boxing writers that we know nothing about boxing because we’ve never boxed, he sure has a lot of advice about how to be a reporter. Ask myself? I never thought of that. That’ll make this job so much easier. Smaller phone bills, less time getting information. I’ll just ask me. Genius. Though since I know nothing about boxing having never been a boxer, I’d have to say from here on out, my takes might be questionable.
You know, if you asked why I became a writer, I’d be able to tell you the exact moment it began. Hell, if you looked deep enough, you could find the first urine test and why it happened. You’d think that if you asked the leader of a new reform movement when he first got the idea to go for it, he’d 1) Be able to tell you and 2) Wouldn’t be defensive about doing so. Floyd was unable to pull off either of those things on Thursday. And it left me with another why unanswered.
Gabriel at: email@example.com.
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