By Sean Crose
“I know I’m late,” Floyd Mayweather told a room full of reporters on Saturday before announcing his upcoming May 3d fight with Marcos Maidana. Indeed, Mayweather was late. Over a full hour late. Yet he wasn’t going to offer an apology. “I was up late,” he said. “I was up gambling last night.”
Imagine being so glib with your own boss. That’s the thing about Mayweather, though. He doesn’t have a boss. He’s his own boss. That’s why he can have a press conference to announce a boxing match called “The Moment,” without spending more than a moment talking about it.
“Go get a hat. Go get a shirt. Go get accessories,” uttered the world’s pound for pound best fighter, hawking his own clothing line. It was hard not to get the impression on Saturday that the highest paid athlete in all of sports was no longer as interested in boxing as he was in his various business enterprises.
And in being in complete control.
“I want you to shoot me from this angle,” Floyd told a cameraman who was taping the event for Showtime’s All Access program. He then got up from his seat, walked across the stage and proceeded to direct the camerman as if he were Martin Scorcese.
He wasn’t done, though. Mayweather went on to cut off Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer (“I got this, Ritchie) then proceeded to call out his publicist, Kelly Swanson, for wanting to move the proceedings along before he was damned good and ready to.
One was left to wonder if Mayweather behaved as he did on Saturday in order to cast himself in the role of villain. Perhaps, one might have thought, his behavior was just a ploy to lure in more pay per view buys in May. If that were the case, though, why wouldn’t Mayweather have spent more time talking about the upcoming bout with Maidana?
Even Roberto Garcia, Maidana’s trainer, acted as if the fight itself might well be a foregone conclusion. “I think everybody has a time,” Garcia said softly of Mayweather, “and it could be this time.” Seriously? While no one asked Garcia to reenact George C. Scott’s speech from Patton, he could have at least exuded some confidence in his fighter.
Needless to say, the entire event was an exceedingly strange affair. True, it was a press conference, but it wasn’t about Floyd’s upcoming fight with Maidana. It was about Floyd. This may have had something to do with the fact Maidana himself wasn’t present – but it probably didn’t have all that much to do with it.
At times the whole thing seemed like an insanely long acceptance speech at the Oscars. Thanks and shout outs were given to all sorts of people in the Mayweather universe. Floyd even expressed gratitude to the gang over at Fight Hype, which seems to be the only outlet he will grant interviews to regularly.
The man had the usual things to say, of course, like how great it was for him to leave Top Rank, how he fears no one and how he’s reached a level of success where he can pretty much do what he likes. “I fight who I want to fight,” he proclaimed defiantly.
The whole affair was so odd, random and puzzling, from Mayweather publicly condemning his own stable of fighters (“last time on Showtime, I wasn’t impressed.”) to his confusing Alfredo Angulo with Erislandy Lara (“the Cuban kid…I don’t know his name”) that it was hard not to shake one’s head at it.
What this all means when it comes down to fight night May 3d remains to be seen, of course. The only thing that was certain at Saturday’s press conference was that “The Moment” was all Floyd’s.