A strangely subdued Floyd Mayweather looked uncomfortable and spoke with little passion and vehemence at today’s final press conference for his May 1 showdown against Sugar Shane Mosley.
It was a curiously stark contrast to Mayweather’s demeanor during the 24/7 episodes and many of his other press conferences.
There were several instances at Wednesday’s press conference where Mayweather did not seem to be himself. First, Mayweather was late to come out to take his seat on the dais, eventhough publicist Kelly Swanson made the announcement that Floyd had arrived. The result was Floyd made everyone including Mosley, wait several minutes after the scheduled 1 p.m. start. Richard Schaefer decided to start the proceedings minus Floyd’s presence on the stage. When he did finally step up, Floyd looked uncomfortable and blank as he hid his eyes behind sunglasses. In recent memory, I can’t recall another time when Floyd decided to wear sunglasses at a final press conference.
Then after everyone spoke his piece, Schaefer and Leonard Ellerbe took turns to introduce Floyd when it was his turn at the dais. The undefeated boxer appeared uncomfortable as he repeatedly sipped his drink from a paper cup, while listening to the overly generous and distorted praises sung in duet about him. It almost seemed that a part of Floyd, attired in a suit, tie and vest ensemble, is ashamed and embarrassed about the immature behavior he showed on the recent 24/7 episodes. When Floyd announced his final statements about the fight, the tone he took followed the lead of Shane. All of Floyd’s words were of a classy nature, exactly like Mosley, which was quite the contrast to how Floyd typically carries himself in such situations.
One part of Floyd’s speech especially stood out. When he tried to pat himself on the back about keeping his training team intact for his entire career. “I believe in loyalty. I’ve been with my same team – from the beginning to the end.”
Was that a Freudian slip? Does Floyd subconsciously sense “the end” is near? I would not rule it out based on what transpired at this press conference.
Rumors are also buzzing that Floyd is suffering from a cold this week. At no point did Floyd’s presence convey the eminence that this was the world’s best fighter in our midst – as, I can assure you, in my experience covering the sport, all the great fighters always do when they are at the peak of their powers. Something seemed off, something seemed vulnerable – whatever it is – about Floyd Mayweather. It seemed like he didn’t really want to be there.
Based on today and the fact that Floyd didn’t really want this fight in the first place, I’m sticking with the Mosley by KO prediction. If Mosley still has the same fire he showed in the Margarito fight, he will eliminate Mayweather.
This time Mayweather is the one who got handpicked, not the other way around. This time Floyd has to fight the best at 147. This time Floyd knows he can’t play around and pot-shot with someone like Shane Mosley. This time he will have to put his skills up against a modest but formidable force that is more than capable of knocking him out.
“He who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.” — Francois Chasson
“The humble shall be exalted. And the exalted shall be humbled”