By Sean Crose
“Will God not let me in heaven,” Floyd Mayweather asked during a Wednesday conference call with the media, “because I don’t read like a news anchor?”
Judging from some recent comments from the internet and beyond, you would think He would. The mocking and meanspirited “reading challenge” given by rapper/promoter 50 Cent has indeed gotten a whole lot of press. In fact, the whole ugly incident made its way into the conference call, tarnishing what should have been an event which was focused solely on the sport of boxing and on the upcoming Mayweather-Maidana match, in particular.
“I try to focus on Maidana,” the widely regarded pound for pound king stated at the beginning of the call. Unfortunately, questions regarding the Reading Incident were coming his way, whether he wanted them to or not. “People can believe what they want to believe,” Mayweather argued. “Intelligence and education are two different things.”
Indeed they are. Movers and shakers from Abraham Lincoln to Joan of Arc could attest to that. Besides, whether he can read or not, whether he’s intelligent or not, or whether he’s educated or not, Mayweather is undoubtedly successful. “I knew what I can and I can’t do” he claimed, “so I could care less.” Still, the man was clearly at least a bit put off by the whole ordeal.
“I wish 50 Cent nothing but the best,” Mayweather stated. Yet he was sure to add that “the circus is for clowns.” He also had some words which sounded strange coming from the mouth of a man who, let’s face it, can be incredibly glib and a bit nasty himself. “Making fun of a person because they can’t read is not funny,” he said pointedly, “it’s tragic.”
Mayweather made it clear, however, that he’s not an uneducated lout. “I didn’t get to where I got to,” he argued, “not be able to write, read, and do arithmetic.” When the matter was finally (and hopefully permanently) settled, the call moved on to boxing.
“I clearly believe on having a career after the sport of boxing’s over,” Mayweather claimed, referencing Maidana’s reputedly dirty tactics. “This is not the MMA. This is boxing.” Truth be told, Mayweather clearly felt his first bout with Maidana was far more one sided than many have argued.
“Look at the fight,” he pushed. “The fight is not close.” Mayweather even suggested a trick some fight fanatics employ when they wish to study a bout closely. “Put the TV on mute,” he suggested, “and you’ll look at the fight in a whole different way.” The man they call Money, by the way, feels the first affair was ultimately a wash for Maidana. “From the fifth round,” he claimed, “he (Maidana) lost every round.”
Some may argue differently. What can’t be argued, however, is that the fight ultimately went to Mayweather and that a rematch with the hard brawling Maidana is now almost upon the fight world. He may have sounded like he was suffering from a cold during the conference call, but Mayweather made it clear he’s in great shape. “Fifteen rounds,” he said, in reference to a recent sparring session. “I only took one break. “
Impressive, but not exactly surprising when the subject is a man who (Big Mac consumption aside) always makes sure he’s in prime condition. Yet Maidana is also a man who will show up in the ring in amazing shape. What’s more, Maidana truly feels he can beat the guy who’s been boxing’s main attraction for what’s closing in on a decade now. It’s good to keep in mind, though, that Mayweather is that most serious of competitors, despite how much 50 Cent and others try to turn him into a joke.