This was an amped to the max press conference at the Nokia Theater in Times Square, New York City and the fireworks started immediately. Curtains were unveiled to show Shane Mosley standing atop one box with Floyd Mayweather spotlight on the other as music blared. It was similar to the choreography of the infamous Lewis-Tyson NYC conference eight years ago.
The two fighters smiled and jawed confidently at each other as the music blared. Though it was unclear what exact words were spoken by each, the messages were not hard to decipher. Mosley smiled, nodded his head, and pointed directly at Floyd, conveying a supreme confidence and eagerness to slaughter the cocky 33-year-old who sometimes still behaves like a teenager. Floyd seemed perturbed that an opponent could have the gumption to show him such disrespectful petulance to his face in public. In reaction to Shane’s smiling confidence, Floyd feigned an amused and also angry facade which communicated, Just wait till I get my hands on you boy, you’re making a big mistake messing with Pretty Boy Floyd. I have the best team in boxing but I don’t need them to kick your ass.
A couple hundred fans came to witness the conference as well as a huge media contingent. The atmosphere was so electric, you wish boxing could produce more welterweight events like this, though most of the blame falls on Mayweather for always finding excuses to avoid these big events in the recent past. This time, Floyd had no say in the matter, and if widely reported rumors are true, he was forced against his will by the annoyed powers that be to fight Mosley NOW.
Here’s what the particulars had to say:
Oscar De La Hoya reminded all of the magnitude of this clash and even shared a very confident prediction: This fight reminds me of back in the day Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns. The classic fights we used to see on TV, the exciting fights. The fights that really brought boxing back…This fight here, not only are you gonna get a great event but you’re gonna get a great and amazing fight…I already know it’s gonna be a knockout – and it’s not gonna be pretty.”
The very intelligent Nazzim Richardson, Mosley’s trainer, captivated the audience with his classy and sometimes humorous statement: “People ask what’s going on with Pacquiao and Mayweather not fighting. I said, Listen: I come from North Philly and it don’t take $4 million to make a fight. Where I come from I seen people fight over four dollars [laughter]. So, in my opinion, when I see two guys, it’s like a dance partner. And you go to a party and you ask a young lady to dance and she says no. You go to the next young lady. You don’t stop and ask don’t you like me, how come you not dancing? You don’t want to dance? Do you want to dance? And Shane, good buddy of mine, love him to death, but I told him this to his face a million times: His eagerness to fight sometimes hurts his negotiations. And I really believe you could convince Shane to fight [pauses for effect] – Klitschko [laughter].”
“He’s so eager to fight. The Pacquiao fight – he don’t care if Pacquiao’s mom is one of the judges. He use one hand, Pacquiao use two. Shane wants to fight these guys. But now here we are. Floyd accepted the challenge. He’s an excellent athlete. We’re dealing with two exceptional athletes. At this level it’s special, they’ve proven it and it’s been proven. When you get people talking about what these guys can do – it’s opinion. It’s your pick. I will support anything they say. If Floyd says he’s the greatest fighter of all time, I have no problem with him making that statement if he believes it. But what it does do is make it easier for you not to ask the question after May 1, what is Shane Mosley (as far as all time great)? We don’t even have to discuss it.”
“May 1 we’ll see how Shane matches up with one of the most athletic athletes I’ve ever seen Floyd Mayweather. I watched Floyd and have nothing negative to say. For 24/7 to see the foolery of two trainers going back and forth, you can count me out. I’m not into that. I’m going to respect both athletes until the final bell. I want to support my guy and believe in my guy [applause].”
Shane Mosley: “I get the chance to show the world that I’m the best fighter. And have people understand that it’s not just one great fighter here – and another great fighter in Manny Pacquiao – there’s another one here – Sugar Shane Mosley. I’m gonna take my hat off to Floyd Mayweather. I thought I wasn’t ever gonna get a fight to meet those top fighters, and everybody was afraid to get in the ring with me. But Mayweather did the time, he said I’ll take that challenge. I’ll fight you. It’s going down on May 1, it’s gonna be me and Money Mayweather. May 1 symbolizes something. But after the fight there won’t be Oh the clear, this or that. It’s gonna be clear, it’s gonna be clear that ass-whoopin that I’m about to give Floyd. May 1st symbolizes May’s first loss. Thank you.”
Floyd Mayweather: “It takes two to make a mega fight. Shane Mosley is one of the best welterweights of our era. And the only thing I want to do is fight the best and continue to fight the best. (No, Floynocchio’s nose didn’t grow a foot long as he spoke this falsehood.)”
Then Floyd seemed to ask for some love and forgiveness from the audience by indirectly apologizing for his previous pathetic behavior on TV. “You can’t judge a person if you don’t a person. You get to know a person before you judge a person. So a lot of times you must see me on TV and think that’s how a person really is. I’m not different than anybody else. I go home, I love my children, I love my mother like everybody else. Boxing is something that’s done me well and been great to me. I got a great team (who protect me from high risk fights and make smart business decisions to prolong my career and avoid me from suffering brutal knockout losses. And help protect me in the media by spreading mistruths and falsehoods.). I mean I got a lot of great support and I’m gonna continue to dominate and beat the best (except if their name is Paul Williams, Antonio Margarito, Manny Pacquiao or Miguel Cotto.)”
“And as far as enhancement drugs, yes I did, I stepped up to the plate and said, Yo I want to show the world my sport is clean. And I think that we should make it so that all sports will show that athletes are clean so we can separate the average from the good from the great. I can’t say how many fights Shane has won in the past. Shane was using enhancement drugs, that’s something we do know (boos from audience). We offered Pacquiao to fight. I said, Yo we’re gonna give you $25 million. But I never know a man that didn’t want to take a $25 million drug test. I never knew a man. And the difference between me and the rest of the fighters out there is they’re just fighters. Floyd Mayweather is an entertainer.”
“I help the sport of boxing. I’m able to generate millions of dollars. The thing is, they say he’s the WBA champion. But we all know belts don’t do nothing but collect dust. (How many times did Floynocchio carry his green WBC dust collector to the ring to show off to the world?) I’m in the check cashing business. But like I said before all work is easy work. You’re always gonna get an excuse. When I beat him, he’s too small, he was too slow. When I beat him, Oh he’s over the hill. It’s always an excuse.”
“This is something I call my mother every day just to hear her tell me: The world can be against you. But when God is on your side, can’t no man stop you.”
You have to wonder why Floyd uncustomarily rejected his mother’s advice when Pacquiao was knocking on his door with a big fat check in the offing.
But Mosley vs. Mayweather should be a fantastic fight, especially based on the energy and intensity witnessed at Tuesday’s lively press conference. May the best man win…