Media Training Day Quotes: Floyd Mayweather, Leonard Ellerbe
FLOYD MAYWEATHER, 11-Time World Champion
“My training camp is basically running the same way. I think it has been smoother than others. I feel very comfortable and happy with my performances. They push me hard at camp. They know what I need.
“The timing for this fight is right. This fight is about legacy, fans and family. I surround myself with all of the right people.
“I can’t say that this matchup is about hype. This is real life. This is two future Hall of Famers in a mega-fight.
“I’ve done record breaking numbers before and it looks like we’re going to do it again.
“Everything in life is about timing. I have no regrets that this fight didn’t take place five years ago. I didn’t think it was that big then, but it continued to get bigger and bigger. Not just in boxing, but outside of the sport. Pacquiao has continued to grow outside of the sport. We didn’t need to rush anything.
“This is going to be an exciting fight. Our styles are totally different. He is very, very reckless. Every move I make is calculated. I’m always 5-10 steps ahead of my opponent.
“We’ll see what happens when the fight starts. But when all is said and done I’m going to be the winner.
“Pacquiao is strong and solid but I don’t know if he can make adjustments like I can. I feel tremendous.
“This was a difficult fight to make happen, but we made it happen. This fight is one of the biggest ever in boxing.
“I’m still going strong. The last time I looked, I was 47 and 0.
“Anyone can get hit with a great shot, but I can make more adjustments and Manny can’t.
“I don’t think Pacquiao expected me to look as strong or big when we faced off (at the L.A. press conference).
“I walk around at 150-152 pounds to weigh 147 pounds. Other boxers weigh around 160-170 before coming down.
“I’ve got one more fight on my contract. I couldn’t be happier with SHOWTIME and CBS.
“Las Vegas is the boxing capital. During a Floyd Mayweather fight weekend, you can shop, party, stay out late and do anything you want. The city of Las Vegas has everything.
“There were offers to fight other places, but MGM Grand is my home.
“Anything I’ve asked of MGM Grand, they’ve done for me in a heartbeat. They’re all about making entertainers and athletes happy.”
LEO SANTA CRUZ, WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to fight on such an unbelievably huge card. I really want to thank Floyd Mayweather.
“Any boxer would like to be on this card where millions of people are watching. I’m happy to represent Mexico on this night and on this fight card.
“I look at it as a key opportunity for me to make an even bigger name for myself, which is my goal because one day I want to become a superstar like Floyd. That’s why I train really hard all of the time.
“There are no little fights for me. I consider every fighter dangerous. You lose when you think a fighter is not on your level and then he comes in hungrier than you. That will never happen to me.
“I don’t know who I’m fighting yet, but I’m sparring different guys with different styles.
“There’s always a lot at risk for me. People keep talking about all of these big fights, but if I don’t win now, there will be no big fights in the future.
“I know who I want to fight, but I don’t pick my opponents; I leave it up to my team. They make those kinds of decisions. My job is to fight and win.
“I have to stay concentrated. I have to maintain focus and concentration. I can’t get ahead of myself. I give 100 percent in training and in the ring. I always want to put on a great fight for the fans.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“Boxing is at an all time high at the moment. There are a lot of great things going on. Between this fight and getting boxing back on network television, it’s all great for the sport.
“This fight will not only elevate the sport in general, but it will bring in the casual fan to the sport and that’s a great thing.
“The impact that Floyd Mayweather has had on this sport is immeasurable. People won’t be able to appreciate that until he retires. He’s done so much for this sport. He’s given fighters a platform to say to other promoters that they deserve the lion’s share of the money. He’s brought more sponsorships to the sport.
“Floyd Mayweather is the highest paid athlete in all of sports and he happens to be a boxer.
“I think the demand thus far only indicates how big this event is. This is a fight that’s been talked about for five years now and everyone is going to get exactly what they’ve been asking for.
“Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter. He’s been in a number of great fights and he’s had a terrific career thus far. These are the two best fighters of this generation and come May 2 there will be one man standing and it will be Floyd Mayweather.
“There’s no doubt it’s going to be a great fight. I’m really excited. I can see firsthand the day-to-day preparation that Floyd puts in and he’s working just as hard as ever. The fans are going to get a great fight that night.
“I don’t know what Manny Pacquiao has to do on May 2, but I know what Floyd Mayweather has to do. He has to do what he normally does and go in there and execute his game plan and I really expect Floyd to knock him out.”
FLOYD MAYWEATHER SR., Mayweather’s Trainer & Father
“Floyd is as well rounded a fighter as there has ever been, but he’s really still here because of his defense.
“Other guys fight with their head and their mind and come up short. It’s his great defense that has kept him on top for so long.
“I want you all to see it. It’s so plain and simple what he’s going to do. Even Ray Charles could see it.
“I honestly never thought that this was going to happen. So many people were trying to say Floyd was scared. Lets see on May 2 who is scared.
“I can’t tell you why or how, but here’s an update, Floyd is going to kick his a** and knock Pacquiao out.
“I didn’t watch one tape on Pacquiao. There is no reason to study him. He’s not at this level.
“Floyd is the best, I must confess. Nothing is going to stop Floyd Mayweather.
“Pacquiao’s trainer Coach Roach (Freddie Roach) is lying to you. Trying to trick you all. Floyd’s not getting knocked down in the gym. Floyd is the one knocking people down. Roach blows smoke with no hope.”
More Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao
Waiting With 100 Media Aristocrats to Question Floyd Mayweather
By Ivan G. Goldman
I’m in a nondescript room in downtown Los Angeles with about 100 other media people, mostly writers, a few photographers. We wait for Floyd Mayweather. This is about two hours prior to the big media conference to kick off publicity for the welterweight superfight I will refer to hereafter as FloydPac, to be fought May 2 in Las Vegas between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Floyd is 50 minutes late, somewhere outside in the Nokia Plaza on the red carpet, we’ve been told. There are lots more media people out there, about 600. They were awarded credentials in other colors but deemed unworthy of the prized green credentials we have dangling from chains around our necks. We greenies, the hundred media aristocrats, will get to interview the fighters and their principal team members in separate, back-to-back, open-ended sessions.
I look around for “The Ghost,” Floyd’s adviser Al Haymon, who supervises events from his secret headquarters. Could he be here in disguise? Spotting him would be like a bird watcher seeing a blue-tailed Pterosaur, a flying dinosaur that hasn’t been around for the last 66 million years.
I’ve already seen Floyd Mayweather, Sr., outside the building. Once again chief trainer for his son, he was surrounded by about 30 determined operators of smart phones and other electronic devices, their users drinking in his every word as though he held the secret to world peace.
There’s already griping among the boxing media, even among us greenies, because we know that on fight night in Las Vegas the MGM Grand Arena holds only 16,000, and some of those seats are so bad you could call them joke seats. In terms of capacity, there will be a monstrous shortage for media and fans. Those in the joke seats will barely see the ring. Some won’t even be in sight of the big screens.
And with tickets selling for a minimum price of $1,500 before the scalpers bid them higher, that means if the promoters give someone in the media even a crummy seat, they’re giving up $1,500 from a paying customer.
Of those media people who do obtain decent seats, many won’t be boxing writers. They’ll represent big outlets that rarely cover prizefighting, if ever. Most boxing writers on fight night will get screwed, relegated to hotel ballrooms to watch on closed circuit in Siberia.
The catch is, they don’t inform you of your seat location until you get there. By holding out the promise of seating in the arena, the promoters obtain more coverage from more outlets.
Many of the excluded ones watching off-site will write their stories as though they were on the scene, without informing readers of their shamed circumstances. And today, many of the 600 excluded ones to be allowed inside later won’t inform their readers that they weren’t present for the good parts. They’ll write around it somehow.
Our color-coded credentials and the system of insiders and outsiders today and on fight night reminds me of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, a novel that describes a nightmare future in which everyone’s station in life is designated at birth, ranging from alpha to epsilon. But they get plenty of drugs to ease the pain.
Why will a fight that could easily sell 50,000 tickets be held in a venue that holds less than a fourth of that? For the answer you’d have to understand the rock-solid business relationships the MGM Grand has formed with the principals.
Mayweather Promotions won its place as lead promoter during pre-fight negotiations. Many fighters are superstitious. Floyd’s never lost at the MGM Grand, so why take a chance? Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, wanted the bout in the much bigger Dallas Cowboys stadium, but he’s not complaining, at least publicly.
Golden Boy Promotions, which normally handles the details of Floyd’s fights, was shut out. Former CEO Richard Schaefer is gone, and Floyd and Oscar, the Golden Boy president, dislike each other.
Many of us wonder whether Floyd’s company, which isn’t used to handling all these details, has enough experience to present FloydPac to the world. But it turns out this event is well organized. We’re fed breakfasts with hot, scrambled eggs and buffet lines are short. There are plenty of people to direct us. Nothing is exactly on time, but these things are never punctual.
I’m prepared with laptop, water bottle, and Dodgers baseball cap to shield my eyes from the glare of TV lighting.
Ah, what’s that? Why it’s the champ, Floyd Mayweather, who entered rather quietly. He takes a seat up front, and the questions begin. You can find the interview elsewhere on this site.