Mayweather, Marquez show respect at final presser
Story & photos by Chris Cozzone
If you were expecting trash talk and drama at today’s final press conference, you might’ve left MGM’s Hollywood Theatre, in Las Vegas, feeling a bit cheated.
You would have, that is, if Roger Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya had not been in attendance to keep the media at attention.
Six-time world champ Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr., “Number One” in Saturday night’s HBO-PPV-televised showdown, had about as much to say as his opponent, “Numero Uno”, five-time world champ Juan Manuel Marquez. Both fighters, showing one another respect, kept it short.
“I don’t like talking outside the ring, everybody knows,” said Marquez. “But I prepared myself very hard for this fight, physically and mentally.”
Mayweather, who was moved enough to shake the hand of Marquez’s pilot, Nacho Beristain, after the Mexican trainer complimented him several times, had a few more words to say when, after an hour of podium exchanges, he had a chance at center stage.
“To go down as a legend, you have to face the best in your era,” said Mayweather. “In this particular time, Marquez is one of the best fighters in my era, so we happen to meet.
“He’s a hell of a fighter. A counter-puncher, a good boxer . . . but I’ve been around the sport and faced so many different styles, I’ll adjust and adapt once I get to the squared circle Saturday night.”
Mayweather’s uncle, Roger, was a different story.
Though passing up the chance at the podium, later on, the trainer went off while Leonard Ellerbe, president of Mayweather Promotions, was at the mic talking about great trainers in boxing.
“Great? You’re talking about me,” interrupted Roger, who went on to rip every trainer in the world.
“I ain’t worried about the dude behind me,” Roger motioned to the image of Marquez on the backdrop. I ain’t worried about the dude behind me because I know he don’t know shit anyway.”
As if stressing his point, the trainer waved a box of “The Original Cow Pie” candy.
The slams did little to faze Beristain, but acting on behalf of Team Marquez, promoter Oscar De La Hoya took his best shot.
“Now Roger, I’m a little confused now,” began De La Hoya. “I thought the best trainer in the world was Floyd, Sr.”
De La Hoya went one step further.
Sporting a vintage Leica film camera, the former champ snapped off several shots during the press conference, then told the media – and both Mayweathers in attendance – the reason.
“It will be a special night because the whole world will witness an upset,” said De La Hoya. “People are wondering why I’m taking pictures. I’m taking pictures because I want to capture the moment when Juan Manuel Marquez dethrones the king.
“I couldn’t do it, but I’ll tell you one thing: Marquez is ready.”