R-E-S-P-E-C-T at final presser
Story by Andreas Hale
Photos by Chris Cozzone
Final press conferences are a necessary evil in boxing. They represent the final opportunity for the two combatants to speak in front of the media before they let their fists do the talking inside of the squared circle. In the case of “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Floyd “Money” Mayweather, there’s nothing else that needs to be said. Ever since Mosley intruded on Mayweather’s post fight interview after “Money” dismantled Juan Manuel Marquez last September, the two future hall of famers have traded barbs in interviews, HBO’s 24/7 and any other outlet they managed to speak to.
But at Wednesday’s final press conference for the May 1st welterweight showdown between Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) and Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs) didn’t feature either fighter badmouthing the other. Instead, the two fighters kept things cordial. It would be their respective camps that did more talking than either fighter.
"The MGM stands for 'Mosley's Greatest Moments,'” Mosley Camp Coordinator Hassan Abdul Rahim said. “We are going to make that point again this weekend. It is going to be a good one. It is going to be a good one for the fans."
Mosley has had some excellent moments inside of the MGM Grand Garden. He knocked out Fernando Vargas back in 2006 and defeated Oscar De La Hoya in their rematch in 2003. But the MGM has also been home sweet home for Floyd Mayweather. His last three fights at the MGM Grand Garden against Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya have been blockbusters and have helped make “Money” the PPV cash cow he is today.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer believes that the fight featuring two of boxing’s biggest names has the potential to break all records.
"I say that we're going to break records. Not to only break three million homes, my goal is to break four million homes,” Schaefer said. “When you have corporate America behind you, when you have HBO 24/7, it is possible.”
The build up for the fight has been excellent with a classic hero and villain tale woven for fans to engage in. Many want to see if the kind-hearted Mosley can topple the undefeated loudmouth known as “Money” Mayweather. There is no doubt that both fighters are talented and that the limits will be pushed on Saturday night.
“As I have said before, you have good fighters, you have champions, you have elite fighters and you have guys that are special,” Mosley’s trainer Naazim Richardson said regarding both fighters. “In this fight you have a rare occasion where you see two special guys going against each other.”
One person in attendance that feels that his son is beyond special would be none other than Floyd Mayweather Sr. The often boastful trainer/father made no bones about the fact that he feels his son will come out victorious Saturday night.
“You are in trouble,” Mayweather Sr. said to Mosley. “You're scared now, as I'm talking to you. You're scared because I'm the one who brought him into this world.”
All jokes aside, both fighters know what is on the line Saturday night. There would be no time for jokes or clever disses about one another. The two soon-to-be legends showed each other respect and are ready.
"I hope Mayweather is ready for this,” Mosley said. This will be one of the great fights of this decade or maybe even history.”
It certainly has an air about it that says that it could very well be a historical match up. For Mayweather, it’s all about taking care of business - nothing more, nothing less.
"Be smart, be sharp and fight hard. May the best man win,” Mayweather said. “If you put in the hard work, you get great results. Once I get in the ring, I get great results.”
After all is said and done, one will stand victorious. The future of boxing will shift and the world will know who the better fighter is. But even after the dust settles, Roger Mayweather let it be known that even though he trains his nephew to be the greatest in the world, he will have no hard feelings - regardless of who comes out on top.
“When it's all done,” Mayweather said to the Mosley camp and family. “You can invite me over to dinner."
We would love to be at that table.