Photo credit: Idris Erba/Mayweather Promotions
In previous episodes of "24/7" and "All Access" on HBO and Showtime, respectively, Floyd Mayweather was seen on camera talking trash about his opponents, often scoffing at the mention of Manny Pacquiao.
Labels like “Pooch-iao” were dropped and jabs at PED usage and Olympic testing were always the go to arguments for the undefeated Mayweather. However, since the announcement of the historic match-up between the two fighters, one of the most consistent elements from Mayweather, the trash-talking and character besmirching, has surprisingly vanished.
Recently, at a media workout held at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas, Mayweather made a light deride regarding Pacquiao’s height saying ‘(Pacquiao) didn’t realize how much taller I am than he is.” When asked about the face-off promotional photo/video shoot making them look more even in height, Mayweather responded, “Yeah well he wears lifts in his shoes now (laughs).”
Just when we thought the trash-talking flood gates had opened with that comment, the bar was lowered and the gate was quickly sealed, leaving many anxious, desperately waiting for Mayweather "bulletin board" material to surface.
Surprisingly, everyone is still waiting.
This one faint jab, a brush about their height difference, is the only semblance of the usual Mayweather opponent brand defacement strategy, which implies only one thing- there is no other strategy except for pure focus on winning and silencing the critics and haters.
Tales of the rigorous 12 hour training camp were confirmed recently when ESPN's Stephen A. Smith had a full length interview with Floyd Mayweather in his Las Vegas digs. Smith repeated to co-host Skip Bayless that he asked Mayweather why he is in such a “zen state when discussing the fight with Manny Pacquiao” and he said his response was that “Pacquiao just doesn’t know what he has coming to him.”
These statements reflect Floyd’s understanding that the only way he will complete his goal of defeating Manny Pacquiao, completing his last remaining fight after and retiring undefeated in the sport of boxing, is to focus squarely on himself and what will enable him to become better.
Allow him to be TBE- The Best Ever.
Mayweather hired former Pacquiao strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, and told Stephen A. why he was such an integral part of Pacquiao's camp and that he feels bad for Pacquiao losing him.
“I know where he went wrong. I know where Pacquiao went wrong. When Pacquiao was with Ariza he knocked everyone out, “ said Mayweather to Smith. “After he left Ariza, no more knockouts.”
In addition, Mayweather went back to his boxing roots, enlisting different training methods such as chopping wood on the grounds of his expansive 20,000 sq. ft. Las Vegas mansion.
In the press conference proceeding the Mayweather media workout for the May 2nd fight, Mayweather expressed his desire to retire after honoring his contract for one more fight post-May 2nd. However, the talk of legacy was more resounding than ever in his voice and Mayweather is too busy making sure he is the best physically and mentally to worry about getting in his opponents head for wonton promotional value.
This fight has stirred the passions of both diehard and casual boxing fans and stimulated the interests of those who have no real stake in the sport. Not surprisingly, the lines are drawn culturally and expressed through the results of various polls. Fans supporting Pacquiao point to Mayweather's past antics and actions and his general camera-ready personality. Yet these fans have not looked at the current position taken by the undefeated champion, which is one of relative calm and silence, especially in regards to verbal barbs and audio clips. You don't see anyone in his camp disrespect Team Pacquiao, yet Freddie Roach has come out swinging against Mayweather. You don't see Floyd in the public eye, yet you see Pacquiao singing on YouTube. It seems that more people are jumping on the Pacquiao bandwagon because they're anti-Floyd, yet the Champion has remained quiet. UFC fighter Rashad Evans told us how intense Mayweather's workouts have been, impressed with how disciplined and dedicated he is while training.
Coming from a fighter of Rashad's talent level, that is a serious testament as to how focused Mayweather is and how great a champion he has been.
Yet despite his unblemished record and vanquishing of every opponent he has faced in his professional career, it appears that fans have forgotten that Mayweather is THE UNDEFEATED CHAMPION, with a record of 47-0, who has never been knocked out. Pacquiao, on the other hand, has a record of 57-5-2, with one of those loses leading to a festival of memes. It sometimes feels like those facts are absent, or disregarded, from the debate over who will win in two weeks.
There is an old saying, "Let sleeping dogs lie." It is apparent that Freddie Roach and company have chosen to ignore this old adage, opening the door for the aftermath of what follows when a sleeping dog is provoked and awoken unnecessarily. On May 2nd be prepared to see the best Floyd Mayweather the world has ever seen and prepare for his exiting with his goal of being TBE intact.