FLOYD MAYWEATHER sank into his chair, emotionless, as his father stood alongside him and recited bad rhyme after bad rhyme. Floyd Snr, his son’s chief trainer, often behaves erratically in the lead-up to Mayweather Jnr’s fights and this was no different. Several times he nudged Floyd’s opponent Andre Berto on the arm to ensure he was listening.
The former fighter’s rant came after his counterpart Virgil Hunter indicated that Mayweather-Berto was personal due to an unspecified incident from the past between the fighters.
“There is something brewing in the air,” Hunter said. “There is personal stuff here. I been in boxing a long time. This is personal. I don’t know what it is. But I can take a wild guess. This is gonna be a rumble.”
When the MGM Grand press conference was over, Mayweather spoke to a cluster of journalists and immediately addressed the behaviour of both Hunter and his father.
“I want to apologise for both trainers for coming up here for talking about things that are not important,” he said. “The trainers don’t have to fight. It comes down to the two fighters.”
Mayweather, who has always had a fiery relationship with his father, then referenced the period when Mayweather Snr coached Ricky Hatton towards the end of the Englishman’s career, which concluded with a knockout loss to Manny Pacquiao.
“I reflect back on when he [Mayweather Snr] had Ricky Hatton when he faced Pacquiao and he got up here and talked all the stuff and [we see what happened there]. It has nothing to do with the trainers, it comes down to the fighters and that’s what’s important.”
Mayweather also addressed his incredible presence on social media – the platform he has used to announce his recent fights – and defended his habit of boasting about his lavish lifestyle.
“When I’m on social media the only thing I can do is show my lifestyle because I’m rich,” he said. “If I wasn’t rich I would show a different lifestyle but I happen to be rich so that’s the only thing that I can show.”
Many have been skeptical about Mayweather’s plans to retire after Saturday’s fight but if the fighter is planning to fight again, he is hiding it well. Certainly, the impression here in Las Vegas is that Floyd will indeed walk away after the expected win over Berto comes. The 38-year-old insists the finality of Saturday is not a factor in his mind, and he is already looking forward to guiding young talent through the obstacle-laden world of professional boxing.
“I just want to do my job and be the best at what I do,” Mayweather explained. “I want to stay focused and go out there and be the best. I’m not thinking, ‘Oh man, this is my last press conference’. I’ll talk to you guys again. The next time we talk I’ll be sat right here, my fighter will be sat here, and Leonard [Ellerbe] will be sat right there. We have to coach them [young fighters] on longevity, we have to coach them on what to say, and what not to say. These are young fighters and they make mistakes – I made mistakes when I was young. I did the same thing but I’m older and wiser, and more savvy.”