LAS VEGAS — Unbeaten five-division beltholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. made light of his legal issues, responded to the notion that he is a “dirty fighter,” declared himself “the fighter, the manager and the promoter,” and said that he hoped WBC welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz would “come to fight”, among other things in regard to their HBO Pay-Per-View televised clash at the MGM Grand on Saturday.
It was apparent that Mayweather (41-0, 25 knockouts) was in his comfort zone heading into his match up with Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) during the final press conference at the MGM Grand on Wednesday as well as during interviews following the event.
Below are some of his responses to subjects raised:
Floyd Mayweather Jr. on whether or not his long-running legal issues outside of the ring will affect him against Ortiz:
“Who are you? You’ve got to be new. This guy must be new. What’s with this guy? Are you new? How long have you been around? Who is this guy? I’ve never done nothing with you?
“I’m 41-0. Somebody answer the question for him. You need to come around more. These other reporters, they’re my crew right here. This is my family. I know all of their faces.
“But everything is blacked out. I don’t go into no fight thinking about no court cases or anything.”
On his career:
“I’ve fought undefeated fighters. I’ve fought knockout artists. I’ve fought them all. I’ve stayed under control. I’m still undefeated. My record speaks for itself.”
On whether or not he has invited Ortiz’s sworn enemy WBA lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios to be a part of his ring walk:
“I don’t know. Our ring walk will be very, very creative. We’ve got some creative things that we’re going to do this go around. The main thing is to bring creativity and to have fun, and we’re having fun.
“You all are out here covering the fight, but go to strip clubs, go have fun, this is Vegas baby.”
On being comfortable with the big-fight atmosphere:
“I’ve been here so many times. When I get out here it’s just like, ‘Here we go again.’ It’s the same thing. Okay? Here we go. I’m the best, and I’m going to show them that I’m the best.”
On his belief that Ortiz has contradicted himself:
“He said I don’t respect Mayweather, but yet he knows everything about my record. He knows who I fought. But it’s okay. Come Saturday, I won’t have to brag or to boast. I’m going to go in there and and execute the game plan.
“I’m going to go in there with class and leave with class. Is Victor Ortiz a good fighter? Yes he is. If it’s an eazsy task, or a hard task, I put in the hard work.”
On how boxing has influenced his life:
“I’ve been doing this my whole life. Never had a job, never worked a job. My job has always been to win. I was built on winning, and this country was built on winning.”
On how he plans to fight:
“You guys won’t have to worry about me back-pedaling. I’m coming straight ahead. So hopefully, he’s coming straight ahead.
“He said the fight won’t go the distance, I said the fight won’t go the distance, so, it won’t go the distance.”
On what will happen if Ortiz attacks him:
“If you notice, every fighter that comes to fight me and not just to survive, they got knocked out. They got knocked out. When guys come to fight, no problem.
“But some guys when they get to this level, they can talk all the trash they want to talk, but when they get into the ring, and we’re across from each other and we’re face to face, they realize that my skill level is way better than they thought that it was.
“It looks a lot different from the outside than when you’re in there facing me. I keep telling these fighters. Even with the Shane Mosley fight. He caught me with a good shot, but I bit down, I was strong, and he had to survive.
“I fought Juan Manuel Marquez, I was beating him so badly, and shutting him out so badly, he wanted to survive. Fighters go into survival mode.”
On whether or he will be more active after defeating Ortiz, having ended a 16-month layoff:
“I told you before that I’m going to be more active, but you’ve got to understand what it takes to build a fight of this magnitude. It takes six months to build a fight like this. This is pay per view. I’m the fighter, the manager and the promoter.”
On his belief that Ortiz’s life story about his father leaving him at an early age is false:
“I do my homework. It’s not true. It’s not true. His mother did leave, but his father did not leave his life. And then, he went out to California, and I think that Robert Garcia, the brother put him through high school.”
“Every time you ask him a question, it’s ‘Dude, I grew up with nothing.’ But it’s okay. One minute, you want to be a tough guy. The next minute, you want people to feel sorry for you. Just let me know what it really is.”
On whether or not Ortiz can go into survival mode:
“He can’t. He’s not going to be able to. He talks about how much he believes in his skills, I just ask myself an honest question.”
On having referee Joe Cortez, who worked his 10th-round knockout victory over Ricky Hatton:
“My thing is that I just want a fair referee. Cortez does a helluva job. All that I want is a fair referee all around the board. Cortez has always been fair with me.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org