LAS VEGAS — WBC welterweight titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. weighed a career-high 151 pounds at Friday’s pre-fight weigh-in compared to the division-limit 154 for WBC junior middleweight beltholder Miguel Cotto, who will defend his belt against Mayweather in Saturday night’s HBO Pay Per View-televised clash from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Mayweather (42-0, 26 knockouts) will earn a career high $32 million, an all-time record for the sport, compared to $8 million for Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs), who was roundly cheered while Mayweather was booed by the 6,000 fans who packed the Garden Arena for the the weigh-in.
Mayweather’s previous high was the 150 pounds he fought at against Oscar De La Hoya on May 5 of 2007, when he took the WBC junior middleweight title by split decision.
In contrast to what has been a promotion relatively free of trash talk, the 70-second, face-to-face staredown between Mayweather and Cotto became heated, and the two fighters’ could be seen exchanging words.
“I told him that he’s never faced nobody like Miguel Cotto,” said Cotto, during an on-stage interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman. “That’s the reason that he’s still undefeated and that’s the reason I will win on Saturday night.”
Mayweather also shared what he said to Cotto.
“I just told that when you’re facing Floyd Mayweather,” he said, “you’re facing the best.”
Kellerman also asked Cotto whether his penchant for going to the body would be a factor against Mayweather.
“I can’t just go to the body, I have to be on top of everything. I’m here to fight. If he wants to fight, if he wants to run, I’m ready for that. I’m ready for everything,” said Cotto. “This fight means a lot to me. But it’s not just for me. It’s for the whole Latin heritage in the whole world.”
The chisled Mayweather said he was satisfied with his conditioning, even as he thought Cotto looked as if he was dehydrated.
“I feel great. I feel good. Training camp has been tremendous. I feel comfortable at any weight. But Miguel Cotto, I thought that he looked a little dry to me. He looked drained,” said Mayweather.
“Wherever I feel comfortable at, that’s where I’m fighting at. The plan is just to take my time and to execute the gameplan from the begining. You know, press the attack from the beginnign and see what he’s got.”
Mosley initially weighed a half pound over the 154-pound limit, but returned at 154 even after having been given an hour to lose the weight. Alvarez weighed in at 154 straight away.
For the two other televised bouts on the eight-fight card, Deandre Latimore weighed 154 1/2 compared to 154 for southpaw rival and former welterweight titleholder Carlos Quintana, and junior welterweight prospect Jessie Vargas was 146 compared to 146 1/2 for former titleholder Steve Forbes.
DE LA HOYA QUELLS RUMORS
De La Hoya, who has lost twice to Mosley, addressed comeback rumors at Thursday’s final press conference for the Alvarez-Mosley fight.
“I want to end the things that have been circulating that I’ve been hearing, and it’s just rumors that I’ll be fighting the winner of this fight. That’s not true,” said De La Hoya.
“These guys are too difficult for me. This guy on my left [Mosley] has beaten me twice already, and this other guy [Alvarez,] I don’t want to even think of facing him.”
New Grant gloves are being flown in for Mayweather and Alvarez after Mosley’s trainer, Naazim Richardson, spotted the plastic patent leather thumb section and cited a bad seam on the equipment, complaining that plastic can cut a fighter’s face more easily than leather.
Cotto’s camp agreed, as did Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The new gloves are expected to arrive from New York sometime prior to the opening bell.
FIGHTERS TAKE CENTER STAGE
Ring maven Michael Buffer announced the attendance of titleholders Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Paulie Malignaggi, Abner Mares, Devon Alexander, Bernard Hopkins, prospect Danny Jacobs, and prospect Seth Mitchell.
Also present were retired former champions Chiquita Gonzalez, Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard and Leon Spinks.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com