LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. was led into the MGM Grand Garden Arena by rapper 2 Chainz, after rival Marcos Maidana had already entered for Friday's weigh-in, which was packed with an estimated 8,000 screaming attendees in advance of Saturday's Showtime Pay Per View-televised clash.
The 37-year-old Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) stepped to the front of the stage and acknowledged the crowd, patting his chest before waving at fans who both booed and cheered the 10-time titlewinner.
In the background, however, a troubling story had surfaced regarding Mayweather and longtime girlfriend Shantel Jackson, whom the fighter has accused publicly of aborting the couple's unborn twins without his consent, according to reports.
Asked by Showtime interviewer Jim Gray if he was bothered by the out-of-the ring "distractions," Mayweather answered in the negative.
"First of all I want to thank all the fans for coming out. Because I wouldn’t be where I’m at in my career without the fans. My job is to go out there and do what I do best. I perform better under pressure," said Mayweather.
"I look forward to going out there and being Floyd Mayweather and taking my time, keeping my composure and doing what I do best. Pressure. I love it. I love it. The main thing is, as long as God loves me, I'm OK. I’m ready to fight."
Mayweather and Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs) weighed 146 and 146.5, respectively, for what will represent the sixth straight welterweight bout for Maidana, who will put his WBA belt on the line against Mayweather's RING and WBC championships.
Since falling by unanimous decision to southpaw Devon Alexander in his 147-pound debut in February 2012, Maidana has gone 4-0 with three knockouts, and is coming off a unanimous decision over Adrien Broner, whom he dropped in the second and eighth rounds to earn his current belt in December.
"I’m calm and relaxed and ready for the fight … Because of my style, and I know Mayweather's great and all that, but since he's so big, that’s why I want to beat him. Mayweather's going to be a more difficult fight than Adrien Broner, but because of my style and what I have to offer today, I’m going to win," said Maidana.
"This is the first time in my life that I've seen an arena packed with people like this for a weigh-in. I thought that Mayweather would be bigger than me, but we're about the same size. There are going to be a lot of exchanges in this fight, and either he will knock me out or I will knock him out."
AMIR KHAN 147, LUIS COLLAZO 147
Before Mayweather and Maidana enter the ring, Amir Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) and Luis Collazo (35-5, 18 KOs) will engage in a clash of welterweights who are both former titleholders.
"I believe our fight can definitely steal the show on Saturday night," said Khan, 27, who was last in the ring for a unnimous-decision victory over former two-time lightweight beltwinner Julio Diaz last April 27. "We both made weight. I was in the gym from last May 1. It's my first fight at 147, I just can’t wait to put on a great performance from my great program."
A career 147-pounder, the southpaw Collazo has gone 6-1 with four knockout victories in his past seven fights, and is coming off January's second-round knockout of ex-beltholder Victor Ortiz.
"When you have faith in God, anything is possible," said Collazo, 33. "I thank everybody for coming out. Tomorrow you’re going to enjoy a great fight.”
ADRIEN BRONER 140, CARLOS MOLINA 138.5
A 24-year-old three-division titlewinner, Broner (27-1, 22 KOs) is attempting to rebound from the loss to Maidana against Molina (17-1-1, 7 KOs), who was last in the ring for a 10th-round stoppage loss to Khan in December 2012.
"I said I'd beat his motherf–king ass, that's what I said," said Broner, of what he told Molina during their post-weigh-in staredown. "He ain’t gonna say nothing to me. He ain't even in the fight."
Broner will pocked $1.25 million against Molina's $150,000.
"He just wants that check," said Broner, who was heavily booed by crowdmenbers. "I'm gonna kick his ass. I'm still fresh, phat, flashy and famous. To everybody out there, keeping booing so I can do my thing."
BERNARD HOPKINS, DANNY GARCIA, PETER QUILLIN AMONG THOSE PRESENT AT WEIGH-IN
IBF light heavweight titleholder Bernard Hopkins, RING/WBA/WBC junior welterweight champion and WBO middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin were among those in attendance at the weigh-in.
Also there were unbeaten welterweight Keith Thurman, undefeated heavyweight knockout artist Deontay Wilder, WBC super middleweight titleholder Sakio Bika and former titleholders Austin Trout and Paulie Malignaggi.
Ex-beltholders Paul Williams, Abner Mares and Daniel Ponce de Leon were also present, as were junior middleweight contender Erislandy Lara and undefeated prospect Errol Spence.