On a Thursday evening (April 22) media round up that included VIBE, multi-divisional boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. was in rare form. During the telephone conference call, the unplugged pugilist, who is set to fight three-time division champion Shane Mosley on May 1, said his future opponent is not even in his class, pointing out his past steroid use, of which Mosely used during his 2003 win against Oscar De La Hoya.
“Shane is a solid welterweight,” the undefeated Mayweather began diplomatically. “But I don’t know where I would put Mosely. I can’t see how a guy could call himself great or putting himself as a future hall-of-famer. This is a guy…we don’t know how long he was taking enhancement drugs. He’s been around the sport for a long, long time. He’s done some things in this sport. But he’s a fighter that always worries about landing one big shot. And I worry about being smart and winning. When Shane punches, a lot of times he closes his eyes. We are two totally different fighters.”
When Mayweather’s attention turned to rival Manny Pacquiao, who like Pretty Boy has been called boxing’s best pound-for-pound fighter today, the brazen talent ripped, “Manny Pacquiao struggled twice with [Juan Manuel] Marquez, which we know he really lost. And we know he’s been knocked out twice. He’s been out-boxed by Erik Morales, but they still give him Boxer of the Decade. So that’s something I don’t understand. He beat a Miguel Cotto that was stretched by me. I’m trying to find out what it really is.” Mayweather then insinuated Pacquiao’s own performance enhancement drug usage. “All I’m saying is if you are a clean athlete, take a test,” he said. “Show the world. I’m a natural.”
But perhaps Mayweather’s most eyebrow-raising comment came when he proclaimed he was the superior fighter to storied middleweight boxing legend Sugar Ray Robinson and the first three-time heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali—who is often universally praised as the greatest fighter of all time. “Why not?” he explained. “I take my hat off to them. I got respect for Sugar Ray Robinson; I got respect for Muhammad Ali. But I’m a man just like they’re a man. I put on my pants on just like they [do]. What makes them any better than I am? Because they fought 1000 fights and my era is totally different. It’s pay-per-view now, so things change. It’s out with the old, in with the new. Muhammad was one hell of a fighter. But Floyd Mayweather is the best. Sugar Ray Robinson was one hell of a fighter, but Floyd Mayweather is the best.”
Mayweather Jr. (40-0, 25 KOs) and Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs) will square up at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for a welterweight pay-per-view super fight that most certainly will produce drama.—Keith Murphy