Floyd Mayweather was getting settled into his seat in a room at the MGM Grand where he was to speak with the assembled media about his fight Saturday with Canelo Alvarez – theoretically, the 45-minute session was to allow Mayweather to discuss the fight – when he asked for a cup of coffee.
Someone asked him if he wanted "sugar and all that" in it.
"No! No!" Mayweather said, scanning the crowd of his friends, employees and boxers looking for someone he felt comfortable could accomplish the task.
Finally, in the back of the room, he spied Marcus Hutchins, a close friend he met a few years back in an all-night barbershop in Georgia.
"Marcus," Mayweather said, "make me my coffee. Marcus knows how I take my coffee."
He sat down, and began to speak. He rarely reads sports sites. He said he loves the duPont Registry, a website that caters to the ultra rich. It's a site where a 2005 Maserati MC12 coupe can be had for the low, low price of $1.5 million.
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It's a safe bet that anyone who drives a $1.5 million car is probably a millionaire, and perhaps a billionaire, and Mayweather helpfully pointed out he makes certain all his "billionaire friends" get floor seats for his fights.
"You don't want to be putting those billionaires up in the stands, now," Mayweather said, wagging a finger toward no one in particular.
Finally, the coffee arrived, and he took a drink. He wrinkled his nose as if something were wrong, but he continued to talk. He took another drink, and asked what kind of coffee he was drinking.
Satisfied with the answer, he began to answer the question he was asked moments earlier, but at that exact moment, he recognized what it was he was tasting.
"Did you put honey in this coffee?" Mayweather asked.
Now, according to Mayweather, Hutchins is the guy who tried to put diesel fuel into one of his Ferraris, so Hutchins may not have been the right guy to trust with making the champ's coffee a few days before a fight in which he'll earn a guarantee of $41.5 million.
When Hutchins said that he had laced the coffee with honey, Mayweather stood on his feet and looked toward Hutchins on his right.
"Man, what are you doing?" he said. "You know you don't put no honey in my [expletive] coffee."
The room was silent. No one moved or spoke, except for Mayweather.
"Hell, no!" he said. "You put honey in tea, not coffee."
Everyone began to laugh, but Mayweather continued to ignore the reporters and talk directly to Hutchins.
"You talk about making things happen, but you [expletive] things up," he said. As Hutchins went to make a new cup, Mayweather insisted someone else fix his cup of coffee. The champ was taking no more chances.
"He's always [expletive] up," Mayweather said. "You are always [expletive] up. Let her go over there. I don't never see nobody – he's the only employee I got that [expletive] up every day."
Everyone laughed, and a reporter asks him a question, but Mayweather ignores it.
He wants to keep talking about Hutchins.
"You know why I keep him around?" Mayweather said of Hutchins. "He's my friend and he ain't jealous of me. I let him roll with me because he can hang out with me and not be jealous of me. So [expletive] it. Flat out. He ain't jealous of me. He's my friend. He's my real friend 'cause he ain't jealous of me.
"Most of the time, I break up with dudes 'cause they jealous of me. We ain't cool no more because they're mad at me. You can't be mad because I'm successful."
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Regardless of the outcome of Saturday's bout, which he spent precious little time discussing, he'll be successful again. Before Mayweather arrived, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer spent time talking about how successful the fight appears to be doing financially.
All indicators are that the bout is going to do massive business. Schaefer said it could be a $200 million night.
"People say boxing is dead and we have a $200 million night," Schaefer said. "Yeah, right."
Mayweather credited the success of the fight to social media, though he quickly disavowed it. He doesn't post anything himself to either his Twitter or Instagram accounts. And if you feel like berating him there, forget it.
He doesn't read any of them.
"I was talking to the young guys under my banner, under the Mayweather Promotions banner," he said. "What's so crazy is, in the tech world, you've got social media. You've got Instagram and you've got Twitter, right? And even the females under my company, under my banner [they get upset at what is said about them.] I don't run my Instagram or my Twitter.
"I don't be into all that, because I could care less what somebody says about me. The other day, I started to think about it. I said, 'Why y'all worried about what somebody's saying about you on Instagram and Twitter? It could be somebody flipping a burger at McDonald's, pushing a button, talking on they phone, saying something bad about you and they don't even know you.' "
He said he doesn't read what the media writes about him, good or bad, and said it doesn't impact him because he knows no one writing about him truly knows him.
"But if they want to get my attention," Mayweather says, "let it go across the screen when I'm watching college football. I'd be like, 'What the hell? They're interfering with my game.' "
One reporter was very persistent, trying to get Mayweather to give Alvarez credit for the success of the promotion. There were around 2,000 people crowded into the lobby of the MGM Grand on Tuesday to watch the fighters walk the red carpet. Clearly, the event has taken off and will be a hit. The reporter seemed desperate to hear Mayweather anoint Alvarez as a star.
Mayweather, though would have none of it.
"I give Canelo credit for showing up on Sept. 14," Mayweather said, beaming smugly. "I'm not going to sit right here and give nobody credit. Listen, I worked my ass off to get here."
He then talked about the 4 a.m. training sessions. He said if fans want to meet him, they should show up at 3 a.m. at the Fatburger on Las Vegas Blvd., where he eats a medium cheeseburger with no relish every night.
He likes Fatburger, but said his favorite fast-food hamburger chain is "Five Guys."
"Oh, man," he said, "that place is the best."
He spoke little of Alvarez and declined to give a prediction about the success of the pay-per-view.
"I'm only going to predict one thing," he said. "I'm going to beat Canelo on Sept. 14."
Other than that, he didn't want to speculate about future fights or engage much in boxing talk. When you can talk of Maseratis and Ferraris and buying a private jet, what fun is talking about a left hook and a shot to the solar plexus?
He told a British reporter who asked about a potential fight with Amir Khan, "If you came to see Amir Khan, you've come to the wrong place. This is the Mayweather show."
And what a show it was. On and on he went, one minute light-hearted, the next minute serious.
He was on top of his game, even though it was frequently hard to tell what game it was that he was playing.
Mayweather looked at the media who surrounded him and said, "You all can write good, or you all can write bad. I don't care. Just write."
At that moment, he looked at the clock on the computer of a reporter sitting next to him and realized it was past time for him to leave. And just like that, he ended the interview and bolted from the room.
He'd failed in 45 minutes to discuss his opponent's strengths and weaknesses, but no one could have sold the fight any better.
And Marcus Hutchins? He left the room with a smile on his face, perhaps headed to a job he may mess up, content in the knowledge that no matter if he did, Mayweather wouldn't break up with him.
- Sports & Recreation
- Floyd Mayweather