COMMENTARY | Floyd Mayweather had taken enough shots throughout the multi-city press tour to hype his September 14 bout with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. It was now time for some perfectly-timed counter-punches--- and, really, who's better at counter-punching than Mayweather?
The five-division world champ had been polite, understated, and uncharacteristically subdued throughout the series of publicity events. However, even the more mature and introspective "Money" has his breaking point. Louder and prouder than at any other stop on the tour, the pound-for-pound top dog would manage to close out the Mayweather-Alvarez press tour in Los Angeles with a mean-spirited, spiteful bang Tuesday night.
Bearing gifts for a select few in attendance, Mayweather played Rolex-wearing, Gucci-loving Santa Claus to members of Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer's family as well as head of Showtime Sports, Stephen Espinoza. Last but not least was Schaefer, himself, who Mayweather showered with praise while intentionally snubbing the other half of the Golden Boy Promotions team, Oscar De la Hoya.
"I've been working hand in hand with this man," Mayweather announced at the podium situated right next to De la Hoya. "And every time I get a chance to say thank you to this guy-- I can't really speak about Oscar-- but one thing I can tell you, Richard Schaefer is Golden Boy."
A somewhat uncomfortable Schaefer graciously accepted his gift, but it was obvious what had just happened. And judging by the "oohs" in the audience, the crowd knew as well. It was the diss heard 'round the world-a dressing down of one of boxing's most powerful men that only "Money" Mayweather could deliver.
Schaefer would take the podium after Mayweather and do some damage control:
"I'm really blessed to be able to work for the owner of Golden Boy, Oscar De la Hoya, and to work with Floyd Mayweather...[who is] one in a generation."
But the words had been spoken, the message delivered. It's obvious that the bad blood has been brewing for quite some time between Oscar and Floyd and the red carpet treatment given to the 22-year-old Canelo Alvarez may have been the catalyst for the public potshot. Mayweather, as boxing's biggest star, wields a massive sword. On this evening in Los Angeles, he decided to use it.
"And it's so crazy that Canelo is such a big star but he's never been on pay-per-view unless he was on my undercard," Mayweather told the public after handing out his gifts. "But he's such a big star. He's such a big star, Oscar. You might as well call me the Golden Boy cause I done beat everybody in your whole crew...You notice Oscar's always got a game plan for an opponent and it always comes up short. Like I said before, I believe in doing good business. Honest business. And one thing you got to realize about Floyd Mayweather is I can fight. That's what I can do, I can fight.
"I'm young, I'm fly, I'm flashy, I'm rich. Damn, life is good. See ya'll September 14th!"
The final press conference/fan rally was classic Mayweather in every sense of the word. Accompanied by his children and mother, who sat at the table next to him, Mayweather playfully clowned around with his daughter moments before seizing the attention of the partisan pro-Canelo crowd with a defiant, angry, direct assault on Canelo's star power and resume.
Always the counter-puncher, Mayweather took shot after shot on this 10-city promotional tour, only to close out the entire thing with the best, most accurate counter-punch possible. If anyone doubted Mayweather's fire coming into his September 14 bout with Alvarez, this last stop on the press tour should make it clear that there's still a raging, fiery competitor deep inside this smug, pampered, obnoxiously rich athlete.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
Source: YouTube Video of Los Angeles Press Conference
- Sports & Recreation
- Floyd Mayweather
- Oscar De la Hoya
- Richard Schaefer