LAS VEGAS – Floyd Mayweather arrived at the MGM Grand Saturday a little after 1 p.m. PT for a breakfast news conference to formally announce his May 3 bout with Marcos Maidana.
Of course, it was breakfast for Mayweather, who stepped to the podium not long after just waking up.
"I was up gambling [at the MGM] half the night last night," Mayweather said, struggling to appear alert. "I was here causing a riot."
As he was rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he looked around the crowded ballroom seeking out familiar faces. He spotted his daughter in the crowd and asked her to join him on the dais.
A few seconds later, he called his mother up to join him.
"Come on up, Mom," he said. "We ain't dressed the best, but we're getting paid."
Most of his remarks from the podium were little more than self-aggrandizement. But when he sat down for a half-hour to talk with the media, it became clear why he's 45-0 and the highest-paid athlete in the world.
Maidana got the fight by beating Adrien Broner on Dec. 14 in San Antonio. Broner was a heavy favorite and was outright dismissive of Maidana's skills.
It showed how little Broner understands about the sport, and Mayweather touched on that when he related a story about a time before the Maidana fight when he tried to give Broner advice.
Mayweather understands the necessity to put all of his attention on his upcoming opponent. He is one of the few boxers who does not have an opponent in the hole.
Many fighters go into a bout knowing if they win it, they'll get a certain other bout. That's great banter for fans and media, but for an athlete in a sport that can end in a split-second, it's a killer.
Mayweather doesn't do that.
Broner is a talented guy and tries to pass himself off as the second coming of Mayweather, but in terms of being a complete package, Broner is about as close to Mayweather as Jimmer Fredette is to LeBron James.
When Mayweather tried to help, Broner resisted and it cost him the fight.
"I don't want to say anything bad about Adrien Broner. You have to know when to turn it on and when to turn it off," Mayweather said. "Adrien Broner was at my house and we sat down and I talked to him and I tried to teach him some things about the sport of boxing. I tried to tell him about certain moves he needed to make and certain fights.
"He asked me a question and when I was telling him or teaching him different things, he said, 'Nah, big brother. I got this. I got it. I got it.' I said, 'Listen. Listen to me. It's different at this level. The same way you're treating them D-level and C-level fighters, the way you're treating them, you're not going to be able to do that against A- and B-level fighters.' It's totally different, and things happen."
But they haven't happened to Mayweather because he learned long ago the risks a boxer faces. The biggest problem a fighter has is letting fame impact his effort.
So many boxers make it to a certain level and they revel in the fruits of their labor. They get used to the fancy hotel suites and the first-class fights and the women who throw themselves at them and the things that their money can buy.
Mayweather lives a lavish lifestyle to be sure, but to this day, he still has a Spartan work ethic. He began training camp on Monday and sparred three times in the first five days.
His father, trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr., loved what he saw.
"My Dad was impressed, very impressed and I know if I impressed him in the first week, I was doing something right," he said.
Mayweather is not for everybody. There are many who dislike him because of he's outspoken and he flaunts his success.
There are others who believe he's been protected and don't like that he handpicks his opponents. Specifically, they're angered he won't agree to a fight with Manny Pacquiao.
None of it impacts Mayweather. He's going to live his life and run his career his way and won't let anyone deter him from doing what he wants to do.
"After 18 years, I've earned the right to pick and choose who I fight," Mayweather said. "And if you don't like it, don't watch. Nobody is forcing you to watch."
And despite all the success and all the riches and the planes and cars and jewels and girls and everything else, this remains a truism 18 years after he began his boxing career:
When it's time to work, no one in the sport works harder than Floyd Mayweather Jr.
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