By Chris Robinson
During my recent conversation with Las Vegas-based trainer Jeff Mayweather, I got his take on his nephew Floyd Jr.’s upcoming May 5th assignment with the still-dangerous Miguel Cotto. While offering up respect to Cotto, the reigning WBA junior middleweight champion of the world, Mayweather still showed no concern about the matchup and feels another victory for Floyd is on the way.
Flipping the script a bit just before our conversation had ended, Mayweather was asked for his take on a possible bout between Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao and WBO junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, a fight that appears to be all but set for June 9th in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao is the most lucrative opponent lurking for Mayweather Jr. but the two men are again moving in different directions with the respective Bradley and Cotto matches.
Pacquiao will be a heavy favorite if the Bradley fight comes off but Mayweather doesn’t rule out an upset.
“I give Bradley a shot,” Mayweather stated. “Bradley is a very, very solid fighter. He comes to fight and he gives you everything that he’s got. I just think that he’s probably going to come up short but he’s going to make Pacquiao look bad in doing so, once again. The only thing bad about that is the possibility of the fight with him and Floyd losing its luster.”
Asked if he sees anything that stands out about the Palms Springs, California fighter, Mayweather wasn’t exactly heaping praise upon Bradley but recognizes his pristine ethic.
“He’s just a guy that’s in condition,” Mayweather explained of Bradley. “There’s nothing special about Bradley at all. There’s nothing that stands out, other than the fact that he’s in shape. There’s nothing I would look at Bradley and say ‘He’s fast’. I wouldn’t look at Bradley and say ‘He’s a great defensive fighter’. I wouldn’t say nothing but that he’s just a hard worker.”
With Pacquiao I find myself wondering whether his last two underwhelming performances, victories against Shane Mosley this past May and Juan Manuel Marquez in November, were due in part because the 33-year old is slowing down a bit or whether it was the style matchup heading in.
Marquez was looked at a sacrificial lamb heading into that matchup but fought extremely well, just as he had done in his previous two meetings with the WBO welterweight champion, and Mayweather feels it simply was a case of the Mexico City stalwart knowing his opposition so thoroughly.
“I think it’s based on style,” stated Mayweather. “Marquez is older than him, so I think it’s just style. It is proven that every time they fight, it’s a tough fight and you can pick either one as the winner. It’s just a matter of styles."