By Jake Donovan
Floyd Mayweather often insists he fears no man. He has certainly made it clear that he fears no lawsuit.
The unbeaten pound-for-pound king once again found a way to make headlines and further draw attention to himself during Monday’s press conference in San Juan to officially present his May 5 showdown with Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Mayweather (42-0, 26KO) started off by saying all of the right things, thanking the crowd on hand – largely in support of Cotto, though also no shortage of fans showing their appreciation for the American superstar as well.
“I will give the fans what they want to see. We will fight toe-to-toe,” Mayweather promised. “I’m not worried if fans root for Miguel Cotto. If God is on your side, you will always rise.”
Once upon a time there was concern that Mayweather was more interested in protecting his “0” than entertaining the crowd, though such a claim is no better than a distortion of the truth. The Grand Rapids, MI native – though now based out of Las Vegas, where he has exclusively fought for the past five years – has taken the safety-first approach in the past, though it’s hardly done in exclusivity.
His most recent fight still has people talking, though a touch of controversy at the end certainly helps that cause. A fourth round knockout of Victor Ortiz came just moments after Mayweather was drilled by an intentional headbutt and where confusion arose over whether or not time had resumed. An unsuspecting Ortiz was still awaiting personal confirmation, when he was clocked by a two-punch combination to put him down and out just before the bell to end the fourth round.
The win allowed Mayweather to regain the alphabet welterweight belt he relinquished upon his faux retirement in 2008. Along the way, he has captured titles in five weight classes, including three lineal world championships (130, 135 and 147). He has done so through what he often refers to as ‘blood, sweat and tears’ and without outside assistance.
In his mind, it’s more than can be said for some of his peers, including a certain pound-for-pound rival whose success he has indirectly suggested (while his father and uncle have directly done so) as being of the unnatural variety.
“It takes hard work, dedication, prayers, belief and a good team,” Mayweather says of the formula for remaining on top. “One man has to rise to the occasion and that will be me. Floyd Mayweather is not a cheater like Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao. Hard work, hard work, hard work.”
The media session in San Juan was the first leg of a three-city press tour which also includes stops in New York City and Los Angeles.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]