By Gerald Imray
Floyd Mayweather says it has been a dream of his to fight in South Africa.
The American superstar arrived in Johannesburg on Wednesday wearing a T-shirt with a bright yellow map of Africa on the front.
Below it, his TMT logo – it stands for The Money Team – was in the colors of the South African flag.
Mayweather knows his audience. He told the fans he had arrived in the "motherland." He said he might fight here one day. Mayweather swooped into Johannesburg for the start of a four-city visit to South Africa; his first trip to the African continent.
He was hustled straight through a packed airport terminal and into a Rolls-Royce. He sped off with no more than a few words, delivered on the run, to hundreds who had gathered to greet him.
It didn't seem to disappoint any of them.
Later, Mayweather was more generous with his time, speaking to reporters for around an hour about his future fight plans and this trip.
Well, part of the audience was reporters. Many of those fans had somehow infiltrated the news conference, beefy security men and all, meaning there were fewer questions and more statements of Mayweather's general greatness.
"So, as far as my fight with Canelo, they said Floyd Mayweather's record could never be broken without the Pacquiao fight and as you have seen what we did, the fight done crazy numbers."
Mayweather also suggested Pacquiao's renewed desire to make their mega fight happen came out of desperation after the Filipino's back-to-back losses to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, and his tax problems.
"I offered Manny Pacquiao the fight before," Mayweather said. "We didn't see eye to eye on terms. Years later we come back and I try and make the fight happen again. I offer him $40 million. He said he wanted 50-50. So we didn't make the fight happen.
"All of a sudden, he loses to Timothy Bradley, he loses to Marquez ... he has tax problems now. So, two losses and tax problems later, now he all of a sudden wants to say: 'You know what? I'd do anything to make the fight happen,' when he's really saying: 'Floyd, can you help me solve my tax problems, get me out of debt?'"
Instead, Mayweather named Britain's Amir Khan and Argentina's Marcos Maidana as contenders to be his next opponent on May 3 in Las Vegas. Mayweather said nothing was finalized but they would know who it was within a week.
Tags: Manny Pacquiao , Floyd Mayweather Jr. , Mayweather-Pacquiao , Mayweather vs Pacquiao