DETROIT Ė Undefeated Eight-Time World Champion Floyd ďMoneyĒ Mayweather joined Cornelius Bundrage, Ishe Smith, JíLeon Love and Derrick Findley on Thursday at the final press conference for Saturdayís SHOWTIME event from the Masonic Temple Theatre in Detroit, Mich., which his company, Mayweather Promotions, will co-promote with Golden Boy Promotions. Photos by Tom Casino/Showtime.
In the main event, IBF Junior Middleweight World Champion Cornelius ďK9Ē Bundrage will defend his title against challenger Ishe ďSugar ShayĒ Smith, live on SHOWTIMEģ (9:00 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).† In the SHOWTIME co-feature, undefeated middleweight contender JíLeon Love (14-0, 8 KOís) of Detroit will risk his perfect record against veteran Derrick ďSupermanĒ Findley (20-8, 13 KOís) of Gary, Ind. in a 10-round fight.
Mayweather, already the highest paid athlete in the world (Forbes, 2012), also discussed the groundbreaking contract he recently inked with Showtime Networks Inc. and its parent company, CBS Corporation.† The deal, a unique revenue-sharing arrangement between SHOWTIME PPV and Mayweather, will enable him to fight up to six times over a period of 30 months, with the first mega-event taking place on May 4, 2013 when Mayweather will fight Robert ďThe GhostĒ Guerrero.
Hereís what the participants had to say on Thursday:
ďThis cat right here [Smith], the last time he came to Detroit, he was scared to death.† I could see a fear in him.† He went home and started Tweeting.† Heís a Facebook gangster and now he comes back to my city with The Money Team and all of a sudden heís hard.† I bark outside the ring, but I bite inside the ring.† They canít fight for him.† Iíll give him the business and hopefully his boss [Floyd Mayweather] will step up.
ďK9 is in the house.† The dog is coming.† Iím just excited.† Iím fighting Ishe Smith, so Iím not worried about The Money Team.† Iím not worried about Floyd.† We have to do battle.† Ishe, youíre not leaving here with that belt.† The only think youíre going to have is that Twitter belt.
ďHeís a pillow puncher.† Heís going down.† The only person I fear is God.† Him [Smith], Iíll put him down.† The thing is, 39-years-old for me is like 21 because I didnít have an amateur career.† Iím coming with everything.† Itís going down.† May the best man win.Ē
ďI want to thank SHOWTIME.† Itís been over 10 years now since my first fight on SHOWTIME and to think that my first world title shot is coming on SHOWTIME is unbelievable.† Itís an unbelievable feeling to be on network TV so many times, even when some of the times I knew I was going to be on the ĎBí side, they always had my back.† Itís 10-plus years of a great relationship and itís only fitting that this first world title shot to try to become the first-ever Vegas born champion is on this network.
ďWhat can I say about Eddie Mustafa.† I hadnít fought in 18 months and I didnít know if I even wanted to fight anymore.† He told me to come to the gym.† He would call me and make sure I was OK.† I grew up fatherless so he was like a father-figure.
ďThis crowd here is full of K9 supporters and thatís great.† If you guys came to Vegas, it would be full of Ishe Smith supporters.† This isnít football, this isnít basketball.† You canít yell at a quarterback and have him hear you.† Itís just me and him in the ring.† He has to fight and I have to fight too.† The one thing about it is heís going to get touched.† Iíve had almost 30 pro fights and Iíve never been down, never stopped.† Bottom line is, itís one-on-one.† Weíre going to strictly box hard. Iím coming to fight and Iím taking that title back to Vegas.† Thatís the way itís going to be.
ďItís like my boy Chico (Diego Corrales) used to always tell me, itís a war of attrition.† You have to go out on your back.† Iíd rather go out on my back than leave without that title.† He can question everything about me, but come Saturday night weíre going to see whoís the real champion.Ē
ďI need to thank Floyd for everything heís done for me.† Iíve had a lot of different promoters in my 13 years as a professional and no one has treated me the way he does.† I did communicate with him when he was incarcerated and I carry this letter that he wrote me whenever I fight.† He said, ĎYou are a champion.† Thank you for helping me get ready for the most important fights of my career Ė Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley.† Have that same attitude when you spar and that same determination and no one can stop you.† Iím proud of you.† Always continue to think about your family when youíre training and push yourself to the limit.í† Thatís just half of what he wrote me.† At the end he said, ĎI promise Iím going to get you a world championship fight when I get out of jail.í† So we went 18 months without a fight and in less than a year we are fighting for a world championship.† I donít see how anybody can say anything bad about Floyd Mayweather or Mayweather Promotions. Iím not going to do any of that damn barking.† I donít need to do that.† This Saturday itís going to be a good show, itís going to be a good fight.Ē
ďIím a Detroit native.† I love Detroit.† This is where Iím from.† This is where I caused trouble, did good, did bad.† Detroit runs in my blood.† Iím going to come out Saturday and do what we do best and thatís fight and put on a good show.† We want to put on more shows out here in Detroit, so this is the time to show that weíre ready for whatever.† Weíre ready for Derrick Findley, whatever he comes with.† Heís going to rush, do whatever he has to do, so weíll be ready for it.
ďI come from the dog house.† This is where we put all our hard work in.† Weíre in Vegas putting in the work, running, doing everything we have to do.† We have the best trainers and thereís nothing weíre not ready for.† We train hard.† Itís another day and weíre going to put on a good performance.Ē
ďI just want to thank JíLeon and Floyd Mayweather for giving me this opportunity.† Iím used to going into the lionís den; Iím used to fighting guys in their backyards, but that stuff doesnít matter to me.† I just got to give it everything I got in the ring.† Take advantage of the opportunity and get the win in his hometown.†† Iíll definitely be ready and I canít wait until Saturday.Ē