Photos by Jeff Fusco - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Boxing superstars Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley kicked off their three city media tour with a bang on Tuesday afternoon at the Nokia Theatre in New York City. Both are promoting their mega fight that will take place on May 1st at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Both men had no interest on waiting that long to settle their differences. As the press conference got underway, Mayweather and Mosley were both introduced separately to the crowd. After the introductions, both guys went toward the center of the stage for a face to face showdown. The two fighters started to trash talking and things nearly took a turn for the worse when Mayweather put his hands on Mosley.Sugar Shane would respond with a shove and then charged right after Floyd. The two would engage in a mini scuffle/wrestling match.
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaeffer rushed the stage to make sure the whole fiasco didn't get any worse.Both camps would follow on stage as things started to settle down.Laughter ensued when Mayweather's CEO,Leonard Ellerbe, came rushing to the scrum, slipped, and fell on his butt. All this stuff going on and the press conference had not even started!! While some may think this is a stunt to promote the fight even more, this is just a case of two fighters that just don't like each other.
They are promoting this fight as " Who R U Picking", which is one of the more clever slogans that any boxing promoter has come up with. The buzz surrounding this fight had started long before today. While this has been a fight that has been years in the making, the turning point came after Floyd Mayweather's last fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. As everyone remembers, Mosley jumped the ring after Floyd's win and challenged Mayweather face to face right after Floyd's victory over Marquez.
While it was an entertaining moment for boxing fans who witnessed it, it looked like it would be for no reason. Mosley was headed on a collision course with Andre Berto while Mayweather was trying negotiate a contract to fight Manny Pacquiao. We know what happened with Mayweather-Pacquiao but it was Andre Berto calling off his bout with Mosley two weeks before as he was trying to recover emotionally from the Haiti earthquakes. That opened the door for both men and wasted little time in signing off on the fight.
Mosley, 38, is the defending WBA welterweight champion and Mayweather, 33, is a former WBC title holder and both are considered among the top-5 pound-for-pound fighters in professional boxing. Mosley is coming off the best performance of his career when he knocked out Antonio Margarito to capture the welterweight title. Mayweather never looked better when he took apart Juan Manuel Marquez in his last bout this past September.
Here is both men's initial response on fighting each other.
" I have always wanted to fight Floyd Mayweather and now that dream is finally coming true," said Mosley, (46-5, 39 KO's). " Floyd is excellent at what he does, but my past record of beating the best competition and other great champions shows that he is just another one of my opponents."
" Ever since I came back to the sport I said I only wanted to fight the best and Shane Mosley is one of the best," said Mayweather (40-0, 25 Ko's). " Not only does he have the skills, but he is also fast, strong, and a very tough competitor. His speed and power won't mean much that night against my will and determination to dominate him inside the square circle.
During Tuesday's presser, both men did not have not many kind words to say about each other. Mayweather constantly reminded the crowd of Mosley's past PED use and how they are not even on the same level in terms of star power.
" Shane is an HBO fighter. I am a Pay Per View fighter. I am the one that is making the big bucks, said Mayweather." I have made more money in my last two fights then Shane has made in the last five years. We also know that Shane can match up with my speed or skills. We do know that when he was steroids, he was quite fast.
After these comments, one could only assume that Mosley will come into the ring on May 1st more determined than he has ever been in his 14 year career. At the age of 38, Mosley is trying to cement his legacy with a win over Floyd and try to shut down the PED talk for good.
" May 1st symbolizes something. After this fight no one gonna say it's the CLEAR. It's going to be clear when Floyd takes that ass whooping I'm about to give him," said Mosley. Shane was alluding to the potion given by Balco CEO,Victor Conte, which the fighter says he ingested without knowing it's nature.
"Floyd is just trying to get under my skin. He knows I am a clean fighter or else he would not be stepping in the ring with me," said Mosley.
While there is no denying the Hall of Fame credentials for Shane Mosley, this will be Shane's first fight in 16 months since he won the welterweight title. However, Mosley does not seem to be worried at such a long layoff at his age.
" The only way for me to fight off the ring rust is by staying in the gym. I am going through a vigorous training program to keep me in shape," said Mosley. " I know Floyd's style. I know what I am ready for. I just have to make sure I have the legs to keep up with him. I'm going in there in the best shape of my life. Your going to get everything".
Mayweather was his usually cocky self when he spoke with members of the media. You can't deny that "Money" is never boring when you get a chance to do a press conference with him. He went all over the place as he talked about how his corner never gets any love, Mosley's admitted use of "enhancement" supplements, Manny Pacquiao, and boxing championship belts.
" I never knew a man that didn't want to take a $25 million drug test. I have never seen a guy go from 106 pounds and then go up to 147 and just dominate the way he has. There is no way unless he is taking some steroids.Pacquiao is a cheater. He had such a hard time with Marquez in two fights I thought he lost. Imagine what I can do to him if we fought.
On Fighting Mosley
" I can adjust to any fighter. I can read an opponent when I get in the ring. I know how to adjust in the ring and I just know how to win. He never uses his jab and I am going to expose that.
On his corner/team not getting any love
Everyone talks about Nazim Richardson and Freddie Roach being the best trainers in the sport. But my uncle deserves a lot of the credit for my success. He has never won the trainer of the year once and that ain't right. My team never gets the credit they deserve.
Floyd admitted that the media will likely bring up Mosley's age if he takes him down. "There's always an excuse," he said. " Your always going to write about me, good or bad. No matter what happens, I am going to be criticized. The most important thing is that your writing about me."
We didn't get the big fight we all wanted in Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. I really could care less who's fault it is. All I know is Mayweather drew the tougher opponent as a result of it. Mayweather-Mosley is a bigger and more anticipated fight than Pacquiao-Clottey. Even if Manny is the biggest draw in the sport, his fight is just not as compelling the public than a genuinely interesting two-way fight. After May 1st, the future will be a lot clearer for everyone involved.