Supremely confident, check. We’ve always known Floyd Mayweather Jr. to be all that and a bag of chips.
But Wednesday night, with almost 200 media outlets dialing in for his May 2 Manny Pacquiao Megafight conference call, Mayweather carried himself like a sensitive, thoughtful elder statesman.
Mayweather was gracious, polite and almost regal in his verbal conduct on the call.
The 47-0 ring king accentuated the positive, eliminated the negative and did not mess with anything in between.
I have to say I have never heard Mayweather, age 38, be so impressive in any public appearance.
If he carries himself in the fight like he did here, Pacquiao may need a panic button.
But you can judge for yourself from the following remarks…
Asked if he “admires” Pinoy Idol Pacman:
“He got to this point by something right so obviously i have to respect that.”
Asked to comment on Pacquiao fans hoping their hero will be super aggressive:
“You’re asking what my game plan is, really. My game plan is just to win.”
Asked if he thinks that Manny fans see him as a villain who can put an end to their hero’s career:
“My thing is this, I feel we’re all God’s children, whether American, Filipino, African, Dominican or Asian…we’re all God’s children…I’m pretty sure some Filipino fans like me and I’m pretty sure some black Americans like Pacquiao…”
On the stature as a Super Fight:
“He is one of best fighters of his era, this fight had to happen i am glad it is happening.”
In a truly touching, emotional moment, Mayweather reflected on an elderly man named Frank Brown from the fighter’s hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. On his respect and affection for this longtime friend, he said:
“Somebody in my past lost his memory. His name is Frank Brown, since the age of three he was there to support me, more than anyone…He always said, ‘Floyd, you can be the best in the world. He would take me to church. He would drive from Grand Rapids to Little Rock to see me fight, to support me I will never forget this, since I was age of three. He is up in age now, lost his memory, he’s in an old folks home. I love the guy so much. I think about him all the time.”
On his place in boxing history:
“I feel like this, I take my hat off and acknowledge the past champs. I respect Ali like I respect any other champion.
“But I just did as much in this sport in Ali as Ali did. It’s hard for a guy to be like myself, still very sharp at age of 38 and still going strong at age of 38. I feel like I’m the best, no disrespect to Ali. I could care less about criticism.
“Ali once said he was greater than Sugar Ray Robinson and he got criticized I’m kind of sure that somebody will come along and says he’s better than Floyd Mayweather…
“I’ve come to realize…I’ve had a brilliant game plan to get where I have in my career.”
On the trash talk from Pacman trainer Freddie Roach:
“I’m not Floyd kicking a guy who is not (physically) 100 percent, trying to make it like a devil type thing but he don’t have to get in there and fight but the fighter is not speaking like that. I have nothing negative to say about Freddie Roach.”
On his own team:
“I try to teach them how go out fish for themselves. I try to keep a positive environment around me.”
On prefight hype, pressure:
“I’m not really going crazy, it is just a fight to me even though I know it’s probably the biggest fight in boxing history… but i am not going to put that pressure on myself…
“I can’t say how it will be fought but i will be at my best on May 2.”
On ticket snafus, rumors of fight not happening:
“I don’t try to worry about tickets, I worry about the guy I’m fighting, Manny Pacquiao.”
On how hard he’s trained:
“You don’t want to overtrain. You want to train until you are completely ready, to be at 100 percent. I have trained very hard, extremely hard. I’ve been pushing myself for so long, this is why I keep working so hard.”
On a September fight:
“I can’t say who I am gonna fight in September. I can’t overlook anyone right now, Manny Pacquiao is the guy.”
On God allegedly being on Pacman’s side:
“No disrespect but that’s a terrible question. I actually believe God loves us all every fighter, every writer, God loves us all. I’m a professional prizefighter but I don’t think God takes sides.”
Asked if he wants to correct any misreported or false stories concerning this fight:
“I leave boxing at the boxing gym. I am not reading articles. I’m not buying magazines with me on the cover. I am not on the computer looking up articles.:
Any enhancement of his legacy by beating Manny:
“He’s another guy I’m facing at this particular time. It was hard to make the fight happen but we made it happen. I’m not the one putting myself in the history books…I can’t really say. I really don’t know, look Ali lost to Leon Spinks, a fighter with 7seven fights. But Ali is still called ‘The Greatest’ because that is what he put he out there.”
On ever being poor again:
“I am blessed , I made some good investments. If I wanted to retire today, I could.
On Pacquiao sizing him up:
“Normally opponents outweigh me by 17-20 pounds, that’s been going on for a good while. I can read a guy by body language. (When he) saw me in Miami, he looked kind of shocked at the size difference. I can read a fighter’s eyes.”
Again, on the lack of trash talk:
“If you been doing your homework, I said we had a brilliant game plan. When I was with Bob Arum I said I wanted to work hard to get to certain point,to be the first fighter to make nine figures. So I was speaking out but, as you get older, you mature. I did trash talk for 17-18 years, ‘look at me, I am the best.’ Now, I am at the point that I know what I bring to the table, so i don’t have do all that loud talking (anymore). It was a brilliant game plan…
“This one (prefight) has been a little bit over the top. I just try to stay relaxed that is my main thing i can remember every day after (Mike) Tyson got out of prison I was a professional, I would go the MGM Grand, take some pictures and sign a few autographs. I was 19 yrs old, I thought this place will never be so packed again like it was in 1996. But I kept believing i could do record breaking numbers. With the right team and right fights, we made it happen.”