At his gym Tuesday, on media day for a fight that is expected to destroy pay-per-view and live-gate records, Mayweather (47-0, 26 knockouts) detailed why he finally agreed to fight the record eight-division champion from the Philippines.
“Everything in life is about timing,” Mayweather said. “I don’t regret anything. The time is now.
“Before, I don’t think this fight was as big as this. With me going out there getting bigger and bigger, not just in boxing, but outside the sport, and him stepping outside boxing and continuing to grow outside the sport, the names are much bigger now than they were before.
“You can’t rush everything in life. Certain things aren’t meant to be [rushed].”
Mayweather, 38, and Pacquiao, 36, first began fight negotiations more than five years ago, but a series of disagreements and Mayweather’s general apathy kept boxing’s super-fight on pause.
In the interim, Mayweather in 2013 signed a six-fight deal with Showtime/CBS that has given him four purses in excess of $30 million, including record sales for his September 2013, victory over Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Forbes said Mayweather earned $105 million last year, becoming the second athlete after Tiger Woods to reach $100 million in a year.
Hopes for the super-fight took a dark turn when Pacquiao was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, but he has rallied with three convincing victories, knocking down previously unbeaten Chris Algieri six times in a November victory by decision.
“I didn’t really say anything [after the Marquez loss], I just thought hopefully he’d be able to bounce back,” Mayweather said of Pacquiao. “And he bounced back. It was the right thing for the sport of boxing and for himself.”
Mayweather has previously taken verbal shots at Pacquiao for remaining with Mayweather’s former promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc., but declined to do so Tuesday.
He said he told his closest advisors nearly a decade ago, when he decided to part ways with Arum, that he’d be the first fighter to make $100 million for a bout.
For this bout, it’s believed Mayweather, who’ll earn a 60% purse split to Pacquiao’s 40%, could earn nearly $200 million.
“I always knew if I made the right moves … eventually I’d get to the next level,” Mayweather said.
For this fight, Mayweather said he has taken to the most basic of training techniques, including chopping wood, while also incorporating swimming workouts.
“[There’s] more excitement, [but] it’s been smooth and comfortable and I’m happy with my performance,” Mayweather said.
Mayweather’s father/trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., said his son’s intelligence will prove too much for Pacquiao. The elder Mayweather went as far as predicting a knockout.
“It’s not going to be the [toss-up] fight that people think it’s going to be,” Mayweather Sr. said. “The Mayweathers are like this: When we see what a guy’s doing, and see him keep doing it, we know what to do.”
Pacquiao, said Mayweather Jr., is “a very, very reckless fighter,” leaving himself open to punches.
Mayweather also cracked jokes about Pacquiao’s height disadvantage — “he wears lifts in his shoes” — and raised his eyebrows and flashed a smile when someone took note of his reach advantage.
“My career wouldn’t have lasted this long if I had been a reckless fighter like that,” Mayweather said of Pacquiao. “A guy can land a good shot, but one thing about Floyd Mayweather: I can make adjustments.