Floyd Mayweather Jr. has returned to the boxing gym after nearly two years away and says his preparation for an Aug. 26 fight against Conor McGregor is going smoothly even four months after his 40th birthday.
“You can’t touch me,” Mayweather said late Wednesday night following a training session in front of a large crowd at Ten Goose Boxing Gym in Van Nuys, where he had encouraged followers of his social media accounts to come watch him.
“I haven’t been off two years, really. I’ve been running, working. I’m not rusty, I’m ready.”
Mayweather declined to say much else, pointing instead to his assistant trainer and close friend Nate Jones to answer questions about his preparation — and enthusiasm — for the novelty bout against UFC lightweight champion McGregor that could potentially produce 3 million pay-per-view buys.
Jones said Mayweather looks “beautiful. A lot of people might think even after two years in a fight of this magnitude that he shouldn’t fight a guy like McGregor, but he don’t take it like that. Floyd’s thing is he needs to get ready to fight someone like Mike Tyson.
“Because losing is like death to him. He’ll never take anyone lightly. Did you see his work today? It’s amazing. He’s taking on kids 22-23 years old and burning them out.”
Jones, a friend of Mayweather’s since their amateur boxing days in Michigan, has been in his corner for several years. He spread his thumb and index finger apart by less than an inch when asked how close Mayweather was in performance to the version that beat Manny Pacquiao unanimously in their lucrative 2015 fight.
“There’s something wrong with him, I guess, because the way he works and the things he can do at this time are unheard of,” Jones said. “He’s so smart … these dudes can never be as sharp as him. His mind … no one’s close, hands down. And he’s moving like he’s 25.”
Mayweather pointed for a another friend to answer and the man said, “He retired because he was comfortable already. He didn’t have to fight anymore.”
Mayweather did cry, “No!” to the comment that fighting McGregor, in his pro boxing debut, would be a walkover for him.
He also rolled his eyes about the mural in McGregor’s gym that shows the UFC champion punching Mayweather with a crushing blow. And Mayweather smiled widely at the mention of an online video that shows McGregor punching objects thrown in the air at him.
“If he loses a fight like this — losing is impossible to Floyd — his legacy is everything,” Jones said. “He has to view everyone as great, and this man [McGregor] is great in MMA. It’s good for both of them to fight like this.
“The thing with Floyd is he’s petrified of losing. You can’t beat him in spades, in any game. It’s his competitiveness. He has the same sickness as Michael Jordan had. You may flip a coin or play a basketball game … he doesn’t want to lose in anything. That competitive edge is why he’s Floyd Mayweather.
“With that will to win, the sky’s the limit.”