Floyd Mayweather Jr. seeks to turn talk back to Marcos Maidana bout
Life for Floyd Mayweather Jr. is pretty good.
Custom homes in Las Vegas and Miami, a fleet of luxury cars to choose from every day, yes-men at every turn and the ability to slip punches in and out of the ring by relying on years of training and the ability to turn a boastful phrase.
Tired of listening? You have to. He’s still unbeaten.
On Saturday, the 37-year-old Mayweather (46-0, 26 knockouts) faces a welterweight title rematch against Argentine Marcos Maidana at MGM Grand. Maidana is a hard-hitting, younger brawler who devoted his training camp to extra conditioning so he can extend an attack that gave Mayweather problems early in their fight in May.
Wearing a pricey white leather shirt and diamond-encrusted wristwatch, Mayweather, at a news conference, protested after reporters kept asking him questions that had nothing to do with the bout.
In the last month, Mayweather has fended off an accusation by rapper and former friend 50 Cent that he can’t read.
Last week his ex-fiancee filed a civil lawsuit alleging Mayweather beat her during their relationship. She also alleged invasion of privacy.
Mayweather, who was jailed two years ago for reduced domestic battery charges, on Tuesday weighed in on the video of former NFL running back Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee inside an elevator. Mayweather was mostly supportive of Rice.
“If this isn’t about me and Maidana, you all shouldn’t even ask me about it,” Mayweather said Wednesday. “I’m not even an NFL player, I’m a boxer. You all are worried about some female … that shouldn’t even be your focus if it’s not my focus.”
Mayweather complained that questions about these other topics are distracting him from focusing on the fight.
Maidana wasn’t buying it.
“He doesn’t care about those things,” Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) said. “He has people to worry about that for him.”
Mayweather said to a reporter, “All you do is ask in a different way. … I don’t read nothing. Remember, I can’t read.
“Honestly, if it’s something negative, I try to push it to the side,” Mayweather continued. “I don’t worry about good press, bad press. … Just write about me.”
Mayweather is astute enough to realize that both his boxing talent and his disposition have significant drawing power. As a young super-featherweight world champion, he couldn’t sell out a 7,000-seat arena in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich.
Mayweather developed his bad-boy reputation and it helped promote what became the bestselling pay-per-view fight of all time, against Oscar De La Hoya in 2007. Ever since, Mayweather’s bank account has fattened. He earned $105 million last year and will receive another $30 million-plus for Maidana II.
He understands that a huge segment of fans who’ll purchase the $75 pay per view on Saturday are doing so hoping he’ll finally get beat. Oddsmakers have Mayweather an 8-1 favorite to win again on Saturday.
In their first fight, Mayweather was caught off guard by Maidana’s determined early attack. The champion found himself backed into the ropes and suffered a cut in the right eyelid. Mayweather rallied impressively in the second half, avoiding Maidana’s pressure and landing the more effective scoring blows.
“I said I was going to fight him toe to toe, and that’s what I did,” Mayweather said.
One judge scored the fight even, with six rounds for each boxer. Mayweather prevailed on other judges’ scores of nine rounds to three and 8-4.
“I had it 9-3,” Mayweather said after watching a replay. “Gave him the first, third and fourth … from then on, shutout.
“I won. I threw hands — what I do for a living — I boxed. …The main thing is me winning. … I’ve been here before. I know what it takes when it’s a fight of this magnitude.”
Victory never gets old for Mayweather, who said he continues leaning toward the notion he’ll retire a year from now, at the close of his six-fight contract with Showtime.
Mayweather also repeated his trainer’s statements that he’ll seek to finish off Maidana.
“I’m going for the knockout,” Mayweather said. “Someone said he had the highest knockout ratio of anyone I’ve faced. He’s a tough, rugged guy. I’m coming to make a statement. To myself.”
Follow Lance Pugmire on Twitter @latimespugmire