As final news conferences go, Wednesday’s gathering to hear from Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Canelo Alvarez -- not to mention a lot of gasbags who thanked basically every person who has ever lived -- a few days before they fight Saturday night at the MGM Grand was as low-key as it gets.
Mayweather was not-so-fashionably 35 minutes late, leading to the first news conference I have ever been to that featured what amounted to an intermission.
But on with the show.
“It's fight time. What else can I say? If the game plan is to keep pressure, I can handle it. If the game plan is to outbox me, nobody can outbox me,” Mayweather said. “You have to be able to outmatch me mentally, and I’m the strongest mental fighter in the sport of boxing.
“I’ve been here before, so I know what it takes. He’s 42-0 [with one draw], but he hasn’t faced 42 Floyd Mayweathers because he’d be 0-42. I’m at the pinnacle. I’m the face of boxing, and I’m dedicated to my craft. I’m Floyd Mayweather; I can turn any fighter into a star. I don’t worry about running out of opponents. I’ve got guys under my [Mayweather Promotions] banner I can turn into stars and fight.”
Mayweather said Saturday’s fight is just another day at the office.
The fight, he said, “is just another stepping stone, another opponent to me. But he knows he’s facing Floyd Mayweather. I’m facing just another opponent.”
Mayweather believes Alvarez is having trouble making the catch weight limit of 152 pounds for their junior middleweight unification fight and has taunted Alvarez about it. Asked how he knows Alvarez is having issues, Mayweather responded as though he has a spy in his camp.
“I know it because it’s my job to know it,” he said slyly. “My job as a fighter [is] to know everything about any opponent I’m facing.”
Although Alvarez is only 23 and in easily his biggest fight, he's been calm and poised throughout the promotion.
“I don’t care about his record. I’m not coming to make a good fight. I’m coming to win,” Alvarez said. “When you fight Floyd, you have to be ready for every aspect of a fight. You have to be able to adjust mentally as well as physically. I have to be very, very smart and ready to change my plan at any time.
“You’ll see how I do it. You’ll see how I beat him. I’m calm, and I’m just ready to fight. I’ve studied him. I know his style, and I know what he’s going to do. I’m confident I will win because I know everything about him.
Adding to Alvarez’s excitement for the fight is that it is on Mexican Independence Day weekend, a traditional time for a big fight with a Mexican star.
“There’s no pressure whatsoever," he said. "It’s motivating to have all of Mexico rooting for me."