Floyd Mayweather sat in a chair at the Vanderbilt Suites in Manhattan, watching himself do his thing on a screen showing Round 10 of his master-class showing against Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 14 at the MGM in Las Vegas.
Mayweather landed a wicked right on the Mexican, a 23-year-old of considerable talent whom Mayweather reduced to a hesitant shell of himself, and beamed slightly at his handiwork.
"When you watch yourself do that," I asked, "what are you thinking?"
He paused, and I leaned in to see if I could lock in on his pupils through his sunglasses. "It's just artwork," he said.
Indeed it was. And Mayweather is getting paid for it. His adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, who was present at the media gathering held Wednesday, said Floyd could end up with a cool $100 million for downing Alvarez.
Mayweather said this was the second time he's watched a portion of the bout. Everyone else who watched it, save inept judge CJ Ross, deemed the fight a Mayweather domination exercise.
The boxer, who turns 37 in February, said he watches his fights not to luxuriate in his superiority, but rather to learn.
"Touch him," he murmured to himself as he landed a snappy jab on Alvarez, who wasn't able to so much as slip a stitch because Floyd's hand speed is unlike anything Alvarez had dealt with previously.
Mayweather had fun getting grilled by Howard Stern on Wednesday morning, and was off to chat with the Bloomberg TV and print people after the media gathering. On Tuesday, he was on MSNBC's "The Cycle," and on Friday, publicist Kelly Swanson told me, he'll be on ABC's "LIVE with Kelly and Michael."
Mayweather wouldn't offer any hints on who will get the next lotto ticket/beating, but said he will next glove up on May 3, and then again in September 2014. He talked legacy, saying that he thinks he will be the boxer they talk about in 20 to 30 years, as they talk about Muhammad Ali now, and gave a none-too-subtle hint on where he rates himself all time: He noted that when Ali was Mayweather's age (36), he lost to a fighter who'd had seven pro bouts (Leon Spinks). Contrast that with Mayweather's dismantling of an A-grade Alvarez and 17-year stretch as a stellar craftsman.
"It's not my fault I make A-minus and B-level fighters look like D-minus and D-plus fighters," Mayweather said. "I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life. My dad is getting along, my mom is happy." And he said his kids are getting a good education.
Considering how stellar he's looked in his past two scraps, something Ellerbe attributed mostly to being active and not being a "part-time fighter," I wondered if Mayweather had decided to add a few years to his arc as an active fighter. He has four more fights on his six-fight Showtime deal, and said he'd thought about four more, or maybe six more. No, he joked, he hadn't talked about a contract extension or more favorable terms with Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza, who drew repeated compliments from Mayweather and Ellerbe for believing in the boxer and letting Floyd be Floyd.
And that includes a heavy emphasis on the main reason all of us work: compensation. When asked if he'd cashed that $40 million dollar check we've all seen on social media, "Money" grinned and offered, simply, "I'm comfortable."
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