Photo credit: Showtime Sports
The undefeated champ, Floyd “Money” Mayweather, talks to DIRECTV about preparing for the fight, his role models and facing his upcoming opponent, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero.
Do you have any pre-fight rituals?
I train in Las Vegas and stay at home during training camp so it’s really just another day for me. After the weigh-in I come home with my family and close friends, and stay relaxed by having something to eat and then just spending time in my bedroom thinking about the fight and how much I look forward to performing in the ring.
What is your greatest accomplishment outside of the ring?
My children. I have four beautiful children and I am so proud of them. They are great kids, get along very well and I try to be the best father I can be as it’s important to be there for them. They are always with me when I get to the arena for fight night, hang with me in the dressing room until it is time for them to take their seats and for me to start warming up to go the ring. After the fight, they come back to the dressing room and it is one big family celebration. I love my family and wouldn’t be the man I am today without my beautiful children.
Tell me something about you that sports fans would be surprised to know.
I love to go to the movies. There is something about going to a movie theater and watching a movie on a big screen. I like all kind of movies too. I like to go late at night in Las Vegas when the theaters aren’t as crowded or they will keep it open for me and my crew to watch it by ourselves.
What do you feel Guerrero’s biggest strength is?
You have to give him credit for stepping up and asking to fight me. He has been a champion and his name is mentioned among the best today. This is the biggest payday of his career and he is hungry so that’s probably his biggest strength, the hunger to win against someone like me.
What do you typically do the day after a fight?
I usually stay at home, sleep in and spend time with my family, children and friends. I go to my mother’s house too. She’s a great cook and has dinner waiting for me.
What songs are on your pre-fight playlist?
I let my crew decide what we play in the gym that day. Depending on my mood I tell them what kind of music I want to hear and then they put it together. It can be old school, hip-hop, R&B. It just depends on the day and what is going on with me that day. The closer it gets to the fight the more I think about my entrance music and what I am going to do for that particular fight. But of course that is a surprise and can’t share it with you at this time.
Who were your biggest role models growing up?
My grandmother was my role model. She still is today and I love her so much. She was always there for me, taught me manners and the difference between right and wrong. I didn’t really have sports role models but I did always respect the great fighters like Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran. Of course my Dad, Floyd Mayweather Sr, and my uncles Roger and Jeff too.
Tell us a little about The Money Team and where it’s headed.
The Money Team is my crew. The people who work for me and who have my back. It also includes the fighters that make up Mayweather Promotions. I run a tight ship, everyone has his or her job and responsibilities. The sky is the limit for The Money Team. We have a great group of fighters and people working behind the scenes to make everything come together. One of our fighters, Ishe Smith, just won a world title, becoming the first native Las Vegan to ever win a world title.
Who gave you the nickname “Money”?
I gave myself that name. My ring name used to be “Pretty Boy” but as I got older I just became uncomfortable referring to myself as a boy. I think the new name fits just fine, don’t you?
What motivates you to work and train hard every day?
I consider boxing my job. I want to go to work everyday with complete dedication, knowing it is my job to show up, step up and perform. As a fighter, going to the gym is going to work and you have to believe that every time you go to train. Most people know by now that my motto is hard work and dedication. I want to be known as the greatest fighter to ever lace up a pair of gloves and in order to do that I have to work hard, train hard and continue the success of my career. I am very grateful that I understand and know what it takes to achieve that goal.
If you could play any other sport for a living, what would it be and why?
Basketball. I love to play basketball and I am pretty good too. I like to play two or three times a week at the health gym where they have pick-up games all the time. I have always loved basketball since I was a kid.
Do you remember your very first fight? Tell us a little about it.
I was excited to turn professional. My father and two uncles Roger and Jeff were all professional fighters. I always wanted to be like them so I was happy when I finally had a chance for my first pro fight to happen. When it finally happened I was so ready that it was fun and exciting. It was a knockout too so I felt really great that night.
Who’s a celebrity that most people don’t know you’re close with?
I don’t know if you can say I am close with any celebrities but so many of them have come to the gym and watch me train. Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Jamie Fox, Justin Bieber, who actually walked with me to the ring for my last fight. Christina Aguilera was in my gym last week. People might not know she is a boxing fan but she is and came to the gym and watched me train.
We all know you’re a beast in the ring. Tell us about the soft side of Floyd Mayweather.
I am very dedicated to helping others. I founded The Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation in 1997 and have focused on helping underprivileged youth in the Las Vegas community as well as supporting homeless shelters and soup kitchens. I have been amazingly fortunate in my life and it is important for me to be able to give back.
What is your favorite game of chance in Las Vegas?
I don’t go to casinos and play table games or slots or anything like that. I like to bet on sports—pro and college. Everyone knows that about me.
In your 5/4 match against Robert Guerrero on SHOWTIME®, what can the fans expect?
Another great performance! Every time I fight I fight for my fans and May 4 will be no different. I am training extremely hard for this fight and it will reveal itself in the ring that night. I love boxing and am a perfectionist. I don’t stop until I get it perfect. I have been out of the ring for a year, so the fans are in for a treat and I will not disappoint them either.