"There is no shame in losing to Floyd and Pacquiao. They are the two best in the game and you were one of the marquee venues. You were the top three as far as being an attraction. So he took time off and hopefully he got his head clear and got his system clean and everything, and now, he is back in the sport that he once loved and hopefully he is happy with it and wants to give the fans what he once provided and what they have grown to expect from him," stated world-class trainer Jeff Mayweather, who shared his thoughts on a number subjects, including the return of Ricky Hatton, upcoming bouts between Adrien Broner and Antonio DeMarco, Rober Guerrero and Andre Berto, and much more. Check it out!
PC: How is everything going Jeff?
JM: Been going good, man; just trying to keep busy.
PC: I don't know how much you can or even want to speak on this situation, but I gotta ask you, what are your thoughts on this Floyd Mayweather and 50 Cent situation, and is it shocking to you how fast it went sour?
JM: I mean, it's one of those situations to where sometimes friends can't do business together. It's almost like if you have a friend, sometimes you can't loan your friend money. It's one of those situations. And don't get me wrong, I don't really know how much Floyd was involved because everything was being done while Floyd was incarcerated. One thing is this, I know Floyd's loyalty is to Al Haymon, and basically, the plan was to push Al Haymon out and that wasn't gonna happen. So I think that was the biggest thing I think that, as friends, they could have still made this thing really big, but 50 wanted Al's position. He didn't just want to be a guy that was a part of Mayweather Promotions or TMT. He wanted to be the man and that position was already filled, and Floyd wasn't gonna allow no one else to take that position, so I think that's where they hit a wall.
PC: What are your thoughts on Ricky Hatton's comeback to boxing?
JM: I think for Ricky Hatton to come back, if he works hard, there is no shame. He only got beat by the two best guys in boxing. And to be honest, it actually puts a spark back into boxing because he was a guy that was a huge attraction. Once again, you as a fighter, I would say he has bigger drawing power than Pacquiao and Floyd in terms of the way he brings people to the US. I mean, you have 10,000 people coming to see you from a whole different country. That's a lot. That's basically half the arena sometimes. I know he had more fans in Vegas than Floyd did [when they fought], so it's like a shot of adrenaline for boxing. I think boxing needs the guy.
PC: Physically for him, do you think the 2 or 3 years off will help or hurt him, or does it just depend on the individual?
JM: Well, I just think that as long as he is going to go out and put forth the effort that he once did, he will be okay. Like I said, there is no shame in losing to Floyd and Pacquiao. They are the two best in the game and you were one of the marquee venues. You were the top three as far as being an attraction. So he took time off and hopefully he got his head clear and got his system clean and everything, and now, he is back in the sport that he once loved and hopefully he is happy with it and wants to give the fans what he once provided and what they have grown to expect from him.
PC: Another question I get a lot is, do you think Arturo Gatti is first ballot Hall of Fame worthy?
JM: I think so. I think so because the fact that he was an attraction and he was the type of fighter that gave everything he had, win, lose or draw. You never had a guy that slacked or looked for a way out. He was a true fighter and a true warrior. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that he was an A-level fighter, but I think that he made the most out of the skills that he had and he brought fans to the sport. He gave it his all and he went out on his shield every time. I think he is. He was another huge attraction to boxing as well.
PC: I gotta get your final thoughts on Emanuel Steward and your interaction with him over the years. What are your thoughts on his Hall of Fame career?
JM: I've always had a great relationship with Manny. Every time I see him, we would always stop and talk about boxing and things like that. He was just a nice guy, all around nice guy, and I think that in this decade and this era, I think that every trainer, I don't care who they are, has to aspire and use Emanuel as an inspiration to be in this sport and hopefully try to achieve just a piece of what he achieved. I mean, for me myself, personally, I have always looked to Emanuel Steward and I don't think that there is no trainer that, unless they just don't want to be honest, would say that they don't want to achieve what Emanuel Steward did. He achieved the ultimate. He is a guy I looked up to and he was a great person. And to be honest, when I got a chance to be in the other corner against Emanuel Steward, it was like a dream come true to me. It was like, "Wow, I finally made it here. I deserve to be here." Once Emanuel Steward is coming out of the corner and I'm coming out of the other corner, I felt like I was here now and it was real.
PC: I want to get your thoughts on a few fights. Adrien Broner and Antonio DeMarco, who do you like and why my man?
JM: I think it's a very interesting fight. I think that we will see Broner in a tough fight. It's one of those fights where, don't get me wrong, if Broner comes out to Broner is a pretty fast starter. If Broner gets off to a fast start, he might get DeMarco, but if he don't and he lets DeMarco get his confidence up and catch him with some good shots and get his respect, then he's in for a fight and it's a fight that could probably go either way.
PC: What about Andre Berto and Robert Guerrero?
JM: I lean towards Berto because he's much more physically stronger and he has the faster hands. All of the assets go to him. He has all the strengths. The only thing that to me, Guerrero is a tall guy, but he likes to fight. He's not stronger than Berto and I can't see him really trying to press the fight against Berto. I think Berto wins it and I wouldn't be surprised if Berto stops him.
PC: Erik Morales was recently stopped by Danny Garcia. He says he will fight once more in Mexico, but sometimes I look at a guy like that and I say why? Why take any more damage, you know?
JM: That's one thing with fighters. When they say that I gotta go out with a win, what difference does it make? If you are fighting a fight just to be fighting a fight, it doesn't matter. Your legacy is already intact, all of the things you will achieve is already done, so if you win another fight, who really cares? The only person that means something to is you. Nobody cares because what you have done is already a part of history. I think it's really taking a risk for no reason really. You're not fighting to become champion. You're fighting just to say I won my last fight. Who cares?
PC: I know you have Bowie Tupou fighting Bryant Jennings in December on NBC Sports. How is training going with him?
JM: This fight is a big deal for us. The one thing with Bowie is he needs a guy that is going to engage with him. Malik Scott is probably the best boxer out there in the heavyweight division hands down as far as boxing skills. Not necessarily punching power and stuff like that, but when it comes to pure boxing, he is the best out there in the heavyweight division, so he was totally wrong for Bowie. I know going into that fight, Bowie only had a puncher's chance. This fight with Jennings, who is a very good fighter too, but one thing I know about Jennings is that he will engage and Bowie is a much bigger puncher than him. So he has a really good chance of winning this fight. He is working hard, and of course me, I'm trying to use his jab more. Even though he is a big guy, he doesn't trust in his jab, but he actually got a good jab for a big guy. I'm trying to make that a part of the equation and give us a great chance to be victorious.
The funny thing is there have been so many different people who have contacted me to work with Bryant Jennings and everyone has called me except for Bryant Jennings (laughing). I got a call about Bryant Jennings a long time ago. "We got this guy down here in Philly and he a big prospect and we would love for you to train him." But I didn't even know the guy I was talking to. I don't know if he called himself representing Bryant or whatever the case may be, but obviously he wasn't Bryant's manager. But he may have been a guy that felt I was the right guy for him, but of course nothing ever materialized. I think I finally got a chance to really talk to Bryant. I think it was via email or messaging at first. He spoke about the fact of his loyalty and the people he was with. And that was fine to me. It's just the fact that I thought that his people was reaching out to me. I didn't know who was reaching out to me. Yes, I am always open to work with other fighters, and maybe it was the fact that I have a name that somebody wanted to attach that to him as well. And then I got a chance to actually meet Bryant Jennings and he is a great, great guy. It's like when I met you, we hit it off right away, or like when I met Mo. When I met this kid, it's like I can't root against him. I want to see this guy succeed more than anything. But of course not in this fight (laughing). Me and him sat down and we talked for a while and he is a super cool guy and ironically, another guy that lives in Philly that's not really a part of Bryant Jennings team called me and said, "You need to get him ready for this fight." I said, "I can't get him ready for this fight because we are fighting against him (laughing)." But again, this isn't a guy that represents him. This is a guy that lives in Philly and he is a fighter too. Somebody wants me to be involved with Bryant Jennings really bad because I keep getting calls from everyone but Bryant Jennings.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]