"Listen, I worked hard already early on in my career. Now, it's about being smart, so now I'm at a point to where I hold all the cards. I'm not picking and choosing. Guerrero is my mandatory. I'm the WBC champion, so he's my mandatory...If I fight Canelo, I'm paying Canelo. No one is giving me an ultimatum. So once again, I'm closer to 40 now than 21. If I wanted to pick and choose opponents, should I be able to? Absolutely! I earned my stripes. You don't just get to a power position by not fighting nobody, so if I wanted to pick and choose, so be it, but I'm not. I'm fighting my mandatory. No fighter is going to give me an ultimatum. How can a fighter that ain't never been on pay-per-view without me give an ultimatum," stated undefeated pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, who talked more about his upcoming May 4 title defense against Robert Guerrero, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, Andre Ward, Adrien Broner, and much more. Check it out!
BT: About a week or so before the fight was officially announced, you said you still hadn't officially decided who you would fight next. At one point, you even mentioned on Twitter that Devon Alexander was the frontrunner to land the fight. What made you finally decide on Guerrero?
FM: Just look at the scenario. The position I'm in now, I got here somehow, some way. I didn't just wake up and become pound-for-pound the number one fighter in the world. I didn't put myself there. I didn't write, "Floyd Mayweather, #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world." I didn't do that. This is something I didn't do. All I did was beat whoever they put in front of me. I wasn't picking and choosing, but once again, it's about working smarter. Listen, I worked hard already early on in my career. Now, it's about being smart, so now I'm at a point to where I hold all the cards. I'm not picking and choosing. Guerrero is my mandatory. I'm the WBC champion, so he's my mandatory. Guerrero has a great story, you know, from what I heard. As far as the things dealing with his wife [cancer]. Now that's a blessing from God. What him and his wife and his family have been through, and for him to keep going strong, I mean, he has a great story, man. I'm happy that he's able to bounce back from what he's been through, but, you know, I'm just like anybody else. When I get up, I say my prayers. When I go to sleep at night, I get on my knees and say my prayers. I just pray to God that when I'm in the ring, make sure me and my opponent both be able to live to fight another day. I know that there's been times when I brutally want to hurt this man and this man brutally wants to hurt me, so I'm not going to pray and say, "God, you know what? Let me brutally hurt this man to where he can never fight again." I'm never going to say nothing to that nature. That's just not me. I know this is what I chose to do, and this is what I know how to do.
BT: You know, that's one of the reasons why Guerrero said he's confident that's he's going to beat you. During a conference call, he said that because of everything that has happened to him and his family leading up to now, he knows God is on his side, so he has faith that he'll come out victorious on May 4.
FM: Man, listen, I mean, like I said before, saying prayers is not a bad thing, you know what I'm saying? Believing in God is not a bad thing at all, but they get to a point where these fighters be feeling like God got certain sides and things like that. That's not true. We're all equal under God's eyes. Like I said before, these fighters be killing me with all this S.O.G., man. I don't really know Andre Ward. I don't have anything negative or bad to say about Andre Ward. Nothing against him, and like I said before, anybody has a right to call themselves whatever name they want to call themselves. He calls himself S.O.G. If I'm not mistaken, that stands for Son of God. Last time I checked, we're all God's children. When one fighter is facing another fighter, God don't choose sides. What's going to happen in life is going to happen. Everything is already planned out. Listen man, if you're going to be a pastor, go to church. If you're going to be a reverend, go to church. If you're going to be a boxer, be a boxer. I mean, one minute, they want to say all this S.O.G. stuff, and the next minute, they wanna go put tattoos on they body. I ain't never seen a pastor boxing. I ain't never seen a reverend boxing. I say a prayer that my opponent lives to fight another day and I live to fight another day. You got these guys trying to hurt a man on Saturday and then going to praise the Lord on Sunday.
BT: I take it you probably heard that Andre Ward said even though he's a Mayweather fan, he'll be rooting for Guerrero because they're friends that came up in the Bay Area.
FM: I mean, it's okay. If I remember correctly, I sold out an arena in the Bay Area maybe 12 or 13 years ago. Listen, I don't know how many people exactly live in Oakland, but I love the fans in Oakland. Not knocking Andre Ward, but he can't sell tickets nowhere. He can't sell tickets in Las Vegas. This is the only guy I know that's a gold medalist, but don't nobody know he's a gold medalist. He's a gold medalist, but he's making money like he don't even got a medal. Like I said before, Andre Ward, he's a good fighter, but who knows him? If you're not in Oakland, you don't even know who he is. He's getting older and time is ticking, so I mean, when is he going to ever leave Oakland and put assess in seats somewhere else? There's a difference when you say "Andre Ward". The only people that know him are in the boxing world. Floyd Mayweather is a worldwide celebrity; a worldwide mogul. You know, you got fighters, sometimes, they speak on certain situations where the thing is this, like I always tell you before, when you're a fighter getting a million dollars, a million dollar fighter like Andre Ward, if anything, you need to come to my camp so you can learn the blueprint on how to sell out arenas worldwide. I got the blueprint on how to sell out arenas worldwide. We know Adrien Broner is more known than Andre Ward. He don't even have an amateur background. He's got a gold medal? Let me get it and I'll melt it down and get a medallion made.
BT: So what's been going on with Adrien Broner? I know he's been hanging out a lot more with you recently.
FM: Well, you know, like I said before, he wanna follow. To be successful, you got to wanna follow success. To be great, you gotta follow greatness. When I look at Ali, man, a lot of times, when I'm at home and I just see him at a fight or I see him out, it brings tears to my eyes, because I really be wanting to talk to him. I really be wanting to have a conversation with Ali. I feel like with Muhammad Ali's career, you know, he's an icon, he's one of the guys that paved the way for me to be where I'm at today, but if he could take it all back just so he could walk, talk, and enjoy his family, he would. Letting people tell him who to fight, with the writers and fans saying, "You're scared," where are those same people at now? Well, you know me; I'ma keep doing me. Like I said before, no one is forced to watch Floyd Mayweather fight. Tickets went on sale. I guarantee you come fight night, all the tickets will be sold out and I'll do an 8-figure gate. If you say Floyd is ducking and he's dodging and he's this and he's that, you're not forced to watch me.
Like I was talking about the Ali situation, when I'm at home, tears come to my eyes a lot of times. Like I said before, these fighters better know, I mean, are you out there fighting for the media, are you out there fighting for the fans, or are you out there fighting for yourself first? Not saying that you don't want to please the fans. Of course I want to please the fans. You've got to want to please your fans because your fans help you get to where you're at. Like I said before, whoever's went out and purchased a pay-per-view, whether you was a fan who wanted to see me win or wanted to see me lose, thanks for going out there and purchasing pay-per-view. Thank you. I appreciate the support. Listen, when it's all said and done, talk good about me, talk bad about me, just talk about me, because I'm relevant. Like I said before, I'm closer to 40 than I am to 21. I'm here to be smart. It's about working smarter, not harder. I'm at the point in my career where I'm a lot older. If people think I'm going to pick and choose, so be it, but no one is forced to watch me.
BT: There's a guy out there by the name of Canelo who recently tried to demand that you pick and choose him for your next fight. Were you surprised to hear that he tried to give you an ultimatum and...
FM: (Cutting in) I'm under contract with Showtime and CBS, so a fighter that I made famous, Canelo, how can he give me an ultimatum? When I was his age, I was champion too. Where he's at compared to where I was at, if you pull up the record, I don't remember everyone I fought by that time, but I fought Genaro Hernandez and Angel Manfredy when Angel Manfredy just gout finished beating Arturo Gatti. I fought solid, top competition. I'm not going to say that he can't fight or he's not a good fighter, but how can I let a 22-year-old kid, who just got into the sport of boxing, give me an ultimatum? And I'm the A side. My contract's with Showtime and CBS. If I fight Canelo, I'm paying Canelo. No one is giving me an ultimatum. So once again, I'm closer to 40 now than 21. If I wanted to pick and choose opponents, should I be able to? Absolutely! I earned my stripes. You don't just get to a power position by not fighting nobody, so if I wanted to pick and choose, so be it, but I'm not. I'm fighting my mandatory. No fighter is going to give me an ultimatum. How can a fighter that ain't never been on pay-per-view without me give an ultimatum?
BT: I can't answer that one. Maybe the Under Armour commercial has really gotten to his head (laughing).
FM: What, the no-speaking commercial?
FM: Me, myself, I believe in working. If I go down in history, of course I want my name to go down as a legendary fighter, as one of the best fighters that ever lived, but if it don't go down as one of the best fighters that ever lived, I would surely like to go down as one of the smartest fighters. You know, I sit back and I think about my career, and no matter what I do, it's not good enough, so that's why Floyd Mayweather fights for self-preservation. I come first, so Floyd Mayweather's gonna go out there and fight and please Floyd Mayweather first before he pleases anyone else. They're saying I'm hand-picking opponents, but no one is forced to watch me fight. If all these other fighters are better and they're fighting tougher competition, well guess what; I bet our bank accounts don't look the same. You know, tell him [Canelo] to do his own pay-per-view show if he's such a big name. Let's see if he's going to do his own pay-per-view show. I bet he don't. Man, his red-head, freckle-faced ass better just sit back and wait in line. If I feel like choosing him, I'll choose him. If you get a lottery ticket, then you step up to the plate and you get your payday. Right now, Guerrero has his lottery ticket.
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