Last week the hype train arrived in Los Angeles as the combatants took part in a pre-fight presser but was anything gleaned that could help us determine which fighter to back in our boxing picks?
The press conference was unremarkable. Most of the actual time was monopolized by promoters and executives applauding the fighters as well as themselves. By the time the mic was turned over to Manny Pacquiao there was so much hot air in the LA Live Nokia Theater that it was only a matter of time before the whole damn room lifted off and floated away.
Pacquiao, dressed simply but smartly in a navy blue suit complemented by a pale blue shirt and lavender silk tie, thanked God first and foremost then Showtime, HBO and a litany of names most watching would immediately forget. His religious convictions were as transparent as his humility was honest. Pacquiao delivered no bulletin board material for the Mayweather camp and insisted he would push himself to the limit to make all the fans happy on May 2nd.
Once Pacquiao surrendered the dais Money Mayweather was introduced and stepped to the podium resplendent in a silvery/gray designer silk suit replete with snakeskin shoes of course. Mayweather’s opening remarks never mentioned God, although he did subsequently refer to himself in the third person which I guess might count, but thanked Showtime, the suits in attendance as well as his father/trainer Floyd Mayweather Senior. The ensuing verbal pap consisted of perfunctory comments regarding the magnitude of the fight and his preparedness for it. However, it was only at the end when he said something interesting. He noted that a defeat gets in your mind, intimating that Pacquiao has experienced such an event (five times to be exact) and it causes doubt in your abilities which is baggage he does not have due to his pristine 47-0 record.
There was no victor in this fight that carried no verbal swords and nothing gleaned that would have us commit to either combatant as we peruse the boxing odds and try to determine if in fact any advantage, however slight, was gained from this latest stop on the hype train. Yet, it was the noticeable size advantage that Mayweather enjoyed as the fighters faced each other prior to taking their seats on stage. Money looked significantly taller and considerably broader than Pac-Man. His arms hung lower than his Filipino opponent which clearly depicted his five inch reach advantage while his icy stare never wavered. It was perhaps the only telling moment of the press conference if indeed it told us anything that we didn’t already know for our boxing picks.
The Trainers Spar
While the fighters have been akin to diplomats in their carefully crafted comments the trainers have taken a far more aggressive tact. Freddie Roach and Floyd Mayweather Sr., trainers for Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather respectively, have not been shy when it comes to the war of words during the countdown to what has been billed as the Fight of the Century.
Roach has amped up his attacks recently declaring that Money’s uncle Roger Mayweather is a better trainer than dear old dad Floyd Sr. and should be in the corner when the bell rings. Here is what he said:
"He's not a good communicator. You only have a few seconds between rounds to talk to your fighter and the pressure gets to him. He starts to stutter, or he tries to tell the fighter too much, and he doesn't get his point across."
That sounds more like straight talk than it does bombast and it could truly play a role in this fight. If Mayweather does get into trouble it will be uncharted territory and his tenuous history with his father could turn that corner toxic.
Roger Sr. responded thusly, "I heard about what Freddie said about Roger's better. He can say that all he wants to say it. You want me to tell you what Freddie wants? He wants Roger in there because he knows I'm the man."
Personally, I’m not buying that. Freddie Roach is not a man who appears afraid of any other trainer and that list most definitely includes Roger Sr.
As of this writing the undisputed king of the free boxing world, and any other garish moniker you wish to attach to Floyd Mayweather Jr., is a -200 betting favorite in boxing odds while the get back is +160 on Pacquiao. According to Freddie Roach he has meticulously studied Mayweather Jr. and his fighter is well equipped to handle his traps. On May 2nd we shall see if all that attention to detail comes to fruition. Stay tuned SBR fans.