Floyd Mayweather Jr. suggests that when he enters the ring at the MGM Grand next weekend, he'll be facing multiple foes -- aside from just Marcos Maidana -- who'll all be angling for his demise.
Media members and fans who don't like him. Promoters who'd rather not deal with him.
And others, he says, whose existence hinges on “taking shots” at the pound-for-pound king.
But he made it clear during a Wednesday media workout that the only measuring stick he'll use to label the imminent rematch with Maidana as a success or failure will be his own.
“It's not about silencing critics at this point,” Mayweather said. “My job is to do what I what I do best.
“My job is to be Floyd Mayweather.”
He's done it well enough to get to 46-0 in a pro career that began 18 years ago next month, a run that's included championships at 130, 135, 140, 147 and 154 pounds and consensus recognition -- at age 37 -- as the best fighter in the world. Still, though he retained his World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight title and picked up Maidana's World Boxing Association (WBA) belt with a majority decision win in May's first go-round, he's hearing whispers that the bout's competitiveness indicates some slippage.
Not surprisingly, he disagrees.
“I always find a way,” Mayweather said. “Whether I am 26 or 37, I still find the way to win. I guess when you win all 12 rounds, or 10-plus rounds so many times, fans and the media get spoiled. The bar is set so high. I fight not only my opponent, but everybody, the biased fans, the biased critics.
“But I was the one who set the bar so I can understand.”
Indeed, though two ringside judges awarded Mayweather eight and nine of the 12 rounds, respectively, the third -- Michael Pernick -- saw the bout even at six rounds apiece. It was just the third time in his 20 fights that have gone the distance that any one judge saw him as anything other than a winner.
CBSSports.com also scored it 8-4 in Mayweather's favor.
Oscar De La Hoya saw one scorecard go in his favor on the way to losing a split decision when he met Mayweather in May 2007, while Saul Alvarez had one judge view his fight with Mayweather even last September, though the other two judges -- and nearly every other observer -- deemed him a clear-cut victor. The dissenting judge in the Alvarez fight, CJ Ross, retired from the sport amid negative reaction.
“The first few rounds were exciting (against Maidana) and then I turned it around in the second half,” Mayweather said. “I expect to throw more combinations this time. I can't say if the rematch will be easier. I won the first fight, it's up to him to change. The champ can make adjustments and I can be especially smart about it. Nobody can solve the May-Vinci code. Watching a fight from the outside is totally different than from what's going on in the inside. He may have been attacking but I was countering, throwing body shots. That affected his thought process and he fought different after that.”
Ten days out from fight night, the odds-makers see it Mayweather's way, too.
It'll take a $750 wager on the two-belt champion to earn a $100 profit if he defeats Maidana, while a $100 outlay on the underdog challenger will bring back $475 if he pulls off the upset in just the second rematch of Mayweather's career. Jose Luis Castillo lost a disputed decision to Mayweather in April 2002 -- a fight HBO's Harold Lederman scored in Castillo's favor by four points -- but was beaten amid far less controversy when the pair met again eight months later.
“I'm one of those who trains every day,” Mayweather said. “I look and feel strong. I've dedicated myself to training. The other day I went 14 non-stop rounds. As I get older I grow mentally if not also physically. One day I want to go into the Hall of Fame, not as one of the all-time best, but the best.”
Weekend Watch List
AWE -- Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Kiko Martinez vs. Carl Frampton -- IBF junior featherweight title
Showtime -- Saturday, 9:30 p.m.
Adrien Broner vs. Emmanuel Taylor -- 12 rounds, junior welterweights
Lucas Matthysse vs. Roberto Ortiz -- 12 rounds junior welterweights
Andre Berto vs. Steve Upsher -- 10 rounds, welterweights
UniMas -- Saturday, 11 p.m.
Juan Diaz vs. Carlos Cardenas -- 10 rounds, lightweights
beIN Sports -- Saturday, 11 p.m.
Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Giovani Segura -- WBA/WBO flyweight titles