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A Media Day at the Mayweather Gym

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  • A Media Day at the Mayweather Gym

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    By Arne K. Lang

    The Mayweather Boxing Club, the busiest boxing gym in Las Vegas, sits 2.7 miles from my house and I drop by often. The proprietor is never there -- at least never when I’m there – except on those rare occasions when he’s holding a news conference. And then the place is usually a zoo.

    Usually, but not on this Thursday afternoon, the turnout perhaps depressed because the “meet and greet” was put together on such short notice.

    The purpose of this confab was to promote Mayweather’s next appearance in a boxing ring which will come on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo when he engages kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in a three-round exhibition. Tenshin, as everyone called him, was there and conducted a short workout after which he answered questions from the media and then left the premises, eventually returning for photo ops and a question-and-answer session with Mayweather at his side.

    Mayweather turns 42 in February. Tenshin is 20 and looks younger. In some of his old publicity photos, before his hair acquired a second color, that of a haystack, he resembles a young Elvis Presley. Reportedly 33-0, he competes at 57 kilograms according to his promoter which would make him a featherweight.

    Tenshin shadowboxed for two rounds and then hit the pads with his trainer. To the naked eye, he had fast footwork and blazing hand speed, but Floyd Mayweather Sr., who watched the workout while standing on the ring apron, said he was unimpressed. “I’m faster than the kid right now,” the crusty, 66-year-old Mayweather told this reporter.

    The Q and A with Tenshin didn’t go so well unless one was holding a microphone close to his mouth. Both he and his translator were soft-spoken, barely audible to someone who wasn’t right up close.

    Then the young kickboxer and his crew vamoosed, returning after “Money May” arrived. For roughly an hour, neither of the principals was there, leaving the media to interview each other. During this lacuna, Yahoo Sports boxing writer Kevin Iole was the center of attention. The reporters that swarmed around him wanted him to rehash the Wilder-Fury fight, an instant classic that will linger in the memory of boxing fans for quite some time. Iole had it a draw (113-113).

    The presumption was that Mayweather was late because he was on Mayweather time but when Floyd finally arrived he had a plausible excuse for his tardiness for which he apologized. He said he got caught in traffic in Los Angeles where it was raining and the weather delayed the departure of his private jet.

    The forthcoming affair in Tokyo, Floyd let it be known, was going be a three-round boxing exhibition (no kicking) that would not tarnish the record of he or his opponent. “I’m the ‘A’ side, I’m always the ‘A’ side,” he said, “so I get to make the rules.” It’s a nine-minute exhibition for which he will be handsomely paid, seven figures he said.

    “I’m not in the boxing business anymore,” said Mayweather, “I’m in the entertainment business.” And he acknowledged that more exhibitions in other parts of the world were in his future.

    In some ways, today’s confab was actually refreshing. Unlike the Mayweather-McGregor fiasco, there was no trash-taking; no pretense that Floyd and his opponent were dead-set on knocking each other unconscious. Floyd made certain to tout his record label and his “gentleman’s” club, but he did it with a wink in his eye that said “pardon my shameless plug.”

    Then he went home to watch the football game and root in his bet on the Tennessee Titans.

  • #2
    Originally posted by ForumAdmin View Post
    “I’m not in the boxing business anymore,” said Mayweather, “I’m in the entertainment business.” And he acknowledged that more exhibitions in other parts of the world were in his future.
    Nothing like a bit of honesty.

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    • #3
      Vince McMahon is in the entertainment business too.

      His new XFL will be the bane of the national felons league.

      Sorry Floyd.

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