The wait is nearly over. This Saturday (September 19, HBO PPV), Floyd Mayweather will attempt to shake off nearly two years of ring rust against Juan Manuel Marquez. In Part 1 of his exclusive interview series here at AllHipHop.com, Mayweather broke down the Marquez fight, his outside ventures, and aired out Rick Ross. Here, the outspoken pugilist takes a moment to look forward to potential bouts with Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, and Miguel Cotto. But first, the former undisputed welterweight champion has to take care of business this Saturday.
AllHipHop.com: I know youre focused on this fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, but I wanted to have you verify something [Golden Boy Promotions CEO] Richard Schaefer said about you having a potential hit list of opponents which is rumored to include Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, and Shane Mosley. Is that true or something thats solely contingent on what happens on September 19?
Mayweather: Man, I dont have to have a hit list because Im on everyone elses hit list! And Im on the pay list [laughs]. You can make a tremendous piece of change against me and thats why Im constantly called out. But you cant knock them. Every boxers goal is to get to the pinnacle.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel youre in De La Hoyas position now, regarding how everyone used to chase him for a big payday?
Mayweather: No, De La Hoyas a cool guy but I love doing business with Richard Schaefer. When Al [Haymon], Leonard [Ellerbe], and Richard Schaefer get together they do tremendous business for me, you cant go wrong. So for those reading this article right now, you got to get with Team Mayweather. And its not hard for find us, except for Al [laughs]. Again, a hit list for me isnt necessary.
AllHipHop.com: Youre always thinking a few steps ahead regarding your career and never focused on just the present. I remember in 2003 when you were a lightweight and called out De La Hoya, everyone thought it was a joke. But we saw over a 4 year span all your steps focused on building your mainstream rep and you got him in the ring
Mayweather: I think I could have been a big as Oscar De La Hoya, too. But we were both under [Top Rank promoter] Bob Arum. Bob Arum was handpicking his opponents. He was paying to get De La Hoya in certain positions. With me, they kept me underground like UGK. I was beating everyone they put in front of me, and I knew eventually theyd have to take notice that Im good at what I do.
AllHipHop.com: Is it true that you tried to make a fight with Miguel Cotto at 140 pounds and Arum blocked it when you were both under the same promotional umbrella?
Mayweather: Of course, because he knew I wasnt going to be with him for much longer. That fight would be great, Cottos a good fighter. I think Pacquiaos a good fighter too and one of the best fighters out there. The difference with me is that Im a good fighter too and also an extraordinary businessman. I chose to have great businessmen around me to further my career.
AllHipHop.com: You mentioned Cotto, how do you feel he fared in his last fight with Joshua Clottey?
Mayweather: Oh yeah, I thought he lost that one. Doesnt mean he isnt a good fighter, though. So is Clottey. What I feel so bad about is that we were working on signing Vernon Forrest to Mayweather Promotions. Right now were working with Zab Judah, hes fighting on our undercard. We have a tremendous undercard so the people cannot miss it. September 19 will be a part of history. Were going to bring the A-listers out. Everybody must tune in.
AllHipHop.com: Theres one rival we forgot to mention. Hes a fighter you had initially been chasing or calling out until around 2005-2006. After that it seems like you kind of dismissed it from ever happening
Mayweather: Shane Mosley! I would say that Shane Mosley represents the 90s. Now all of sudden after he got 5 or 6 losses now he talking about yeah, I want to fight Floyd! Well your career is almost over and now you want to fight me. They all want to talk about Shanes last fight [with Antonio Margarito], but he beat De La Hoya twice on steroids. So did he win all those championships? Absolutely not, he was on steroids. Now he talks about wanting to fight everyone out there? Shane, your career is over. Youre almost 40! Give it up, Shane!
AllHipHop.com: Its interesting you mention the steroids issue from Mosley second De La Hoya fight. Hes mostly been given a pass on it because its only happened once. But I doubt youd get that same benefit if it happened to you.
Mayweather: If that was me doing steroids the media would have crucified me. Ah man, they would have thrown me in the fireplace with gasoline draws on. Its okay when someone else does it, but its always taken to the extreme when anything happens with me.
AllHipHop.com: Youve had a lot of great performances from a strategic standpoint, in regards to shutting down an opponents best assets. We seen that when you switched to the high guard and walked Zab Judah down, and beating Hatton at his own game on the inside.
Mayweather: True, even with De La Hoya the thing people dont know is that he chose the gloves for me. And when I knocked Hatton out, I dropped him with 10 ounce gloves. When he fought Pacquiao, Pacquiao had on 8 ounce gloves. So basically I beat the guys all up and when Pacquiao puts the finishing touches on them, he gets praised for it. When I beat De La Hoya hes washed up. Pacquiao gets him and its amazing.
AllHipHop.com: One thing you didnt mention is that you fought De La Hoya at 154 pounds, a weight that put you at a disadvantage.
Mayweather: And De La Hoya chose the weight he was comfortable at. When he agreed to fight Pacquiao at 147 pounds, he hadnt fought there in 8 years and was drained. He was training to simply make weight and not for the fight.
AllHipHop.com: You were also fighting in a smaller ring, correct?
Mayweather: Yes, they chose everything from the weight, ring, and my gloves. And you never hear that talked about by the media. When have you ever heard of a fighter picking another guys gloves? They had me in some 10 ounce heavyweight gloves.
AllHipHop.com: With all that said, which performance would you rate as the best of your career?
Mayweather: [Pauses] I really dont know which one Id consider the best. That will be for the fans to decide. I just go out there and try to be the best I can be. Ive went out there 39 times. Out of them I can honestly say I have maybe 9 duds. But on the flipside I can say I gave them 30 exciting fights. I can only be honest.
AllHipHop.com: I will say this. When I ask people about your fights, most cite the Diego Corrales fight as your best win.
Mayweather: Yeah but some will say the Arturo Gatti fight was my best performance. Then others will say the Ricky Hatton fight because I carried the U.S. on my back. I conquered a country with one check hook! They booed our national anthem! It was very, very disrespectful and rude. But theyre my fans also. The U.K .fans love me.
AllHipHop.com: That fight won a lot of people over.
Mayweather: Sometimes it takes a performance like that, and youll see another on September 19.
The Sidebar: Fans in Los Angeles can catch Floyd Mayweather’s public workout at 11AM at the Kodak Theatre Arch (6801 Hollywood Blvd.). Watch Mayweather-Marquez this Saturday September 19 on HBO PPV or select theaters throughout the country. Knockout Nation’s Ismael AbduSalaam will be ringside covering this superfight.