LAS VEGAS, (Reuters) – In more ways than one, flamboyant showman Floyd Mayweather Jr. will hold a significant home advantage when he takes on fellow American Shane Mosley in their eagerly anticipated welterweight clash today.
Michigan native Mayweather, the 4-1 favourite, has been based in Las Vegas for most of his professional career and he always attracts huge support whenever he fights in the self-styled “entertainment capital of the world.”
With its flashing neon lights, glitzy casino hotels and non-stop energy, the Nevada city appears to be a perfect match and the ideal habitat for the ultra-modern and stylish Mayweather.
The 33-year-old American, unbeaten in a 40-fight professional career that includes 25 knockouts, has carefully promoted himself as the biggest draw in a sport which he believes is all about entertainment at its core.
His brash, and often trash, talking can come across as highly egotistical in nature but he has always intended to be controversial — to entertain the fans and to gain a psychological advantage over his opponent.
“People love to watch controversy, any show that is really controversial,” Mayweather told reporters in the build-up to today’s scheduled 12-round bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“I’m Floyd Mayweather. I’m an entertainer. The rest of them are just fighters. People say: ‘He talks too much, he’s too cocky, he’s too flamboyant’. Let me tell you something: I’m going to lay in my $17 million mansion and do things the way I want to.”
Californian Mosley (46-5, 39 knockouts) felt he had been successful in not responding to Mayweather’s trash talking.
“I don’t really care about the different things that are being said,” Mosley, 38, added. “That doesn’t really matter. What matters is the fight and what happens in the fight. I kind of block all that other stuff out.
“It’s nothing personal. For me, it’s all business. This is a competitive sport and this is our legacy on who’s the best fighter. It’s a challenge that I’m ready to take.”
Renowned for his superb defence and lightning speed, Mayweather has never been beaten or knocked down as a professional.
“There is a blue print to beat him because he has lost five times already,” said Mayweather, who outclassed Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in his most recent bout in September after a 21-month retirement. “I think he feels the pressure.
“Like I have always said before … there is no remedy on how to beat Floyd Mayweather. Everyone is trying to solve the problem. It’s like a difficult maths problem that no one can solve.”
Mosley, a former IBF lightweight champion, is also known for his hand and foot speed but Mayweather bristled when asked to highlight the similarities between the two boxers.
“We’re totally different,” said the undefeated five-division world champion. “He’s a fighter that always worries about landing one big shot, he’s worried about who is extremely strong.
“I worry about being smart and winning, so we approach fighting in two totally different ways.
When I shoot my shots, I look at my opponents. When Shane punches, a lot of times he closes his eyes.”
Mosley, the WBA welterweight champion, has not fought since a ninth-round TKO upset of feared Mexican slugger Antonio Margarito in January 2009.