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Burgos: Time to have a drink with football stars and boxing champions

Hydrate. That’s what athletes do when they’re training, playing and nourishing themselves. So, let’s have a drink.

Round One

I didn’t know Tequila had anything to do with football.

I knew steroids had something to with it, but I didn’t realize when you mixed the two, someone would get strangled — I should have, though.

But anyway, did you hear the one about Shawne Merriman allegedly strangling reality star Tila Tequila when she attempted to leave his house at night this past weekend? Tequila claimed the former, while Merriman said he was trying to stop his girlfriend from driving home drunk. He said he didn’t choke her, but he was still arrested — and released. She went to the hospital — and has been released.

Tequila said she couldn’t have been drunk, because she’s allergic to alcohol. Ironic.

She also now wants to speak out against ‘roid rage, which she’s pinning on Merriman — in the past, Merriman was suspended by the NFL for testing positive. The owner of a club where the couple was spotted earlier in the evening disputed Tequila’s apparent allergy.

The owner said Tequila was visibly intoxicated at the bar and was dancing with Merriman.

It’s a weird situation to begin with, and taking the Chargers’ linebacker out of it, it isn’t even a sports story.

But who is Tequila kidding? She doesn’t drink? Right, and I can dunk, kick a 50-yard field goal and throw a baseball 95 miles per hour.

Not to mention these two are Twitter freaks and have expounded on the incident ad nauseam ever since it happened.

Roger Goodell must have seen this one coming. After shooting yourself in the leg, fighting dogs and DUI manslaughter, domestic disturbance must seem ordinary.

Round Two

HBO has a sports documentary show called “24/7,” on which, leading up to high-profile boxing events, the network has cameras follow each of the two fighters throughout the training process in an omnipresent type of way. It’s dramatic, intrusive and a great show.

The current installment of the show features “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Mexican champion Juan Manuel Marquez.

This week, Marquez did the unthinkable. After one of his training sessions, Marquez retreated to the bathroom with a small glass. He relieved himself in the glass and then drank its contents.

He drinks his own urine — his pee, his tinkle. Forget Gatorade, because that’s G.

Marquez said urine holds many essential vitamins and proteins that he does not want to waste, so he recycles them through his body. He said he’s done it for his last five or six fights and has seen good results — he’s won five of his last six bouts, the one loss coming to Manny Pacquiao in a split decision.

The scientific term for what Marquez does is urophagia. Some claim it’s dangerous. Some say it should only be done under dire conditions, like if marooned on a desert island. Juan Manuel says it lets him hit the gloves harder, work the speed bag faster and hopefully take down Mayweather Jr.

Now, I’m aware of the obscurity of some athlete’s rituals. They are highly habitual creatures with bizarre superstitions.

I’ve heard of former outfielder Moises Alou peeing on his hands to create calluses to hit without batting gloves. I let that one slide.

But drinking it?

I know Kevin Costner did it in “Water World,” but a) that movie was awful and b) he at least purified it first.

If you don’t want to take my word for it, there are ample clips floating around the Internet where you can witness it firsthand. Trust me, it’s a treat.

It also begs the question: What other athletes are doing this?

No way it’s only Marquez. I would suggest Merriman, but I already know he prefers another drink for which Mexico is famous: Tequila.

So, what’s it going to be? I’m ready for another, but this round’s on you.

Source: pittnews.com

Mayweather vs. Marquez latest update: De La Hoya tips Marquez to upset Mayweather in Vegas

Boxing great Oscar De La Hoya believes Floyd Mayweather Jr. will lose his unbeaten record when he takes on Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in a hotly anticipated welterweight fight in Las Vegas next week.

Mayweather has won all 39 of his career bouts, including 25 by knockout, but the American will be making his first appearance in the ring for almost two years.

"I just have this feeling that Marquez is going to pull this one off," De La Hoya, arguably the biggest name in contemporary boxing, said in a conference call ahead of the September 19 clash over 12 rounds at the MGM Grand.

"I went down to Mexico and saw him train with my own eyes. I saw how much he bulked up; I saw how much strength he has gained; I saw how seriously he's taking this fight.

"I'm convinced he will win this fight. He's looking sharp, he's looking fast and he's looking strong."

Marquez, a Mexico City native who has a 50-4-1 record with 37 knockouts, has beefed up through a brutal training regime highlighted by lifting boulders up a mountain slope.

Although most boxing pundits back Mayweather to win because of his superior strength, speed and defense, De La Hoya predicts the Mexican's jab will be a telling factor.

"Floyd Mayweather is an excellent boxer and he's the best fighter on the planet, no doubt about it," the 10-time world champion said. "But styles make fights and I'm sure Marquez has dissected Mayweather's style.


"Marquez has an excellent jab and he is going to use triple, quadruple jabs. He's a smart fighter, and it's a matter of throwing those jabs and feigning those jabs. This is the fight of his life ... and he knows it."

De La Hoya is well versed in Mayweather's strengths, having lost the WBC super-welterweight title to him on a split decision in May 2007, the highest-grossing fight in boxing history.

However, he believes the American could be troubled by Marquez in the early rounds on his belated return to the ring.

Mayweather has not fought since his 10th round stoppage of Britain's Ricky Hatton in a WBC welterweight title bout in December 2007.

"Being the professional that Mayweather Junior is, I'm sure it's going to be no problem for him to adjust," said De La Hoya, a world champion in six different weight classes who posted a win-loss record of 39-6 including 30 knockouts.

"At the same time, you know Marquez is coming at you right from the get-go, right from the start. I just feel Mayweather's going to have to be playing catch-up in the fight."

Mayweather, 32, is an undefeated five-division world champion while Marquez, 36, is a five-time world champion.

Source: reuters.com

Mayweather vs. Marquez latest update: Garcia puts Mayweather in good hands

Rafael Garcia grins widely, a smile that seems to say, “Something good is going to happen soon,” and pats his flat belly. He runs his fingers through his full head of hair and leans in toward a visitor to the boxing gym.

“How old,” he asks, stretching the boundaries of his grin, “do you think I am?”

Without waiting for an answer, he says, “I’ve been doing this longer than most of the people here were born. Or before a lot of their parents were born.”

The Mayweather Boxing Club is a beehive of activity on this late summer afternoon. Its star attraction, unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr., has yet to arrive for his workout that will help prepare him for his Sept. 19 comeback fight down the street at the MGM Grand Garden Arena against Juan Manuel Marquez.

There are aspiring fighters hitting the bags, a couple of men skipping rope. Roger Mayweather, Floyd’s uncle and lead trainer, is gesturing animatedly to a woman on a treadmill, apparently trying to demonstrate the proper technique for a three-punch combination.

Assistants for Floyd Jr. scurry around, preparing the place for his imminent arrival.

Garcia pulls up a chair and glances around. He’s 81 and he’s been involved in boxing in one form or another for 69 years.

He first walked into a gym nearly seven decades ago in Puebla, Mexico, when he tired of going several blocks out of his way in an effort to avoid a bully while headed to school. He learned to box and hasn’t stopped since. He was 5-0 as a bantamweight until his mother begged him to quit. He acquiesced, but the lure of the gym was too strong. He assumed the name Guadalupe Limon, fought and won twice more and then gave up his fighting career for good.

That led him into the corner, though, and into a lifetime of working with some of the biggest names in the game’s history. He has made the long walk to the ring with legends like Mayweather and Hall of Famers Roberto Duran and Alexis Arguello, as well as dozens of other champions, and hasn’t lost an ounce of passion for either the sport or his job.

He has worked for Mayweather for about the last 10 years, concentrating on wrapping his hands, taking care of his cuts and offering advice culled from his vast experience.

Mayweather’s hands are brittle and he was having frequent problems with them for much of his career. He heard about Garcia’s wizardry as a hand wrapper and made a call.

“My hands were bothering me and when a fighter doesn’t have confidence in his hands,” Mayweather says, shaking his head and not needing to finish the sentence. “I finally had to find the best wrapper out there. And that is Rafael Garcia. I won’t let anyone else touch my hands.”

Garcia is recognizable for the Kangol caps he wears that are adorned with pins from places he has traveled. He has seen the world, the big cities, the small cities, the major markets and the out-of-the-way places few have heard of.

He has worked for boxers who didn’t have the talent to stay out of their own way and he has assisted generational talents.

In all of those years, though, as a fighter, manager, trainer and cut man, he has never met anyone quite like Mayweather.

Garcia declines to name the best fighter he has ever seen because he says comparing fighters in different generations is next to impossible. He has no doubt that Mayweather is the most gifted fighter of the current generation and he’s even more sure that he’s never seen anyone who works as hard as Mayweather does.

“There’s no one close to him and I’m telling you the honest truth,” Garcia said. “Every day, and I mean every single day, he works as hard as he can possibly work. I’ve never seen anything like it. People come to the gym all the time and they want to see him and talk to him and take a picture. And Floyd, he loves the fans. People don’t know how good he is to the people. He’s a good man and he has time for everyone.

“But when he’s working, he is only concentrating on that. The gym is where he does his work and when he gets to the gym, he puts every bit of himself completely into what he is doing.”

Garcia was recommended to Mayweather by promoter Bob Arum. Arum had once sent Garcia to Southern California to work with the late noted orthopedic surgeon Tony Daly. Daly explained the structure of the hand to Garcia and inspected his wrapping technique.

Garcia only had to wrap one hand and Daly was satisfied.

“He said, ‘Perfect. If you wrap all the hands like that, no one is going to have any problems,’ ” Garcia said.

There are few boxers who haven’t had pain in their hands. It’s an occupational hazard when you spend much of the year clubbing someone upside the head.

Garcia, though, said many problems are exacerbated by poorly wrapped hands. The most common mistake trainers make when wrapping a fighter’s hand, Garcia said, is that they wrap it too tightly.

“It gets purple and then there is no circulation,” he says. “That’s when there are problems.”

The Nevada Athletic Commission thinks so highly of Garcia’s abilities it asked him to put on a clinic to demonstrate the proper technique.

He’s far more than a man who just knows how to put tape and gauze on a fighter’s hand, but at 81, he’s thrilled just to be involved in the game and around a boxer who he believes is one of the best who has ever lived.

“I just love coming out every day and being here to see this, because this is history I’m watching,” Garcia said. “People always want to know, ‘Rafael, who is the best?’ It’s so hard to say. Different times, different styles. Floyd is the best now, without a doubt. I have respect for Marquez and his trainer, [Nacho] Beristain, is one of the best.

“Floyd is just different. Watching him fight is just like watching the guys like Duran and Arguello. That’s the kind of level he’s at.”

Mayweather vs. Marquez latest update: The hidden side of Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The midday sun is searing. Shade is all but impossible to find. The temperature inches toward 110 degrees and the heat radiating from the concrete is visible to the naked eye.

A reed-thin man with a scraggly salt-and-pepper beard filled with burrs shuffles slowly across a busy street, not particularly concerned about the traffic. He has been sweating, and with the wind blowing, the dust sticks to his face.

He makes his way toward a large black truck parked alongside a road in one of the city’s poorest areas. It’s obvious that, even if he doesn’t have a clue who’s inside the truck, he knows what it represents.

The man, who said his name is Zeke, said he is not sure if he’s hotter, hungrier or thirstier. Clearly, though, he could use a meal. He’s about 6-foot tall but doesn’t look like he weighs 150 pounds, unless you count the 20-pound sack draped over his shoulder.

He is among the first of the 100 or so homeless people who seem to appear out of nowhere to reach the truck. The door on the back of the truck loudly clatters up and an athletic young man bounds effortlessly into the back.

Zeke sees him and sticks his hand out. Floyd Mayweather Jr., one of the most controversial figures in boxing, bends down and hands him a bag with a sandwich, a piece of fruit and some chips as well as a bottle of water.

Zeke throws the fruit and the chips into the bag he drags along with him but devours the sandwich in seconds. He gulps down the water and heads to the line again.

He gets back to the front, but Mayweather recognizes him, smiles and declines to offer him a second lunch at that point.

“Let’s make sure we have enough for everyone, then I’ll take care of you,” Mayweather says softly. “I won’t forget you.”

Disappointed, Zeke shuffles away. He asks a nearby observer to stand in line for him and at least get him another bottle of water.

“That’ll kill you,” he says motioning toward the fiery orange sun.

Zeke hangs around for the half hour or so it takes for Mayweather and his cohorts to hand the lunches to those who stand in line. When the line is clear, Mayweather scans the area and spots Zeke. He shouts and then tosses him another bag of food and a bottle of water.

A few hours earlier, standing in his office, Mayweather explained why he would risk spending so much time in the strength-sapping sun with a bout that will land him an eight-figure payday nearing rapidly.

This is a regular routine and, fight or no fight, Mayweather is out on a weekly basis to feed the homeless. He heard from a friend about the large homeless population in Clark County and the appalling conditions the men and women live in. Mayweather was dismayed when he observed them himself.

He told his manager, Leonard Ellerbe, he needed to do something immediately.

“I’ve been blessed by God,” Mayweather said. “No doubt about it. God gave me this talent and I’ve been able to build a better life for myself and my family. The people out there, the ones we’re going to see, they haven’t been so lucky. They need someone to give them a break, but no one wants to bother with them. People forget about them and pretend like they don’t exist. I guess they think if they act like there is no problem it will go away. But it won’t. Someone needs to help, so I do my part.”

Ready for return

The unbeaten welterweight, who was a virtual unanimous choice as the best boxer in the world prior to his sudden retirement in June 2008, will return to the ring on Sept. 19 when he meets Juan Manuel Marquez in an HBO Pay-Per-View bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Mayweather remains one of the sport’s most polarizing figures. He flaunts his money – the jewelry he wears on his wrist and around his neck costs more than many of his fans’ homes – and he’s reviled by many who dislike his outlandish spending, loose tongue and exceptionally high opinion of himself that he’s so quick to share.

He’s only recently reconciled with his father after nearly a decade of public dispute. His former promoter, Bob Arum, makes no effort to conceal his disdain for him. In an interview with Fanhouse.com, Arum blasted Mayweather’s fighting style and said “People know Mayweather now. They know the son of a gun doesn’t fight. He fights scared. … Outside the ring, yeah, he shoots up cars and he does other things like that and he entertains. But in the ring, he’s not an entertaining fighter.”

Arum was referring to an incident last month in which shots were fired at a local roller-skating rink. Mayweather’s 2008 Rolls Royce was at the scene and police later searched his home. Though police say Mayweather is not a suspect, they removed two handguns (one of which was a Smith & Wesson), a holster, three magazines containing live rounds and a bulletproof vest.

Ellerbe said the guns were registered to two of Mayweather’s bodyguards. Despite Mayweather’s denial of having any involvement, the incident has contributed to the perception many hold of him as a hoodlum.

But Ellerbe, who is also his best friend, said Mayweather is far from that.

“There’s the entertainer, the public figure, but the Floyd Mayweather I know is a kind and caring and thoughtful person,” Ellerbe said. “You hear all this stuff, but we all know where it’s coming from. It’s jealousy. Any time anything happens, they want to blame Floyd. It’s ridiculous.”

Mayweather clearly doesn’t care for the negative perceptions of him, but he also refuses to attempt to polish his image in a bid to curry favor.

He’ll tell you vehemently that he is no hoodlum, no petty criminal, no bad guy, but neither will he change who he is just for the sake of impressing middle-aged white men in suits. As a way of explanation, he makes no bones about his affinity for visits to Las Vegas’ topless clubs.

“There are guys at HBO [and] they tell me I shouldn’t go to the strip clubs,” Mayweather said. “Why not? I’m an adult. I’m not married. I’m not committing any crimes. And you know what? I have been in strip clubs and I’ve seen a lot of the same men in there who talk about me and who tell me not to go in there. They’re in there and they want to tell me I shouldn’t go? At least I’m honest about what I do.”

True to himself

When Mayweather turned professional, he was viewed as the next Sugar Ray Leonard. He tried that approach for the first half of his career but didn’t feel it ever fit.

He has become more successful since he invented “Money Mayweather” and projected more of a brash, anti-establishment persona. And despite all his good works, that’s the way it’s going to stay, he says.

“Why should I have to act differently just to please someone who doesn’t know me?” Mayweather said. “The people who know me know who I am and the person I am. If you want to know about me, ask them. I’m a guy who loves my family, who wants to do the best for my kids, and if I can do something to help someone who hasn’t been as truly blessed as I have been, I’ll do it. Ask the people who know me what I’m really like.”

Nate Jones, Mayweather’s teammate on the 1996 U.S. Olympic team, is one of those who knows Mayweather the man, not Mayweather the public figure. They first met, Jones said, at the Golden Gloves in Michigan in 1994. Jones instantly disliked him.

“I heard this kid running off at the mouth, every day at the weigh-in,” Jones said. “Every morning you weigh in and every morning, I’d go down to weigh in and here’s this kid just talking about himself. He wouldn’t shut up. I just didn’t like him because of his mouth.

“But I saw him fight then and I went up to him and I shook his hand. When I first saw him, I told him to shut up because he talked so much. But when I saw him fight finally, I said, ‘Oh my God.’ All I could do was bow to him. He could really fight. Everything he was saying was true.”

Each went on to make the Olympic team and became roommates and close friends. When they turned professional, Mayweather signed with Arum and Jones opted to sign with Don King.

While Mayweather enjoyed nothing but success as a pro, Jones hit a road block. He was too small to make an impact as a heavyweight and began having problems. He retired in 2002 because of neurological damage.

Jones was lost and had nothing to do, no way of making a living, when his phone rang. “Floyd said, ‘Nate, come on out here and work for me. You know boxing. I’ll find something for you to do and you’ll always have a check,’ ” Jones said.

Jones said part of his problem as a professional was that he began to drink heavily. Mayweather would counsel him and urge him to stop, but Jones persisted. He drank and didn’t train as hard as he needed.

“I would drink in camp, up to about a week before the fight, and I shouldn’t have been doing that,” Jones said. “Floyd told me. He begged me. And I paid for it. You kill a lot of brain cells when you drink like I was and then you go and get hit in the head. It quickened up the process.”

Jones said when he first arrived in Mayweather’s camp he was simply a friend, a guy Mayweather paid just to be around so he’d have some money in his pocket. As time evolved, though, Jones began to have a more active role in Mayweather’s boxing career.

“Floyd has a lot of respect for my boxing knowledge,” Jones said. “He always tells me, ‘Nate, yours is the only voice I hear when I’m fighting. I can’t hear anyone else’s voice but yours.’ He respects my opinion, so I can make suggestions and talk about things with him. I’m like a secondary trainer. He knows I have his back. All I want is what is 110 percent what is best for Floyd. He knows that.”

Jones said it stings him to his core when he hears Mayweather being attacked. Mayweather has an entourage of about 20 people he has hired because he felt sorry for them, Jones said.

“He doesn’t need me,” Jones said. “He’d win without me. But he cares about people. He pays decent money so people can have good lives and have a chance to have success. And that touches a lot of people. There’s one guy here who is working for Floyd who basically can’t do a thing. He can’t even carry a bag without having some problem. Floyd just doesn’t turn his back on anyone.

“He said to me, ‘Nate, I don’t need this guy. He can’t carry a bag. He serves no purpose. But how would I feel if I told him to go home and I know it would hurt him? I can’t do that.’ That’s the part of Floyd people don’t understand.”

Ellerbe talked about Mayweather going shopping for shoes to deliver to the students of Matt Kelly Elementary School, which is located in one of Vegas’ most blighted areas. Mayweather also paid the full tab, nearly $200,000, so the Michigan Golden Gloves could be held in Grand Rapids last year.

“I got a chance by fighting in that tournament and I was lucky and I made it,” Mayweather said. “There wouldn’t have been a tournament [last year] because there was no money, so me paying for it to keep it alive, that was a way for me to say thanks and give someone else the same opportunity I had.”

It’s mentioned to him that if more people saw this side of him he would skyrocket in popularity and would make more money. He would become a beloved figure.

Mayweather shook his finger.

“You might be right, but that’s not what it’s about,” he said. “I don’t go talk to kids and I don’t go feed the homeless because I want someone to know about it. I want to do it because I know there’s a need and I have the chance to do right.

“I don’t care who knows or who doesn’t know. As long as I help the kids and people who need help, that’s really what matters. I don’t care too much about what anyone else thinks or has to say, to be honest with you. I’m happy with who I am and that’s the important thing.”

Mayweather vs. Marquez finalize L.A. appearances

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez won't be coming to USC after all, but both fighters will appear Monday on the Kodak Theatre Arch for public workouts.

Mayweather's session will begin at 11 a.m., publicists say, and Marquez will follow at 12:30 p.m., as they begin fight week activities before their HBO pay-per-view welterweight showdown Sept. 19 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The Kodak Theatre is at 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.

The event was first scheduled to be on the USC campus next to the Tommy Trojan statue, but USC officials vetoed the publicity appearance by an outside organization.

Marquez, currently wrapping up his training in Mexico, is scheduled to arrive at LAX on Saturday at 5 p.m., and then appear alongside his promoter Oscar De La Hoya for a fan rally at 3 p.m. Sunday at Fiestas Patrias California at the Olvera Street Plaza (corner of Alameda and Los Angeles streets).

Jeff Mayweather Gives an Honest Take on his Nephew Floyd

The life and times of Floyd Mayweather have been well documented throughout the years. Talented and full of bravado, Mayweather has always found a way to remain relevant, whether he is scathed or praised. Throughout Floyd’s well publicized ride there haven’t been too many individuals who have gotten to know him from the inside out like his respected uncle Jeff.

A former fighter in his own right and an excellent trainer who helped guide Sultan Ibragimov to the WBO Heavyweight Championship in June of 2007, Jeff Mayweather is cut from a different clothe than the other Mayweathers. While uncle Roger, Floyd Sr. and lil’ Floyd have always been quick to preach about their skills and talents as human beings, Jeff prefers to take a much more subdued approach and his humble nature has always been like a breath of fresh air.

As Floyd’s career began to blossom in the early years, Jeff was there for every step of the way and served the role of a mentor, manager, and more importantly a friend throughout everything. While their may have been some sour times down the road, Jeff still keeps and open mind and an unbiased view when assessing his nephew’s place in the sport of boxing. It is that exact mindset that has also allowed Jeff to give a personal take on the upcoming September 19th Mayweather clash again Juan Manuel Marquez without any hesitation whatsoever.

“Marquez no chance,” Mayweather says bluntly. “He’s an outstanding fighter but he’s just in over his head in this contest. People are wrong when they assume that Floyd has lost a step and that he is going to be rusty. He’s ready for this fight.”

As Mayweather trains diligently for this contest in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jeff has had time to swing by Floyd’s personal gym to check him out. In seeing his nephew get down to work Jeff is reminded of the fighter Floyd still is and the desire he still has to be a force in the boxing world.

“It’s like he never left,” Jeff says of Floyd’s nearly two year absence from the sport. “In a way I think he needed this time off. I’ve seen him in the gym and he isn’t rusty. He looks as strong as I’ve ever seen him and I can tell he’s hungry again.”

While Mayweather has been away from the sport his mantel of the world’s best fighter has been replaced by Filipino sensation Manny Pacquiao. In Mayweather’s absence Pacquiao has gone 4-0, with stirring victories over Juan Manuel Marquez in their rematch, Oscar De La Hoya, and Ricky Hatton. Jeff believes that Pacquiao’s stellar run has given Floyd somewhat of a chip on his shoulder and that he is determined to reclaim his stake as the best in the business.

“Everybody is big on Pacquiao,” Mayweather claims. “Basically he is the man according to most and he definitely has done a lot for his career in the past few years. The thing about Floyd is that he has a huge ego and I know deep down that maybe it has gotten under his skin. If anything I know it has given him some motivation to remind people of the fighter he still is. Eventually I think they will meet in the ring and then the truth will come out.”

It has been heavily publicized that in camp with Floyd this time around is his father Floyd Sr. It’s no secret that the elder Mayweather was instrumental in his son’s career before being locked up for playing a part in a drug trafficking scandal in 1993. After serving five years behind bars, the elder Mayweather returned to be involved in his son’s life but their relationship has since been a rollercoaster ride, to say the least, with numerous fallouts and reconciliations having taken place.

Perhaps because of the rocky past that has existed in their relationship, both men are still attempting to pick up the pieces in several regards. Jeff notes that while Floyd is in camp, he isn’t the head trainer for his son and that he is instead there to mend a bond that has taken its share of bumps and bruises.

“It seems that the main reason Floyd Sr. is there is to rebuild a broken relationship,” Jeff opens up honestly. “He’s not serving as a head trainer. As a former fighter of course he is feeling that it’s beneficial to be there but lil’ Floyd is man enough to know how to get ready for a showdown like this. If anything I think they are still trying to get comfortable with one another.”

‘Money’ Mayweather has been no stranger to controversy in the past and in this camp again some possible distractions have rose to the surface. Just last month Uncle Roger was taken into custody by police because he reportedly choked a former fighter of his by the name of Melissa St. Vil. He is facing charges of felony coercion and battery strangulation.

Later in the month, on August 23rd, Mayweather’s name came up in relation to a shooing incident at the Crystal Palace Skating rink. Guns, ammunition, and even bullet proof vests were later seized from Mayweather’s home, but the Grand Rapids native not only denies his involvement in the incident, but also claims it won’t be a distraction come fight time. Uncle Jeff completely agrees

“I remember reading an article in the past where Oscar De La Hoya was talking about Floyd,” Jeff recalls. “Basically Oscar was trying to sell their fight by saying that Floyd had too many distractions around him to fully focus for a big fight. But the thing is that Floyd has always had distractions in his life, so why would it be different this time around? The thing about Floyd is that despite everything going on around him, he is always able to put everything together when he steps through those ropes. The ring is his sanctuary.”

Floyd’s performances in the past have reaffirmed this, as he has found a way to remain undefeated since starting his career in October of 1996. Inside the ring he has shown moments of brilliance but there is no denying that the controversy he has created coupled with his braggadocios demeanor have ultimately turned several people off. More and more Floyd has become accustomed to playing the role of the bad guy, and it’s a position that Jeff feels his is definitely comfortable with.

“Really, Floyd has always been the bad guy,” Jeff claims. “Nobody likes a guy who is flashy and constantly talks about it because it’s perceived as bragging, both to the common fan and everyday person. When people don’t have certain things and you just throw it in their face of course you are going to turn people against you. To Floyd it may just be him being confident but people take it as arrogance.”

Despite being public enemy number one in recent times, there is still no denying that Floyd brings something completely different to the sport of boxing. While his act may have gotten old with some people, he still has a legion of fans who love him for the fighter he is and the antics he is involved in.

“Floyd definitely still has his fans,” Jeff says with confidence. “It’s just that his fans seems to be a certain type of people these days. He seems to really attract the young, hip-hop crowd because they love someone like Floyd who is all about money and cars. True boxing fans might not care for that but just like rappers always attract a certain kind of attention, so too does Floyd.”

Love him or hate him, many would agree that it is a good thing Floyd is returning to the ring. His accomplishments and talents are without question and after his bout with Marquez he could be involved in some huge fights that could help to carry the sport of boxing for a good while. When closing out about his nephew, Jeff doesn’t see it as much as the start of something new, but more so a return to how things used to be.

“The thing about boxing these days is that the sport is still being carried by veteran fighters. Guys like Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are still the biggest names in the sport and without them there wouldn’t be nearly as much to talk about. They might try to hype up certain fighters like an Andre Berto, but while he’s a good fighter he isn’t ready to take that next step. I think it’s good that Floyd is coming back because whether people want to admit it or not he is going to help keep the sport going once he returns.”

All the pressure is on Mayweather

Locker room philosopher Charles Barkley once said pressure is for tires. That wise-guy bit of wisdom is worth remembering as anticipation and speculation combine and begin to register a surprising buzz in the build-up for Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s comeback on Sept. 19 against Juan Manuel Marquez at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand.

In a fight predicted to be one-sided, intrigue is there because of what it means to Mayweather, the overwhelming favorite. For him, the stakes are huge, maybe never bigger.

It’s not if Mayweather wins. It’s how he wins.

If he loses, well, his career will be a blowout for everybody who thinks he is just a bunch of hot air anyway.

Within the how, there is the business meter, the pay-per-view numbers that will determine whether Mayweather can stand alone as an attraction with enough leverage to reasonably ask for the lion’s share of the profit margin in a projected moneymaker against Manny Pacquiao.

It all adds up to the kind of pressure that turns a few into legends and most into tires. Mayweather, defensive in the ring and often out of it, has shown an ability to forge it into a legacy, which he often talks about almost as if it is a birthright.

To wit: Against Ricky Hatton, he delivered terrific stoppage that silenced a crowd of rude Brits who had booed the Star-Spangled Banner. It was beautiful. A fighter I had never liked had won me over, at least for the moment. But proof always rests in the next punch and that burden has never been heavier.

A crushing loss to Pacquiao only confirmed suspicions that Hatton, although entertaining, was overrated. Mayweather beat De La Hoya in a narrow decision in 2007, but De La Hoya’s next two fights – a bruising, telling decision over Steve Forbes and eighth-round surrender to Pacquiao in December – and subsequent retirement seemed to say he was finished.

Against Marquez, Mayweather faces a seasoned, full-time fighter, whose two has a draw and loss to Pacquiao in two fights that he could have easily won. Against Mayweather, he is the underdog, a heavy one, mostly because the former featherweight and lightweight champion has never fought as a welter and presumably won’t be one on Sept. 19. The reported catch-weight is 144 pounds. Marquez predicted in a conference call nearly two weeks ago that he will be at 142 pounds. On the same call, however, Mayweather again would not confirm the reported catch weight.

“Not weighting no 143,’’ said Mayweather, who dismissed reports of the catch weight as rumors. “It’s a welterweight fight. I weigh whatever a welterweight weighs.’’

Apparently, that means Mayweather will weigh whatever he wants. Or maybe it means the biggest weigh-in flap since Jose Luis Castillo. Whatever it leads to, it is just another example of Mayweather’s ability to keep opponents and media guessing, which – truth is – part of the intrigue in the countdown to Marquez.

But there is no guess about what the unbeaten Mayweather has to do against Marquez. To back up his boasts and his resurrected claim on the pound-for-pound perch, he has to do what nobody else has in 54 fights: Knock out Marquez.

“He has to keep fighting the best and knock out out some of the best, starting with Juan Manuel Marquez,’’ De La Hoya, Marquez’ promoter, said Thursday in a conference call. “He has to make a statement.’’

It would be a statement without saying anything at all, which for Mayweather would say everything.

  • After watching HBO’s 24/7, I don’t want to know what’s in that Marquez water bottle. Memo to the Nevada State Athletic Commission: If Marquez is asked to take the traditional drug test, make sure the cup gets to the lab before he drinks the contents.
  • De La Hoya’s side-show decision over Shaquille O’Neal on fantasy TV was actually entertaining and left me wondering if Pacquiao taught De La Hoya how a little man can beat a bigger one.
  • More O’Neal: With the Ali Shuffle, he showed more footwork during a few rounds in the ring than he did throughout last season with the Phoenix Suns. Maybe, the Cleveland Cavaliers should hire Freddie Roach as O’Neal’s personal bench coach. It looks as if only Roach could get O’Neal to move his feet fast enough to defend against the pick-and-roll, which knocked the Suns into mediocrity and could keep LeBron James from claiming his first NBA championship ring.
Source: 15rounds.com

Dana White Disses Mayweather vs. Marquez

Dana White hasn't cooled off on HBO boxing's decision to air the Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez boxing match on Sept. 19 -- the same night as UFC 103.

In a new video released by the UFC on Wednesday, which contains some obscene language, White took a few more jabs at his pay-per-view counterparts.

"Boxing is doing it to you again," White said. "They're giving you the fight that you don't want. Nobody asked for this fight with Mayweather and ... what's his name? What's his name? Nobody even knows. Nobody in this room even knows who Floyd's fighting.

"... On that same night, on that UFC card, you guys can all tune in and you can watch not one fight, you guys can watch five great fights that night for ten dollars less than what Floyd wants you to pay to see him run around in circles, and lay on the ropes, and move around and not fight."

However, Mark Taffet, the senior vice president of HBO pay-per-view, told FanHouse at a sports business forum in New York City on Wednesday, that they didn't try to intentionally counterprogram UFC 103.

"It's definitely not something that happens intentionally, and it's something that you would want to have happen as infrequently as possible because the distribution pipelines prefer to be clean and singularly focused," Taffet said. "When it does occur, we're confident from a consumer perspective of there being very little overlap and the events will all thrive. But it's clearly something that on a going forward basis that will happen as infrequently as possible."

Regardless, Taffet doesn't believe either show will generate less pay-per-view buys as a result of airing on the same night.

"There's very little overlap in the fan bases between the sports. We believe that there's not more than 5% overlap in the fan bases. Each sport has its unique fans, it's passionate fans, and its loyal fans. We think that our fans are going to find Mayweather vs. Marquez that night -- we're very confident about that -- and it's a world in which multiple sports are thriving in the pay-per-view industry and the pay-per-view distributors the beneficiaries."

The UFC and HBO boxing will also go head-to-head on Nov. 14 when the Manny Pacquaio vs. Miguel Cotto fight will air against Spike's tape delayed telecast of UFC 105.

It's clear that all parties involved on the boxing side have no interest in talking about competing against the UFC. When FanHouse asked Mayweather about White recently saying he wasn't a superstar, Mayweather quickly brushed it off.

"I'm not worried about what Dana White said," Mayweather said. "I mean, Dana White says what he says -- it don't matter. I'm not thinking about Dana White."

Perhaps Golden Boy and HBO don't want to give the public a reason to pay attention to UFC 103, or maybe they just don't consider the UFC competition. But White is taking a much different approach. He seems to have no issue addressing the Mayweather vs. Marquez fight in the crucial days leading up to Sept. 19. Conventional wisdom says a promoter should never address the competition, but if you thought White would do that in this case, you haven't been paying much attention.

Only time will tell if either show will suffer from going up against each other. But one thing is for certain: it looks like the war between the UFC and boxing is only getting started.

Juan Manuel Marquez ready for Mayweather vs. Marquez battle

You can't teach your granny or Juan Manuel Marquez to suck eggs!

The Mexican marvel, nicknamed Dinamita, has devised his own brand of rocket fuel for the upcoming battle of lightning reflexes, razor sharp wits and thudding fists against Floyd Mayweather Jr... but, oh boy, it ain't pretty!

Marquez is making Rocky Balboa look tame, because he's swallowing raw eggs by the dozen, and to wash it down, he's nipping to the loo to collect and drink his own urine!

Juan Manuel ruefully concedes the pee formula is not a pale ale vintage bouquet, but insists, without taking the mickey, it's worked a treat for the last half-dozen fights, and he swears by the vitamin content. He's also been getting some lungfuls of enriched fresh air in a hyperbaric chamber.

Marquez, who's now had almost half a year to get ready, due to Mayweather's ticklish rib injury, has been training for the fight of his life.

A trained accountant, who's accomplished at crunching numbers as well as cracking chins, he's well aware of the odds, the adverse stats and clutch of clucking critics who have sagely written him off as being too old and too lightweight to stand a chance against an undefeated five division champion.

He's already torn up that weighty script as part of his training regime.

High altitude

Most Mexican fighters who really mean business go training at the bleak Otomi High altitude training centre in the craggy mountains broodingly perched over Toluca. But to get into to peak condition Marquez has gone to the peak district above them, another thousand metres above three thousand five hundred metres above sea level Mexico City. He's run up to and passed by extinct volcanoes at the rarefied higher level of Nevado De Toluca.

Back in the unremitting head-swimming oven like heat of the Romanza gym, in the gritty barrio of Iztacalco, Marquez takes time out to chat before a 90-minute training session. It's a workshop and sweatshop which has turned out burnished anvil-fisted fighters the likes of his hard hitting brother Rafael, the peerless and undefeated Ricardo 'Finito' Lopez, Daniel Zaragoza and Gilberto Roman.

The Marquez of today is no longer a svelte natural featherweight. He's a powerful 144lbs, which is the catchweight limit the bout will be fought at. He's sporting forearms, biceps and shoulders which would be the envy of Popeye, and they pack hellish wallops as protectively-padded trainers and the welted midriffs of exposed sparring partners bear witness to.

However, he is under no illusions about the magnitude of the test ahead. He stressed: "This is the most important fight of my career. It's against the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, who has a superb defense, is very astute and is undefeated.

"I've been active and busy fighting. I've also had almost five months to get ready for this fight, appropriately tempering the level of my training because of the postponement, but Floyd's spent more than a year and a half out of the ring.

"That said, I know Floyd Mayweather is always in superb condition, and I'm ready for the very best Floyd there is.

"There's no specific set strategy. Rather I'll tailor what I do, round by round to overcome his style. I'm going to use, speed, intelligence, savvy, counter punching and every bit of experience I've accumulated during my career to defeat him. I have to employ all of these things to open up routes of opportunity because he's a very complete boxer.

"It's extremely important to grasp this and to have an appreciation of the task ahead in order to win. I'm also going to pressure him, but in an intelligent way. I've been working hard on my speed, which is obviously an important factor. Not a punch will be wasted."

Copy Castillo

Many boxing doyens are convinced that compatriot Jose Luis Castillo did more than enough to defeat Mayweather in the first fight they had. Castillo is an out-and-out attacking fighter, while the Marquez style is counter-punching and designed for greater ring longevity.

Unabashed, his wily manager Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain has been closely studying it, to see if any snippet or nugget can be gleaned from the way Castillo successfully harassed Floyd out of his comfort zone and into a telephone booth, a private corner of hell.

At 36 years old, and with almost as many accumulated KO's to his credit as Mayweather has had fights, Juan Manuel is smart enough to know that his multi-talented opponent could never be considered a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

But he is also honest enough to admit he's still hankering after a third showdown with Manny Pacquiao, who's slated to fight Miguel Cotto next.

He explained it by saying: "My mindset is on September 19, but I also know the fans want me to take on Manny Pacquiao for a third time. In my heart I also want this. I'm using it as an extra motivating factor right now."

And silver tongued Golden Boy Productions owner Oscar De La Hoya, who recently dropped in on Juan, has said when he wins this fight: "He'll be calling the shots."

While sparring against Marquez, welterweight Abraham Alejandro Barrera from Monterrey - who has KO'd all 13 of his opponents - tries to arch one shoulder and then roll both of them to mimic Floyd's intricate defensive techniques.

His reward is a hard-angled right hook into the mid section of his ribs and a thundering straight left on to the side of his battered head guard.

Imitation almost provided him with the sincerest form of flattening.

However, Juan Manuel Marquez is under no illusions that it'll be as easy when he faces Floyd Mayweather Jr in the MGM Grand, Las Vegas. His only message to Mayweather is a brief and stark: "I'm ready and I'm prepared."

Mayweather vs. Marquez Odds & Picks

Floyd Mayweather Jr. puts his unbeaten boxing record on the line when he comes out of retirement to face Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday, Sept. 19 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev.

Mayweather is the favorite heading into the catchweight-fight at 144 lbs. with a betting line of -350 while Marquez has a line of +275 according to online sports book Sports Interaction. The fight card begins at 9PM ET on Pay-Per-View. Here is a closer look at both boxers heading into this fight.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (39-0, 25 KO’s)

Strengths: Mayweather is unbeaten for a reason. He is considered by many as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. His speed and strength combination are as great as the sports has ever seen. Mayweather has fought in multiple weight classes and succeeded at each. His smart style of fighting has allowed him to beat some of the best in the world. Mayweather has been raised on boxing since childhood and doesn’t take his responsibilities in the ring lightly.

Weaknesses: Mayweather has not fought since Dec. 8 of 2007 against Ricky Hatton, which was a 10th round KO win. Mayweather then retired, but has decided to return to the ring for a pair of big-money fights in the making. First is with Marquez, but the next could potentially be with Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather didn’t pick an easy fight to open with as Marquez has 50 professional victories. This fight was scheduled to take place in July, but a rib injury pushed the fight back to next Saturday. If the injury still exists, it could be very detrimental to Mayweather’s return.

Last Five Fights:

10th Round TKO win over Ricky Hatton on Dec. 8, 2007

Split decision win over Oscar De La Hoya on May 5, 2007

Unanimous decision win over Carlos Baldomir on Nov. 4, 2006

Unanimous decision win over Zab Judah on April 8, 2006

6th Round TKO win over Sharmba Mitchell on Nov. 19, 2005

Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KO’s)

Strengths: Marquez has great power in his hands as well and uses very accurate punches to work his opponents before delivering the knockout blow in the later rounds. Marquez has won by TKO in his last two fights and this is his opportunity to really establish himself as one of the top fighters in the world. Marquez will be the fresher fighter and not have the rust that Mayweather may have, with Marquez’ last fight coming on Feb. 28.

Weaknesses: Marquez lost a close decision to Pacquiao in 2008 and his fight with Mayweather is as big a fight as he has had in his career. Mayweather has a lot more marquee-fight experience while Marquez is looking to emerge as a “big money” fighter. Marquez may not have fought someone with the combination of speed and power like Mayweather, unless Pacquiao really can compare to the unbeaten Mayweather.

Last Five Fights:

9th Round TKO win over Juan Diaz on Feb. 28, 2009

11th Round TKO win over Joel Casamayor on Sept. 13, 2008

Split decision loss to Manny Pacquiao on March 15, 2008

Unanimous decision win over Rocky Juarez on Nov. 3, 2007

Unanimous decision win over Marco Antonio Barrera on March 17, 2007

Who will win: Every time Mayweather seems to be in a difficult fight where he could suffer his first loss, he seems to put on an even more impressive performance than his previous fight. I think Mayweather knows what he is getting himself into. I don’t think he would take a fight that he felt he could lose and let his career get tarnished like Roy Jones Jr. Mayweather has had a long layoff, but his conditioning and agility doesn’t seem affected. I again think Mayweather sees the dollar signs for a fight with Pacquiao down the road and he will make sure he is in top form for this fight with Marquez.

Additional Line: Over/Under 11.5 rounds for fight length. Under (Even) Over (-140)

Additional Fight: WBA Featherweight Championship: Chris John (-325) vs. Rocky Juarez (+250)