LAS VEGAS — The flamboyant, animated version of indefatigable Floyd Mayweather Jr., which strangely has vanished since he declared he would fight Manny Pacquiao, remained under wraps Tuesday 18 days before their welterweight title showdown.
Mayweather puts his 47-0 record at risk in his May 2 fight against the popular Filipino at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. “It’s not just about money — it’s about legacy, fans, family — everything,” he said.
But later in a news conference, he contradicted his view on the historical significance when he said, “One fight does not define Floyd Mayweather’s career.”
Some have perceived Mayweather’s reluctance to verbally mix it up as nervousness. He once boasted years ago, “I’m running my mouth a lot and I’m looking for a guy to shut me up. If you don’t shut me up, I’m going to keep running my mouth.”
He is doing nothing of the sort with Pacquiao, whose trainer Freddie Roach has made incendiary comments. About the most-critical comment Mayweather made of his opponent on Tuesday was, “He is a very reckless fighter.”
Mostly, Mayweather was quite amiable toward his nemesis. His best line: “(Pacquiao) wears lifts in his shoes so he can be a little taller.”
“Floyd hasn’t said much about anything,” said uncle Roger Mayweather. “But he has said this: ‘I am going to stop him.’ ”
The reason for the champion’s verbal equilibrium, according to adviser Leonard Ellerbe, only has one root cause: Money — as in the fighter’s nickname.
“He had to sell his other fights — he doesn’t need to sell this one,” Ellerbe said. “This is a fight everybody wants to see.”
Finally. Of the delayed timetable, Mayweather said, “I don’t regret anything; the time is right….