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Floyd Mayweather Jr. says distractions won’t hurt him fight night

Mayweather focuses on the positive following crazy August


Steve Marcus

Floyd Mayweather Jr. smiles in between workouts at his Las Vegas gym Wednesday. Mayweather is preparing for his upcoming fight with Juan Manuel Marquez on Sept. 19 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

One for the "Money"

Floyd Mayweather Jr. talks with the media as he prepares to come back to boxing for the first time in two years. Mayweather Jr. fights Juan Manuel Marquez Saturday, September 19th at the MGM Grand.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. open workouts

Floyd Mayweather Jr., right, works out with Nate Jones during an open workout at his Las Vegas gym Wednesday. Mayweather is preparing for his upcoming fight with Juan Manuel Marquez on Sept. 19 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Launch slideshow »

Mayweather Training

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, works on his timing with his uncle Roger Mayweather during a workout in his gym Thursday, June 11, 2009.  Launch slideshow »

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Tuesday was the first day of a new month, and it’s unlikely any athlete was happier to see August end than Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Within the last 31 days, Las Vegas police seized two handguns, ammunition and two bulletproof vests from Mayweather’s house in connection with a shooting at a skating rink on Aug. 27, as well as arrested his uncle/trainer, Roger, on a charge of battery-strangulation in the assault of a 25-year-old woman.

During a conference call on Tuesday, Mayweather (39-0, 25 KO) insisted that all that had happened in the month of August was behind him and has not distracted him from training for his upcoming fight with Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KO) on Sept. 19.

“My main thing is to focus on the fight on Sept. 19, try to focus on the positive things,” Mayweather said. “The majority of the calls and interviews I’ve had, the only thing they want to know about is the negative things. They never ask me about the families I’ve fed or the different schools I’ve given to.

“We try to focus on the positive things.”

Mayweather turned to a number of examples of stories he says hasn’t made it to the public, including his dedication to underprivileged families in Las Vegas.

According to Mayweather, a great deal of the time off he’s taken from boxing has been devoted to giving back to the community he lives in.

“Just giving back to my American people,” said Mayweather when asked what he’s been doing most since retiring from boxing in 2007. “I’m a giver. I love to help people less fortunate than myself.

“This one time I can remember I went to the worst spots in Las Vegas and bought every kid shoes for Christmas. I went downtown to where people were living under tents, in extremely hot, 110-degree weather, and just gave away lunches. You hear a lot of negative things about Floyd Mayweather Jr., you never hear the positive things.”

Of course besides the negative press on his personal issues, another possible distraction for Mayweather has been the topic of a future fight between himself and Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 KO), a matchup that the public is clearly dying to see.

When talking about maintaining his unbeaten record on Tuesday, Mayweather included a possible matchup with the Filipino champ in his answer.

“When anyone is facing Floyd Mayweather, there’s no pressure on them because they’ve got nothing to lose,” he said. “If Marquez gets beat 12 rounds or gets knocked out, the fans are still going to love him in his country because they’ll say, ‘You lost to the best.’

“When I face Pacquiao, they’re going to love him in his country because they’ll say, ‘At least you tried. You faced the best; we still love you.’”

When it was pointed out to Mayweather he had inferred that he would eventually face Pacquiao he quickly added, “He’s just one of the names I’m throwing at you.”

Whether or not that super fight happens, plenty of preparations are in place to make sure that Mayweather’s fight this month is a financial success.

The event will feature a few different promoting styles fight fans haven’t seen from boxing recently, including implementing roughly 170 movie theaters nationwide to show the fight live.

According to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, targeting younger audiences through broader mediums has also been a focus for this fight.

“The way you promote to a younger audience is you embrace the new media, and Floyd has been instrumental in doing that,” Schaefer said. “We’re using social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

“AT&T will be streaming the weigh-in live to its users. We are embracing the younger audience and exposing the fight in mediums that they use.”

Schaefer also announced that the clothing brand Affliction, widely recognized for its marketing within the mixed martial arts industry, will be designing the official fight shirt of the event.

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected].

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