The weight-limit mystery persists.
The camps of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez — and the fighters themselves – still refuse to reveal the exact weight limit of their Sept. 12 fight in Las Vegas.
They only reiterated on a conference call Tuesday afternoon that “it’s a welterweight fight,” which presumably means the limit is the welterweight standard of 147 pounds.
Could it be a marking ploy to drum up interest in the fight?
“It will be the most-covered weigh-in ever,” said Golden Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer. “Everyone wants to know what the weight is. Don’t miss it!”
We can assume the limit is NOT 143, one of the numbers that has been mentioned. Mayweather dismissed that number when it was raised.
Mayweather, 32, hasn’t fought since he met Ricky Hatton in December of 2007 and hasn’t weighed in at less than 146 since he met the late Arturo Gatti in 2005.
“This is a welterweight fight,” said Mayweather, who estimated his weight to be 149-150 on Tuesday. “I’ll weigh what a welterweight weighs. I don’t have to weight no 143.”
Even Marquez wouldn’t divulge any more information.
“We have an agreement,” he said through an interpreter. “Anything over 140 is considered to be welterweight. This is a welterweight fight. I’m not expecting anything different.”
Second mystery: Mayweather also refuses to say what he was doing when he damaged cartilage in his ribs and had to postpone his fight against Marquez, although he did say it didn’t’ happen during sparring.
He added that, “I’ll never tell exactly what happened.”
Then, when he was asked why it was a secret, Mayweather responded: “Who said it’s a secret? I got hurt in training. Let’s leave it at that.”
(Scratching my head.)
The nice side: As usual, Mayweather spent much of the conference call insulting half the people in the boxing business. However, he softened when it came to Gatti, who he stopped in six rounds in 2005.
“Gatti was blood and guts,” he said. “Even in the sixth round, (Gatti’s trainer Buddy) McGirt said, ‘I’m gonna stop it.’ Gatti said, ‘No, let me fight.’ McGirt said again, ‘I’m gonna stop it.” He said, ‘No, let me fight.’ That’s a warrior. I take my hat off to him.”
Mayweather also had advice for other athletes and entertainers.
“Careful who you marry, who you choose as girlfriends. You never really know a person,” he said.
Gatti’s wife has been accused of murdering him in Brazil.
Ego run amok: Mayweather was asked whether he’d be disappointed if he never fought Manny Pacquiao.
“I’ll already going down as one of the best of all time – if not THE best,” he said.
No 50-50: Mayweather said a fight against Pacquiao — the fight most people believe is the biggest possible in boxing — could happen but won’t if Pacquaio’s promoter, Bob Arum, doesn’t rethink his position.
Mayweather said Arum has offered a 50-50 split of the purse.
“(Arum) knows that’s not going to happen,” he said. “ÔÇª If Bob wasn’t so greedy, the fight would happen.”
Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]