Mayweather is used to creating a media circus before his fights but usual it’s him attacking the character or heritage of his opponent. The distractions leading into this fight are a completely new challenge for Mayweather.
It began with Mayweather’s very public back and forth with his ex-fiance Ms. Jackson. The rift initially seemed like just another Floyd antic to build anticipation for the fight, but it quickly turned into something much more. Floyd seemed to really be hurt by Ms. Jackson’s actions and her attending a game with rapper Nelly looked to be the last straw.
Just two days before tonight’s fight Floyd’s attention seemed to be on everything besides his opponent Marcos Maidana. The heavy handed fighter is notorious for upsets and Floyd had just given him the glimmer of hope he’d needed.
For athlete’s as good as Floyd intimidation is their biggest weapon over an opponent. Tiger Woods crushed opponent entering a Sunday with a lead, Jordan had defenders shaking when the Bulls had the ball in the final seconds with the opportunity to win, and Tyson had fighters praying to make it past the 3rd round without being KO’d. Floyd has that same effect on his opponents. A boxer thats too quick to hit and too smart to allow himself to be caught with an unseen punch. Floyd has fighters emotionally exhausted before the bell even rings, but not this time.
Mayweather for the first time seems to be the one who enters the fight in an unbalanced emotional state. Yesterday’s overreaction to Maidana’s gloves is an indication of that. The Floyd we know wouldn’t care what type of gloves Maidana was wearing or that he had gloves on at all. He’d have known that he wasn’t going to get hit and that he was good enough to beat him regardless of whatever advantages Marcos may have thought he had.
Sources close to Mayweather have said that they’ve never seen him this unfocused before a fight and that they are “worried.”
Even when interviewed at Wednesday’s press conference Floyd admitted to not having a game plan for this fight. it came off as his usual arrogance then but now its a red flag that shows lack of interest and desire.
The list of distractions are longer than ever for Floyd and it’ll be a true testament to his boxing skills if he is able to dominate Maidana tonight because his mind is obviously less than 100% engaged in this fight.