"I think it's kind of a measuring stick, but then again, what killed the Manny fight [random Olympic-style blood and urine testing] everyone already knows, so if that one thing that has killed the fight two times already doesn't happen, chances are no matter how many southpaws Floyd fights, the fight won't happen. At the end of the day, Manny doesn't need Floyd nor does Floyd need Manny, but it's what the boxing community wants, so hopefully it will happen," stated world-class trainer Jeff Mayweather, who shared his thoughts on his newphew's return to the ring later this year. Check out what else he had to say as Mayweather gives us an update on how training is going for former super bantamweight champion Celestino Caballero's as he finishes up preparations for his June 18th clash with Jonathan Victor Barros for the WBA featherweight title.
PC: How has Panama been treating you, Jeff?
JM: Well, Panama has been good to me; just tired of eating so much fast food because when I leave the gym, I'm kind of on my own unless I go with Celestino to his house for his wife to cook, and I don't want to infringe on their time, so I've been winging it.
PC: Celestino's comeback starts Saturday in Argentina against Jonathan Victor Barros. How has training been for this fight?
JM: Training has been going great. He's ready to become champion again. He's worked very hard for this fight and is focused. The most important thing is that his weight is great. He was 129 pounds three days ago and he has his legs strong for him to be able to use angles to get in and get out.
PC: Barros is a solid opponent whose only loss in 34 fights came via decision against Yuriorkis Gamboa a year ago. Are you guys looking to get rid of him and accomplish something no one else has been able to do against him?
JM: Well, we're going to take what we can get, but I see Celestino winning no matter how we have to do it. I watched Barros; he's a solid fighter and a good technician, but the Celestino that has been in this camp beats everyone at 126.
PC: Usually Caballero comes to Vegas to train. What made you guys train out in Panama for this fight?
JM: Well, Celestino wanted to get back to his roots and reconnect with his own people where he's adored. I think Celestino decided to throw a challenge out there for himself to work harder and become more focused. He said that if he loses this fight, he retires and the way he is training, he's far from ready to retire and he's as focused as he was the very first time he met me. He feels he has something to prove, not only to me, but to himself and all the people of Panama who love and support him.
PC: I read where you said your main goal heading into Argentina this weekend is to make Celestino a world champion again. How important is this fight for you guys to not drop two consecutive fights?
JM: It means everything; winning is our only option if we are to continue as a team.
PC: Switching gears, your nephew Floyd has announced that he will be fighting Victor Ortiz in September. Is that a fight that you like for him, especially with his time off?
JM: I think too many people get caught up in layoffs. Ray Leonard came back to beat Marvin Hagler, one of the best Middleweights ever. Floyd has less wear and tear on him than Leonard did and Victor Ortiz ain't no Marvin Hagler, although he is a very good young lion, but once Floyd gets in the gym, it's back to work and who is coming out the other corner got hell coming their way.
PC: Do you think the days of us seeing Floyd fight multiple times in one year are over?
JM: Well, that's hard to predict because Floyd is his own man and I think he will fight according to how he's feeling and what's out there that creates enough interest to make him want to perform for his fans.
PC: Everyone is speculating that Floyd picking a southpaw as his comeback opponent could only lead to him facing Pacquiao next. Does that give us all hope or is it merely coincidence?
JM: Well, I think it's kind of a measuring stick, but then again, what killed the Manny fight [random Olympic-style blood and urine testing] everyone already knows, so if that one thing that has killed the fight two times already doesn't happen, chances are no matter how many southpaws Floyd fights, the fight won't happen. At the end of the day, Manny doesn't need Floyd nor does Floyd need Manny, but it's what the boxing community wants, so hopefully it will happen.
PC: I won't hold you up for too long. I appreciate your time and I wish you the best of luck out in Argentina this weekend. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
JM: Well, I'd like to thank all the people that support me and my fighters as well, and on June 18th, we look to make everyone proud and bring the Championship back to Panama when it's over. Don't Cry for Argentina (laughing).
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]