By Ben Thompson | October 23, 2010

"My job is to go out there and win! You know? That's my main focus. I don't go in there and focus on how much money I'm gettin'; I go in there and say I'm a winner! I was born to be a winner, I'ma die a winner, so I'm going to go in there and do what I gotta do and that's to execute the game plan and be the best that I can be...When it's time to go out there and perform, I love what I do. You know, a lot of times, you may hear me say, 'Oh, it's just for the money,' but I have to love it. You know? How I train and dedicate myself to the craft, I have to love the sport of boxing. And I do love the sport of boxing. It's not just for the money, this is something I love to do," stated undefeated pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather, who took the time out of his busy schedule to speak with about anything and everything you wanted to know. You don't want to miss what we he had to say as Mayweather speaks candidly about his engagemenet to Shantel Jackson, the future of his boxing career, and so much more.

BT: How you doing Floyd?

FM: I'm doing alright.

BT: I wanted to congratulate you on the engagement. I know that's a big moment in any man's life, so congrats on that.

FM: Thank you. I appreciate it.

BT: So tell me, other than her gorgeous looks, what exactly was it about Miss Jackson that made you say, "this is the one"?

FM: Well, because I've dealt with ladies in the past, but I know who she is. I know who Shantel Jackson is. Like I said before, being in my shoes and traveling the world and doing different things and meeting different women, I guess I finally found the right one. I think Shantel Jackson is the right one. I've been through a lot of ups and downs and she's been right there for me, you know? She's always been positive and that's the main thing that I want from a lady; a lady that's very very positive and not so negative.

BT: Yeah, she had told me that y'all have been together for like 5 years. I think a lot of fans were surprised by that because you were on the show with Chilli and a lot of people thought you were dating her for a brief period.

FM: Well, you know, it's never been a crime to go on a reality show. If two celebrities, a male and a female celebrity, is hanging out, then the media tries to make it more than what it really is. I think Chilli, she's a beautiful person. I think she's a great person and when we did do the reality show, it was an unbelievable experience.

BT: Being a celebrity and being Floyd Mayweather, I'm sure you get a lot of women who want to approach you and want to talk to you. Is that difficult being a celebrity and knowing who's really interested in you for you as opposed to someone who might be interested in you because you're Floyd Mayweather?

FM: You really just don't know. You just have to go with your heart and my heart, my mind and my soul tells me Shantel Jackson is the one for me.

BT: When the announcement came out about your engagement, I mean, that's supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life, but instead, there were a lot of negative headlines out about you. Was it frustrating to see the negative headlines coming out during a positive time in your life?

FM: I just truly believe that everything in life is an obstacle and I feel that I'm a strong individual that can conquer almost any obstacle that is put in front of me. I just feel like it's just another bump in the road. I just stay focused and only hope for the best.

BT: It seems like the only time people want to talk about Floyd Mayweather is when there's something negative or controversial going on. I know you like to just keep it moving, but do you ever take mental notes about who's saying what?

FM: What I try to focus on is the future of my children. That's what's important; life after boxing. So that's what I try to focus on. Like today, God woke me up to see another day so, you know, things like that are very very important to me; not what someone might say. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion.

BT: Well I don't really want to touch on all that legal stuff too much. I know you're dealing with what you have to deal with and...

FM: (Cutting in) Well, what's going on with my situation is that I got a great lawyer, and I got a good team, and I'm pretty sure that everything is going to get taken care of in a respectful way and a respectful manner.

BT: You know, speaking of some of those obstacles, I thought it was kind of ironic to see certain writers, some of whom I've personally heard say things like "that's a Mexican style," start calling you a racist.

FM: I just feel the media thinks that they can get to me mentally. They're going to try anything they can do to break me down, but like I said before, I'm always focused, I'm always on my toes and I always just try to better myself.

BT: Well I know there's always a lot of negativity out about you, but there's a lot of positive stuff that you do that people don't ever talk about. I know you've got the Mayweather Foundation and you do a lot of work with kids. How important is...

FM: (Cutting in) I mean, all of the positive things I do, I don't do it to get no recognition; as long as God knows what I do. I'm only doing it because I think it's right, with all the things that I do with the Floyd Mayweather Foundation as far as helping families and people that are less fortunate.

BT: How important is that to you to give back to your community?

FM: I think it's very very important to give back to your country and your people, the American people, that are in a tight situation.

BT: I know you do a lot of work with kids, particularly with your boxing camp. Truh be told, I don't really do too much in my own community, but how much goes into putting something like that together?

FM: Well, I have to give thanks to Reebok because Reebok was one of the major sponsors for the Floyd Mayweather Summer Boxing Camp. Reebok provided the children with boxing gloves, clothing, shoes; so Reebok was a major contributor so any time Reebok asks me to do something, I'm here for 'em.

BT: Y'all have something going on this week for the Shriner's Hospital for Children too, right?

FM: We have a lot of different events. We do so many different events. My staff is not too big; I have a cool staff. My team works day in and day out so we can have great results and positive feeback. That's very important.

BT: So let's talk about the career for a minute. Obviously the fight that everybody wants to see is Manny Pacquiao. I know a lot of fans think that you might be afraid of him or that you're afraid of losing, but I have a hard time believing anyone would want to turn down the opportunity to make the kind of money you would stand to make in that fight.

FM: It's not about the money. If you're health is not right, if you're body is not right mentally or physically, you'll never be able to spend that money. That's why we want everybody in the sport of boxing to be fair. We want the fighters to be fair and I want all fighters to take the test just to show the world that we have a clean sport. So many different things go on in this sport today as far as cheating. I'm not saying Manny Pacquiao is cheating; I'm not saying that at all. Shane Mosley took the tests and anybody else that I face in the future is going to have to take the tests. If the fight presents itself, then if it happens, it happens; if it don't, then it don't, you know? Life goes on.

BT: Do you think the fight will present itself?

FM: If it happen, then it happens and if it don't, then it don't!

BT: The first time y'all were talking about fighting, obviously the blood testing issue came up and it's always going to be an issue no matter who you fight. Just across the board, times have changed; technology has changed. Do you think boxing has kept up with technology and the changes? Do you think the commissions are able to test for all these different types of drugs?

FM: I think the Nevada Commission is one of the best commissions in the world, but it's like anything; out with the old and in with the new. With time, changes come, you know? Do I truly believe the Nevada Commission will have blood testing? Yeah, soon! Absolutely! I feel that the Nevada Commission wants to keep athletes protected and healthy.

BT: I'm 100% sure that they want to keep athletes protected and healthy, but at this point in time, do you think that they're capable? I mean, a lot of times, fighters are being caught after the fact; when the fight has already happened.

FM: Well, that's why it was very very important for me and Shane Mosley to show other young fighters, that are up-and-coming, that if we can take the test, you ought to take the test.

BT: Well I think that fight right there set a new precedent. At the very least, it began a discussion about change in drug-testing procedures.

FM: You know, for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, when we first tried to put the fight together, Pacquiao's camp wanted notification when USADA was coming. They said they wanted to be notified; they didn't want to do it just random. They wanted to be notified like,"We're coming today to take urine. We're coming today to take blood." Then, what they also wanted was two weeks prior to us fighting, two weeks before the fight, they didn't want to take the test at all. That's why the Floyd Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight didn't happen. My side, I had already signed the contract. Mine was already signed. I said, "If he agrees to this, then let's fight." The agreement was we both take random blood tests, we both take random urine tests, leading all the way up to the fight and after the fight. But he was like, "No!" They wanted to be notified when USADA was coming to test them. They didn't want to get tested random, and two weeks before the fight was going to happen, they said that they didn't want to take the tests at all. So that's why the fight didn't happen. And then we moved on to Mosley and Mosley said, "I agree." It didn't take nothing but 40 minutes to negotiate the Shane Mosley fight.

BT: When a fighter, and this is any fighter, I don't care what name you plug in here, but when a fighter seems reluctant, seems hesitant, and starts asking a lot of questions about the testing and what's involved, is that something that makes you raise an eyebrow and say, "Hmmmmmm!"

FM: I think the fans don't really care. They don't care if an athlete do or don't take the tests. All they want to see is excitement. They don't care if an athlete is healthy. They don't care if an athlete's career is over. We have lives after our careers are over, you know? We have family and we have people that love us, just like they got family and people that love them. I think a lot of times, fans look at athletes as just animals in a cage just going at one another. Who wins is who wins and it's on to the next.

BT: After the first time you guys were talking about fighting, was there ever a moment when you were notified that Manny Pacquiao had possibly changed his mind about the drug testing.

FM: You know Ben, I don't really know too much about Manny Pacquiao. Like I said before, Manny Pacquiao is a good fighter and he do what he do and I'm a great fighter and I do what I do. Like I said before, they say that everyone that Floyd Mayweather has fought before has been handpicked and were either too old, too slow or too small. And they say all 41 that he fought were all bums. Well I'm trying to find out if 1 fight defines greatness. If that's the case, like I said before, I didn't have to fight 41 fights. I could have just fought 1 fight to be known as the best fighter that ever lived. If that's the case, if I just have to beat Manny Pacquiao to be known as the best fighter to ever live, then what about the other 3 guys that beat him? Where do they rank at amongst the greats?

BT: (Laughing) That's a good question. Well, like I was telling you the other day, I call that the Mayweather Standard. Floyd Mayweather, because he's undefeated, is held to an entirely different standard than any other fighter. So it doesn't matter who you step in there with. When you fought Corrales, he was supposed to kill you, you beat him, but you don't get credit. Same thing with Jose Luis Castillo. They said you lost to him, you fought him, beat him again in a rematch, and you don't get credit for it. Same thing with Oscar...actually, not even Oscar...when you first moved up to welterweight, you were supposedly too small to be a welterweight and...

FM: (Cutting in) Yeah, once I was too small to be a welterweight; now I'm too big.

BT: (Laughing) Yeah, now you too big. Is that irritating a little bit to see your career come under so much criticism when, at the same time, they want to praise other fighters for fighting guys that you've already beaten?

FM: That comes with the territory. It just comes with the territory. We'll put all the welterweights out there; put everything on the table. I beat Oscar; Pacquiao beat him. I beat Oscar at a weight that he was comfortable at. I knocked Hatton out; Pacquiao knocked Hatton out after me. Shane! I beat Shane, Shane beat Margarito, Margarito beat Cotto, Pacquiao beat Cotto after Margarito had just knocked him out, right? Okay. So now, Marquez. Okay, he's in a life and death fight with Marquez twice. Many people feel Marquez won the fight; I feel Marquez won the fight, okay? So Pacquiao didn't want to fight Marquez in a third fight. He didn't want to fight him, so me and Marquez end up fighting. They gave Pacquiao "Fighter of the Decade", but he had got beat by Erik Morales in the beginning of the decade. So he had like 1 loss and 1 draw in that decade and in that period of time. I've been undefeated for 15 years; a decade and a half. So, you know, like I said before, sometimes...I don't read no articles. I don't read no articles at all. If it's something negative, I never try to focus on it.

BT: You just mentioned that you fought Oscar at a weight he was comfortable at. What do you think about catch-weight fights? Unfortunately, I don't think you were ever offered a chance to fight Oscar at a catch-weight (laughing).

FM: Man, when I fought Oscar, I fought him at his best weight, which was 154. Oscar weighed 154; I weighed 150. I didn't ask for no extra weight. I didn't cry or complain. I went out there and done my job. Even though when I fought Oscar De La Hoy, they gave me some heavyweight 10 oz. gloves, I still didn't cry or complain. I went out there and done my job.

BT: Like I said, that's the Mayweather Standard. You can make B's like Shane or Zab look like C's, but you won't get credit for it because it's almost expected.

FM: I mean, listen, Shane Mosley's a tough competitor, Zab Judah's a tough competitor, I just go out there and do my job. My job is to go out there and win! You know? That's my main focus. I don't go in there and focus on how much money I'm gettin'; I go in there and say I'm a winner! I was born to be a winner, I'ma die a winner, so I'm going to go in there and do what I gotta do and that's to execute the game plan and be the best that I can be.

BT: Do you think fighters are affected after a Floyd Mayweather fight? A lot of people say, "He ain't a big puncher, his fight's go the distance," but do you think fighters, when they get in there with you...

FM: I think a lot of fighters just get in there and after a certain point to where they see that they're not going to win, they say, "Forget it. I'll just try to go the distance just so I can say I went the distance with Floyd Mayweather."

BT: I think that's what Shane did (laughing). Can you tell? Is there a certain moment in the fight when you can tell and you just know? Like, "I got him!"

FM: I mean, from the opening bell. Before I even get in that ring, I already know I'm going to win. I'm sure I'm going to win. I mean, that's how I feel. I don't know how my opponent feels. I think my opponent probably go in there feeling there's a 50/50 chance. Me, I'm going in there feeling it's a 100% chance that I'm going to win; I'm going to be victorious.

BT: Leading up to a fight, some of the things you might say or do, some people call it bragging or boasting, but how much of that is you really meaning it?

FM: When I say I'm the best, I believe it! When I say I'm the best, I believe it; I know it! When I say I'm going to win, I go out there and do what I say I'm going to do, so it's not bragging or boasting. I back it up! And I've backed it up my whole career.

BT: What do you think it is that separates you from other fighters?

FM: I feel that styles make fights and what makes me different from any other fighter is that I can adjust and adapt to any style. I can make adjustments and adapt within in minutes, within seconds, in that squared circle.

BT: Well to this day, I don't think anyone has been able to figure out the Mayweather style, so you're already going into the fight with a big advantage.

FM: There's a difference between talented and God-gifted. I happen to be one of the individuals who's God-gifted.

BT: What do you mean when you say that, God-gifted? I mean, I know what you're saying, but explain what you mean by that so other people understand.

FM: What's meant to be in life is meant to be. I mean, you gotta say to yourself, "God must like me. I gotta be one of the Chosen ones. God, he's truly blessed me." And I feel that I'm truly blessed and I'm very very thankful to be where I'm at.

BT: You know, you were talking about the fans earlier. Despite all the negative headlines that a lot of writers put out there, is it kind of funny to know that you have over 700,000 Twitter followers out there.

FM: I mean, you know, 600,000 could be fans that truly dislilke me, but I appreciate them for following me.

BT: (Laughing) Oh yeah? You think fans that dislike you would take the time to follow you on Twitter, watch your videos on YouTube and Google you?

FM: I mean, I just call 'em fans. I don't know if they fans or not, but me, myself, I'm not going to take the time out my day to Google someone I don't like, or follow someone on Twitter that I don't like, or follow someone on Facebook that I don't like; I'm not going to follow them and then make a comment, you know? I got better things to do with my time. If Floyd Mayweather truly don't like a certain individual, I can't take my time out to go Google them or YouTube them and then make a comment. Not me; not at all.

BT: How often would you say you're out and fans approach you for pictures or autographs?

FM: A lot of times. I do want to take pictures with the fans and sign autographs for the fans, but sometimes, we can be in a certain area where it's an uncomfortable environment to where if you have to do it for 1, you'll have to do it for 200-300 people. I hate when I have to tell a fan, "I can't take a picture right now." I know they wonder why, you know, because if you can't take a picture with a fan, then they get upset. But, you know, they don't understand. Like sometimes, when I'm out with my daughter; if I take my daughter to go get ice creme or I take my daughter to the theme park, I want to spend one-on-one time with my daughter because she don't really get a chance to spend that much time with me. At certain times, you know, when I'm in training camp and I'm very very busy, or I'm traveling from state to state, country to country, doing interviews, I'm focusing on my craft. So when I'm with my children, I try to give them 100% me.

BT: Actually, I think you kind of go out of your least, I know any time I've been to one of your fights, at the post-fight press conference, you're always like one of the last ones to leave. You stay there and answer every question for every media member, some of them sliding you items to autograph in the process (laughing). I always see you like that with the fans too.

FM: It's crazy. Like I said before, I'm truly blessed. When it's time to go out there and perform, I love what I do. You know, a lot of times, you may hear me say, "Oh, it's just for the money," but I have to love it. You know? How I train and dedicate myself to the craft, I have to love the sport of boxing. And I do love the sport of boxing. It's not just for the money, this is something I love to do.

BT: You know, you're a fighter, so there's no way you're ever going to get the sport out of your blood, but how much do you really still love the sport? I mean, I know you walked away from the sport for awhile. We'll call it a break, a vacation, whatever, but is it difficult to still get up for fights like you did when you were 23, 24, 25? Are you still truly that interested in boxing after doing it for so long or could Mosley have been your last fight?

FM: I think when Floyd Mayweather fights, it's not just a fight; I think it's an event, you know? At this particular time, I'm the only boxer that can fight in Las Vegas and do crazy numbers. The last fighter that was really able to...well, Oscar De La Hoy, you know, he was able to do it, but I'm talking about Mike Tyson. Floyd Mayweather and Mike Tyson was the only two to bring a certain crowd to come. They let me know, you know, because I'm a promoter myself. The high rollers come out when Floyd Mayweather fights. When Floyd Mayweather fights, in history, there's never been so many billionaires to come out. I'm just thankful; I'm very very thankful and I'm thankful for all the support from everybody. Even from the media, from the writers, because if I wasn't doing someting right, they wouldn't be writing about me at all. So I'm happy that the media is just keeping my name out there and writing stories about me. If they wasn't writing about me, then that means they don't know me, but they writing on me because they know me; I'm doing what I'm supposed to do.

BT: Do you feel like you got the same type of treatment that say an Oscar De La Hoya got throughout his career from a promoter or a network, like HBO?

FM: I really don't know. I mean, that's for...I mean, you know the answer to that. What do you think?

BT: No, I do not think they treated you the same and I think part of the reason is the color of your skin.

FM: Okay. Well you answered it.

BT: Do you think Black fighters are promoted the same way as say Latinos, Filipinos, any other fighters; Puerto Ricans, Caucasians?

FM: Well, how they promote fighters, I know...different things go on in the sport of boxing. A lot of inside things go on in the sport of boxing. You said is it a race card? Of course. We know that. You can look, when you on a football field, the majority of the football players are Black Americans. The majority of basketball players are Black Americans. The majority of coaches are White. Owners? How many Black owners? Zero. So like I said before, do a race card play a factor? Absolutely.

BT: Do you feel like you had to take the promotion of your career into your own hands? I mean, I feel like it took a long time for you to get to the point you're at right now. Not to mention, it took...wasn't Gatti your first pay-per-view fight?

FM: If I was my own promoter, I thought the Angel Manfredy fight should have been a pay-per-view fight back then. I think $30 a house in 300,000 or 400,000 homes, that would have been huge back then. That would have been some pretty cool money.

BT: Let's say Floyd Mayweather retires this year and Manny Pacquiao retires a year after you. Do you think boxing is in trouble?

FM: No because Mayweather Promotions is the past, the present and the future of sports entertainment.

BT: Is that a guarantee that Mayweather Promotions is going to help carry the sport of boxing on it's back?

FM: Anything that's dealing with entertainment, we're going to be involved with; absolutely.

BT: You guys are also involved in concert promotions, right?

FM: Oh, absolutely. Yes!

BT: So Mayweather Promotions is a sports and entertainment company?

FM: Yessir.

BT: Does that mean we might see some TV producions? Hollywood?

FM: Everything!

BT: That almost sounds like there might be a Mayweather/Miss Jackson reality show in the future.

FM: We're working on it.

BT: Oh yeah?

FM: Yes!

BT: Wow. That's a good look. That's like 24/7 After Dark (laughing).

FM: (Laughing)

BT: Well look, I can talk to you for hours, but I've kept you on long enough already, Champ. We're gonna have a lot more of you on the site in the near future. Is there anything else you want to say to the fans in closing?

FM: I just want to let the fans know to continue to read FightHype and continue to support all up-and-coming fighters.

For more on Floyd Mayweather, Shantel Jackson, and the Floyd Mayweather Foundation, visit any of the following links:

Floyd Mayweather Official Website
Floyd Mayweather Twitter
Floyd Mayweather Facebook Page
Shantel Jackson Official Website
Shantel Jackson Twitter
Shantel Jackson Facebook Page
Floyd Mayweather Foundation Website
Floyd Mayweather Foundation Facebook Page

[ Follow Ben Thompson on Twitter @fighthype ]

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