Floyd Mayweather in Hot Tub
April 17, 2014
“Ladies, it’s a whole lot better being in this fancy hot tub in my Las Vegas mansion than in a sweaty arena, isn’t it?”
“Yeees,” gushed all but one.
“You should be there,” said a lovely young woman. “You need to prepare to fight the winner, who’s going to be Manny Pacquiao.”
“I’m Raquel from Manila.”
“Who invited you?”
“One of your assistants.”
Floyd frowned and looked at a couple of employees guarding the entrance. They shook their heads.
“Guaranteed, Timothy Bradley will handle Pacquiao again,” Floyd said.
“Manny in fact handled him the first time, which I’m sure you know, and will again. He’s too quick and strong for Bradley.”
“Let’s keep it real. Pacquiao lost to Bradley, who’d I’d easily beat, and against Juan Manuel Marquez he really lost those two gift decisions he got, along with the draw, before Marquez destroyed him in their fourth fight. I beat Marquez so bad he flat out said he never wanted a rematch.”
“Since you’re a leader in the war against performance enhancing drugs,” said Raquel, “I’m surprised you haven’t denounced Marquez for magically transforming himself from a skinny guy – the one you fought – into the linebacker who landed the right hand of a lifetime against Manny.”
“Look at the record. I’m undefeated, the greatest of all time. I don’t need Pacquiao. I’m the highest paid athlete in the world without him.”
“Manny’s no longer asking for half the gate. He says he’ll accept sixty-forty for you.”
“Why should I do that? I’m my own boss. I get the whole gate. Pacquiao’s just an employee of Bob Arum.”
“What would it take, financially, for you to fight Manny?”
“This isn’t about money. Floyd Mayweather already earns more than any athlete in history. I don’t want to fight a cheater. Little Manny was one-oh-six and then he starts destroying welterweights. That doesn’t happen in nature.”
“Manny was one-oh-six when he was sixteen. He built himself up gradually. You used to be a lot lighter, too.”
“My growth was all natural. Look at Pacquiao’s head now. It’s twice the size it used to be. That’s not right. We’re in the hurting business, and what he’s done is dangerous to his opponents, but no one does anything. Look at Barry Bonds, all he did was hit baseballs, and they want to throw him in jail for years.”
“Manny has agreed to be randomly tested the same way you and Olympic athletes are,” said Raquel. “That’s what you demanded. So he’s complied with that as well as the division of the purse.”
“My health is more important to me than money or titles or historical reputation. You think I want to risk getting crippled so people can someday say: ‘Floyd beat Manny Pacquiao.’”
“I commend you for being so concerned about health. Historically, far too few boxers have respected their well-being,” Raquel said. “But I don’t understand. You often say, as you have again tonight, that Pacquiao is much inferior to you, and you cite his and your Juan Manuel Marquez fights as examples. Then you contradict yourself and say that ferocious Manny could imperil your health. So, which is it, Floyd?”
Motioning to his sentinels, Floyd said, “Get this windbag out of here.”
As he approached the hot tub one of the men said, “By the way, we just heard, Pacquiao won a unanimous decision over Bradley.”
“It was either a gift decision or Pacquiao’s back on drugs. Either way, Floyd Mayweather doesn’t care.”
Turning around at the exit, Raquel said, “Funny thing is, I think you’d outpoint Manny rather handily.”
Editorial notes: I’d like to thank Floyd for granting me a place in the hot tub, though he insisted I put my shirt back on to cover what he said was “too much loose flesh.” When I asked him to please respond to Raquel’s final question, he also had me evicted. Fortuitously, Raquel gave me a ride back to my hotel where we discussed pugilism until dawn.