Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (41-0, 25 KOs) is in full focus and ready to face "Vicious" Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs) on September 17, 2011. During an open workout session at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Mayweather looked sharp. He touted his experience under high pressure as he main factor that sets him apart from the younger--and some say stronger--Ortiz.

The training day in front of the assembled media revealed how well the Mayweather team works together and how much of a diva their famous fighter can really be. Mayweather took over the gym with a small staff of about a dozen people keeping track of his every move and following his lead. Leonard Ellerbe and Roger Mayweather are the team's top gurus, but Mayweather also relies on a heavyset human punching bag wearing a set of body pads, a personal sweat mopper, and even his own personal media crew. Although each team member seemed to have their own specialized tasks to complete, there was one hiccup when Floyd asked for his "burgundy" boxing gloves. "Not purple," he told his crew, "BURGUNDY!" Somehow the burgundy gloves he wanted never made the trip to the gym, but instead of losing his cool Floyd let it slide and went with another favorite pair.

Before the boxer even got in the ring Tuesday, a member of his staff lugged in a giant equipment bag that looked more appropriate for a whole hockey team instead of just one boxer. The bag was full of what looked like at least 2 dozen pairs of gloves. Some of them were highly customized with hand stitching, unique patterns, and intricate lettering. The gloves the assistant expected him to use were laid out on the ring apron:

The workout started with Roger Mayweather working the punch mitts. Boxer and trainer moved seamlessly around the ring with the kind of smooth flow that only comes from years of familiar routine. Team Mayweather's most formidable member loomed large in the corner wearing a protective punch vest, just waiting for the world famous welterweight to switch gears. Leonard Ellerbe stood outside the ropes with a stopwatch keeping Mayweather to a tight warmup schedule.

It was clear that Mayweather was in charge, though. His first order of the day involved climate control. "Cut the air off," he yelled out before getting fully involved in the pad work. "The gym gotta be hot. Can't cook with cold grease!"

Though there was some clowning around, Mayweather was mostly about business once the workout got into full swing. One of the lighter moments came when Cutman Rafael Garcia and Floyd broke out in spontaneous dancing with James Brown blaring in the background. Floyd also introduced the press to his fiancee Shantel Jackson.

Though Floyd didn't dwell too much on his personal life, he has plenty of distractions these days, including criminal and civil court cases that remain unresolved. Getting back to doing what he does best seems to be keeping him out of making the headlines for all the wrong reasons, though. He thanked the media and his fans Tuesday for helping to "keep me relevant" whether he is boxing or not. He also blasted the media for spending so much time talking about his verbal tirade on 24/7 targeting his dear old dad and namesake. Mayweather would rather see some of his more positive activities highlighted and wondered aloud why more isn't written about his charitable efforts.

Negotiations regarding a super bout between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) may resume on a more positive note once both fighters get past their upcoming opponents. Pacquiao takes on Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs) on November 12, so it makes sense for both fighters to face each other next as long as they both win. Pacquiao's hinted that if the fight ever happens it may have to be in 2012 since he has his eyes on running for a higher office in the Phillipines, which would mean a retirement from boxing. Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum is also more open now to seeing Mayweather fight his most prized pugilist, though he did express sadness over the way Floyd recently treated his father. Arum explained that he knows both father and son well and considers Floyd Senior "a stand up guy" who didn't deserve to be talked to that way. Roger and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. both expressed willingness to make the Pacquiao fight as long as Manny agrees to the olympic drug testing that derailed previous negotiations.

Both trainer and fighter are on the hook in a civil defamation suit Pacquiao filed in Nevada court related to their accusations that Pacquiao is on "power pellets" and using some kind of banned substance to sustain his multiple weight changes over the past few years. Should that case be settled quickly after Floyd gets past Ortiz, it will be a clear sign paving the way for their out of court battle to move forward. Though the case looked to be one of the main factors preventing a mega fight, now it appears to be much more incidental and may still take years to resolve even if they do finally work out a deal to fight each other in the ring.

Both fighters picked common opponents to face in recent years, and there has been so much talk about making this fight that both must be getting sick of hearing the questions about when it will actually happen. Can either fighter reasonably retire and risk the boxing history books containing a footnote that cites how this super fight sadly never came to pass? It seems highly unlikely that this monumental bout will rekindle the love for boxing among many sports fans who stopped watching over the years, but it will sell tickets and pay per view buys like no other fight before it. As a man nicknamed "Money" can appreciate, inking this fight will likely bring both fighters their best-ever pay day. The only down side is if the fight winds up being a flop and is not as entertaining as most experts predict it will be. Also, with the fight finally in the books it will be extremely hard to ever find two other fighters to pair up to match the excitement and anticipation created in the run up to getting the contract for this epic fight signed. Essentially, the eager fan base and commentary from press row only grows more restless the longer they all have to wait for this fight to finally go down. The topic generates healthy debate, keeps both fighters in the spotlight, keeps experts busy crunching numbers and comparing common opponents, and keeps the hope alive that the bout could really save boxing.

Conditions are ripe for a deal to be struck on this front once and for all, but it seems increasingly obvious that one fight alone can't save boxing. The sport will surely benefit tremendously if the fight lives up to its billing, though. If it's close enough to warrant a draw or an immediate rematch, in a perfect world we might even see a Mayweather/Pacquiao trilogy before both men can retire comfortably. Now that could save boxing as we know it, but in a sport steadily losing ground to the rising tide of Mixed Martial Arts, beggars most certainly can't be choosers.


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