A rested May­weather says that he’s ‘ready,’ ‘not rusty’

Boxer, who re­cently turned 40, has be­gun prepa­ra­tions for bout against McGre­gor.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Lance Pug­mire lance.pug­mire@la­times.com Twit­ter: @la­time­spug­mire

Floyd May­weather Jr. has re­turned to the box­ing gym af­ter nearly two years away and says prepa­ra­tion for his Aug. 26 fight against Conor McGre­gor is go­ing smoothly even four months af­ter his 40th birth­day.

“You can’t touch me,” May­weather said late Wed­nes­day af­ter a train­ing ses­sion in front of a large crowd at Ten Goose Box­ing Gym in Van Nuys, where he had en­cour­aged fol­low­ers of his so­cial me­dia ac­counts to come watch.

“I haven’t been off two years, re­ally. I’ve been run­ning, work­ing. I’m not rusty, I’m ready.”

May­weather de­clined to say much else, point­ing in­stead to his as­sis­tant trainer and close friend Nate Jones to an­swer ques­tions about his prepa­ra­tion — and en­thu­si­asm — for the nov­elty bout against the UFC light­weight cham­pion, which could po­ten­tially pro­duce 3 mil­lion pay-per-view buys.

Jones said that May­weather looks “beautiful. A lot of peo­ple might think even af­ter two years in a fight of this mag­ni­tude that he shouldn’t fight a guy like McGre­gor, but he don’t take it like that. Floyd’s thing is he needs to get ready to fight some­one like Mike Tyson.

“Be­cause los­ing is like death to him. He’ll never take any­one lightly. Did you see his work to­day? It’s amaz­ing. He’s tak­ing on kids 22-23 years old and burn­ing them out.”

Jones, May­weather’s friend since their am­a­teur box­ing days in Michi­gan, has been in his cor­ner for sev­eral years. He spread his thumb and in­dex finger apart by less than an inch when asked how close May­weather was in per­for­mance to the ver­sion that won a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion against Manny Pac­quiao in a lu­cra­tive 2015 fight.

“There’s some­thing wrong with him, I guess, be­cause the way he works and the things he can do at this time are un­heard of,” Jones said. “He’s so smart … these dudes can never be as sharp as him. His mind … no one’s close, hands down. And he’s mov­ing like he’s 25.”

Why re­tire if he looks this good?

May­weather ges­tured to­ward another friend to an­swer and the man said, “He re­tired be­cause he was com­fort­able al­ready. He didn’t have to fight any­more.”

May­weather did cry “No!” to a sug­ges­tion that fight­ing McGre­gor, in his pro box­ing de­but, would be a walkover for him.

He also rolled his eyes about the mu­ral in McGre­gor’s gym that shows the UFC cham­pion punch­ing May­weather with a crush­ing blow. And May­weather smiled widely at the men­tion of an on­line video that shows McGre­gor punch­ing ob­jects thrown at him.

“If he loses a fight like this — los­ing is im­pos­si­ble to Floyd — his legacy is ev­ery­thing,” Jones said. “He has to view ev­ery­one as great, and this man [McGre­gor] is great in MMA. It’s good for both of them to fight like this.

“The thing with Floyd is, he’s pet­ri­fied of los­ing. You can’t beat him in spades, in any game. It’s his com­pet­i­tive­ness.

“He has the same sick­ness as Michael Jor­dan had. You may flip a coin or play a bas­ket­ball game … he doesn’t want to lose in any­thing. That com­pet­i­tive edge is why he’s Floyd May­weather.

“With that will to win, the sky’s the limit.”

Ethan Miller Getty Images

FLOYD MAY­WEATHER JR. has not fought since Sept. 12, 2015, when he won by de­ci­sion over An­dre Berto.

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