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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 07:02 GMT 08:02 UK
Focus on De la Hoya v Mayweather
By Mike Costello
BBC Radio Five Live boxing correspondent

Five Live's Mike Costello is in Las Vegas for Saturday's super-fight between Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather.

He found "Pretty Boy" Floyd and his camp in high spirits four days out from the richest bout in boxing history.


Floyd Mayweather can be difficult to like. Here, so far, he's been hard to dislike.

Floyd Mayweather
Mayweather is undefeated in 37 professional fights

The Tuesday of a big fight week is usually designated "open workout" day, but Oscar de la Hoya chose to leave his doors closed.

Not so the self-styled Pretty Boy. Mayweather's behaviour was rarely less than infectious during an hour-long exhibition of the rarest of skills at his own gym a few blocks off the Strip.

His sessions on the pads with uncle and trainer Roger Mayweather were breathtaking. Hundreds of punches delivered in machine-gun style from every conceivable angle - and for minutes at a time.

For the cameras, he threw combinations with his eyes closed. Uncle Roger didn't look either.

Floyd finished with a reconstruction of De la Hoya's defeat against Bernard Hopkins here in Vegas almost three years ago.

Floyd played De la Hoya, banging his right fist on the canvas after being decked by a body shot.

De la Hoya has been accused by some of looking for the trap-door that night - and Mayweather felt the urge to remind us.

When it was time for interviews, Floyd was asked, during a live TV link-up, how much cash he was carrying.

One of his entourage delved into a rucksack and handed Floyd three thick bundles of $100 bills.

"There's about $24,000 there," said Floyd as he waved the wads in front of the camera. "How d'you know?" "I can weigh it in my hand." Ask a silly question...


Where there was humour, there was candour too. Mayweather spoke again of retirement and reiterated that this would be his last fight.

We were allowed a peek beneath his dense outer layer when he spoke of wanting rid of celebrity.

"I sign as many autographs as I can and I do as many interviews as I can," he told me, "but sometimes I get pushed to the limit and I don't want nuttin' of that fame. Sometimes, I just want to be normal."


You know it's big - bigger than most - when the arrival of the two boxers at the fight hotel is moulded into a ceremonial shindig.

Mayweather sauntered in first, De la Hoya later, the pair greeted by hundreds of fans gathered at the entrance to the MGM Grand.

They made their way, in turn, to a ring erected in the main lobby, where they soon disappeared behind a forest of cameras and microphones.

In sight and sound, they sent out rays of assurance. This is a form of poker now - and they're playing for legacies.

Boxing's saviours?
01 May 07 |  Boxing
Mayweather threatens De la Hoya
21 Feb 07 |  Boxing
Mayweather savages 'fat' Hatton
05 Feb 07 |  Boxing

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