Latest word out of the Vegas-based Mayweather training camp is that Money May is, given the May 2 task at hand, unusually calm, upbeat and poised for destructive combat. Known to practice the art of neuro-linguistic programming, the repetition of positive-affirmations, Mayweather is finding a peaceful groove as the mantra and visualization of victory plays on repeat in his mind.
In eastern philosophy and religion the art of meditation allows practitioners the ability to control stress and fear and turn them into faith and courage. The boisterous, fun-loving even playful side of Floyd. Jr. is still present underneath but, as camp insiders suggest, it is hidden deeper within a man who is, of late, comporting himself in a manner consistent with someone being in on a wonderful secret that is about to explode for all the world to see.
In the past few days Money May has taken on a negatively aggressive, verbal onslaught by boxing traditionalists who take umbrage at his insistence that he actually is, as his moniker suggests, the best fighter to ever lace on gloves including Muhammad Ali. Many, including Wladimir Klitschko, have taken offense at the hutzpah and apparent arrogance of the claim. It is one thing to float it out as a public relations ploy but to actually believe it is unacceptable.
Consistent with his positive frame-of-mind, even his detractors in this regard have failed to bully him out of his supreme confidence that he is the best ever. For Mayweather, this is not simple positive-affirmation, he actually believes it is true. Apparently, so does another all-time great, one George Forman. In fact, Forman not only agrees with Floyd Jr’s assessment but offers insight of his own. Forman argues that boxers, in general terms, are better today than they were back when he fought. While for many George is simply being George, filled with hyperbole and bombast, many are taking issue with the idea that today’s pampered fighters could compete with the hardened legends of yesterday.
That being said, as the Mayweather camp reports that Money is unusually calm, upbeat and poised for destructive combat, they are not just simply communicating a frame-of-mind that Mayweather always goes into a fight with, they are suggesting that an eerie calm has set in that has the feel of expectancy. That is, taken as a whole, Mayweather’s communications with others are stress-free, controlled and always crafted in a manner that demonstrates less faith than self-knowledge that he will win the fight in spectacular fashion. There is not hopeful expectancy in Mayweather’s communications, but the kind of expectancy that is inexplicably informed by absolute knowledge of the outcome.
While a framework for a game plan slipped out earlier this week via camp insiders suggesting that Mayweather was expecting a very difficult and technically challenging fight, it is clear to those currently associated with Mayweather that he, with regard to the outcome of the fight, knows that his hand will be lifted in victory. When asked by a fellow embedded journalist how he thought the fight would play out he simply and convincingly stated said that while he was not clairvoyant, he knew he was going to come out victorious.
While doubt tended to inform his early days in camp and certainly those preceding and concurrent with fight negotiations, Money May apparently has, in the latter days of training camp, settled into a quality of poise and self-confidence that strikes camp associates as somehow unusual, even by Mayweather standards. Those close to and a part of training camp note how this camp has been unusually active, loud and pressure-filled but despite it all, Mayweather has come out of it supremely confident and without stress or the feel of pressure. Indeed, camp insiders are suggesting that Money May has been putting out an air of confidence that suggests a performance of a lifetime is on the horizon.
With the latest insider-based camp news that Mayweather is unusually calm, upbeat and poised for destructive combat, one finds oneself asking whether this is the poise that comes from prescience or from hubris. In the end however, as Manny Pacquiao is as confident in victory as Mayweather, this latest camp-informed testament to calmness may simply be the calm before or in the eye of a storm that is set to consume all within and about it. Or, as some might suggest, Money May is calm indeed, but his calmness is more akin to the calm a lamb feels just before its slaughter.
Commentary By Matthew R. Fellows