Mayweather admits he cashed in on hand-picked rivals
World's highest paid athlete admits he built undefeated record on handpicked rivals
Floyd Mayweather admits his undefeated record has been partly built on the backs of handpicked opponents who did not always provide the toughest fights - but did help him become the world's best paid athlete.
"Sometimes they say, 'Well, Floyd Mayweather's opponents were handpicked.' That's a good thing," Mayweather said during a conference call with reporters to hype Saturday's world title fight against Mexico's Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. "I commend my team … when I sit back and I think about my career, I say 'you know what? I had a cool career. I didn't take any punishment'.
"If they say these guys were handpicked, they was handpicked to make US$40 and US$50 and US$60 million, then you know what? Keep handpicking them. If they're going to keep paying, keep handpicking them."
Mayweather, who Forbes magazine lists as the world's highest paid athlete, has been criticised for dodging a potential mega fight with Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao.
"Floyd's statement speaks for itself. Now we know why he won't give the fans the fight they want most," Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach said.
The fight with Alvarez is the second in Mayweather's six-bout, 30-month contract with American cable network Showtime that could pay him more than US$200 million. After Mayweather beat Robert Guerrero in May, he said he wanted to fight again in September - marking the first time since 2007 he will be in the ring twice in a calendar year.
Mayweather's guaranteed purse for the Alvarez fight is reported to be a record US$41 million, which would surpass the previous record of US$32 million he received for fighting Guerrero.
"I am not overlooking this guy," said Mayweather. "In Mexico he is a young rock star and everybody that they put in front of him he was able to go out there and do his job.
"I am pushing myself to the limit right now."
The 23-year-old Alvarez says he believes he has the perfect fight plan to register one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.
"I am going to follow my game plan and I am going to fight my fight," he said. "I am not going to allow him to fight his fight. I have a game plan."