Floyd Mayweather Jr. Gives Us A Night To Remember
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Typically post-event press conferences are just the coaches and top players talking about the game that took place minutes ago. Picture wise, these press-conferences can be pretty boring because it’s a guy sitting at a table with a microphone covering half of his body. However, every once in awhile you will get a memorable tirade such as those of Dennis Green or Jim Mora gave us in the past. Rarely though is it necessary for our photographers to shoot the press conferences. However, Saturday night (11/4/06) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world broke down and cried for nearly 10 minutes.
I was editing for Ethan Miller, a staff photographer out of Las Vegas, just 10 yards or so from where the post-fight press conferences were taking place. Usually, photographers edit in a room in the back of the arena but for some reason when I got there I chose to sit with all the writers. We got lucky. As I started packing up for the night, Floyd Mayweather Jr. – the Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, or Roger Federer of his sport i.e. “the man” – walked on stage. Thinking he was just going to say how easy of a fight he had against Carlos Baldomir, I continued to pack up my gear. That is until I heard someone crying. I looked towards the stage and it’s Mayweather. I immediately grabbed Ethan and told him to get to work. Mayweather told the press “One more fight and I’m through. I don’t need boxing. I’m not in it for the money. It’s about legacy. I’m rich and I’ve accomplished what I want.” The he started to choke up and couldn’t talk for nearly 10 minutes. The press sat stunned not saying a word the entire time watching this larger than life figure at the top of his game – just 29 – say he is quitting on top.
Luckily for us, all the other photographers from the large news agencies were in the back finishing up their edits from the fight. That left Ethan as the only photographer capturing every moment of Mayweather spilling his heart out to the press. It made for some great photographs and a great lesson that I will continue to remember – watch the press conferences.