HOLLYWOOD, California, March 2 – For once, Floyd Mayweather had nothing to say about Manny Pacquiao, deflecting questions on the Filipino fight king Thursday at a news conference to promote his fight against Miguel Cotto.
Two days after he said Pacquiao wasn’t “one of the sharpest knives in the drawer,” Mayweather insisted he just wanted to talk about his super welterweight world title fight against World Boxing Association champ Cotto coming up on May 5.
Mayweather was also reluctant to discuss New York Knicks star Jeremy Lin but said he had no regrets about recent tweets in which he said rising NBA star Lin was getting “all the hype because he’s Asian.”
“I never regret anything,” Mayweather said. “I am not here to talk about Jeremy Lin. I am not fighting Jeremy Lin.
“It is not Mayweather versus Pacquiao or Mayweather versus Jeremy Lin, it is Mayweather versus Miguel Cotto.”
Mayweather was criticized for his Lin comments, but the 35-year-old said he doesn’t plan to change his outspoken ways.
“I thought this country had freedom of speech,” he said. “Jeremy Lin I said was a good player … Anything Mayweather says finds the front page of the media. I get dragged through the mud but it doesn’t stop me.”
Mayweather criticized Pacquiao at a news conference in New York on Tuesday, saying Pacquiao’s demands on a purse split were unreasonable.
“Just speaking to Pacquiao on the phone, I mean, he’s not one of the sharpest knives in the drawer,” Mayweather said on Tuesday. “He faces Floyd Mayweather, he’s not getting 50/50. No one is getting 50/50.”
Mayweather (42-0, 26 knockouts) was in negotiations with Pacquiao for a mega-fight in May or June but talks fell through and Mayweather decided to fight Cotto instead on May 5 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao now plans to fight on June 9 in Las Vegas against American Tim Bradley.
Pacquiao said last month that he called Mayweather to try and broker a deal but felt insulted when Mayweather offered to give him a $40 million lump-sum payment if Pacquiao agreed to let Mayweather keep the pay-per-view television earnings — which some have estimated could be as high as $160 million.
Mayweather and Cotto entered Thursday’s news conference at historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to a trumpet blast.
Mayweather then took his seat on an elaborate throne, while the champion sat in a smaller chair to his left.
Mayweather is coming off a controversial victory over Victor Ortiz in his last fight in September.
After a head butt in the corner, Ortiz dropped his hands and tried to apologize when Mayweather seized the moment and decked Ortiz.
“Ortiz was looking for the KO and he got KO’d,” Mayweather said. “With or without the fourth round punches he was going to get KO’d.”
Cotto (37-2, 30 knockouts) is coming off one of the most impressive victories of his career.
In December, he stopped Antonio Margarito in the 10th round, avenging his defeat by the Mexican fighter three years earlier.
“When he beat me in 2008, he took from me a lot of things, including my confidence,” the Puerto Rican said. “Then when I beat him, I got those things back.”
Cotto, 31, said he would take that added confidence into the ring against Mayweather. Although he’s the champion, Cotto is a heavy underdog, with many feeling Mayweather possesses superior speed and counter-punching ability.
“When I fought Shane Mosley in 2007, people said the same thing – that he is faster than me,” Cotto said. “But I beat him at his own game and I plan to pressure (Mayweather).”