Moments after the “Pretty Risky” Floyd Mayweather Jr., vs. Carlos Baldomir title fight in Las Vegas last Saturday, I ran into Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward. Emanuel had just finished commenting on the fight as part of the HBO broadcast team and graciously gave me a few minutes of his time for the following short interview.
SaddoBoxing: It’s a great pleasure to speak to you Emanuel; What did you think of Floyd’s performance tonight?
Emanuel Steward: "I was not impressed. When Floyd starts talking about himself being up there with Sugar Ray Leonard and Sugar Ray Robinson, yet then fights negatively against a guy standing right in front of him, totally beaten, and doesn't finish the job, he doesn't look good. I was not impressed, no."
SB: Larry Merchant certainly upset him didn't he?
ES: "He didn't say anything wrong. Larry commented on the fact that fans were leaving before the end of the fight and that there was booing to be heard, which there was. Floyd can't take criticism is all it was."
SB: Did you give all the rounds to Floyd tonight?
ES: "Oh, he pitched a shutout, yes. He should've closed the show though but didn't."
SB: Do you think Floyd will retire after one more fight, as he said at the post-fight press conference?
ES: "No, I don't. Fighters often get very emotional after a contest, and Floyd is a very emotional guy. I don't think he'll retire."
SB: Do you think the Oscar De La Hoya fight will be next?
ES: "That fight has a very big conflict of interest. As you know, Floyd’s father trains Oscar, so how can he train him to fight his own son? I'm not convinced the fight will happen."
SB: Who would you pick if the fight did happen?
ES: "Oh, I really don't like to say until it happens, if it happens. But let me tell you about a guy who’s name you should remember. Andy Lee, remember Andy Lee! You're from the U.K, right? You'll be hearing about this guy, believe me."
SB: I must admit Emanuel, I'm not familiar with the name.
ES: "He’s a great prospect and he’s really gonna be something, we're working with him now, he’s going to be a big name."
(At this point Emanuel was told by an aid that he was needed and unfortunately he had to leave)
SB: Well good luck with the Brock fight on the 11th, Emanuel.
ES: "Thank you, we're in great shape already.