Star-Gazing Mayweather's in Danger of Being out of Step; Master Showman: Floyd Mayweather Goes through His Paces for the Watching Media and with Dance Partner Karina Smirnoff (Below)

The Evening Standard (London, England), December 4, 2007 | Go to article overview

Star-Gazing Mayweather's in Danger of Being out of Step; Master Showman: Floyd Mayweather Goes through His Paces for the Watching Media and with Dance Partner Karina Smirnoff (Below)


Byline: IAN CHADBAND

LEN GOODMAN, an old bruiser from Bethnal Green, took one look at FloydMayweather's Cha-Cha and jabbed: "Not a great first round". Bruno Tonioli, aludicrous Anglo-Italian lightweight, then offered the low blow that "you foughtthe quickstepand you nearly won" before flooring him with the uppercut observation that he'dmoved with all the grace of a "bulldozer".

Seeing poor old Mayweather all sequinned up, looking so hurt and reduced to aforced smile after the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing judges had finishedpummelling his ballroom efforts, made you think that perhaps Ricky Hatton couldhave done worse than employ them in his corner at the MGM Grand here in LasVegas on Saturday.

For it takes something special to puncture the Pretty Boy's uber-ego and theAmerican equivalent to our SCD, Dancing with the Stars, succeeded rather moresuccessfully than any pro boxer has yet done. Despite his tiresome boast thathe'd been the "biggest entertainer there, by far", the public voted him and hispartner Karina Smirnoff off the show after four weeks.

Mayweather, not one of life's losers, was clearly a bit wounded. Yet whilelearning that being the best fighter in the world offered no guarantee of thewider celebrity worship he covets outside boxing, could it be that hisappearance in the show actually identifies a man who's lost his focus on whatmade him famous in the first place? Hatton wonders the same despiteMayweather's protestations that his monthlong involvement in a bit of showbizfluff from mid-September did not compromise his preparations for the fight,because he was still able to combine boxing training and dance practice whilecommuting between his home here in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

"As soon as the shows were over, I went straight to the Wild Card gym inHollywood, did a workout and an eightmile run," said Mayweather.

"Anyway, Dancing with the Stars was over for me seven weeks ago." True, but ifhe'd reached the final dance-off last week, he'd have still been prancingaround just 11 days before the fight, demonstrating astounding conceit whichought to encourage Hatton.

"I believe it could have happened that I could have been in the dance final andstill have beaten Hatton in the space of a fortnight," responded Mayweatherbrazenly, when I asked him if we could take his claim seriously. …

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