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CHICAGO – Undefeated pound-for-pound world boxing champion Floyd “The Money” Mayweather refused to answer questions on Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao when he visited this city last June 26 to promote his fight with Mexican boxing star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Sept. 14, 2013 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.[box type=”default” size=”large”] Floyd visits Chicago to promote his fight with Alvarez [/box]In a press conference, this reporter asked Mayweather if he thinks Filipino world champion Manny Pacquiao can mount a comeback, he ignored the question, saying, “back off, back off.”

Homer D. Sayson, who covers sports events for and who was also in the press conference, told this reporter that even Golden Boy’s CEO Richard Schaeffer evaded his question about Pacquiao. “They don’t want to answer anything about Manny, Sayson said.

Asked by this reporter if he was predicting a knockout or a knockdown in his fight against the 22-year-old Mexican brawler who is 14 years younger than him, the 36-year-old Mayweather moved his head sideways and had no comment.

The same question was posed by this reporter to the Spanish-speaking Alvarez, who understands English, the Mexican said,“no knockout or knockdown but we will win.”

Asked by this reporter if this is his biggest fight, the Grand Rapids, Michigan native said, “I can’t say this is my biggest fight. All my fights have grown big. I can’t say this is my biggest fight.”

Asked why he missed the Blackhawks playoff, Mayweather said, “I’ve been busy building a pay-per-view fight. I was busy traveling with my daughter — jet skiing, swimming in the ocean, water skiing and bike riding.”

In front of some fans, who waited early in the morning to watch the arrival of Mayweather and Alvarez, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico,  promoter Oscar de la Hoya greeted them in Spanish and thanked them for their warm reception.

De la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions is assisting the Mayweather Promotions in producing a mega-blockbuster bout that would largely benefit Mayweather both as boxer and promoter.

In a promotional stunt that mimicked a grand entrance before the main event, Alvarez entered the full-3,500 capacity Chicago Theater at 125 North State, Chicago, Illinois. The highly partisan Latino crowd shouted, “Canelo, Canelo, Canelo”!

The crowd saved their cheers for the entrance of Mayweather, who was followed by his towering bodyguards in black shirts emblazoned with “TMT” (The Money Team).

Mayweather was wearing a white shirt with a light grey jacket and TMT cap. He had a glittering diamond necklace and a wristwatch.

“Canelo is younger one, bigger one, stronger one. One thing I know, all of us will be watching who will be the one on September 14,” Mayweather said.

Alvarez talked to the crowd in Spanish. saying, “I’m ready for the big challenges and now I have to prove it against Floyd Mayweather on September 14. I said I wanted to fight the best, and here I am in front of the best pound-for-pound fighter, whom I respect for his achievements. But on September 14, I will write a new page in boxing history because I am going to be victorious.

Mayweather told the media that outside the ring, his biggest accomplishments are his “four beautiful grown and healthy children. I am comfortable. I am happy and blessed. But I can’t do it without you guys.”

Eight-time, five-division world champion Mayweather at 44-0-0 (26 knockouts) will be moving up in weight from welterweight, while super welterweight Alvarez (42-0-1draw-30 knockouts) will be down to 152 pounds. Alvarez’s WBA and WBC titles will be at stake in the fight.

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Joseph is a former reporter of the Manila Bulletin, former president of the Rizal-Metro Manila Reporters Association and former president of the Chicago chapter of the National Press Club of the Philippines. A native of Sorsogon, Philippines, he and his family now live in Chicago. A prolific reporter, Lariosa writes a column and news stories for the Filipino Star News and other Filipino community newspapers in the US as well as for GMA News and the Manila Bulletin.


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