LAS VEGAS - He claims to be more mature now, chastened by a stint in jail and eager to be just as much a businessman as a fighter. Indeed, Floyd Mayweather Jr. acted almost statesmanlike earlier this week when Robert Guerrero's father began screaming that he was a woman beater who would finally get beaten himself tonight.
"The fighters are the ones who fight, not the fathers," Mayweather said calmly.
If it's an act, it's a pretty good one. Armed with a new six-fight television deal with Showtime that should keep him the world's highest paid athlete, Mayweather has for the most part taken the high road while promoting his fight against Robert Guerrero as must-see TV for anyone who has an extra $69.95 for the pay-per-view.
Mayweather weighed in at 146 pounds on Friday. Guerrero checked in at the weight-class limit of 147. The two meet in a scheduled 12-round welterweight title match at the MGM Grand hotel in what will be Mayweather's first fight in a year. It's also his first ring appearance since serving a jail term for assaulting the mother of his children, an experience he said helped him grow up.
Sometimes, though, he just can't help himself.
The old Mayweather surfaces, complete with the bad-boy persona that has made him the biggest draw in boxing. It could be that Mayweather as the promoter is trying to give a fight that still hasn't sold out some much needed buzz. He called Guerrero a hypocrite for promoting himself as a devout Christian, and then getting arrested on gun charges in New York. He mocked him for bringing up his jail sentence when he may be facing one himself.
And a few days before the fight he even accused Guerrero of trying to win fans by using his wife's leukemia - which she overcame with a bone marrow transplant - as a way to get sympathy.
"I'm glad she was able to beat leukemia, which is a great thing," Mayweather said. "But they keep selling the same story. It's time to talk about something different."
Guerrero has had his share of things to say about Mayweather, too, though it was his father who made the loudest statement when he repeatedly called Mayweather a woman beater at the final prefight press conference.
None of the talk matters, of course, once the two men finally meet.
Mayweather has a franchise to protect, one that has made him untold millions of dollars since he beat Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 to catapult into the top seller ranks. He'll earn $32 million to take on Guerrero and try to remain perfect in 44 professional fights.
Oddsmakers have Mayweather a 6-1 favorite against a fighter who moved up to welterweight just two fights ago and got the fight mainly on his impressive win in his last outing against Andre Berto.
Both fighters will have their fathers in the corner, with Mayweather bringing back his after a long absence.
Floyd Mayweather Sr. is replacing Roger Mayweather, who has been in his nephew's corner for 13 years. Ruben Guerrero trains his son, and injected some spark into the prefight buildup with his tirade at the press conference. Ruben Guerrero and Floyd Mayweather Sr. then began jawing at each other before being separated.
Tonight, they'll be confined to their corners. Their sons will be the ones doing the fighting.