Floyd Mayweather has had fans scratching their head recently with his adamant and repeated statements that he will either be fighting Andre Berto or Karim Mayfield for his next fight in September. Neither Berto, nor Mayfield are considered to be in the running for a marquee fight, let alone a monumental fight, so does Mayweather really want to fight them and if so, why?
Sarah Gruber of Round By Round Boxing spoke with Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield on in an attempt to connect the dots to this mysterious Mayweather situation. See what Mayfield had to say and why he thinks it makes perfect sense for him to fight Floyd Mayweather.
Round By Round Boxing: Karim, it has been awhile since you have talked with Round By Round Boxing, what is going on in the world of Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield?
Karim Mayfield: Everything is going well, I was actually just supposed to fight June 20 on the Andre Ward card on BET, but due to negotiations not working out well, it fell through.
RBRBoxing: Recently you have had some things in the works that have seemed like big opportunities that haven’t panned out in your favor. How do you stay motivated, stay hopeful and bounce back from those things? How do you stay in the gym and stay motivated for the next opportunity?
KM: Well because I know that there is a pot of gold on the other side of the rainbow so I just need to keep maintaining and doing what I do. I am an entrepreneur/business owner, you know self-employed, so I am able to train at my own leisure.
RBRBoxing: In this kind of craziness of getting prepared for the Ward vs. Smith Roc Nation Sports card, you found yourself in the middle of this Floyd Mayweather situation, in which he recently named a few people he was considering for his final fight on his contract in September. Your name was one of those people along with Andre Berto and Amir Khan. At first people thought Mayweather was kidding, why do you think people did not take his mention of your name serious?
KM: Maybe just due to the fact that I am not a worldwide name so to speak or a household name. For the fans to think that anyone is joking, I don’t think that anyone that gets in the ring, from lower class to world class fighters, no one is a joke. I have seen Mayweather joke, but I have never seen him joke with names. He would throw out names, and maybe he would just be more serious about others, but never joking. He has clarified it through with Dan Rafael (of ESPN). People thought he was joking, but he never laughed or made is as if he was joking. It has been three interviews now and with Dan Rafael, he specifically asked if he was joking, and he said something like; no, this is the fight business this is not a joke.
KM: I would say first of all I punch hard from both of my hands. I am very athletic and I am overall just a pitbull coming to fight. With that being said, he knows that it will be a good fight and maybe he is assuming that I am flat-footed, or maybe he is assuming that I am slow, but let him assume what he wants but I know what I would come in to do.
RBRBoxing: I know just from talking to you and following your social media that Mayweather recently saw a sparring session or yours and was sort of cheering you on and seemly took notice of you during that sparring session. Tell me about that?
KM: Well I was sparring one of his fighters and it was a lot of back-and-forth action. At first Floyd wasn’t necessarily you know rooting for me, and then he was like, you know, I like this guy. Then he started to just say things like MAY-field and MAY-weather, you know just things like that. When I was sparring he said, “I’m going to put this guy on my card in September,” (assuming he was meaning the undercard). I was thinking, to me that you know it is just talk until you see a contract in this boxing game.
Well I used to say it is not official until you get a contract, but now I say it is not official until you get in the ring. Boxing fans know that I have received contracts before and people have pulled out. Shawn Porter, to name one. So with that being said I wasn’t all excited about it, but then I started hearing him call out my name and saying that I was one of the potential opponents. He mentioned that I would be out there on his card in September, but I didn’t know if that was, you know, all the way solid. But, for him to throw out my name, it was beautiful just to hear it coming out of his mouth.
RBRBoxing: So would you say that the work that you have done in Floyd Mayweather’s gym to get ready for the Andre Ward card, in doing some of your camp there, do you think that some of the work that you put in there put you on Floyd’s radar?
KM: Well yes, I do feel that he was able to get a glimpse of me, but for the most part I am thinking that my name has been buzzing. In the past, as you know, I have stepped up to the linear champion at 140 pounds, Danny Garcia, at his press conference. So, I am sure that he has heard a lot about me at times, for various reasons, so to cap it off, I think that seeing my sparring session just made it a little sweeter.
RBRBoxing: It seems like everyone wants a piece of Mayweather right now in the boxing world. Why do you think you should be moved to the top of that list? So many people have called out Floyd lately, like Amir Khan, now Errol Spence and Shawn Porter. Why do you think you should be moved to the top of this list?
KM: You mentioned Amir Khan, you mentioned Errol Spence, but I feel that am just as good if not fairly better than these guys. You mentioned Khan and he’s been knocked out a couple of times, I do have two loses but they were very close decisions. I wasn’t beat up, battered or bruised in either of those fights. If you go back to either of those loses, you’ll see that I was fighting a style that I wasn’t used to fighting.
A lot of people don’t know this, I left my trainer because he moved to Las Vegas, so those two back-to-back loses I wasn’t with my original trainer, Ben Bautista. I was boxing too much, moving too much and everyone knows that Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield is not a boxer like that; I come in to grind it out. Styles make fights and my style and my heart are tough, it’s not about numbers, about how many wins or loses you have, but it’s about styles. I think that my style can be conducive with his.
RBRBoxing: Along that line, knowing styles make fights, Mayweather just came off of his super fight with Manny Pacquiao where fans were seemingly left disappointed. Do you think Mayweather is looking for a more entertaining matchup? Do you think that may be why he is considering you?
KM: I do. That is a good question because you know I was pondering on that and I do feel that it could be a reason. You know anyone that tries to box him is going to be out pointed. He is going to move, but someone that tries to bring it to him is going to be a more exciting fight. I think that Floyd would like to leave on an exciting fight basis. I don’t take anything away from what he did with Pacquiao, just due to the fact that Pacquiao is a strong puncher and I mean you have to do what you need to do to mediate that. I think he has done his homework and he knows that I would bring an exciting fight.
RBRBoxing: One thing that I have looked at also is that Mayweather is a businessman. So do you think that Floyd the businessman might what to deal with a fighter that is unsigned or a fighter that is under a less protective type contact after having to deal with the negotiations and headache to fight Manny Pacquiao? Do you think maybe as a businessman he sees this as a better business decision?
KM: I do. I am a free agent and that would help the negotiations go a little faster. I don’t know who Andre Berto is under, but I am sure dealing with him or Amir Khan would be more of a hassle. That’s a good question; I do feel that could be one of the reasons.
RBRBoxing: Your fan base, especially in the Bay Area, has really joined the movement of trying to get you this fight. They have started some hashtags like #MayweatherMayfield #MakeitHappen and even created an Instagram account. Do you think that their support could actually get Mayweather’s attention?
KM: I do. You know that’s the thing about the Bay Area, they know that I am the people’s champ overall. I am the people’s champ, the people’s guy, the people’s fighter. Not to take anything away from Manny Pacquiao, he was the people’s champ for his people, the Filipino people, and he inspired a whole lot of people. But myself, I grew up in the Bay Area and we transcend our support beyond all races, creed and color.
I am the people’s champ for every single one that is the strength of the Bay movement. I have been seeing that a lot of people have been hash tagging, showing their support and reposting, things like that are always a good look. It is nice when your people are helping you out and you don’t even know them. I think they feel the love back and they know I am a real one. I am not cocky, maybe a little flamboyant at times, but everyone brags.
RBRBoxing: It has been an interesting couple months in boxing. What has been your favorite fight that you have seen recently?
KM: Seeing Andre Ward back in the ring is certainly a good look, the Bay has been waiting on him. A whole lot of people came out in support. I saw Steph Curry, Marshawn Lynch and Colin Kaepernick were in the building. It was good to see Andre Ward back in the ring. I also saw some good fights on the PBC undercard on CBS June 21, I liked “Lucky Boy” out of Wildcard.
RBRBoxing: What fight are you looking forward to seeing most in the next few months?
KM: Man, the fight I am looking forward to seeing is September 12, Mayfield and Mayweather, history in the making… Mayhem… Mayday.
RBRBoxing: If you can’t fight Floyd who would you like to fight next?
KM: Maybe his little brother.
RBRBoxing: So AB then huh?
KM: Yes, AB for sure.
RBRBoxing: Still got a little beef going on with AB? He just lost to Shawn Porter so you think that might be something you can make happen?
KM: It’s certainly feasible.
RBRBoxing: Is there anything I did not ask you that you want to discuss, or maybe anything that you want to tell the people?
KM: Yes, if you don’t know my name, now you know it. Google me, check me out. People say why is Karim Mayfield in the running with Berto and Khan? Maybe they even call me a tune up fight. I am fine with that as long as I get to get in the ring and grace the canvas with Floyd Mayweather. I have stopped Steve Forbes. Berto couldn’t stop him, Jesse Vergas couldn’t stop him. Who stopped him? Karim “Hard Hitta” Mayfield.
Marico Herrera is fighting Hank Lundy, and I was the last guy that beat Herrera, by a real decision all the way through. That is just to name a few, I have done my thing. I know that I have the Bay Area behind me, we might fill that thing up. Floyd can even come out here, but I doubt that will happen, but hey you know what, anything is possible. You know how I know that? Because Floyd Mayweather has my name is his mouth at this point.
RBRBoxing: We always appreciate you at Round By Round Boxing as you have always been a great interview for us. We wish you all the best of luck.
KM: Certainly, thank you.
Photo by Stephanie Trapp