50 Cent used to be a boxer, so you can bet your bottom dollar he’ll be glued to “The Fight of the Century” this Saturday, when Floyd Mayweather (47-0) takes on Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
And no, he doesn’t buy the notion that this fight is happening five years too late.
“I don’t think it takes away from the actual fight itself,” 50 said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “If it happened five years ago, we wouldn’t have anticipated it for five years. That’s the way to look at it. Because right now, you got people who aren’t really fight fans anticipating the fight because they saw people who were passionate about it, disappointed. They knew there was something about Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. And Floyd being undefeated, I think the general public loves tragedy, so they like the possibility of someone beating him. I think (people want him to lose) because (he’s) undefeated. Even if he lost it, it would make him, what, 47-1? It would only prevent him from breaking the record, and it would still be a record that’s far better than anybody near him.”
The fight will feature two contrasting styles: the southpaw hurricane that is Pacquiao and the defensive genius that is Mayweather. 50 gives Mayweather the edge.
“I think he’ll figure him out,” 50 said. “Floyd will figure him out. After the third round, I would be (confident in Mayweather) – because at that point, he’s going to start feeling him, the tempo of the fight, movements, how it’s going. It’s going to be Floyd.”
As good of a boxer as Mayweather is, he may an even better businessman. He’s the richest athlete in the world and has created a persona and brand with no shortage of storylines.
“He’s been trained to be what he is right now all his life,” 50 said. “Floyd is a guy that, since the sixth grade, has been signing his autograph. He’s been practicing his autograph while other kids were just doing their schoolwork and everything else. Because he already (knew) he was going to be what he is right now. It’s a point where the fact is stranger than fiction. It’s the honest to God truth.”
If Mayweather beats Pacquiao and improves to 48-0, it’ll be interesting to see how much longer Mayweather boxes. Would he retire if he got to 50-0? Would he stick around even longer? When will Father Time catch up with him?
“It’d be asking us to be psychics at this point to say when the things will slow down – when his legs won’t be his legs anymore, when he wont be able to do the things that we watch him do (all the) time,” 50 said. “And (there’s the) mental (side). As long as that 0 is there, you can’t tell a person he’s going to lose that doesn’t know how. He doesn’t know how to lose. If you hit him, (he’s) going to adjust. There’s a first time for everything. I know this. But what I’m telling you is the psychology connected to how he is as a person, he doesn’t even know how to lose. He’s like, ‘What?’ You put him in a gray area when you start talking about losing. (If he beats Pacquiao), you got to look at it and say, ‘Floyd Mayweather is the best fighter.’ You got anybody else that you could put up?”
These days, no – not even Jake Gyllenhaal, with whom Jackson is starring in an upcoming movie, Southpaw. Gyllenhaal plays the main character, Billy Hope, and completely transformed his body for the role.
“He did the work,” 50 said. “For five months straight, he was training twice a day. To get into the gym and do that work, it was incredible to see his transformation. He went from being really small from Nightcrawler to preparing himself for this actual fight. There was a lot of discipline. He was really focused.”
The film is slated for a July release.