Floyd Mayweather Jr. knows that at age 34 he’s not the same athlete he was at 24.
But the undefeated welterweight (41-0, 26 knockouts) won’t concede anything when it comes to preparation. It has been 16 months since he last fought, but Mayweather plans on being at the top of his game when he faces WBC champion Victor Ortiz Sept. 17 at the MGM Grand Garden.
"We had to start camp a little earlier, but other than that, nothing’s changed," Mayweather said during Tuesday’s media day workout at his gym off Spring Mountain Road. "We usually go eight weeks. But this time, we went a little longer. We’re doing what we need to do to get ready, and that means work hard."
Mayweather said despite the long layoff since he beat Shane Mosley on May 1, 2010, his body has responded well to the intense preparation required for a big fight.
"I feel great," he said. "I bounce back, just like roundball, baby."
As Mayweather winds down his camp, he does so with the knowledge that though he is older than Ortiz by 10 years, he’s far wiser.
"Definitely," Mayweather said. "I’ve been in plenty of big fights, and he’s a young fighter trying to get to where I’ve been. I’ve proven I can handle the pressure."
Mayweather has discipline issues outside the ring, given he’s involved in a half-dozen legal actions. But inside the ring, he remains one of boxing’s best at preparing for a big fight. He puts in his miles running. He’s at the gym up to three times a day. Roger Mayweather, his uncle and trainer, has been impressed.
"This has been one of his best camps," Roger Mayweather said. "He knows the guy he’s fighting is a good fighter, and he’s preparing for a tough fight. Floyd, he never overlooks anybody."
Mayweather knows all the hot-button issues that people try to push to agitate him — a proposed showdown with Manny Pacquiao, his brushes with the law, his squabbles with his father, Floyd Sr. And he deftly eludes all of them as if they were one of Ricky Hatton’s telegraphed punches.
"People can say what they want," Mayweather said, refusing to take the bait. "But I’m just trying to stay positive, take care of my business and be ready to fight come Sept. 17."
However, there are times when Mayweather feels compelled to be a promoter, and he’ll play to the cameras for the "HBO 24/7" series. Such was the case in the first episode, when he and his father got into a heated argument at the gym.
"You see the flash and the trash talk on 24/7, and it’s part of being an entertainer," Mayweather said. "Without talking trash and backing it up, Floyd Mayweather wouldn’t be where he’s at."
With his father nowhere to be seen Tuesday, Mayweather appeared relaxed as some 100 reporters and photographers crowded around him. Currently a 6-1 favorite, Mayweather was in a somewhat conciliatory mood by his standards as he talked about the upcoming fight.
"Victor Ortiz is a good fighter," Mayweather said. "But he’s not Floyd Mayweather. He hasn’t fought the people I’ve fought. But I take every opponent seriously. Once I agree to fight you, I’m going to be at my best to beat you."
Contact reporter Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter @stevecarprj.