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Newz Forum: BOXING: Lightweight Champ Moves to Heavier Weight

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posted on May, 20 2004 @ 10:30 AM
(AP) - Unbeaten WBC lightweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. likes the idea of moving up in weight class. For one thing, he won't have to watch the scales as closely.

"I don't have to starve myself. I can eat," he said Wednesday. "For all my other fights, I couldn't focus on the fight, I had to worry about my weight."

Not that his career is any worse for it.

Unbeaten in 31 fights, the 27-year-old former Olympian has fashioned a reputation as a quick, hard-hitting boxer who has better control in the ring than outside it.

On Saturday, he makes his 140-pound debut against DeMarcus Corley in a 12-round WBC elimination bout, with the winner hoping for a shot at super lightweight champ Arturo Gatti.

The fight (HBO, 10 p.m. EDT) at Boardwalk Hall marks Mayweather's last under his contract with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum. Mayweather, the nephew of former champion Roger Mayweather, has feuded with Arum for years.

Arum says Mayweather has failed to promote himself adequately; Mayweather says it's the other way around.

"I'm willing to help, I'm willing to promote, to do whatever's necessary. But it takes a good team. Phil Jackson and the (Los Angeles) Lakers put together a good team, that's why they're world champions," he said.

Mayweather has had his share of problems outside the ring, though. He was charged with domestic battery after a December confrontation with the mother of three of his children and he is facing charges in a bar fight in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich.

At a news conference promoting his fight with Corley, Mayweather said Corley can't beat him.

"I got a granite chin," he said. "He could bring an 'A' game, but I'm still going to win."

Corley, a 29-year-old lefthander from Washington, D.C., who lost his title to Zab Judah in his last bout, said Mayweather doesn't know what it's like to get hit by a 140-pounder.

The weight difference will be a big one, he says.

Corley (28-2-1) plans to go after Mayweather from the opening bell.

"I'm expecting him to try to impose his will on me," Corley said. "As far as me doing the same, well, the game plan is pressure, just jump straight on Floyd. This is the first time he's fought a southpaw. He hasn't been in there with a true junior welterweight like me. He's fought 130 pounders."

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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