By Tim Healey
On Wednesday, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao held a joint news conference ahead of their May 2 showdown, and little was said aside from plenty of thank yous and how much the boxing world has been waiting for this one.
"It's been a long road," Mayweather said, "but we here now."
Added Pacquiao: "I believe this is what you're waiting for since five years ago. … We're both undergoing hard training for this fight, and we will do our best on May 2 to make you happy."
The brief speeches were sadly lacking in trash talk -- though Pacquiao said earlier in the day that UFC fighter Ronda Rousey could beat Mayweather -- except for perhaps a veiled shot from Mayweather (47-0) at Pacquiao's imperfect record (57-5-2).
"The one thing I do know, about any sport, when you lose it's in your mind. If you lost once, it's in your mind. If you lost twice, it's in your mind," Mayweather said. "From Day 1, I was always taught to be a winner, no matter what, be a winner."
Let's face it: the news conference was uneventful. Downright sterile. Given how much hype has surrounded these boxers and this fight for years, it's reasonable to want a little more, you know, antipathy.
That will probably happen sometime between now and May 2 -- then definitely on May 2 -- but in the meantime, let's revisit some of the more aggressive/angry/hateful boxer interactions outside the ring.
1. Larry Holmes-Trevor Berbick (1991)
Why not start off with a boxer opting to use his feet instead of hands? The first half of the video below features Berbick angrily yelling something about money, his married life and fighting Holmes.
Around 1:25, though, it jumps to Berbick surrounded by cops and claiming Holmes kicked him. Since they're boxers, one is inclined to think, Uh, yeah, whatever you say, guy. And then ... Holmes comes running across the top of a car and launches himself onto Berbick and the cops.
It's straight out of the WWE.
2. Lennox Lewis-Hasim Rahman (2001)
This conversation was heated from the beginning -- apparently Rahman had previously questioned Lewis' sexuality -- and it escalated in this sequence: Rahman clarifies his comments (Lewis isn't gay, but, "I said what he did was gay"), Rahman wonders why Lewis is offended, Lewis mentions Rahman's sister, Rahman suggests not discussing each other's families.
Then the men stood up, exchanged some eskimo kisses and started shoving each other. The tussle -- right there in an ESPN studio -- goes on for more than a minute.
3. Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis (2002)
Perhaps Lewis didn't have great impulse control, though Tyson was pretty clearly the instigator during this one. During a pre-fight news conference, with the men standing on opposite spotlighted podiums, Tyson abandoned his podium to walk over to Lewis. A brawl ensued.
What makes Tyson's approach freaky is the lighting. He steps off his podium, into the darkness for a moment, then pops up at the other end of the stage. It certainly has an Undertaker feel to it.
When things were a bit calmer, Tyson repeatedly grabbed his crotch and pointed at the media.
"This is the ultimate, man," Tyson said in one of his few sentences without an expletive.
4. Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier (1974)
Ali and Frazier made a joint appearance on the "Howard Cosell Show" prior to the second of their three fights. The two are going over film from their first bout, in 1971, when that apparently riled up some old feelings.
Frazier initiated by getting out of his seat and walking up to Ali, who shortly thereafter put Frazier in a headlock.
5. Riddick Bowe-Larry Donald (1994)
Donald, wearing a suit and tie, and Bowe, donning a t-shirt with "future two-time world heavyweight champion" written on it, couldn't wait until the bell rang. Specifically, Bowe couldn't wait until the bell rang.
Bowe rung Donald's bell with a vicious left-right combo. Donald was completely unprepared. The video below replays the strike several times in case you didn't see (or hear) it the first time.
Tim Healey is a contributor to Sports on Earth. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.