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The Sport Matrix: Friday 25 April 2014

Mayweather: The greatest? I want to be the smartest

A week tomorrow Floyd Mayweather, the WBC champion, fights WBA champion Marcos Maidana in a unification bout for the world welterweight title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The 37-year-old has had an incredible career, unbeaten in 45 professional bouts, but confesses that being the greatest isn’t what drives him the most. “It’s more about the legacy,” Mayweather (above) told i. Yes, I want to be the greatest,” “But I want to be the smartest even more.”

“Money” Mayweather, who has topped the Forbes rich-list for the past two years despite not taking a cent home from endorsements, does not see boxing as a sport. “It’s business,” he says. “It always has been. I need to put food on the table. It’s self-preservation.” Growing up in Michigan, he has admitted in the past to returning from school as a youngster to find the yard outside home littered with needles. “I don’t forget those days,” he says. “People look at me now and have no idea. It’s why I’ve worked so hard to leave them.”

Tiger will wait to return to action

Tiger Woods is taking a long-term view over his future, according to his agent. The American missed the Masters with a back injury and has now had surgery. “This is about the next 10 or 15 years, this is not about the next 10 weeks,” said Mark Steinberg. MORE

Sharapova cruises in Stuttgart

After being pushed for nearly three and a half hours in the second round on Tuesday, Maria Sharapova made light work of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to reach the quarter-finals of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart. The world No 9 won in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.

Butt: It’s surreal for the Class of ’92

Nicky Butt says it will be a “proud moment” when four of the Class of ‘92 lead Manchester United out against Norwich City tomorrow. Ryan Giggs is the current interim manager, with Butt, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes, all former youth players, assisting the Welshman. MORE

City to escape if they fail FFP

Manchester City will not be excluded from next season’s Champions League should the club be found to have breached Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations. President Michel Platini did, though, say that the big clubs face “significant sanctions” for breaking FFP rules.

Who’s earned their England selection?

With the county season underway, Robin Scott-Elliot assesses who has done enough to earn a call-up for Peter Moores’ first England ODI squad to play Scotland. From the top of the order to seamers, there are many who are in with a shout.

Saints bench stars for semi-final

Facing a crucial league match with Bath next Friday, Northampton Saints have left several key players out for this evening’s Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final with Harlequins. Luther Burrell, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood are all on the bench. MORE

Juve and Valencia succumb to defeats

Lima struck a fine late winner as Benfica took a 2-1 lead into the Europa Legue semi-final second leg against Juventus. Carlos Tevez had cancelled out Ezequiel Garay’s opener. Sevilla beat Valencia 2-0 thanks to goals from Stephane M’Bia and Carlos Bacca.

Ryder ‘just needs a bit of love’ at Essex

Essex head coach Paul Grayson is confident Jesse Ryder will score runs with the county to restart his New Zealand career. “We’ll show him a bit of love and aim to get him back on the right track,” said Grayson.

Scott Redding

Dubbed “Beckham of the bikes”, Scott Redding has made huge strides in MotoGP. He speaks to Kevin Garside about his early career, plus the challenge of beating title holder Marc Marquez. MORE

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