MANILA, Philippines – Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace says his superstar teammate, Kobe Bryant, and unbeaten American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. have a lot in common.
World Peace is a noted boxing fan who was at ringside during Mayweather’s clinical demolition of Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero last Saturday in Las Vegas.
Bryant did not watch the fight live, but later tweeted that Mayweather was “Bobby Fischer with gloves.”
In an interview with Yahoo! Sports, World Peace said Mayweather and Bryant “have a lot in common.”
“When you get great athletes and look at them, you see these similarities in the way their mind works,” he explained.
“There is this focus and mindset that comes from knowing you have the physical and technical ability to out-perform your opponent, that you are starting out with that advantage already in your pocket,” World Peace said.
“From there, it is about executing when it matters, and they have both done that time and time again,” he added.
But unlike Mayweather, who operates inside the ring alone, Bryant has to work with a team.
“Kobe is more flashy than Floyd, but basketball is also that kind of sport. If you are flashy in basketball and make a mistake, you might lose the ball,” World Peace said. “If you do it in boxing, you could get knocked out.”
“Floyd just wants to get the job done, and that is what he did against Guerrero. In boxing, that is how you are going to last for a long time. You don’t see a lot of boxers sticking around for as long as Floyd, and still beating everyone like that,” he added.
Bryant’s season ended early after he tore his Achilles tendon in a game against the Golden State Warriors last April 12. The Lakers still made the playoffs, but they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round.