Justin Bieber wants to be the greatest, but he doesn’t mean like Michael Jackson. Think instead of Floyd Mayweather Jr., the boxing campion. That’s who the teen sensation cites as inspriation in a new interview about sex, drugs and his career.

Bieber, who turns 18 in March, was in rare fighting form for the sitdown with V, a fashion magazine, for its music issue. “People need to know I’m not a kid anymore,” he says. Oh wait… he’s “not completely grown up either.” Put it this way: “I’m still learning,” he says.

The Canadian pop singer has had a remarkable rise since posting YouTube videos of himself from his bedroom in 2008. His first studio album My World 2.0, was released in March 2010, went straight to No. 1 and sold more than a million copies.

Check out Justin’s photos; click to enlarge.

So it should come as no surprise if he’s still trying to figure everything out and identifies so closely with Mayweather.

“Now that I’m on top, everyone wants to bring me down. Everyone’s trying to tug at me and take my spot,” he said. “Like Floyd Mayweather, he’s the best boxer in the world. Now he is a champion. Every time he goes to a fight now, people are like, ‘He’s going to lose this time.’ Every time he wins,” he says.

Was Bieber indirectly referring to his alleged baby mama scandal? Mariah Yeater, 20 touched off a media firestorm by filing a court claim that Bieber fathered her infant son. She claimed she had a quick tryst with the singer following an Oct. 2010 concert in Los Angeles.

A simple paternity test independently supervised could have resolved the issue quickly. But Justin has let the scandal drag on for weeks. Yeater’s Chicago lawyer and paternity expert, Jeffrey Leving, told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper just before Christmas that the pop star’s camp has been stonewalling him.

“If negotiations with Bieber’s counsel do not result in DNA testing of everyone under mutually agreeable and controlled conditions, then the legal proceedings will likely need to be refiled,” he said.

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On the question of sex, Bieber seemed to suggest that his experience has been limited, if at all.

“I don’t want to start singing about things like sex, drugs and swearing,” he said. “I’m into love, and maybe I’ll get more into making love when I’m older. But I want to be someone who is respected by everybody.”

Bieber has been dating former Disney star Selena Gomez for almost a year. He confirmed the relationship last February after the Oscars. He seemed determined to do things on his own terms. “I’m not going to try to conform to what people want me to be, or go out there and start partying, have people see me with alcohol. I want to do it at my own pace,” he said.

Justin, who recently got a Jesus tattoo on his leg, also set the record straight on religious beliefs. “I don’t consider myself religious. I haven’t been to church in a long time,” he said. “I am spiritual.”

“I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I believe that He put me in this position, and that I have to always give Him the glory He deserves for putting me here. But I don’t consider myself religious. A lot of people who are religious, I think they get lost. They go to church just to go to church,” he explained.

‘I’m not trying to disrespect them – you know, whatever works for you, But for me, I focus more on praying and talking to Him. I don’t have to go to church.”

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One thing is certain, Justin wants to be the best at what he does, but admits he’s not there yet. “Floyd Mayweather trains every day, even when it’s off season,” he explained. “When everyone else just chills he’s in there punching bags because he wants to be the best. He wants to be better than Ali.

‘I’m going to be honest – I’m young and I’m not as disciplined as I need to be. If I have a day off, I need to be in the dance studio, but instead I’m hanging out with my friends. But when I’m in my 20s I need to buckle down and work as hard as these other people,” he said.

“I want to be better than anybody that’s ever done it. I don’t want people to think of me as just a teen sensation. I want to transition, and become the greatest. It’s not a fluke that I’m here. I’m here for a reason, and I’m here for a lifetime,” he said.