WHEN pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr announced recently he was giving Marcos Maidana a second dance following their tough and rugged tango last May 3 in which the American was severely tested, I couldn’t believe it.
I couldn’t believe it because I thought, although he lost by majority decision, Maidana fared far better than Robert Guerrero, Miguel Cotto and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez before him who tried, but never came close to causing an upset. In fact, all three were simply outsmarted, outboxed and outclassed by Mayweather when they had the chance to try to remove the zero from his 46-0,KO26 record.
On September 13, Mayweather and Maidana face off again in a rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Nevada. And the prelude, an acrimonious war of words, is already sounding like the real fight with the cross-country promotional press tour dubbed the “Mayhem” taking centre stage in Chicago this past Tuesday.
“The rematch was unexpected because I thought Floyd was not going to agree (to fight me). And then, one day out of the blue, I got word Floyd wanted to fight me again,” said Maidana who gave Mayweather hell in the last fight in which elbows and rabbit punches were part of the Argentine’s arsenal.
Maidana says: “This will be a different fight. He knows what I bring to the table and he knows how I fight. I don’t want to leave any doubt whatsoever. To beat a champion like Floyd you have to knock him out. I promise I’m going to put on a great fight and I’m going to shut his mouth. He doesn’t respect anything or anyone. He might have money, but he doesn’t have respect.”
Although Maidana’s fight hype sounds promising, he knows what he’s up against. “Floyd’s defence is very good and at times it is hard to hit him. That’s why I want to knock him out.”
The Argentine’s strategy would be to hand Mayweather “a good beating” first (going to the body) to ease the passage to a knock out. Maidana says a KO is the only chance he has against his silky-skilled opponent because “it’s going to be hard to get a decision because he connects well and knows how to score points.”
“I’m going to make some technical adjustments, work on my distance and always pressure him. Our camp last time was great, but we just need to make minor adjustments to get the win,” he adds.
For his part, Mayweather says power, which is Maidana’s biggest asset is not everything in boxing.“Fighting is not all about power. It’s about being smart. I don’t have to change anything. My job is to go out there and do what I am paid to do – that’s be smart and finish first. And I always finish first. I’m going to do the same thing I always do. It’s about blood sweat and tears, and nobody does it better than me.”
In apparent reference to their last fight, Mayweather says, “I’ve had some bumps and bruises, but I always stay on top. His camp needs to make major changes if they want to have a chance.”
Mayweather’s hand got raised the last time and he believes history will repeat itself on September 13 even without making any adjustments, but advises his opponent to “make some major changes and probably get a new trainer if he wants to have a chance against me.”
Floyd remembers how Maidana roughed him up last time and says, “I have to watch this guy in there. He’s dirty. This is not a street fight; this is not an MMA (mixed martial arts) fight. My health and my career after boxing is what’s important. He has a wife, he has children. I could hit this guy without gloves and he could never talk again. We use gloves to protect ourselves.”
“Why are we fighting again? Because the fans wanted it. I usually dominate my opponents or knock them out. But this guy won three or four rounds against me, and that never happens.
“It’s obvious he’s doing something right if he is facing me again and he won a few rounds from me. But the referee had a bad night last time. We forgive him but this is going to be a much cleaner fight. Not of those dirty rabbit punches or elbows.”
“If he really feels like he won the first fight then he should bet his purse. He should put his money where his mouth is. But he knows he can’t beat me,” Floyd adds.
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