LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. doesn't expect "a pushover" in defense of his RING and WBC welterweight championships against WBA counterpart Marcos Maidana on Saturday at the MGM Grand, even though many observers consider him to be an overwhelming favorite in their Showtime Pay Per View main event.
"On May 3, I've got to go out there and take my time, keep my composure and be me," the 37-year-old veteran stated in a Tuesday press release that collected comments from a recent media conference call. "Everybody thinks he's just going to be a pushover, but I don't think so. That's why I'm training hard and I'm pushing myself to the limit every day."
The 30-year-old Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs) will be in search of his fifth consecutive win and his fourth knockout during that time against Mayweather, having last suffered defeat by unanimous decision to southpaw Devon Alexander in his 147-pound debut.
"I think Maidana is more confident now than he was when he faced the kid from St. Louis, Devon Alexander," said Mayweather. "I think he's more confident now, so I think he's more ready and tough. If you have more confidence it's going to make you fight harder."
In his last fight in December, Maidana scored knockddowns in the second and eighth rounds of a unanimous decision that dethroned previously unbeaten Adrien Broner.
"With Broner, everybody thought I had to knock him out and I beat him with a decision. I am preparing myself to go 12 rounds if it's necessary. I'm preparing to hurt him every time I throw punches and if a knockout comes, then great, but I am preparing myself to win after 12 rounds. I'm going to go out to win it. Others haven't been able to do it, I'm training to do it," said Maidana.
"I'm training to be the first one to do it. All I've got to say for people doubting me is to order the fight because they're going to enjoy a good fight. They're going to see me beat Floyd Mayweather. I'm fighting and beating great fighters, most of them have the same style, very similar style and defensive, but I already beat Broner the way I did and I think I can do the same with Mayweather, but until I'm in the ring we'll look for things that no one has seen."
On the undercard of Mayweather-Maidana, Broner will make his 140-pound debut against Carlos Molina, Amir Khan has a welterweight clash of former titleholders against southpaw Luis Collazo, and unbeaten middleweight J'Leon Love takes on former title challenger Marco Antonio Periban.
A three-division titlewinner, Broner (27-1, 22 KOs) will compete in his fourth weight class in a against Molina (17-1-1, 7 KOs), who was last in the ring for a 10th-round stoppage loss to Khan in December 2012.
"Anybody taking a loss that I did, it would probably break them. But coming from where I come from, I'm strong mentally and physically so I'm OK," said Broner. "I'm personally proud of myself and I don't care that a lot of people are looking for me to just go in here and walk over this guy. But at the end of the day, they're forgetting that he's not just somebody to walk over, he's a top-class fighter."
The 27-year-old Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) will have been out of action for more than a year when he makes his 147-pound debut against Collazo (35-5, 18 KOs).
"I'm looking forward to the big fight against Luis Collazo. It's my first fight at 147. I'm excited, I really believe that I belong in the welterweight division. It's going to be my division for my future career," said Khan, who, like Collazo, could be in line for a fight with Mayweather in victory.
"I really believe we can steal the show, and that's all we want to do. Whenever I fight I want to give it 100 percent. I want to give the fans what they want to watch, and I really believe that this fight could be the one that could steal the show on the night."
Collazo is coming off a second-round knockout of Victor Ortiz in January.
"This is a fight that could take me to another level in the welterweight division, and I'm just very humbled by the opportunity. May 3 is going to be a great night of boxing," said Collazo, whose counts among his decision losses those to Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton and Andre Berto.
"Khan's got great speed, but I think he might be a little bit slower than Andre Berto was, and that was a big fight for me. Come fight night we'll definitely see if his speed is going to be a factor or not. If he takes me lightly, more power to him. But come fight night I'm just going to try to capitalize on all his mistakes."
Love (17-0, 10 KOs) will be after his third straight stoppage win against Periban (20-1-1, 13 KOs), having last been in the ring for February 10th-round knockout of Vladine Biosse.
"Periban is a tough fighter," said Love of Periban, who lost by majority decision to Sakio Bika in June and fought to a draw with Badou Jack in his last fight in September. "I know he's going to come with his A-game. I'm definitely going to come with my A-game, and that's what's makes fights right there."