NEW YORK – The man sharply dressed in the blue pinstripe Armani and briefcase tucked under his arm in front of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square was wondering what all the hubbub was about. When someone told him it was a public announcement of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana rematch, he said, “Didn’t Mayweather lose that fight?
That’s the perception a lot of fans had when Mayweather scored a majority-decision victory back in May.
Give credit to Mayweather (46-0, 26 knockouts). He heard the outcry of the fans wanting a rematch with Maidana and he is granting that wish on September 13, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Mayweather and Maidana launched their five-city press tour on Monday to build the groundswell. Following New York, they’ll travel to Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Antonio and Los Angeles.
It marks only the second time in Mayweather’s 46-fight career that he’s granting a rematch. The first was when, again, many believed Jose Luis Castillo beat then-“Pretty Boy” on April 20, 2002 – which resulted in a Mayweather unanimous decision.
Mayweather said he would avenge that doubt. He vowed the same for Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs), who landed 221 of 858 punches (26 percent), according to CompuBox. They were the most punches anyone had ever landed on Mayweather in the 38 fights of his CompuBox has covered.
Mayweather couldn’t help but serve up a few cutting slices as to why some believed the first Maidana fight was close.
“There’s nothing I have to do different, my job is to be Floyd Mayweather and go out there and do what I do; there are some things he has to do [different],” said Mayweather. “I didn’t come out on the short end of the stick – he did fighting dirty. Like I said before, I’m not just fighting the fighter, I’m fighting the critics, you know what I mean. If I guy wins two rounds, this guy beat Mayweather. You still have to go out there and do what you do.”
That’s beware of flying elbows, head butts, rabbit punches, and any of a half dozen other things Mayweather felt Maidana did.
“I always keep my composure and take my time; there were a lot of things going on in that fight that if I were the referee (Tony Weeks) that I wouldn’t let happen. I wasn’t the referee. My job was just to fight. Maidana is a tough competitor. It’s going to be the same thing. I’m not really worried about [anything].
“He has to do something different – I don’t. The only thing he can do is take the dirty fighting away. If he did that, he probably wouldn’t win one round. I told Leonard (Ellerbe, head of Mayweather Promotions) that this camp is going to be totally different, though. Totally different. I’m going to rest a lot more and let my body rest a lot more. I’m going to do more physical training for this fight, because is it safe to say, I’m not fighting a boxer. I’m fighting an MMA fighter.”
Mayweather often likes to say he doesn’t care what anyone thinks – he’s going to do what he’s going to do and there’s no stopping him.
There certainly has not been anyone that’s come close to stopping boxing’s pound-for-pound best over the last seven years, since “Money” won a split decision over Oscar De La Hoya in May 2007. You also got the sense that Mayweather may want to get a little payback here.
“I’m absolutely not going [to watch any film of Maidana],” Mayweather said. “Is Maidana a better fighter than Cotto? No. Is Maidana a better fighter than Canelo? No. Is he a more dirtier fighter? Yes. He wants to hold, elbow. I didn’t get a deep gash (over his right eye) from a punch. I got a deep gash from a head butt (in the fourth round).
“There were low blows all night long. I mean look at the fight. I took 20 low blows; look at the fight. We can go on and on. My job is go out there and do what I do. I say the same thing over again – he’s not going to win. He can get the best trainer – and after the fight it’s going to be the same result. They’re going to make excuses.”
As for Maidana, he laughed. Maidana’s trainer, Robert Garcia, said that they gained a great deal of knowledge fighting Mayweather the first time. One obstacle out of the way, according to Maidana’s people, is that Mayweather doesn’t punch that hard – anything he throws they feel Maidana will walk through.
“There was always that question how powerful and strong Mayweather was, but what Maidana told me after that fight, we have nothing to worry about,” Garcia said. “With Maidana, there’s no doubt that Mayweather can’t hurt him. We’re going to rough him up again – this time for over 12 rounds. Maidana came in a little too heavy the first time – this time, we won’t be as heavy. We were 160 the night of the fight. I don’t want him that heavy.
“Marcos will be faster and stronger – for the duration of the fight. It wasn’t that Mayweather made adjustments – it was that Maidana slowed down a lot later in the fight because of all the weight he was carrying. We know how to beat Floyd Mayweather – and we will September 13.”