WASHINGTON, D.C. — The rematch between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana has been billed “Mayhem,” and that is exactly what ensued prior to Monday evening’s scheduled open-to-the-public press conference at DAR Constitution Hall.
After having held an earlier afternoon event in New York City, the first of an arduous five-city tour in advance of their Sept. 13 return bout, the Mayweather and Maidana camps were delayed and held over for more than four hours on separate aircraft at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey due to a severe thunderstorm.
By the time the fighters arrived at around 11:20 p.m., they were still greeted by some 400 hard-core fans — many of whom had arrived as early as early 5:30 p.m. for the scheduled 7:15 p.m. start.
Then, the raucous group waited another 15 minutes or so for Mayweather to conduct interviews with the few reporters who remained before the fighters took the podium, and, later, signed a variety of gear and items.
“Everybody that stayed, you guys are amazing fans,” said Mayweather, who still was signing autographs close to 1 a.m. “I commend everyone that stayed, you are amazing fans. D.C., I love you guys.”
“Thank you to all the fans for coming out and waiting so long,” said Maidana, loser of a majority decision to Mayweather, whom he will join on stops in Chicago and San Antonio on Tuesday before ending the tour in Los Angeles on Thursday.
“We’d like to thank you for having all this patience and waiting here all this time,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “It’s definitely worth the wait.”
That was true for Keeshawn Williams, who initially spoke to RingTV.com while standing in line at around 5:30.
At the time, Williams sported a pair of 18-ounce gloves that hung from strings draped around his neck and which ran down past his shoulders to his hands.
“I’m hoping that Floyd Mayweather signs them,” said Williams, a 17-year-old amateur boxer who attends Central High in Washington, D.C. “I want him to do it, and I think that he will.”
Williams’ perseverance paid off, for he did not leave the venue until 12:37 a.m. That’s when he shared the news with RingTV.com during a conversation on his IPhone5 cell phone.
“I just left like five minutes ago, and I got Floyd Maywather to sign my gloves and my cell phone. I was just cheering him on, and saying, ‘Okay, Floyd,’” said Williams.
“He’s my favorite fighter. The last time they fought, people thought that it was a close fight because they never saw Floyd in that type of fight in a long time. But Floyd just broke the guy down. I told him [Mayweather] that it was going to be the same outcome.”