Thursday marked the fifth and final press conference for the Sept. 13 Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana rematch. Taking place at Pershing Square in Los Angeles, the event was full of surprises.
Celebrating his 31st birthday, Maidana was greeted by a rendition of “Happy Birthday” led by Golden Boy Vice President and matchmaker Eric Gomez as well as a cake made of two, large, bright red boxing gloves.
Maidana’s trainer, Robert Garcia, also poked fun at Mayweather as a result of the glove controversy, having two of his camp members produce a big puffy pair of similarly colored man-sized gloves and insinuating that they would be worn by his fighter against THE RING champion at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“If he doesn’t let me use my gloves, that’s fine, then we can use these gloves up here so that he can be safe like he has said that he wants to be safe, ” said Maidana, who was greeted by a number of fans waving the flags of his native Argentina, a few of them holding large, white placards which read “HEY FLOYD, LET CHINO WEAR HIS GLOVES!!!”
“To all of the people who are here from Argentina and all of the Latinos, Sept. 13 is going to be a great event and a great fight, and I’m going to come to fight. Who wants to see a fight, and who wants to see a dance? I know that Floyd Mayweather is a great fighter and an excellent boxer. He’s a great fighter, and he’s undefeated, and I know that. But I would also be undefeated if I had the judges on my side.”
In a return bout of his majority decision on May 3 at the MGM, Mayweather (46-0, 26 knockouts) will defend his WBA and WBC 147-pound titles against Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs).
Although Mayweather turned 37 in February, the pound-for-pound king had shown few signs of aging as he entered the first fight against Maidana.
In succession, Mayweather had dethroned Miguel Cotto as WBA junior middleweight beltholder by a unanimous decision in May 2012, followed that a year later with a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero at 147 pounds, and returned to 154 against Canelo Alvarez, whom he defeated in September by majority decision for the RING, WBA and WBC belts.
There was that bloody nose, however, against Cotto, whose style Maidana chose to emulate to a degree.
In a bout Mayweather called “the toughest wrestling match” he had ever been a part of, Maidana landed 221 punches against Mayweather, more than any other fighter in his past 38 bouts, according to Compubox Stats. Maidana also produced a cut over Mayweather’s right eye, which, again, was something the unbeaten boxer never had experienced.
“I don’t think that think that I have to make any changes, because I know that I was victorious, I just realize that the bar is set so high for Floyd Mayweather to whereas people are used to seeing me go out there and win 12 rounds or either knock the guy out or to win 11 out of the 12 rounds. Whereas, this time, the guy was kind of rugged and was fighting extremely dirty, and he won three or four of the 12 rounds, which, I know that I clearly won the fight,” said Mayweather.
“But if the fans want to see the fight, once again, then, why not? What I can say is that it’s going to be an action-packed fight. I’m going to go out there and do my best, and I’m pretty sure that he’s going to go out there and be at his best. He’s a guy that I truly can not overlook I know that he’s bringing a lot to the table, but I’m able to make adjustments at any point in the fight. If he feels that he won the fight with the gloves that he had on, the why not do it again? Why cry and complain about the gloves. This is not a bare knuckle brawl, and this is not an MMA fight.”
As opposed to Tuesday evening’s event in San Antonio, when the fighters were involved in a skirmish, there was no shoving of one another during the pre- and post-conference stare downs.
Note: Story quotes and descriptions were taken from the Showtime Sports live stream