Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana will do it again. | Ed Mulholland/Golden Boy
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Floyd Mayweather’s antennas are up. He won’t admit it. He never does. This time, however, it appears he did -- in a sense.
He heard the calls for a rematch -- and much to his credit, he’s giving the boxing public what it wants: a rematch against Marcos Maidana on Sept. 13 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
On Monday, before a media throng and a hoard of fans, Mayweather and Maidana launched their media blitz with a press conference at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.
Maidana may have come the closest to beating Mayweather since Oscar De La Hoya lost a split decision to “Money” in May 2007; he certainly rattled the 37-year-old WBC and WBA welterweight world champion in their May 3 fight -- enough so that Mayweather was willing to listen to the clamor for a rematch.
Mayweather won by majority decision, according to judges Dave Moretti (116-112) and Burt A. Clements (117-111). But judge Michael Pernick had it a 114-114 draw, which many also viewed the fight as, after Maidana forced Mayweather into a number of uncomfortable situations through the first six rounds.
In the end, Maidana landed 221 of 858 punches (26 percent), according to CompuBox Stats: that’s the most punches anyone has ever landed against Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs) in the 38 fights the statistics giant has combed over.
“I think I got the rematch because of a little pressure from the public,” Maidana admitted. “We analyzed Mayweather’s fight against [Jose Luis] Castillo [who is the only other fighter Mayweather has rematched]. Mayweather is very defensive and very hard to hit. But that fight gave us a good idea of what we could do against him. The plan of attack was great and we can add more to that.”
Mayweather, for his part, wasn’t about to shed any compliments Maidana’s way. In fact, the champion said the real reason the first fight was so close was because his opponent was dirty.
“He has to do something different -- I don’t,” Mayweather said of Maidana. “The only thing he can do is take the dirty fighting away. If he did that, he probably wouldn’t win one round. I’m going to rest a lot more and rest my body 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.
“Is Maidana a better fighter than [Miguel] Cotto? No. Is Maidana a better fighter than Canelo [Alvarez]? No. Is he a 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].”
Mayweather maintains he received “20 low blows” in the first match.
Maidana’s trainer, Robert Garcia, laughed. He countered with the statement that Mayweather just doesn’t like being roughed up. Where there may have been initial concern over the champ’s speed and power when they first met, those doubts are now gone.
“There was always that question of 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 hurt him. We’re going to rough him again -- this time over 12 rounds. Maidana came in a little too heavy the first time -- this time, we won’t be as heavy.”
Garcia feels Mayweather will see a different, even more aggressive Maidana this time around. His fighter won’t be as anxious as he was in their first encounter.
“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,” Garcia said. “We know how to beat Floyd Mayweather. He’s not unbeatable. We saw that the first time and we’ll see it again.”