The first time Marcos Maidana fought Floyd Mayweather Jr., he did so with a five-week camp.
Despite the abbreviated preparation, the Argentine gave Mayweather one of the most difficult tests of his career, losing via majority decision (117-111, 116-112, 114-114) this past May. With the rematch comes a full camp, something which the fighter and his trainer, Robert Garcia, believe will be beneficial.
“We had about five weeks for the first fight, and even though Chino came in already semi in shape, it was still not the same,” Garcia said during a recent conference call. “This time he came here nine weeks before the fight, since we started training full camp. We had a good eight weeks of training, so I think that it's going to make a big difference. Five weeks compared to eight weeks of training makes a big difference for this type of fight, and I think with everything that he's doing and learning new things, they're going to see a different fight this time.”
Added Maidana: “This time around I'm training to win. I know what to expect. I know Mayweather now, his style, what he brings to the table. I'm coming to win. I have more concentration, no excuses whatsoever and adequate time.”
In their first meeting, Mayweather grew stronger as the fight progressed. While an extended camp could conceivably help Maidana’s conditioning, he also plans on doing a better job of controlling distance against his foe.
According to CompuBox, Maidana landed a total of 221 punches, the most any fighter has landed since the site began tracking statistics in Mayweather’s bouts. While the constant pressure and forward movement kept things interesting, there is room for improvement, as Maidana says most of his blows did not connect with full force.
“The first fight I think that my attack, the pressure, was very good, but I didn't do well with my distance control. I think I smothered a lot of my punches. I wasn't able to really catch him with good solid shots, being able to extend my punches, and that's one of the things that I'm working on,” he said. “Because I smothered my punches, I don't really think I ever hurt him, but this time around if I get him with good solid shots -- work my distance control -- I think I can hurt him.”
The popular thinking regarding Mayweather, who is unbeaten in 46 professional bouts, is that the only way to beat him is to knock him out. To try and get the nod from the judges against the American could prove difficult because of his ability to overwhelm foes with speed, accuracy and movement.
However, Maidana is confident that victory can be achieved even without a knockout or technical knockout inside the distance.
“I think that I can win by decision or by knockout. The first fight was a very close fight. It was a decision that was a majority decision, so I feel that I just have to make a few adjustments, put a little more pressure on, land better punches, and yes I can win; I can win by decision,” Maidana said. “But obviously the knockout would be nice, and that's a possibility as well.”
Maidana has heard Mayweather’s claim that he fought dirty in their May bout, but he isn’t interested in debating what happened last time. Saturday will be a new fight, and the time for talk is nearly over.
“You know what? It doesn't bother me,” Maidana said. “There's things that he does as well in there, so it's time for him to stop crying and just fight.”
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