By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
The “Mayhem” press conference tour for the rematch between pound-for-pound king Floyd “Money” Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs) and Argentinian slugger Marcos “Chino” Maidana (35-4, 31 KOs) made its final stop Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles at Pershing Square in Downtown. The fighters will now begin their training camps for their return fight on September 13 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas live on Showtime Pay Per View.
The fighters made their way to the stage up a long red carpet, then stood face to face as fans cheered them on. Opening up the festivities was Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe. “The definition of Mayhem is inflicting as much damage as possible to claim victory,” said Ellerbe. “Now I have one question, whether the victor be Chino or once again will it be the best fighter in the planet Mayweather. September 13 at the MGM those two fighters are going to determine who the best is. We are having this rematch and naming it “Mayhem” because it was such a great event the first fight and you the fans demanded this.”
Golden Boy Promotions Senior Vice President Eric Gomez followed. “Mayweather and his team have been very professional throughout the tour and they did a great job,” Gomez said. “Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions is committed to making the best fights and this matchup is no exception. The first fight was great, close and dangerous. Floyd didn’t have to take this fight, but he wanted to give the fans what they want. I want to thank him for stepping up. Maidana is up to the task of taking on Floyd Mayweather a second time. He is ready to silence any doubters.”
Sebastian Contursi, Maidana’s manager spoke briefly. “We will beat Floyd Mayweather, but first I want to thank Floyd. He is a man of his word giving Chino the rematch. We need all the Latinos to support Chino on Sept. 13. You guys are the driving force behind his success.”
Maidana’s trainer, 2013 Trainer of the Year, Robert Garcia didn’t hold back, ripping into Mayweather’s Money Team and friends. “I give Mayweather props for having beautiful women with him. Too bad when they are no longer on payroll they are going to walk away,” Garcia said to the delight of the crowd. “Sixteen years ago, Mayweather and I were both world champions. He mentioned that he would’ve liked to fight me, but we don’t need to do it on pay-per-view. We can take a walk out back and we’ll handle business. I am from Southern California and we know how to handle our business.”
Garcia continued, “Mayweather’s been going around saying that Maidana’s a dirty fighter. This is boxing. Maidana finds a way to win. Floyd is not as strong as we thought, so we are not making that mistake again. Chino would have been a lot faster and a lot stronger. If Mayweather believes the first fight was rough, this next fight will be much rougher, believe me.”
Maidana was brief in his comments. “September 13 will be a great fight. I will come to fight. Who wants to see a fight? Who wants to see a dance? Floyd Mayweather is an excellent fighter, a great fighter. He is undefeated but I would be undefeated also if I had the judges in my pocket. Thank you all, I will see you September 13.”
Finally the pound for pound king Mayweather came up to talk. “September 13 we are going to do what we do best, be smart, be sharp, and be victorious, I dedicate this fight to my four children. Every time I go out and fight I think of these four, I do it for these four to give them the life I didn’t have that’s what is very important because this is my future,” Mayweather said. He also acknowleged former Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer who was in the audience.
The champ then made his closing comments as fans followed up with the chants. “Hard Work! Dedication! All work is easy work! See you all September 13,” Floyd concluded.
Fightnews.com caught up with both fighters as they talked about their previous bout in which Mayweather won a majority decision to unify the WBC and WBA welterweight titles.
“This guy came in very reckless where I had to take my time. Marcos Maidana is a very, very dirty fighter. In our last fight he had over 10 low blows, head butts. He’s in the wrong sport if he wants to fight a bare knuckle brawl. This is boxing. We are both looking to have careers after boxing. I don’t want to risk my health,” Floyd Mayweather told us. “I think the bar is set so high for Mayweather were people expected too much of me. This is the first time they see a guy win three of twelve rounds Miguel Cotto is a lot tougher, better boxer, and Canelo was a better fighter.”
Maidana stated, “I won the first rounds and he did better on the last half of the fight. This time around I’m planning to keep up with his rhythm. I’m making adjustments, when he presses I’m going to press him too. He is a dirty fighter he likes to use his elbow to the throat and the referee for some reason let him get away with it. We all know he does whatever he wants because he has the judges in his pocket. He is a dirty fighter…I was surprised he gave me the rematch, he normally doesn’t do it.”
A glove dispute and drama preceded the first fight, centering around Maidana’s preferred Everlast MX brand gloves. Mayweather threatened to pull out due to what he feels is insufficient padding on Everlast’s glove design, even though those gloves are approved by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The drama was settled with Maidana getting a million dollar payout to switch to a different model of gloves.
The same glove issue remains heading to the rematch.
Floyd stated, “Listen you wanted the rematch, you got it. He says he won the fight with those gloves, so use those gloves.”
Maidana said this time he wants to use his choice of gloves. “The situation with the gloves is an open issue. It hasn’t been closed yet. I’m going to talk to my team, we are going to push for my gloves and he’s probably going to fight back. But we won’t surrender, we’ll keep pushing. In our first fight, the ‘glove issue’ affected me a little. But now, I know how he operates and if he wants different gloves, I’ll have different gloves waiting for him. I’ll bring a few options so I’m not caught off guard again.”
Mayweather said that Maidana has an ulterior motive for seeking a rematch. “Maidana knows in his heart that he didn’t win. Maidana isn’t stupid. The reason why he is trying to fight me again is because he is going to make more money fighting me than anyone else, even though he knows he will lose again.”
Maidana said he expects Floyd to run. “I think Floyd is going to run around inside the ring. In our first fight, he said he was going to stand up and fight and he didn’t. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if this time around he does the same thing. I will prepare myself one hundred percent, I will fight my fight come forward the way I fight!”
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