A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Mayweather on Maidana: “We’re going to take our time and pick the guy a part.””
Undefeated five-division world champion Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) and Marcos Rene Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs)will meet next Saturday to unify the WBC/WBA welterweight championships. “THE MOMENT: Mayweather vs. Maidana will be televised live on SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View beginning at 9PM/ET.
Mayweather will continue to prove that he is the best fighter in all of boxing. A world-wide audience is expected to watch Mayweather’s return since outpointing Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez last September.
Mayweather was initially set to offer his May 3, date to Amir Khan, but the job that Maidana put on Adrien Broner to claim the WBA 147-pound title shocked the world and immediately drew Mayweather’s attention.
“Adrien Broner’s a good boxer and he roughed Adrien Broner up and he got to victory, so we can’t say what this guy, what he can or he can’t do,” Mayweather said of Maidana. “We cannot overlook the guy. I can’t just say he’s going to be an easy fight because he’s not going to be an easy fight for me, I don’t think so. What I have to do is I’ve got to make sure that I’m at my best.”
Last December, Broner, making the first defense of the WBA welterweight title he won from Paulie Malignaggi at the Barclays Center in June, suffered a brutal beating at the hands of Maidana. Although Maidana didn’t register a knockout, his performance was the best of his career. Maidana hurt Broner at will and easily fought through his shoulder-roll defense with hard overhand counters. Maidana’s power-punches squared Broner’s feet and sent him reeling on the defensive end.
“One thing that I did notice, as some of you know I look at a lot of things,” Mayweather said. “I don’t have anything against anyone, but I noticed that when the guy, Alex Ariza, was in Amir Khan’s corner and when he faced Maidana, Amir Khan looked super strong in that fight. Then you go back and look at it, I go look at Maidana’s fights against certain guys, like when he fought Alexander, he was strong, he was still coming ahead because he’s the kind of guy that comes straight ahead, and liked the looped shots. He wasn’t as strong as he was in the Adrien Broner fight. In the Adrien Broner fight he was a lot stronger than he was in a lot of his past fights.”
Maidana will be the third opponent that Mayweather has fought under his amazing six-fight pact that he signed with SHOWTIME Championship Boxing. Mayweather, although he has won world championships in five separate weight divisions, broken pay-per-view records, and has culminated a well-respected Hall-of-Fame career, doesn’t receive the credit that he deserves.
“I think that I don’t get my credit that’s due because I think that I make A-level and B-level fighters look ordinary,” Mayweather said, “but that comes from just having a sharp mind and just really, really pushing myself in training, pushing myself very, very hard in training and so when it’s time to go out there and perform, everything is easy.”
Mayweather, at age 37, is as sharp and as crisp inside the ring as he’s ever been. Mayweather, due to his attention to detail, extensive training, and mastery of basic boxing technique, is simply head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. Mayweather has tremendous anticipation and expects Maidana, one of the hardest punchers in the 147-pound class, to give him a very stern challenge.
“My focus is this guy,” Mayweather said. “I’m pretty sure he’s going to be well-rounded and ready for this fight because this is at a total different level. Against Amir Khan, the guy could have been doing a lot of sit-ups and making his body in tip-top condition and tip-top shape. Amir Khan could have just caught him with a good shot. My body is in very good condition, but sometimes a guy can hit me with a good shot and I can feel it, but we just don’t know how we’re going to approach the fight.”
Mayweather added: “We’re going to take our time and go out there and if a guy leaves an opening on his face, we’re going to take it, if he leaves an opening on his body we’re going to take it, but we can’t just say we’re going to go in there and everything is going to go to the body. We’re going to take our time and pick the guy a part.”
Maidana is best recognized for his punching power. In his June 2009 fight against Victor Ortiz, Maidana rose from the canvas twice to stop Ortiz in a war. Against Khan, Maidana was dropped in early in the fight from a vicious body shot, but came roaring back and nearly pummeled through Khan. Against Devon Alexander, Maidana was miserably out-boxed. Maidana clearly isn’t an excellent boxer, but his punching power makes a huge difference.
“I think that what’s different is Maidana may not be accustomed to fighting southpaws, so that could have played a major key into his fight with Devon Alexander,” Mayweather said. “Also he was fighting on Alexander’s turf and I think the difference between me and Alexander, he’s a more straight-up boxer. I think he’s a more straight-up boxer but I think when Maidana’s facing me his confidence is built after he beat AdrienBroner because he feels that both of the styles are very, very similar, so it’s like the same style.”
Mayweather believes that it is Maidana’s confidence and his will to win is what makes “THE MOMMENT” such an intriguing event. Maidana is very confident, as he embraces the biggest stage of his career. Mayweather is preparing for a big challenge.
“I think he’s more confident now than he was when he faced the kid from St. Louis, Devon Alexander,” Mayweather continued. “I think he’s more confident now, so I think he’s more ready and tough. If you have more confidence it’s going to make you fight harder.”
Mayweather’s game plan is simple: use his size, don’t give too much room, use defense to make Maidana miss and counter effectively.
“We must realize that I am the bigger guy even though I walk around at 150,” Mayweather said.”I go no higher than 152. I’m naturally the bigger guy because I’ve been at 147 almost 10 years now, so I’m naturally the bigger guy. I think that my dad has the game plan to stay in the pocket, make the guy miss and make the guy pay.”
“Well, I can see the shots,” Mayweather said. “Actually, I can feel when a guy’s gonna punch. I can feel it. I don’t even have to see it; I can feel it. You know, this is just with experience and being around the sport so long. I can just feel a guy when he’s going to shoot his shot. A lot of times guys telegraph their shot. Their body language gives away when they’re going to shoot because of how they position themselves.”
Tickets for Mayweather vs. Maidana, priced at $1,500, $1,000 and $750, are still available, not including applicable service charges and taxes. Tickets $550 and $350 are sold out. Tickets are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available at www.mgmgrand.com orwww.ticketmaster.com.