Boxing: Maidana dares Mayweather to ‘fight like a man’
LAS VEGAS — Painting unbeaten champion Floyd Mayweather as an evasive coward in the ring, Argentine challenger Marcos Maidana called out his rival Tuesday ahead of their world welterweight title rematch next month.
Mayweather, who won a majority decision over his South American rival in May, faces Maidana again on September 13 in Las Vegas for the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council titles.
“I’m going to be on him from the opening bell,” Maidana said. “I’m going to try and force him to fight.
“I’m preparing for anything. If he’s going to run like a little bitch I’m going to have to chase him and I’m prepared to do that.
“It’s difficult to knock out Floyd because he runs but I will try my best and we will see what happens. I want him to stand and fight like a man. Stop crying like a little bitch and fight.”
Mayweather, 46-0 with 26 knockouts, began his “crying” on the eve of the first fight when a protest about the lack of front padding in the gloves Maidana planned to use and has also taunted his rival as a dirty fighter who uses mixed martial arts tactics.
Mayweather Promotions chief executive Leonard Ellerbe let Maidana’s camp know Wednesday they would be able to use their preferred Everlast Powerlock gloves against Mayweather in this fight.
“It does make a difference,” Maidana trainer Robert Garcia said. “We have to understand that’s the way the business is. We can’t have any excuses.”
Maidana, 35-4 with 31 knockouts, felt he dominated early in the first fight and plans few changes for the rematch.
“I just have to make a few adjustments, land a few more punches,” Maidana said. “I know what to expect. I know what Mayweather brings to the table. I know what I have to do to win.
“The first fight, the pressure was very good, but I didn’t do well the distance control. I smothered a lot of my punches. I didn’t connect with good solid punches. If I work my distances, control my shots, I think I can hurt him.”
Mayweather’s only prior rematch came in 2002 when he took two unanimous decisions over Jose Luis Castillo for the WBC lightweight crown. This will be the first rematch for Maidana.
“I think it benefits me more,” Maidana said. I’m able to correct the mistakes I made in the first fight. He makes very few mistakes but I know what they are now and I know how to exploit them more.”
Maidana plans fiery start
Maidana has trained eight weeks, a full three more than he did for the first fight because his wife was in the final stages of pregnancy.
“That’s going to make a big difference,” Garcia said. “His punches are a lot more accurate. Our sparring partners say they feel the power even harder than the first time around.
“Maidana is going to come in with an aggressive start that no one, not even the best boxer, is going to get away from. Mayweather can’t do many different things. We can. That’s going to be enough.”
Mayweather, who has avoided fighting Filipino star Manny Pacquiao and England’s Amir Khan in his unbeaten run, made Maidana a controversial choice in the first fight and booked a rematch after a narrow verdict went his way.
“He was forced into the fight,” Garcia said. “A rematch with Maidana was the only fight to sell pay per views. He had no other options.”
Mayweather has tried to bolster pay per view sales by fighting on Mexican holidays with Mexican opponents or undercard fighters, such as Mexican world champions Leo Santa Cruz and Miguel Vazquez on this latest card.
At 31, Maidana is six years younger than Mayweather, but the challenger said that will not be a factor.
“I don’t think age has anything to do with it,” Maidana said. “He’s a good athlete. He’s in shape.”