By Ivan G. Goldman
Floyd Mayweather says he’ll give Marcos Maidana a rematch on Sept. 13, and if the fight actually gets signed he deserves credit for once again taking on the same formidable opponent.
Also, that would mark only a four-month turnaround from their first bout on May 3. This is a very quick turnaround for Floyd, who’s competed only six times in the last four years.
Unless you have a streak of psycho in you, it’s no fun fighting a guy like the Argentine bruiser, who’s so determined to win he came close to kneeing Mayweather in their first contest. It ended with a majority decision for Floyd, who held on to his WBC and WBA welterweight titles. Mayweather also holds the WBC light middleweight title, which was not up for grabs.
When Mayweather made his remarks this weekend during a short interview at the BET awards in Los Angeles, he also promised a “big surprise” in May. He knows how to keep the public’s attention.
Maidana and Mayweather are both clients of the reclusive advisor/manager Al Haymon, who represents so many top-echelon fighters these days it’s getting monotonous. Haymon is arguably more secretive than the U.S. intelligence apparatus, which has been embarrassed by leaks from the likes of Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning. Nothing ever seems to get leaked from Haymon unless he wants it to be known, and there’s very little about his operation that he wants the public to know. We don’t even know the location of his headquarters.
As for Mayweather-Maidana 2, I wouldn’t call it a done deal until it’s signed. Floyd has agreed to fights in the past that never materialized, but the fact that both fighters are Haymon clients makes the event more likely. Presumably it will be back at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where Mayweather has met his last nine opponents, but that’s not certain either.
Maidana, who will turn 31 this month, is beatable, as his record of 35-4 (31 KOs) proves. He’s a straight-ahead pressure fight who can hit, and he’s no easy fight for anybody. He gave Floyd no respect in May, and a feeling-out round isn’t in his arsenal. He often drove Mayweather to the ropes, but the champion fought well from there. Some fans believe Maidana did enough to win, giving a rematch an excellent marketing advantage.
Many observers, including me, thought Jose Luis Castillo got robbed when he lost a unanimous decision to Mayweather in February 2002, but when they fought again that December Mayweather had Castillo completely figured out and this time won convincingly. Will history repeat itself? Or will Maidana have Floyd figured out this time?
In their first encounter Maidana had knockout on his mind from the first moment and his conditioning failed him after several rounds, though he eventually caught a second wind. Floyd, at age 37, paces himself and always seems to have something left when he needs it, although his legs have lost some of their staying power. He will likely be trained again by his father, Floyd Mayweather, Sr., one of the best trainers in the world.
Maidana’s trainer, Robert Garcia of Oxnard, California, has built a solid brand as one of the hottest trainers out there.
Maidana uses lots of illegal tactics inside the ring – most of them, in fact. Mayweather, a seasoned veteran who’s 46-0 (26 KOs), employs extracurricular moves himself, but he tends not to get caught. Somebody ought to award him an honorary Ph.D. in the use of the elbow.
Mayweather, as is well known, fights exclusively on Showtime pay-per-view. Prepare yourself for a $75 fee to watch at home.
` Sick Justice: Inside the American Gulag, by New York Times best-selling author Ivan G. Goldman, was released in 2013 by Potomac Books, a University of Nebraska Press imprint. It can be purchased here.