By Sean Crose
One simply couldn’t be blamed for thinking Monday’s oddly hostile press conference between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana at Times Square was a product of marketing rather than of emotions. After all, the pay per view numbers for the first Mayweather-Maidana fight were rumored to have been sub-par. All parties involved, then, would have been eager to hype fans up as much as possible for the rematch.
Yet things started getting even nastier once the press tour moved on to Washington DC. For Maidana trainer Robert Garcia apparently got tired of Mayweather bringing up the fact that both were champions at the same time – but that Garcia was no longer fighting. “Sixteen years ago, I was a world champion,” Garcia said to Mayweather from onstage. “But if you want to take a little walk…I’ll show you.”
Mayweather, however, seemed to decide that mocking Garcia would be better than fighting him. “He (Garcia) couldn’t get the job done against Diego Corrales,” Mayweather told the audience, “I did.” Mayweather then proceeded to instruct the crowd to go to YouTube so they could watch Corrales’ 1999 destruction of Garcia for themselves.
An enormously expensive press tour had now become an occasion for schoolyard taunting.
Things didn’t get any better Tuesday in Chicago, either. Mayweather stepped up to the podium while drawing an “X” over a picture of Maidana’s face, then strutted around and signed autographs while Maidana, and Garcia spoke at the microphone.
“Floyd is trying to make us lose our cool,” Maidana told the Chicago crowd. “He’s trying to make us angry so we break concentration. He does it on purpose because he wants to have the upper hand. But his comments don’t affect me at all.”
Garcia clearly couldn’t say the same.
“I retired thirteen years ago,” he said to Mayweather from the podium. “But if I were to fight like a bitch I’d probably still be undefeated like you. If I were to fight like a bitch and ran like a bitch, I’d still be undefeated.”
Mayweather, not to be outdone, proceeded to stand behind Garcia and give the thumbs down sign, which brought about a chorus of boos.
“Look,” Garcia continued. “You’ve been bringing up stories about dirty fighting, dirty this, dirty that. Well, guess what? This fight is going to be rougher for you. You better be ready because this fight’s going to be rougher for you.”
Yet Garcia wasn’t done.
“You want to put a bet on his (Maidana’s) purse,” he told Mayweather. “Well let’s do that bet right now. Let’s do that bet right now…let’s do a bet, winner takes all.” On cue, Mayweather stepped up to the podium and once again wrote what apparently was a crude contract on a piece of paper – just as he had done Monday in New York.
Yet Garcia wouldn’t accept the paper. “A handshake is more important,” he said, “because we’re men.” The crowd simply ate it all up. “Are you going to shake my hand?” Garcia asked Mayweather. “Are you going to shake my hand and place that bet?” By that point, however, Mayweather had stepped away, apparently blowing the whole thing off.
The Mayweather-Maidana press tour will continue until later in the week, when it winds down in Los Angeles. More bad behavior will surely be on the way. No one will probably complain, though. For bad behavior makes good press…and good press makes for a popular fight. Just ask Floyd Mayweather, the guy they call Money. He’s actually the king of getting the kind of attention money simply can’t buy.
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