Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME & Idris Erba/Mayweather Promotions
LOS ANGELES – Eleven-time world champion Floyd Mayweather and former welterweight titlist Marcos Maidana held their fifth and final announcement press conference in Pershing Square in Los Angeles, Calif. on Thursday to formally discuss their highly anticipated rematch taking place Saturday, Sept. 13 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, live on SHOWTIME PPV.
Thursday‘s press event in Los Angeles concluded a whirlwind five-city, open-to-the-public promotional tour that saw the fighters visit the boxing hotbeds of New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago and San Antonio.
With Mayweather speaking at the podium, a member of Maidana’s team was throwing t-shirts into the pro-Argentine crowd in an attempt to take the attention away from Mayweather. Numerous Argentinian flags waved in the air on a picture perfect afternoon that also happened to be Maidana’s 31st birthday.
Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist and Los Angeles native Kendrick Lamar entertained the capacity crowd, which was evenly split for Mayweather and Maidana, prior to the arrival of the World Champion fighters.
Jarrett Stoll and Alec Martinez, two members of the Stanley Cup winning Los Angeles Kings, presented Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana jerseys with “Money” and “Chino” emblazoned on the back at the start of the press conference.
Here’s what the participants had to say on Thursday:
FLOYD MAYWEATHER, Eleven-Time, Five-Division World Champion
“Everything on this media tour has been going great. It was crazy to be able to go to Washington D.C. and hold a press conference at midnight and it still be packed. That shows that boxing is very much alive and has loyal fans.
“I started training last night after the ESPYs at 2 a.m., there is no more partying for me, it’s time to start getting focused on this fight.
“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.
“The reason I chose Maidana for a rematch is because of the fans. The bar is set so high for me, the fans expect so much out of me.
“In past fights I would go out and win all 12 rounds. This is the first time my fans have seen someone win multiple rounds against me.
“To be honest, Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez are better fighters than Maidana. They are better, stronger boxers. With me and Canelo, it was more of a chess match as opposed to Maidana who came at me very dirty and reckless. I knew something crazy was going to happen in our fight, which it did, I got a headbutt.
“Even though we are in a brutal sport, if you beat me, do it the right way. I got here with hard work and dedication and a strong belief in my team. Please don’t cheat to beat me, if you are going to beat me, earn it the hard way.
“I don’t have to make any adjustments going into this fight, but he does. I won the fight. If I spar against someone and they win three of 12 rounds against me, that’s a bad day for me. I am a perfectionist and I set the bar so high. Maidana knows in his heart that he didn’t win.
“I know that if I lost this fight, then I wouldn’t take it again. 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.”
MARCOS MAIDANA, Former WBA Welterweight World Champion
“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 [Mayweather] 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.
“Back in May, I tried to get the attention of the referee in the eighth round because Floyd was fighting very dirty and he didn’t even honor that, he tried to pull a Victor Ortiz shot on me. That’s the type of fighter he is – dirty and sneaky.
“In all of his fights, he [Mayweather] brings his elbows out. He really likes to use his elbows. One of his moves is to put his elbow in the fighter’s throat and the referee for some reason let him get away with it. We all know he [Mayweather] does whatever he wants because he has the judges in his pocket. He is a dirty fighter.
“There were rumors that I got paid to use Floyd’s gloves, but that’s not true. I had to accept his gloves because otherwise there was not going to be a fight. He basically called off the fight if I didn’t use his gloves, so I had to, I had no choice. Unlike him, I had come to fight, not to whine.
“It is no secret that I won the first rounds and he [Mayweather] did better on the last ones. 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.
“In my first fight against Floyd, I learned that he’s not that great, he’s not that superhuman boxer everybody talks about. If I wouldn’t have been so anxious looking for the knockout, I would have beat him.
“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 pushed him in San Antonio because he gets too close to my face.
“I really don’t understand him [Mayweather], so I don’t really care for what he says about me. I know he speaks ill, but I don’t care.”
ROBERT GARCIA, Maidana’s Trainer & 2012 Trainer of the Year
“Mayweather’s been going around saying that Maidana’s a dirty fighter. This is boxing; Maidana finds a way to win.
“If Mayweather believes the first fight was rough, this next fight will be much rougher, believe me.
“I’m bringing somebody new to the training camp. We are starting with basics, running in the morning, timing him. It’s going to be run hard, train hard, eat well and rest. That’s our recipe to win this upcoming fight.
“I’m going to try to bring him into the ring at a different weight this time. Not as heavy. I think that was a mistake on my behalf. Since it was the first time fighting Mayweather, we wanted to take any advantage.
“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 he would have walked into that ring lighter. He would have had the same energy he had in the first six rounds.
“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.
“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.
“He bet Chino’s purse and we responded by saying we’ll take the bet if Chino can wear his Mexican Everlast gloves. All I need is a handshake from him, but I know I won’t get that.”
SEBASTIAN CONTURSI, Maidana’s Manager
“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.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“Mayweather has beat everybody he has faced in the world, everybody. The two fighters will get in there on Sept. 13 and the best fighter will win and we all know who that will be.
“You can’t disrespect Mayweather’s accomplishments. He’s the highest-paid athlete in the world and he leads by example. He is not only going to go down as the best to ever do, but also as the best businessman.
“If you just go out there and beat each other’s brains out then you aren’t going to relate to your kids. Floyd’s a very smart fighter and he’s going to do what he has to do to win the fight.”
ERIC GOMEZ, Senior Vice President, Golden Boy Promotions
“Mayweather and his team have been very professional throughout the tour and they did a great job.
“Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions is committed to making the best fights and this match up 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 [Maidana] is ready to silence any doubters.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports
“SHOWTIME PPV has become the industry leader in PPV fights. These events keep getting bigger, better and more exciting.
“The first fight between Mayweather and Maidana was one of the most exciting fights in boxing history and the second fight will be even better.
“There is no event like a Mayweather fight with the music and the celebrities. You add to that the ferocity of a hungry fighter like Maidana and you have the recipe for another unforgettable fight.”