After a tough fight tonight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, it looks like Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana will probably do it again in September, as Mayweather intends to return that month, which means that another of tonight's winners, Amir Khan, is out of the picture for the next Floyd bout.
Mayweather (46-0, 26 KO) won a majority decision tonight over Maidana (35-4, 31 KO) in an entertaining fight, one in which Maidana started fast and hung in with Floyd the entire way. Mayweather said after the fight at the press conference that he chose to fight that way for the fans, and that he could have made it much easier, although it would have been boring.
Bristling under questions from the media about the fight being tough, among other topics he mostly chose to avoid, the 37-year-old Mayweather all but said that next time, he'll make it easy and boring. Maidana simply wants the rematch, and the two exchanged a bit of humor and some moments of tension, too.
"I don't duck or dodge anyone," Mayweather said. "If Maidana feels he won, in September, he can get it again. Did Maidana win some rounds? Absolutely. I'm not going to cry and complain."
Mayweather did, however, complain some about Maidana's dirty tactics, and the performance of referee Tony Weeks, saying that if there is a rematch, he will request that Weeks not be the third man in the ring.
Addressing Maidana through trainer Robert Garcia, Mayweather said, "You're a true fighter and a great champion. But next fight, don't hit me in the dick so much."
Maidana replied, "OK, but let me use my gloves." At that point, Mayweather's sense of humor seemed to disappear, as he went into a spiel about how he's the A-side, and said that when he was the B-side against Oscar De La Hoya, he had to make concessions about the gloves for that bout in 2007.
The gloves would come up again later. Garcia said the gloves that Maidana wore -- Everlast Powerlock gloves, rather than Everlast MX gloves -- didn't fit well, and that he had to grease up Maidana's hands just to get them into the glove.
Mayweather changed his tune then to it being about fighter safety, while also continuing to mix in the fact that he's the A-side fighter, and gets to make certain calls. When questioned by Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports why he didn't just put into the contract that Everlast MX gloves were not agreeable for the fight, Mayweather became defensive, dodging that question to tell Iole that Iole had never fought before, and eventually relying on the massive entourage he'd assembled on the stage to confirm his stance and assure him that he was doing the right thing.
They stood up and shouted things like, "That's right!" before Floyd broke out the ultimate conversation killer, having a bunch of his friends shout, "HARD WORK! DEDICATION!" in true Money Team fashion, much like we saw from Leonard Ellerbe when he was asked tough questions during the glove madness last night. Every effort was made to change the subject, or at least shout it down and move on to the next question. Floyd also noted helpfully that the fight was over, and that it didn't matter now.
"Enough words," Maidana eventually said. "Just give me the fucking rematch." Challenged, Mayweather stood his ground, offering to have the ring put back up to do it right then. But that cooled itself quickly, and Mayweather went back to a maddening mix of praising his opponent and Maidana's team, and trying to explain that while he fought an action fight for the fans tonight, next time he would not, and he'd make it very easy.
That's entirely possible, but it would be foolish to think that a fighter who has so long prided himself on not taking shots and not getting hurt would be looking to take bumps and bruises, as he said, in order to impress fans. When Mayweather last struggled to any degree in 2012 against Miguel Cotto, he replaced his uncle Roger as his lead trainer with his father, who has a reputation as more of a defensive-minded coach.
Mayweather also said that Maidana was not his toughest opponent. "Toughest wrestling match. Miguel Cotto is a tougher fighter. One thing I won't do is lie. Miguel Cotto is a tougher fighter, and he hit harder. Canelo hit harder.
"Maidana is tough and very rugged," he said. "I could have made it easy, but it would be boring. I didn't want to do that. Canelo hit me with a left hook that I still feel."
The 13th Round
The 13th Round
Seemingly unimpressed by Mayweather's bravado, and totally lacking the sort of awe that most Mayweather opponents have after tangling with the pound-for-pound king, Maidana mostly sat in his chair and soaked it all in. With Amir Khan unavailable in September due to Ramadan -- which he confirmed several times in his own post-fight session -- Maidana seems to make the most sense for September.
This was a good enough fight to sell again, not to mention the fact that their personalities have shifted some, too, with Mayweather maybe having a bone to pick with the way this fight is being perceived. Can he make it easier and show there's been no slip in his game? Maybe. Can Maidana make further adjustments and maybe pull off the upset next time? That will be the selling point, if the fight happens.
With Khan a no-go, that leaves Maidana, and then the likes of Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman, two terrific young rising stars, to be sure, but probably not guys who will sell as much as Maidana might for a rematch. We'll have to see what the pay-per-view numbers are for this bout, but due to a $15 million-plus live gate, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and Showtime Sports head Stephen Espinoza are very confident that it will crack one million buys.
The rematch should do better business, whatever business this one did. There's more of a story. And we now have seen that Marcos Maidana belongs in the ring with Floyd Mayweather.