Former WBA lightweight champion Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini spoke with Fight Hub TV and The Boxing Channel's Marcos Villegas in Las Vegas this week, giving his thoughts on the Saturday night rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana, saying he feels this time, Mayweather will win easily.
He also gave his thoughts on how Floyd stacks up to some of the best of Mancini's era.
"(Mayweather) couldn't figure (Maidana) out the first couple of rounds, he figured him out in the second half of the fight," Mancini said of the first bout in May, which Mayweather won via majority decision. "He'll beat him easy this time, because Maidana's got nothing different. There's nothing different Maidana can do. Floyd can do a lot of things different.
"I would hope Robert Garcia would tell Maidana, you know, the same punch that knocked (down) Broner, over the top right hand that he did the first two rounds against Floyd, that was giving Floyd problems -- but about the fourth or fifth round, Floyd figured it out. So what do you do? You should feint, come from the side. I would hope they do something different. I don't know if he knows how to do anything different, but I hope they would.
"The only way Maidana had a chance of winning is what he did, he made it ugly. You gotta make it an ugly fight, which he did. It made it interesting, made it controversial, but he lost the fight. I think Floyd beats him easy this time."
Mancini acknowledged that Maidana (35-4, 31 KO) has the sort of style that can be somewhat effective against Mayweather (46-0, 26 KO).
"When he wins, he wins ugly. When he loses, he loses ugly. It's always an ugly fight with Maidana," he said. "At the end, Floyd stayed right in the pocket there, and he didn't do anything different. I think in that respect, Maidana's an awkward style, throws punches from weird angles. It's an ugly style. That's how he wins. That's the key of his success. But now Floyd's figured him out. I think he makes it easy this time."
The Youngstown, Ohio, native was a little less enthused with how Mayweather stacks up to the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Wilfred Benitez, and Roberto Duran, however.
"Floyd's handpicking opponents. He fights to his capability when he has to. He puts out as much effort as he wants to," he said. "I mean, look, Floyd's special. He's the best there is now.
"When you put him with all-time greats, he ain't gonna beat Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns might have stretched him. Benitez would've had him talking to himself, and Duran would have played with him. Duran would have played with him. Floyd's special! Don't get me wrong. I think he could've fought with those guys. But I don't think he would've been as successful, no."
How can Mayweather truly stand in league with those guys? He has to do what they did, Mancini said. He has to fight the true best opponents in the sport today.
"The only way to show his greatness is what Ray Leonard did, what Tommy did. You fight each other. Him and Pacquiao is two years old, I don't even know if anybody cares anymore. But if he wants to have any credibility of an all-time great, the best ever and all that crap he says, you gotta fight Pacquiao now. Fight him now. Make it your next fight."
Another, possibly even more unlikely name, then sprang to mind for Mancini. "Or Gennady Golovkin! Somebody of that caliber. Meet Golovkin at 154! It'll never happen. What are you, nuts? But it makes it interesting."