LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Undefeated welterweight Floyd Mayweather Jr. says he expects Argentina’s Marcos Maidana to be “once again extremely dirty and wild” in their heavily anticipated re-match in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Mayweather improved his perfect professional record to 46-0 with a majority decision victory when they first clashed in the ring on May 4, a fight in which the American felt the Argentine did “a little bit of everything.”
While Maidana has urged his opponent “to stop crying and just fight” in their re-match, Mayweather plans to go about his business as usual when he defends his World Boxing Association belt and his World Boxing Council title.
“I just have to go out there and just be me and be first,” five-division world champion Mayweather, 37, told reporters while preparing for the scheduled 12-round bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“I can’t really say how the fight is going to play out, but I‘m pretty sure he’s going to be once again extremely dirty and wild. My job is to keep everything under control the best way that I can.”
Maidana made a fast start to their May 4 bout, launching a blizzard of punches and trapping his opponent against the ropes at every turn in the first few rounds.
Mayweather, widely regarded as the world’s top pound-for-pound boxer, went on to dominate the contest before one judge ruled the fight a 114-114 draw while the other two scored the bout 117-111 and 116-112 in his favor.
”The fight was not close,“ said Mayweather (46-0, 26 KOs). ”He came out, he won the first round, I won the second round, he won the third and the fourth, and from the fifth on he lost every round.
”If you guys notice, I got tackled, the guy tried to knee me, I got a head butt, there were rabbit punches, there were low blows and the list goes on and on.
“He did a little bit of everything. That night I had to do two jobs; I had to be the boxer and referee, so I had to do two jobs,” said the American, who is viewed as one of the best defensive fighters of all time.
Asked how he would prepare for similar tactics by Maidana in their re-match, Mayweather replied: ”My job is to prepare for everything all around the board, but I‘m going to let the referee do his job and be fair to both parties.
”I‘m just going to let the fight play out like it plays out and go out there and do what I do best. If a knockout presents itself, of course I‘m going to take full advantage of a knockout.
“I always find a way. Whether I am 26 or 37, I still find the way to win.”
For his part, Maidana believes that the first fight was so close that he simply needs to make a few refinements to gain a result in his favor.
“I feel that I just have to make a few adjustments, put a little more pressure on, land better punches, and yes I can win, I can win by decision,” said the hard-hitting Argentine.
”But obviously the knockout would be nice, and that’s a possibility as well. In the first fight my attack, the pressure, was very good, but I didn’t do well with my distance control.
“I smothered a lot of my punches, I wasn’t able to really catch him with good solid shots, being able to extend my punches, and that’s one of the things that I‘m working on.”
Maidana was totally unfazed by Mayweather’s claims that he was a dirty fighter.
”You know what? It doesn’t bother me,“ said the 31-year-old (35-4, 31 KOs). ”It doesn’t bother me. There’s things that he does as well in there, so it’s time for him to stop crying and just fight.
“This second fight I hope he decides to stand and fight with me, to fight like a man. I hope he doesn’t start running or trying to move away.”
Editing by Frank Pingue