Marcos Maidana is looking for a fight.
The 31-year-old Argentine faces pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather in a welterweight/junior middleweight championship rematch at the MGM Grand on September 13 in Las Vegas.
And “Chino” is sending a very clear message to his foe: He's in for another rough night.
“I’m not going to respect him. I’m going to go at him, and I want him to fight. Fight like a man. Stop crying like a little b---h and fight,” Maidana said during an international media conference call on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming rematch.
“I’m going to do my job. I’m going to come to fight.”
Maidana always comes to fight, and his pressure style, with a fair sprinkling of borderline/illegal tactics, forced Mayweather into some uncomfortable moments, particularly in the first half of the fight.
Mayweather had to engage more at close quarters than fans have grown accustomed to seeing during his dominant run to the top of the sport.
Some chalked that up to age—he was 37—and a slight diminution of his skills, but Maidana doesn’t buy it.
“I don’t think age has anything to do with it. In the first fight, he stood and fought with me a little bit, but then he started boxing and moving at times. He’s a good athlete. He's in shape. I think that it was his decision to stand and fight with me,” Maidana said in response to Bleacher Report’s question.
“This second fight I hope that 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.”
Mayweather has always been a boxer and not a fighter. His style is built around a strong technical foundation, great hand and foot speed and counterpunching.
In the rounds where he was able to maintain sufficient distance—mostly in the second half of the fight—he was able to outbox Maidana, picking him off before his shots could reach the target.
It became a totally different fight, something Maidana blames on his conditioning and promises won’t happen again.
“I was able to force him to stand and fight, and that had a lot to do with conditioning. The times when he decided to box is because I let him. I let him get away. I let him be able to box and move. I think I did well in forcing him to fight because of the pressure I put on,” Maidana said.
“This time around I’m not going to get tired. I’m going to be on him from the opening bell, for the entire fight. And I think that’s going to force him to fight.”
But that number doesn’t tell the entire story.
Mayweather made Maidana miss on nearly 75 percent of his thrown punches, using a variety of defensive maneuvers to duck, dodge and slip the vast majority of his foe’s offensive output.
Maidana, who has been sparring with Mikey Garcia, Thomas Dulorme and Steve Forbes, realizes that he will need to land more of his shots this time around.
And he plans to do that by taking Mayweather’s defensive abilities away from him by hitting anything that moves.
“I’m going to hit him in the shoulder. I’m going to hit him in the arms, and come eighth, ninth round, he’s going to be so tired from all the punches that he isn’t going to be able to defend himself anymore,” Maidana said.
Mayweather suffered the first cut of his professional career in the fourth round, the result of an accidental head-butt, and he chastised Maidana post-fight for low blows, head-butts and other illegal tactics.
He accused the Argentine of being an MMA fighter rather than a boxer, a charge that Maidana dismisses today.
“It [the MMA reference] doesn’t bother me. There are things that he does as well in there. It’s better for him to stop crying and just fight,” Maidana said in reference to Mayweather’s complaints about him being a dirty fighter.
“I’m sure that for this second fight he’ll come out and fight differently, have a different game plan. I’m not going to change. I’m going to come and put the pressure on and I’m going to try and force him to fight. I’m hoping, again, that he doesn’t start running like a little b---h all over the ring.”
Coming into the first bout, most observers who were willing to give Maidana any sort of chance at an upset—which wasn’t many—did so because of the very raw power he brings on his punches.
The general wisdom seemed to be that if the Argentine were going to have any chance at all in the fight, he’d need to make that power decisive and knock Mayweather out.
His chances of winning on the scorecards seemed remote, and ultimately he did fall, dropping a spirited but in most eyes just majority-decision verdict.
Entering this September’s rematch, consensus again seems to be that Maidana needs a knockout to win.
But he’s not buying it.
“I think that I can win by decision or by knockout. The first fight was a very close fight. 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 by decision,” Maidana said.
“Obviously, the knockout would be nice.”
If he’s going to score the knockout and become the first man to drop the pound-for-pound king off his pedestal, Maidana will need to do it without his preferred brand of gloves—again.
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe confirmed during the conference call that Maidana would once again be wearing Everlast Powerlock model gloves, settling an issue early that threatened to derail the first contest just hours before the bout.
Maidana and his team wanted the MX model glove, also made by Everlast, but Mayweather’s team objected, arguing that the glove didn’t provide sufficient padding.
The contract for the rematch didn’t have any stipulations allowing for Maidana to use his preferred form of handwear, but he refuses to focus on that and remains committed to the task at hand.
With or without his gloves.
“I’m training to win. I know what to expect. I know Mayweather now, his style, what he brings to the table. I have more concentration. No excuses whatsoever.”
Kevin McRae is a featured boxing columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.